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How to: Drop Earrings

Earring making is one of the most useful and gratifying forms of jewellery making, and once you’ve mastered the basic techniques you can whip up all sorts of beautiful designs mega quickly! Below you’ll find a tutorial to make some lovely & simple drop earrings, that require basic earring making skills (I’ll do my best to describe these below!).

You will need: 4 x drop flower beads, 4 x headpins, 2 x earring hooks, 2 x jump rings, flat nose pliers, round nose pliers. wire cutters.

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First of all, pop one of your beads on to one of your headpins. Use your wire cutters to trim a little bit of excess off the headpin – how much is up to you!

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Using your round nose pliers, pinch the wire about 1cm down from the top, and bend to the side to it’s sitting at a 90 degree angle. Then, using the same pliers, grab the wire right at the end and turn over to make a loop. Repeat on the other pin.

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Use your flat nose pliers to open up one of your jump rings, pop both of your dangles on, and close again.

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Now use the same pliers to open up the bottom of one earring hook, pop the jump ring on, and close. Repeat for your second earring, and voila! All done.

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You can make a huge array of lovely earring designs using only this technique – time to get practising those loops!

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Creativity Call Out

Creativity Call Out

At Bunyip, our retail shop ethos is all about finding the most exciting, contemporary products to sell to our customers – a happy, cool and colourful bunch who we know appreciate a trend-led craft treat. This can be fairly difficult in our industry, which is so traditional sometimes that we struggle to find the products of our dreams amongst the slightly old fashioned wares.

We’re lucky enough to be able to stock the shop from lots of different suppliers, many of them big companies that allow us to buy all sorts of wonderful things and keep our prices down on all your basic craft supplies. More often than not, we find that we can find trend led products from these companies, but it really is all about picking and choosing from vast catalogs that really vary in quality, price and style. These wholesalers have provided us with some of our favourite products of this year though, from cactus pin cushions to hummingbird cross stitches to spaceship fabric – we do our best to pick out the bits we think you’ll love!

But, what we absolutely love stocking is work from independent designers and artists. We still have the fabulous kits and wrapping paper designed by Freya Hartas, one time Bunyip employee who has now moved on to Bristol.

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We also have a big selection of cards from The Strawberry Card Company, designed by Sian O’Donnell, a friend of Mattie’s and firm believer in the joy of receiving post. We love Sian’s work and keep expanding our card area to fit in all our favourites (if it has a swear word in it, it’s our favourite).

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Never one to turn down a good button – and we know you aren’t either – we love having these gorgeous sea glass buttons in the shop, made by Sally Villa. Each set is unique, making them perfect as a gift for a button aficionado or even to be made into jewellery. They’re so precious and delicate that I think they’d be beautiful mixed in with other natural buttons on a necklace…

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As part of our handmade jewellery selection we love these pieces made by Daisy Manson, all made from off cuts from the wood her brother uses to make guitars! Some of them are even inset with gorgeous mother of pearl shapes, making super special and one off necklaces and earrings.

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We love stocking these makers and their awesome products, but we’d love even more! If you know of any fabulous designs or artists selling their crafty makes then pleased put them in touch with us – we’re always keen to have a look and expand our selection so that we keep bringing you wonderful stock that makes us all pretty happy. The best ways to get in touch are on info@bunyipbeads.com or 01392 437377, we’d love to hear about the products that have got you all excited!

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How to: Crystal Drop Necklace

We love these beautiful crystal drop beads! Popping just one on a thread is a great way to show the sparkle off without going too bling-tastic. Follow the instructions below to make one for yourself, and you can follow the link at the end to buy everything you need too. Easy.

You need: 1m of thin beading thread, 1 x eyepin, 1 x crystal drop, 2 x jump rings, 1 x lobster clasp, 2 x fold thread ends, a pair of flat nose pliers, a pair of round nose pliers, and some wire cutters.

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First of all, thread your crystal bead on to your eye pin, and use a wire cutter to trim the excess down so there’s about 1cm left on the other side of the bead.

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Use a round nose plier to turn the wire over and into a loop.

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Cut your piece of thread into two equal lengths. Loop one end of one piece through one of the loops made on your crystal, and position so it’s in the middle of thread. Tie a normal overhand knot to secure into place, and repeat for the other side too.

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Cut your thread down so that the necklace measures your preferred length. Grab your flat nose pliers, and squish a fold thread end on to each end. Make sure you trap both ends of thread!

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Using your flat nose pliers again, use one of the jump rings to attach a lobster clasp to one side of the necklace. Pop the jump ring straight on to the other, for the lobster clasp to clip in and out of.

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And that’s it! Wear your pretty necklace in lots of lovely colours.

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This can be done with pretty much any bead – as long as you can get an eye pin through it!

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How to: Button Necklace

This button necklace, made from paua shell buttons, is one of our classic Bunyip jewellery designs that had stood the test of time over the many years that we’ve been trading. Fancy giving one a go? Here’s a quick tutorial to get you going!

You will need: 1.5m of thin cotton cord, 2 x fold thread ends, 1 x clasp, flat nose pliers, array of paua shell buttons. (We use 1 x 27mm, 2 x 20mm, 2 x 16mm and 2 x 14mm.)

