Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas DIY - Nordic Style Felt Decoration




Today I have another decoration DIY to share with you. I did make a lot of our decorations this year to fill our giant tree! This is really simple if you have a tapestry needle, I didn't which made it a little harder! Here's what you need:

  • Felt in colour of your choice
  • Yarn or twine
  • Wooden bead
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry or Embroidery needle
Here's what you do:
  • Cut strips of felt
  • Half the length if they are a bit long when placed next to your bead - they should be about twice the length of your bead width
  • Take a length of twine about 30cm long
  • Create a loop at one end for hanging and tie a knot
  • Thread on your bead
  • Thread on all of your strips of felt
  • Tie a knot after the last strip of felt
  • Trim the excess twine
  • Fan the felt so your decoration is more ball shaped
That's it - you're done!

This guide can also be found on guidecentr.al

This will probably be my last post before Christmas as my Mother in Law is visiting over the festive season so have a happy holiday.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas DIY - Gold Edged Clay Christmas Decorations







Disclosure: Links to materials include affiliate links.

This weekend we are going to the forrest to buy our Christmas tree. It's what we used to do when I was a child and it's the first year that our new family of three are embracing the tradition since we moved back to Scotland last year. I am a bit concerned the tree will look a little bare as I have not yet built up a large collection of decorations. My solution, as it is for a lot of things is to make some. These are so simple to make, the hardest part is painting the gold edge! 

Here's what you need:
Here's what your do:
  • Take some polymer clay and work it so it is pliable, protect your work surface with a material like greaseproof paper.
  • Roll out the clay using a rolling pin so that it is 4 - 5mm thick.
  • Cut out shapes using Christmas cookie cutters.
  • Pierce a hole for hanging the decoration using a skewer. You can firm the clay up a bit before doing this by placing the decorations in the fridge.
  • Bake according to the clay manufacturers instructions.
  • Once cool, sand any rough edges.
  • Paint the edges using gold acrylic paint. Keep a wet cloth to hand to wipe off any excess paint if you go over the edge. Repeat for a few coats until you are happy with the finish.
  • Once dry thread with red ribbon or suede cord and tie a knot at the end of the cord to create a loop.
I think these will look great on our tree as we have quite a few Scandinavian style decorations and gold decorations and these should hopefully tie the two together.

This DIY can also be found on Guide Central.

Do you like to make your own Christmas decorations or do you prefer to buy?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Jewellery DIY - Long Abstract Necklace




I have made a number of these abstract necklaces in various colours and lengths. I really love them and think they look quite expensive. They take a while to make but are worth the effort.

The materials and tools are as follows:

Tiger tail
2 crimp beads
Decorative connector of your choice
Bead selection, I used seed beads, bugle beads and small faceted Czech glass beads.
Flat nose pliers
Scissors

Here's what you do:
  • Cut a 90cm length of tiger tail, scissors will cut through this easily.
  • Thread on a crimp bead. 
  • Thread through one end of the connector and then double back through crimp bead.
  • Make sure the crimp is as close to the connector as possible whilst still allowing movement and squash the crimp using flat nose pliers.
  • Thread on your beads in a pattern of your choice making sure you conceal the end of the wire.
  • One you have beaded approx 75cm of the wire thread on a crimp bead.
  • Thread through the second end of the connector.
  • Double back through the crimp and a few of the beads on the end of your necklace.
  • Pull the wire so the crimp is as close to the connector as possible whilst still allowing movement. This is the most fiddly part of the project so take your time. Once pulled tight squash the crimp bead using flat nose pliers.
  • Trim the excess wire with scissors as close to the beading as possible and tuck any excess into the beads.
That's it, there are endless possibilities for colour and design combinations for this necklace

This DIY can also be found on Guide Central.

What do you think? If you do make a necklace using this tutorial make sure you share it with me on instagram or facebook by tagging @beadbash.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Foam Board Bracelet Display DIY





So, my last post was about the success of the Christmas Fayre I was at last weekend. Today I want to share with you a DIY of how I made the bracelet display.

It's made from foam board so all you need is:

A3 Sheet of foam board
Ruler
Craft knife
Pencil
Multipurpose glue like UHU
A circular template that is roughly wrist sized - I used a vitamin container.

