Welcome to my Blog!

I hope to share with others some knowledge, some of my passion when it comes to crafting, and get to know other crafters in the web community.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Make Your Own Cool Earring Cards

I have a couple of big craft shows coming up, but am still working on my display. I am trying to do it as inexpensively as possible without cheaping out so much that everything looks sub par. I have been going to Goodwill, vintage shops, discount places like Tuesday Morning, and my favorite local used and new store fixture shop. And my main motto throughout this has been, "it can always be decoupaged!" (which is what I have done once so far, but plan on doing more of). I think I will have an entry on the beauty and wonders of decoupaging soon.

But today I am going to focus on earring cards. I found a way to do it yourself that is inexpensive, easy, and customizable to suit your needs.

All you need is:

*Paper (something stiff preferably)
*a printer (preferably ink jet)
*20 gauge craft wire
*DG3 art gel (by Judykins)
*round nose pliers


*a hammer and bench block

Getting Started

You will need to print out your company name/logo on some thick, cardstock-like paper. You can include your email or store web address, or whatever you please. Cut these out with scissors or a cutting board. I just did it with a scissors, cause I kind of like the handmade, less than perfect look. My dimensions ended up being about 1 1/2" square (a little bit longer on the length).

Now for the wire. The nice thing about using wire for the top portion of your card is that you can bend it into whatever shape you need. I have a display rack that requires a straight and wide shape at the top, so that is what I made, but you can bend your wire into whatever configuration works best for you. I cut 4.5" of 20 gauge silver craft wire. Using a round nose pliers, I made a swirl shape at one end, formed the middle area, then finished with a swirl shape at the other end.

At this point you can flatten your wire a little bit with a hammer. This will strengthen the wire, and give it a kind of neat look, but it is totally optional. If you do this step, make sure you don't over hammer and thin the wire out too much, and always do it on a steel surface, like a bench block.

A Word About DG3 Art Gel by Judykins

We are going to attach the wire to the paper using DG3 Art Gel, which is a resin. It works better than glue because it dries clearer (and is clear to begin with), and has a great surface tension that keeps it from flowing and glopping everywhere. Yet is works like glue and creates a really strong bond.

Once you have your wire positioned correctly on your earring card, go ahead and squirt a little bit of Art Gel into the swirl area. Don't put too much in at once- it will slowly spread out over the course of about thirty seconds. Even if your swirl isn't completely closed up, the amazing surface tension should keep the Art Gel from spreading beyond.

It's so clear, you can barely see it in there!

Let your project dry for at least a few hours, poke some holes in, and you are ready to go!

Here is a different card that I made when I was practicing everything.

Thanks for reading and have fun!

-Andrea, creator of all things shiny, good, and happy

Friday, March 26, 2010

Amazing Website

I have stumbled upon one of the coolest and most useful websites of all time. It's called This to That, and it's all about what kind of glue to use to bond Thing A to Thing B. It has about ten different categories ranging from wood to metal to glass to rubber, etc, and lets you plug in your two different materials to bond together. It then presents you with the best product for your needs. Who hasn't wondered what the best kind of glue is for some project at hand at some point in their lives? It's a common bond that threads mankind together (pun intended there).

Not only does This to That have glue advice, but it also has glue trivia and glue news. Not as useful, but certainly quite entertaining.

Here's the link:

Check it out!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This n That Beaded Earrings

Here is a great way to use up some of your extra beads and make some really cool looking earrings
You'll need
-some craftwire (I used 22 gauge silver colored wire)
- a small rod of some sort, about 1 mm in diameter
-a bunch of beads of varying sizes

-two headpins
-pliers- chain nose and round nose
-small wire cutter

I used a brass rod for this project, but anything that you can find with a small diameter will do. The first step is to wrap your wire a few times around the rod.

After that, you string a bead on the wire, and then wrap a full loop of wire around just the rod in order to secure the bead.

Keep wrapping beads onto the rod in this manner- wrap once with a bead, wrap again without.

I wrapped about an inch of beads before I started to go back down the opposite direction to wrap more.

I looped it around a few times at the end, and proceeded to go back the other direction. I kept my loops as tight as possible around the first row, and tried to place them so as to fill in the gaps so I would have a nice full looking piece.

Now you just cut the tail off with a wire cutter, and tuck in the end with a chain or flat nose plier. After you have finished that, slide your creation off the rod.

Add a headpin with an accent bead on the bottom of it. Do a simple loop at the top, or a wire wrap, and hook into your earwires. Now you have a sweet pair of wire 'n bead sculpture earrings that is guaranteed to get you some high fives and double thumbs up as you sport them around town. Or at least some nice verbal compliments.

All done!

For a quick tutorial on wrapped and simple loops, please check out: http://www.ornamentea.com/learn.html

Thanks for joining along!