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How to: Wave Necklace

 

Hello!

This week’s DIY is this simple Wave Necklace, made from these ‘S Tubes’ that we sell in the shop. Their wiggly shape makes for a pretty necklace that looks more complicated than it is (e.g. our favourite kind of make…)

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For a 45cm necklace, you will need:

12 x 33mm copper S tubes

13 x 6mm yellow glass rounds

1 metre of tiger tail

2 x crimps

1 x copper lobster clasp

1 x copper jump ring

Flat nosed pliers

Obviously, all the colours and sizes here are totally open to interpretation – the technique will work with whatever you have at home!

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Firstly, thread one of your tiny crimp beads on to the end of your tiger tail. I said you need two crimps in the intro, but this does not include all the ones you drop on the floor (at least another 18).

Thread your lobster clasp on to the end, and then push the end of the thread back through just the crimp bead. Tuck it up nice and close to the clasp, and give it a squish with your plier. Explanatory photograph may be useful:

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Tada! That is literally the most complicated part of this tutorial.

Now you can start threading your beads on. We go for a tube, followed by a round, and on and on until it’s the length you’re after. Your first few beads should tuck over both threads so it’s all neat and beautiful.

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When you get to your desired length, pop another crimp bead on, pop a jump ring on the thread, and then push the end of thread back through the crimp, and hopefully a couple of beads too, tucking it away nicely.

Give it a squish!

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Even just doing these photos I lost about 12 crimps.

And that’s it! Simple as that. I LOVE tiger tail – it’s so simple and I think it looks so much nicer than knotting.

 

 

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Piping Cord: A Journey

We’ve only recently started stocking piping cord in the shop, essentially because no one had asked for it until about a month ago. (Top tip: if you want us to stock something, just ask! We like knowing what we’re missing).

I’ve fancied having a play with it ever since, and have been noticing more and more people making piped cushion covers lately. Having just moved house, my current pillows are looking really sad in my new room so I thought this was a perf opportunity to try it out – which is why this is a much bigger pillow size than I normally would make!

Note: I don’t think I’ve ever actually used piping before, though I do remember doing homework about it in GCSE textiles amazingly. This was vaguely tricky, (probably on the same level of pom pom cushions, which we all know are life) but if you’re willing to give it a go and it not be 100% perfect then go for it! I basically mashed mine though the sewing machine and it came out pretty good, if I say so myself. (I’ve written this before I’ve actually taken it home and seen if it fits the cushion, so might not be so pleased with myself later.)

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Before I started I read through this tutorial, and used it to work out my measurements etc.

You will need:

Front fabric (equals the size of your cushion, plus 1.25cm on the height & width)

Back fabric (the length of your cushion, plus 18cm on the width, cut in half to make two rectangles)

Piping Cord (I used size 4, and you need enough to go around the entire edge of your cushion, plus a touch extra for safety)

Bias Binding (you can make this yourself, if you’re a better person than I am. You need the same amount as the piping cord….)

Sewing Machine, unless you really really love to hand sew

Scissors, Pins, Iron

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First things first, fold down one of the long edges on your back fabric 1cm, then 1cm again, hiding the raw edge. Press into place with an iron, and pin into place if you need to. (Reasons you might need to: you didn’t actually iron it, like me).

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Stitch down with your sewing machine, and repeat on the other piece of back fabric.

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Now the piping fun begins.

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Starting about 5cm from the top of the binding, lay your piping along the middle of your bias, wrap the binding around it and pin together. I started doing this, decided it was too thin and went back and opened the binding out before pinning it. I have no idea if that was the right thing to do or not, but it seemed to work out ok.

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You binding should have wrong sides touching

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This is a representation of how my brain felt during this

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Now, sew this together, but don’t sew the 5cm you left at one end.

This was where I started to get in a faff, because I realised that the foot on the machine would stop me getting that close to the piping. So I stitched it down, but quite near the edge.

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 Now, what the other tutorial I read said to do next was to pin this around the edges of your front piece (piping facing inwards) and stitch it into place, clipping your corners as you go to get it to sit better.

I obviously ignored this, and decided that I knew better and that I should just skip right to the end. THIS WAS AN ERROR. Do not do this. It was really difficult  and the piping kept moving around all the time and the corners were super hard.

At the point where your two ends of piping meet, you’ll hopefully have a little bit extra. Trim the piping so it meets perfectly, and then tuck the 5cm end of binding over the other end, meaning you’ll have two layers of bias binding over a small section of piping.

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So hopefully if you have taken my advice you now have a beautifully attached piece of piping cord to the front piece of your cushion, in which case all you need to do now is lay your 2 back pieces face down, overlapping in the middle.

