Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Caged Glass Gem Statement Necklace

As many of you know about 3 years ago I started experimenting with a microwave glass kiln from Fuseworks.  Since then it has not left my kitchen counter because I use it almost daily.  From the very beginning I've logged my experiments with fusing glass and when I started to write 
The Big Ass Book of Bling, I decided that there was definitely going to be an entire chapter on fusing glass and creating jewelry with it.  This is one of my favorite pieces from the book and it was the first piece I created for the book when I started to write it.  This piece would look stunning with almost anything from a t-shirt to simple black dress.
Caged Glass Gems 

Various glass marbles, seed beads, pebbles 
White school glue
Aluminum flashing
Tin shears with serrated edges
18 gage wire
Hammer and large nail
Black acrylic paint and rag
Large jump rings
Lobster claw
Silver chain
Needle nose pliers
You'll need to create your glass gems with your Fuseworks Microwave Kiln.  I take decorative glass pieces that were created by the same manufacturer and fuse them together.  Often you can find bags of small glass pieces at the dollar store in different colors that will work well together.  It's really important to make sure that the pieces are from the same manufacturer because they will have the same COE, which is how quickly the glass will cool.  If your glass pieces do not have the same COE then your glass gems will crack as they cool.  
1.     Lay fuse paper on the bottom of your glass kiln.
2.  Glue your pieces together with a tiny bit of Elmer's Glue.
3.  Place the base with your glass pieces in the microwave.
4.  Once it's in place, carefully place the lid on the kiln.
5.  Microwave your glass for about 4 minutes on high. 
6.  Use your cotton gloves and carefully lift the lid to see if your glass has fused.  If it hasn't you
may need to let it fuse for another minute or two.  Experiment! 
7.  Let your glass gem cool for at least 20 minutes!  
Follow all of the instructions that come with the kiln!
Once you've created your gems, you will cut oval pieces out of aluminum flashing.  You can get this at almost any hardware store.  You'll want to use tin shears with a serrated edge blades.
These will cut the tin so that it's not sharp around the edges.
Hammer it on a piece of scrap wood.  Not your counter tops!  This will give your metal a nice texture.
Rub with acrylic paint. I like metallic Lumiere paint in pewter but you could use black.
It's up to you.
Place your gem on the oval and mark holes all the way around it and on the top and bottom of the oval.
Tap holes around your gem on the oval using a large nail on your scrap wood.
The top and bottom holes will be for connecting the pieces together with jump rings later.
Turn the oval over and tap down the sharp edges.
Take about 10 inches of 20 gage wire and wrap the gem in place by threading
the wire through the holes.
Twist the wire on the back to keep it in place.
Connect the pieces with jump rings to create your design.
Add chain and closure to the back of the choker.
Statement piece!
For 150 more projects and an entire chapter on the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln and fused glass jewelry, grab a copy of 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bohemian Jewelry DIY

As you know, if you've been following my rants and raves, I've been truly obsessed with making paper beads and figuring out things to make with them.  I think this is going to be an obsession for a VERY long time because I just enjoy it so much.  It's like a crafter's cigarette break without the harsh effects.  This week I created bohemian inspired jewelry by using the paper rolls as bezel settings for flat back gems. I really loved making this project and I think you will, too!  Make sure to leave a comment and say hello, OK! 
I made the tassels with embroidery floss from the 99c store!
Here's the how to video

Glue gun
White glue
Needle nose pliers
3" x 10" sheets of magazine paper
Embroidery floss
Flat back gems
Jump rings
Clip on earring backs
Rhinestone chain
Lobster claw closure 
Cut your magazine pages to size
Roll them at an angle into a thin tube starting from one corner
 Glue the end down to secure it
Roll a tube around the end of the pliers
Secure it with glue and add another tube to make it bigger
3 tubes make a large roll, 2 make a medium roll and one makes a small roll
You'll need 3 large rolls, 2 medium rolls and 4 small rolls 
Measure and cut the rhinestone chain so that it circles around each paper roll 
Add E-6000 to the edge of the roll and then glue on the chain 
 Glue flat back gems to the rolls using hot glue and let dry
 They'll look like this
Figure out your bracelet design 
Put it together with jump rings and a closure
 For the earrings you will wrap embroidery floss around a 2" x 4" piece of cardboard about 20 times
Add a jump ring to the top of the wrapping
Trim the bottom to release the tassel
Take another piece of floss and it around the top
 Wrap the top of the tassel and tie it in another knot again
Put your earring pieces together
Glue on the clip on backs with E-6000
Add some more flat back gems to the back of the earrings
Here you go!
For 150 more jewelry DIY ideas, grab The Big Ass Book of Bling!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th Possums! Terrific DIY's to share today.......

As you may know, every Thursday I like to share some of my favorite links from around the web with you.  There is so much "noise" out there, it's hard to find good projects on a regular basis, but I've done it!  Each week I'm bringing you my picks from crafters/artists who consistently share something new and wonderful on a regular basis.  Follow them for a never ending supply of inspiration.  Here you go!  
 Up first, my besty Margot Potter creates the perfect patriotic tank top with her Silhouette Cameo! Happy 4th Margot!
Cathie Filian from Handmade Happy Hour gives us a bit of the southwest (ooh, great name for a kid!) made with her Mod Podge Melts. I have to get my hands on some of these!
Kathy (aka Crafty Chica) makes this beautiful resin top table which would have looked perfect in my family’s restaurant! I love this table!
Jaderbomb from shares her paper beaded bracelet which is super easy to make and might just be the way to get the kids away from the video games for a spell!
Heather at wows today with plastic animal drinking cups. OMG these are so clever and cute. I am kind of freaking out a bit!
Make sure to check out how to make my PARTY IN A BOX with stuff I know you have cluttering up your craft space! Make one and send it to me, OK!

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