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How to: Bubble Collar Necklace

These awesome laser cut shapes make the perfect chunky collar necklace, simply because they’re so light! Ideal if you require constant drama in your jewellery but can’t deal with your neck aching at the end of a party (a consistent problem in my life….)

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We sell these plastic shapes in cream or black (sadly we’re out of stock of the blue) and these necklaces are wonderfully easy to piece together, providing you have access to the following:

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6 Bubble Connectors 

42cm of Wide Link Chain (with openable links)

1 Medium Lobster Clasp

Flat Nosed Pliers

First off, use the pliers to open and remove 12 links of the wide chain. We’re going to use these in place of jump rings, as the oval shapes makes them a lot more subtle as connectors. If your chain doesn’t work for this, just use a large jump ring!

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Use the links to piece together your connectors in your chosen way so that they all sit beautifully together and flat on your neck. This may take a bit of experimentation, but is worth getting right…

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Split the remainder of your chain in half by opening another link.

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Attach one piece of chain to either end of your bubbles.

Finally, pop your lobster clasp on one end by – you guessed it – opening up a link, popping it on, and closing it again!

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This can obviously be done with any kind of shape you can find, plastic or otherwise, the struggle comes with getting them to sit right. But like I say, worth the effort for such an easy statement piece.

Have fun! x

 

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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: 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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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: Vintage Leaf Festival Hair Crown

How to: Vintage Leaf Festival Crown

Mattie came up with this design while trying to think of new and pretty ways to use our special leaf shaped beads that we obtained in a big haul of vintage stock a few years ago. As with all good ideas, this one involved a crown. Follow our instructions below to make your own beaded crown, sturdy enough to survive the entirety of festival season…


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You will need: 0.6mm wire, vintage leaf beads, vintage pearl beads, 50cm ribbon. This can be done with any beads and ribbon of your choice – as long as their not too heavy to adorn your head all day! We use 0.6mm wire here because it was the thickest we could fit through our leaf beads, but 0.8mm is also great and a bit sturdier (if you can fit it through!)

1. Cut yourself a piece of wire 1 metre long.

2. Start threading your beads on – we threaded two leaves, followed by a pearl, and repeated this pattern.

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3. Once it looks like it’s getting long enough, check it around your head for length. It should sit comfortably on your head like a crown, not fall down and into your eyes.

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4. Where the two ends meet, wrap the wire around each other nice and neatly, and then trim down with a wire cutter so they’re not poking out.

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5. Tie your piece of ribbon so it covers up your wire wrap.

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6. Voila! Wear all day like a festival queen.

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If you fancy giving this a go we’ve put together everything you need in a kit – and with 3 colours to choose from! Check it out by clicking here.