I don’t, so what I’m doing here is laying the piping cord around the edge of the right side of the front piece, then laying the two back bits face down so they overlap in the middle, and the pinning this all into place. Sigh, hindsight…

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All you have to do now is sew around the outside of the cushion. I used my zipper foot instead of the standard one so that I could get a bit closer to the piping cord, because I didn’t want it to be weird and gappy.

Once you’ve done that, flip it right side round, clip the corners and give it a good press with the iron. And that’s it!

 Update: through some sewing miracle, it fit my cushion! Woop woop. Now I just have to make 2 more matching ones…IMG_0809

I’d love to hear if you’ve given this a go – let me know!

Don’t forget to befriend us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for nice photos and shop updates…

xx

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How to: Arrowhead Necklace

This is one of the most popular necklace designs we sell in the shop – and they’re so simple! Read on to find out how to piece one together….

You will need: 7 x metal arrowhead charms, 8 x 8mm jump rings, chain in a length of your choice (we go for 16″), flat nose plier, wire cutter.

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Using your flat nose pliers, hold one jump ring so that the split in it is at the top of the ring. Use your pliers to ease the ring open by pushing it away from you.

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Loop the ring on to one arrowhead, and then another. Make sure the arrowheads will both be facing the right way when the ring is closed!

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Use your pliers to close the jump ring carefully.

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Repeat this with all your arrowheads, making sure you’ve got a jump ring on either end of the piece.

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Carefully, use your wire cutters to cut your chain exactly in the middle, so you have two equal lengths.

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Attach the chain to either end of the arrowheads using the jump rings.

And that’s it! We have these arrowheads in silver and gold, and both make really beautiful necklaces….

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How to: Rain Drop Necklace

You might notice we love working with these tiny glass beads, and the blue/white/yellow combo is one of our favourites for the summer months. This tutorial uses similar tools and techniques to last week’s eyepin necklace, but this one we make with craft wire instead of ready made pins, as it bends a bit better and gives us more length!

You will need:

42 x 3mm blue beads, 32 x 3mm yellow beads, 22 x 3mm white beads (or whatever colours you have/like!)

3 x 12cm strips of 6mm craft wire

Flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters

Chain in your choice of colour and length

1 x 8mm ring

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Firstly, using your round nose pliers, grip the end of one piece of wire 1cm down from the top and bend at a right angle. Turn your hand up and over, wrapping the wire around the pliers and making a loop. Don’t panic if it’s not right first time – keep practising!

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Thread 42 blue beads on to the piece of wire, and then trim down so you have 1cm left on the other end too.

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Repeat the earlier steps to make a loop here. You can then bend this into a rain drop shape – pretty!

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Repeat this all with your yellow and white beads to make decreasingly smaller rain drop shapes.

Grab your flat nose pliers, and gently prise open one of the loops on your blue drop by bending it towards you. Now hook the other loop through the open one, and close again. Repeat with the yellow and white drops.

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If your 8mm loop is a jump ring that can be opened, use your flat nose pliers to open it and thread all 3 of your drops on through one of their loops. If your ring doesn’t open (like mine!) you’ll need to reopen your loops, hook on to the ring and close them again.

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Almost there! Choose whichever length and colour of chain & thread you like and simply pop through the ring.

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Voila! One rain drop necklace all finished. Do in many different sizes and colours for much fun and jewellery making joy.

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Meet the Local Maker: The Beachcomber Devon

I’ve been dabbling with the idea of guest blogs for a while now, and haven’t been sure who to approach/how to approach them. Eventually, I thought the simplest route to go down would be to talk to those local people I follow on instagram/social media and have met in the shop, and really admire the work of, and hope that you’ll enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy selling them beautiful materials to make things with!

One of my favourite instagram friends is The Beachcomber Devon, run by local lady Bobbie. Will anyone be surprised to learn that she uses a lot of tassels in her work? I have no shame in my very predictable tassel enthusiasm at this point. I love her colour combinations, and her designs and pieces are so trend led and really inspire me to get making too. She was therefore the first person I approached for a quick blog interview, which you’ll find below. Enjoy!

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How long have you been making jewellery for?

Now that’s a tricky one as I’ve always collected buttons and beads and attempted to make things, however The Beachcomber Devon was only started in October 2015. For years I collected shells and sea glass but never really had the time to do anything with it. Since moving to Devon I have found the time to focus on jewellery making, something I’ve always wanted to do.

What are you inspired by? 

I’m hugely inspired by nature and the beautiful beaches we have right on our doorsteps, but always try to keep in mind the latest trends and fashions. Other designer makers have inspired me to believe in my handmade jewellery and push to design, make and sell to the the local community.

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What advice can you give to people working with sea glass?

Be gentle and have patience, you can’t rush drilling glass!

Do you dabble in any other crafts?