  • Measure and cut a 10cm length of the A3 sheet of foam board using your craft knife and ruler. 
  • Draw around your template and cut out 5 circles in the the foam board using the craft knife again. 
  • Measure the length of the base and divide by 6, making a light mark in the middle at each division. 
  • Place the circles using the pencil marks as a guide for the centre of each disc and then mark with your pencil at points around the outside to use as a guide when you stick them down. 
  • Glue one side of the circles and place along the board using your guides.
  • Allow to dry and then place on your bracelets
Simple and light weight for taking to craft fairs!

This DIY can also be found on Guide Central.

Do you have any easy cheap DIY displays ideas you would like to share, I love clever ideas that don't cost a lot to achieve.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Selling Your Work - Is This Your Business or a Hobby?








I have been a bit quiet online for the last week or so. That's because I was in a mad dash to get organised for a local Christmas fair (or fayre) as we say in Scotland. It's the first fair I have done in a few years as they have always been somewhat unsuccessful for me in the past. This one went much better for me, I have struggled in the past to even cover the cost of my table. I didn't mind if that happened at this fair as it was all in aid of the local playgroup that my son will attend next year.

I think this fair was successful for me for a couple of reasons and when I say successful I'm certainly not going to make my fortune from it but at least I can recoup some of the cost of my materials! So here is what I changed:

1 - I had a much larger variety of items than at previous events and I think that this draws people in to have a closer look. I used to just take my most current creations as I thought displaying all of the jewellery I have made in the last few years would look disjointed. It turns out that when I have it all displayed together I do seem to have a general style that keeps everything cohesive. 

I do however think the main clincher was: 

2 - I dropped my prices! I have read so many articles online about not devaluing your work and to set your prices accordingly. Previously I have looked at similar items on Etsy from successful sellers and set my prices around the same level or slightly lower but next to nothing has sold and this is probably because I am not established. This time I had a look around the shops, although they sell mass produced items where as mine are handmade - they are still my competition as this is where most people shop regularly. I was more realistic about what I thought people would pay for a glass bead necklace or a gold plated pair of beaded earrings but I still set my prices slightly higher than the mass produced items.

I guess it all depends on what you are trying to achieve, a few years ago when I lived in Ireland before I had my son I was trying to build a business and had a lot more time to spend on trying to market myself. Now, I don't have time to run a business, I just like making jewellery so I just want to sell enough so that I can occasionally buy new materials without feeling guilty that I am spending money that should be going on groceries. I also have quite a lot of stuff in our spare room so it helps to sell some before I make more.

What is your opinion on setting prices for your work? It's a tough one, that's for sure!

As a side note - I made all of the displays apart from the ladder at the back which was from ikea and usually lives in our spare room. I will share the display DIYs with you in future posts, they are easy to make and light weight, made out of foam board which means they are easy to transport.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Happy Halloween



This is just a quick post to say Happy Halloween. I made this Lego block costume for my son and you can find the DIY on Guide Central. Not very scary I know but he's only 20 months so I was going for cute! Happy Halloween!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Jewellery DIY - White and Gold Colour Block Cuff Bracelet




I have been making a lot of things from polymer clay recently. The other week I had a bit of a production line going. My plan was to make a bowl but I had bits of clay left over and made other things to use up the spare clay.

This cuff bracelet was one of the things I made although I only just got around to decorating it yesterday. 

This is an easy DIY. I used Sculpey Extra Light Clay which is white and doesn't require as much working to get it soft and pliable to use. I rolled out a longish oval. To get the lenght I held my wrist over the oval and made sure it was around 2 wrist widths long.

I then trimmed the excess clay so that I was left with a rectangle. I curved this around, as pictured into a cuff - leaving enough of a gap to get the bracelet on and off. I then baked on a baking tray according to the manufacturers instructions.

Once cooled I sanded any rough edges and then cleaned away the dust. I masked sections off using painters tape and painted the sections using gold acrylic paint. Each section took around 3 coats.

I am really pleased with the final product and it would make a great Christmas present. You can also find this tutorial on Guide Central.

What do you think?

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