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How to: Chunky Crystal Necklace

This awesome necklace design came into the world because of what I can only describe as a…slight excess….of certain colours in our crystal hexagon range (also know as: we have one million orange crystal hexagons dear lord let’s make something with them).

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Despite this creation of convenience, this is one of my favourite designs that Mattie has ever come up with, essentially because it is massive and heavy and looks super cool in all colours….I photographed the blue version here, but I hear that the orange is particularly beautiful.

You will need (to make an 18″ necklace):

120 x crystal hexagons (we sell these in the shop in bags of 30 for £1 – BARGAIN)

1 x chunky toggle clasp

1 metre of tiger tail

4 x crimp beads

Flat nosed pliers

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The technique here is very similar to that of the wave necklace I wrote about before – it’s a straight forward tiger tail necklace, made special by the way the beads all sit when they’re tight together.

First off, pop 2 crimp beads on the end of the tiger tail. Put on half of the toggle clasp on next, and then feed the end of the wire back through the 2 crimps. Use the flat nosed plier to give the crimps a damn good squishing!

We’re using 2 crimps here instead of the normal one because it just adds a bit of extra safety to the necklace, necessary because all that crystal does have a bit of weight behind it.

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Now you can thread your beads on, pushing the first few over the end of tiger tail that will be sticking out near your clasp to cover it.

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Continue threading beads on until you’re happy with the length, try holding it up around your neck to double check where it’ll lie.

Once you’ve reached your desired look, thread on your remaining two crimp beads, and the other half of your clasp. Again, thread the end of the wire back through the two crimps and through a few beads at the end, pulling everything together tightly so that you don’t have any unsightly wire sticking out. Squish your crimps! And trim off your wire.

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Tada! All done. These are so cool, I just can’t get enough of a statement necklace. And ridiculously, they cost less than a fiver to make. Madness!

Thank you for reading 🙂 And come hang out with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if you like.

 

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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.

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Easter Fun

Hi!

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Since the Easter holidays are almost upon us, we’ve rounded up a whole host of activities to keep you entertained over the next few weeks. Perfect for those tiring of buying endless amounts of chocolate, we have workshops, kits, treats and ideas for flexing those creative muscles (and keeping out of mischief!) Jewellery making and crafty kits suitable for little ones as young as 3 are available online and in the shop, and don’t forget you can book in for a private workshop at anytime over the holidays. Get in touch for availability and inspiration!

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Our classic colour mix boxes are the perfect way to keep little (and big!) hands busy, especially when the inevitable rain hits. Filled with enough beads, thread and findings to whip up a few different pieces, these are perfect for crafty types who want to start designing. All hand packed in the shop, every single box is unique – so you get a different selection of loveliness every time! Buy them here.

Egg Bunting

For a super fast bit of easter fun, we’re feeling inspired by lovely paper bunting, easily created by cutting out egg shapes from colourful papers and stringing on to a pretty thread or ribbon. Try adding letters to for your own Easter message and hang up for all to see – lovely!

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Over chocolate egg hunts? Go for something much more wonderful and hide a few of our ceramic bunnies around the place. Once found, they can be threaded onto something lovely (even just a pretty ribbon!) and will provide a much longer lasting treat.

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These are also available exclusively in store with extra special heart adornment – pretty irresistible!

Pom Pom Bunny

Pinterest is a never ending source of Easter fun, but this is one of our favourites – pom pom bunnies! Check out the tutorial here. Really straightforward to make out of a little wool, felt, nylon and beads, these could easily be whipped up in a whole host of colours. For even easier bunny creation, don’t forget we now stock the wonderful Multi Pom in store, for making lots of same size pom-poms at once! Can’t say better than that.

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We’ll be hosting our monthly Creative Kids sessions in the shop on Saturday 19th March, with Jewellery Making between 10.30am and 12pm, and Sewing between 2pm and 3.30pm. Each session is £5, and includes all materials so your little one will head home with their make. In the afternoon we’ll be practising our cross stitching skills with these awesome bunny cut outs, and decoupaging some eggs! Give us a call at the shop on 01392 437377 to book, or just drop in on the day.

 Have fun – and Happy Easter!

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Be Our Valentine

Valentine’s Day

It’s finally getting too near to deny it anymore. This Sunday. It’s happening. We’re not overly keen on the celebrations here at Bunyip, since we’re all working or away entertaining the extended family, so we’ve put together a collection of wonderful things you can make for yourself, or a loved one, or your cat. We’re not here to judge.

Wooden Heart Hanger

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For the minimal effort enthusiasts – we sell these awesome cut out wooden hearts in loads of beautiful bright colours. String one on a pretty piece of thread and hang in the window for instant prettiness.

Button Hearts

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One of our favourite things to make ever, button hearts are easily whipped up out of your button stash. You need some craft wire (we go for 0.6mm silver plated, grab some here) and lots of pretty buttons of a similar size. Lay them out first so you know what you’re doing, and then cut yourself a nice long piece of wire – exactly how long depends on the size of your heart. Start by threading on your button that’s right at the bottom of your heart onto the middle of the wire, and then thread your others on evenly to either side, shaping nicely at the top into an attractive heart shape. Once your buttons are meeting at the top, twist the two ends together, snip off any excess and tie on a nice piece of clear nylon or thin ribbon.

Felt Hearts

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What better way to fill those lonely hours than cutting out loads of felt hearts, popping them all through a sewing machine and making yourself some lush felty garlands? Pro tip: make these in black and grey to curb your romance induced nausea.

Heart Charms – Earrings

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For instant jewellery making gratification there’s always earring making too. We have lots love and heart based things you could pop straight on an earring hook – just use a flat nosed plier to open the loop at the bottom of the earring hook, pop your charm of choice on, and close it! Note: we also have charms with skulls on. Just saying.

Beaded Hearts

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Not enough heart shaped wire fun for you? These beaded hearts are so sweet – a bit more complicated to make, but luckily we’ve whipped them up in lots of lovely colours already so you can just grab them straight from us. You’re our valentine really, lucky thing!

Heart Charms

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Another fun and easy jewellery make is just to pop one of these amazing charms on to a matching chain or sturdy piece of cord – then keep it for yourself. You’re the best.

There you have it, a whole host of things you could do this Sunday that don’t involve going outside or even opening the curtains. Add a large glass of wine and you’re kind of having the best day ever – win!

(P.S – we do have some secret actual Valentine’s cards to buy in the shop too – just don’t tell anyone.)

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New Kit: Pretty Jewellery Set

Introducing our newest jewellery making kit: the Pretty Jewellery Set!

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This necklace & bracelet kit has been designed to fill the gap between our classic Kids Necklace/Bracelet Kits and our other range of making kits. For the age range who love to string beads and are capable of working with a slightly thinner thread and smaller bead size combination, Mattie had her almost 6 year old little girl in mind.

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The kit is made up from a (obviously!) pretty selection of shiny 6mm plastic beads in either clear, pink or blue, and a beautiful rainbow selection of our crystal butterflies & shapes. These have already been attached to bails so no fiddly plier work, and you’ve got a sturdy cotton thread to string these on. Finished off with a chunky screw clasp to tie on so you can make it to any length you like and enough elastic to whip up a matching bracelet – we’re so pleased with this one!

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Our kits come with full instructions to follow and so make an ideal gift for the budding jewellery making enthusiastic – no extra beads or tools are required, you get absolutely everything you need all packaged up beautifully.

You can grab one of these kits here. The difficult part is choosing which colour to start with…