I always have and always will, I love learning new skills! Other than jewellery making, I love making greeting cards and scrapbooking too. 

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What’s your favourite piece of jewellery you’ve made?

Again, a tricky one! I try to make pieces that I know other people will like, but that I also like too. There are a lot of people out there working with sea glass, therefore I am trying to bring something unique and vibrant to the scene – gotta love a vibrant mini tassel!

What’ve you learnt since you started selling your jewellery?

Be patient, it’s a tough old world out there but the sales will come! At first it takes a while to get things moving but once they do, you soon realise you’re trying to juggle a full time job as well as a small creative business. If there is anyone out there questioning whether they’ve got the right item to sell, just try it! The Etsy community have been a huge support with improving my online store and sales. 

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Check out Bobbie’s beautiful Etsy shop by clicking here, and have a look at her wonderful instagram by clicking here!

If you’d like to feature as an inspiring local maker, don’t be afraid to send me an email on lilyotton@hotmail.com.

Happy Weekend!

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How to: DIY Eyepin Necklace

This jewellery design is yet another wonderfully versatile Bunyip piece – try to look past the beads and imagine this with anything lovely from your stash that could be looped together! As long as the bead fits on an eyepin you can whip one of these up – it could be 3 long lengths of tiny beads, it could be 100 different statement beads all individually looped – the choice is yours!

For this design we used: tiny 3mm vintage glass beads, eyepins, a lobster clasp, one jump ring, flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, and wire cutters.

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To start, thread 12 white beads on to an eye pin.

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Use your wire cutters to trim down the excess at the end of the pin, so you have about 1cm left. Grab your round nose plier, and bend the end of the pin at a 90 degree angle, and then use your pliers to turn the wire up and over to make a loop. (This may take a bit of practise if it’s your first time – keep going!)

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Repeat this to make 4 white pins, then repeat to make 6 yellow pins. Next, thread 4 blue beads on to a pin, and work through the previous steps to make 3 shorter pins.

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Using your flat nose pliers, carefully open up one loop on a pin, hook another pin on, and close again. Keep going until all your pins are looped together in whichever order you fancy.

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At the back of your necklace, open up one loop and pop your lobster clasp on. Open up the opposite end and pop the jump ring on.

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And that’s it! Your eyepin necklace is all done. As long as you’ve mastered your loop turning, I think this is one of the most professional (and pretty) ways of turning beads into a necklace.

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Autumn Workshop Selection

Hello!

We’ve just scheduled in our  craft classes for the next quarter (which takes us up to October…scary) and we’ve got some new additions in the mix, as well as our favourites from the summer schedule. More info on all of these below – enjoy!

Returning: Learn Embroidery with Zenbroidery

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Possibly our favourite class from the last batch, Zenbroidery is essentially colouring in with thread! Come and spend 2.5 hours with Mattie, learning all sorts of lovely hand embroidery stitches and filling in your design of choice.

Click here to book

New! Jewellery Making with Beads & Chain

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One of the techniques we’re loving in the shop lately is working with wire, beads and chain to make a whole host of different jewellery. The variation of pieces you can make is brilliant, and in this workshop we’ll be exploring all the options while learning the techniques you need to make wonderful necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Click here to book

New! Sew a Pin Cushion & Needle Case

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We wanted to mix up our sewing courses a bit, so thought pin cushion & needle case would be a great place to start. Suitable for all ages, and perfect for beginners (pros welcome too!), we’ll be whipping up both of these sewing essentials for you to organise your stash with when you get home.

Click here to book

Returning: Make a Knotty Bracelet

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Mattie confessed that this workshop is returning mainly because it’s her favourite to teach! In this class you’ll learn how to make very lovely knotty bracelets, with beads and without. It’s the kind of technique which is so much simpler when you’ve seen someone do it in real life!

Click here to book 

New! Patchwork: Make a Clutch

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Our other new sewing class, in this session we’ll be learning very basic patchwork techniques and piecing fabric together to make a fold over clutch bag! I had a wonderful time making my sample for this class, and it’s a lot of fun choosing your co-ordinating fabrics and sewing it all together. Beginner’s are welcome, as always!

Click here to book

Returning: Beginner’s Sewing (Cushion Cover)

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One of my favourite sewing classes, this workshop is absolutely perfect for those not used to using a sewing machine who want to get going! We’ll choose our fabric, learn about pattern cutting, threading the machine and achieving basic stitches, and end up with a beautiful cushion cover at the end of the class.

Click here to book

Returning: Beginner’s Jewellery Making

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In our classic workshop, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get you started in your jewellery making journey. Starting with necklaces and bracelets, and moving on to earrings and wirework, you’ll go home full of knowledge and with several finished pieces of jewellery.

Click here to book