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Firstly, cut your thread in 2 equal lengths. Using your biggest button, thread one piece of the cotton down through the first hole. Using the second piece of thread, thread this up the second hole, aligning the button in the middle of the two bits of thread.

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If you’re doing it right, the threads should cross on the back of the button!

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Next, tie a knot nice and close to either side of the button, holding it in place. Just an overhand knot will do – nothing fancy!

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Here’s the trick to getting your buttons to all face the same way: where you’ve tied the knot, you’ll notice that one thread is sitting ‘on top’ of the other. Use this as your first thread on your next button, making sure you thread down the first hole with it. Then, thread up the second hole with the other thread.

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Now tie a knot on the other side of your second button, and repeat on the other side of your middle button.

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Repeat with your other buttons, decreasing the size gradually from the centre outwards.

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Once all your buttons are knotted on beautifully, hold the necklace up around your neck and measure how long you’d like it to be. We generally make ours between 16″ and 18″ – cut yours to the right length, and use your flat nose pliers to squash one of the fold thread ends on to each side.

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Once that’s done, hook your clasp on. And that’s it! Time to make one in every colour before Christmas.

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How To: Tassel Bag Charm

How to: Tassel Bag Charm

This project has evolved from, like all good projects, our general obsession with tassels. This is a really quick easy make that can be adjusted to include almost anything from your stash box, so don’t feel obliged to recreate ours exactly!

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You will need: One statement bead, one metal charm, one split ring, one bag charm clip, 3 x 20cm strip of suede, craft wire, round nose pliers & flat nose pliers.

First, use your round nose pliers to turn over the end of a piece of craft wire to make a loop, and thread your statement bead on.

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Use the same pliers to make a loop on the other end too – we’ve done a fancy wrapped loop for extra security.

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Next, use the flat nose pliers to open one of your loops, and pop your metal charm. Close it afterwards, making sure it’s securely shut.

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Grab one of your pieces of suede and loop it through the split ring. Tie a normal overhand knot to turn it into a dangle! Repeat with your other two bits of suede.

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Add your bead & charm combo, and then add the bag charm clip too. And that’s it! Fasten to your bag for instant happiness.

Fancy giving it a go? Click here to buy everything you need to make this fab piece (it also only costs £2 – bargain)SONY DSC

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The Importance of Sequins

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Ever since I’ve been old enough to dress myself I’ve been old enough to not just want, but need to wear sequins and at any and all given opportunities. So imagine my pure joy to read that not just sequins, but casual sequins were going to be a hot trend for Fall 2016….pass the glitter bucket, I need to submerge myself.

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The love of sequins is a straightforward one – they’re sparkly and bright and attention grabbing and make you look like a walking talking disco ball. Maybe you have to wear a boring uniform to work, or your life is difficult and tedious and you’ve not been having much fun lately? Put on a sequin dress and get ready to be cured of your day to day problems, mainly through the sheer mass of compliments you’ll get from drunk girls in toilets – generally known to be the best people in the world. And if the thought of turning all heads as you Beyonce stride your way into anywhere frightens you, remember that this is yet another joy of sequins: if people are blinded by how fabulous your outfit is, they’re pretty unlikely to notice your adult acne or wonky teeth or that one of your arms is longer than the other. Sequins just give, give, give and ask only that you hoover them up off your bedroom floor on a semi regular basis.

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Even better than this is that this emerging trend absolutely encourages the casual sequin, and presents itself in some awesome daytime staples: sequin jeans, sparkly bomber jackets, shiny silver sweatshirts? Yes please. Why should the sequin queens among us be restrained to nighttime activities only? Pop a sequin jacket on for your morning commute and tell me you don’t feel like a fabulous cross between Lady Gaga and and attendee of Gatsby’s mansion.

Mermaid Sequin Jeans – Topshop

And although writing about the important of sequins makes me feel a bit like Elle Woods writing about the ‘History of Polka Dots’ in Legally Blonde, I think there’s a lot to be said for finding happiness in the small things. Call me shallow or silly but wearing glitter shoes for the day would make me feel just that little bit better about life, and seeing someone on the bus with the confidence to rock a sequin bomber jacket would make me unquestionably joyous.

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Put perfectly for Vogue by Julia Hobbs: “My advice? It’s time to ditch the round-the-clock wardrobe staples. Fail-safe shopping is now a shopping fail; it now pays to look like you’ve had fun in making an effort to dress up. Particularly when your dress lights up the room. Like, actually.”

The timing of this fits in perfectly with the event of the summer: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. What better advocate was there ever for OTT dressing than Eddie? In her sunglasses, towering platforms and ‘Lacroix’ emblazoned tops, if we ever needed a poster girl for the fancy-dressing-at-all-times movement it has to be Jennifer Saunders in this 90’s role.

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This is the kind of trend that obviously makes us deeply happy in craft land because what it means to us is: embellishment. We sell beautiful sequins on their own and by the metre, so you can buy whichever colour you like, and spend an evening adorning all the boring old t-shirts you own. And why stop at sequins? There’s a massive selection of beads that would do just as wonderful a job – tiny glass rocailles to created intricate patterns with, to multicoloured crystal hexagons to stitch around a neckline. More is more with this trend – there’s no such thing as overdressed in this world.