Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pokeball Studs

I know! I haven't blogged in over a month! D:

But I'm going to make it up by posting a tutorial for my new favorite pair of earrings. Ready?

Start out with two flattened circles of the same size in red and white. Make sure to do the white one first so the red dye doesn't blend over from your fingers. 

Cut each in half.

And re-assemble them.

Then cut thin slices of black clay and lay them over the seam.

Make another flattened white circle about 1/4 the size of the one you made before. Also, roll out some black clay very very thinly.

Wrap the black clay around your white circle.

That's right, pokeballs.

Then, y'know, bake clay according to the package instructions, glaze if desired, and glue to earring posts.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Card Pyramid Organizer

Cards can be tons of fun for very little cost, but the biggest down side is that the entire deck becomes useless once you lose so much as one of them. And no matter how careful you are with putting each and every card back in its box, the mysterious card napper (a distant cousin of the left sock stealer) will eventually find a way to make off with one or two, or 17, if you're me.

And so, in the spirit of upcycling, why not use your past failures to help you organize and keep track of other things so that you won't as easily lose them?

Triangles are the strongest of the architectural shapes in terms of downward force. What does this mean for you? Go ahead and pile on the jewelry. These flimsy cards may not look like much, but in terms of weight, if you can wear it, this can support it!

Just use plain white glue to secure the pyramid shape...

...And then grab a cute mini paper punch...

...and punch out holes for small dangle earrings!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Faux Pearl Earrings

These faux-pearl ones are super cheap and amazingly easy to make too!

This would be a great project if you have broken sewing pins. You can't really tell from my photo, but one of the pins I used has a small split on the end which snags fabric, and the other is a bit bent.

Start out with two pretty sewing pins. You may recognize these from my pincushion ring tutorial. I bought a whole box of 50 or so a few years ago for about $2 :)

Use a pair of wire cutters to shorten the metal posts. You may want to find a pair of post earrings you have to get the correct length.

Get some sandpaper and round off the sharp edges you just made.

Now find something for the backings. I have a ton of these squishy rubbery things that come with most store-bought post earrings. They fit perfectly on my pins. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cuppycakes :]

No more fake food jewelry, I've been making lots of real food for once!

Yogurt cupcakes with more yogurt icing.

The cupcakes:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup yogurt (any flavor) 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs

Cream butter and sugar. Then add in the eggs one by one, and then all the rest of the ingredients slowly, making sure they're all incorporated.
This should make a thick batter. If you'd like more flavor in it, now's the time to check, because you can go ahead and put them in the oven now if you're ready. Bake at 350 F for 30-30 minutes.

The icing:
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 stick butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Soften the butter, and then beat the yogurt in. Then, while beating, add the sugar and lemon juice.
P.S. The cupcake does not actually taste like yogurt, just a bit of whatever flavor the yogurt you put in was. However, if you really don't like yogurt, you can replace it with cream cheese :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wire Daisy

Memory wire: something that I will never use again. Not for anything that requires the wire to be shaped anyway, because it does look like it has good bangle potential. 

But anyway, this is a pendant that I made for my mother before. The center was a bit messier than I would have liked because memory wire does not like to bend or keep its shape, so I strung some faux pearls on beading wire and hot glued it on :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Seafoam Dangles

These might be my favorite pair of wire earrings so far. I know, I keep saying that, and it's because I love all most of the earrings that I make, but the color of these glass beads just make me feel like I'm at the beach, one of my favorite places to be. 

I actually got this craft wire pegboard type thing (it looks like this, with movable pegs) on sale for $4, which I used for most of the wire form, except for the small curls on the ends. It certainly made it easier to make two almost identical shapes, one of my weaknesses, but it does take some getting used to. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photo Frame Earring Organizer

So I ran out of space for my earrings (again), so I decided to make another organizer!

This one's super cheap and easy-- all you need is a large photo frame, some plastic netting, and a hot glue gun!

Start with your plastic netting. Mine was from a bag of noodles. I believe garlic usually comes in these types of bags too though. But if you can't get hold of plastic netting, I think fishnet stockings would work quite well too!
Just cut off the top and bottom and make one straight cut down the side to get a rectangle.

Then grab your photo frame (mine was 8.5 x 11"...the size you get will obviously depend on the size of your plastic netting) and take out the glass and the backing.

You'll notice that your plastic netting stretches in just one direction. Lay your netting across the back of your frame, making sure that the stretch goes SIDEWAYS. If the stretch goes up and down, then it will sag when you put earrings on.

Stretch the netting out to almost its maximum, just so it makes a bit of a trampoline effect if you drop a light object on the stretched area. When you have it stretched evenly, secure the netting in place.

Grab your hot glue gun and start gluing one small area at a time. You'll want to kind of massage the glue through the netting to the frame with the tip of your glue gun. Try not to press too hard or long though, otherwise you'll melt the plastic of the netting!

Once you glued around the entire frame, you can cut off the excess netting.

Then grab the backing that came with the frame...

Cut out a rectangle that's about this size proportionally to your frame.

Then cut that in half diagonally to make two triangles.

Grab some pretty tissue paper and cover your triangles with it.

Then glue your triangles onto the back of your frame, hypotenuse facing the frame (who said trigonometry wouldn't be useful outside of math class?)

You're done! The frame should now stand with a slight backwards tilt.

Put it on top of your dresser and stick earrings on it. This works great for dangle earrings as well as larger post earrings. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gold Curves

I really love how this pair turned out! I actually had no idea in mind when I started making these, but I really liked how the first earring looked, so I just replicated it for the second :)

And I made yet another earring rack, because I started running out of room on my pyramid! Tutorial coming soon :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ribbon Hair Clip

Aren't beautifully wrapped gifts wonderful? Sometimes the packaging is half of the whole gift experience :)
But what to do with leftover pieces of cloth ribbon?

Make a barrette, of course!

Start out by folding about 2 feet of ribbon in half.

Then squeeze the half point down to make a T shape with about half inch loops on each side.

Push the tails to the outsides and clip your ribbon in place.

Then use a thin line of hot glue right under the bend to glue your loops in place.

Make a second loop, about 1/2 inch longer than the first.

And then move that tail out of the way, and glue.

Do this as many times as you want to both sides.

Then cut off the excess and run a thin line of hot glue down the center to prevent fraying.

Glue the barrette clip on.

And then squeeze the loops to puff them out nicely.

Then take one of the little tails that you cut off and make a loop.

Secure it in place with some more hot glue.

You're done!
Super easy recycled hair accessory in about five minutes. Can't go wrong with that, right? ;)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bubble Tea!

Bubble tea: delicious, but at four to five dollars a cup, it can get expensive. But lucky for you, it's fairly easy to make :)

If you haven't had this before, bubble tea is an Asian drink that consists of a milky of fruity tea drink with large sweet tapioca pearls at the bottom. Usually you'll be given a large straw that the pearls will fit through to drink it with, but I didn't have any, so I settled for a long spoon.

So to start out, you'll need your bubbles. You can get them at most Asian supermarkets. I experimented with different kinds, and found that the cheaper ones are much harder to make (the centers stayed hard even after an hour of boiling!), so in the end I went with a slightly more expensive brand with a five minute recipe. 
Most bubbles will ask you to add 5-10 parts water per one part bubbles in a large pot, bring the water to a boil, stir in the bubbles until they float, and then cover the lid and let them cook.

Meanwhile, you can make the syrup. You will need:
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
drizzle of honey

Heat all of that up in a sauce pan over medium high heat. When it starts frothing, pour your syrup into a container and place it in the refrigerator to chill. It should be about the consistency of maple syrup. 

When your bubbles are done (make sure they are squishy all the way through with no hard centers!), scoop them out and place them in the container with the syrup. The longer you leave them there, the sweeter they will be.

The water from the bubbles should be a bit thicker and cloudy in color. I like to use that to make the tea component. Just grab your favorite tea leaves and pour boiling water over them in a large bowl. Then cover and let it sit for a while as your bubbles cool in the fridge.
Keep in mind that the tea flavor will be diluted by the milk and sweetened by the syrup.

When your tea is done and the bubbles are sweetened to your liking, get a tall glass and start pouring! The ratio I used was...
Fill the bottom of the glass with about two rows of bubbles.
Cover the bubbles with syrup, and then add another tablespoon or two.
Fill the glass a bit less than halfway with tea.
Fill the rest of the way with vanilla soymilk.
You can of course use regular milk too, with vanilla extract, but the soymilk gives it a thicker texture which I like :)

And enjoy your delicious bubble tea! This can make up to 15 servings, with less than the cost of one store-bought drink!
Try serving it warm and cold, or even frozen in popsicle molds. Use blended fruit instead of milk or coffee instead of tea. Have fun with it :)