Tiered jewelry trays & glass bead mirror

This one is for Alyson. She’s been asking me to blog about jewelry storage ideas for, um, years. I’ve had this tiered jewelry tray idea in the back of my mind for a long time. The delay came down to finding the right glue. I think I’ve found it—well, almost. This is the best glue by far for gluing glass to glass or ceramic to glass—and I’ve tried just about all of them. But there’s one caveat. (More on that later.)

The large tiered jewelry tray is great for watches, bracelets, brooches, and rings. The smaller one is ideal for earrings. Or you could just make the larger one and use it for both purposes. Next week I’ll show you how to make the beaded mirror in the photo above.

Plates, candlesticks, drawer knob

The three small plates are from a salvage yard. The medium plate is from Ikea. The large plate is from Crate & Barrel. If the Crate & Barrel plate looks lopsided, that’s because it is. I’ve had the salvaged plates for years. It took me a long time to find larger plates that were the same bluish-white color and the same basic shape. It wasn’t easy. The candlesticks were a thift-store find. And the knob is from The Home Depot.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

Teardrop jewelry holder

Heart jewelry holder

These jewelry holders were the one original camp craft idea I had this year. When I discovered the different types of hardware cloth and chicken wire stacked in the back of The Home Depot, my mind started churning out all kinds of projects I could make with them. Baskets and suncatchers were my first notions, but jewelry holders were more economical, practical, and fun for teenage girls.

Four girls making jewelry holders

I tried to make the project as easy as I could for the girls by pre-cutting the hardware cloth into squares and providing templates for the heart shape, but it was still a challenging craft. They stuck with it, though. And I’m happy to report that although working with wire has the potential for injury, no one got hurt. Except for me.

FYI: I’m planning four more projects using hardware mesh: a decorative light fixture (excited about this one!), a Christmas ornament, a basket, and a dispenser.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Stitched leather bracelets

As a kid, I was jealous of my brothers who got to do leather crafts at Boy Scout camp, while we at girls camp never did. So I was determined to teach these girls a leather project this year. We ended up doing two leather projects. This stitched leather bracelet is the first. We just used multicolored thread, but you can go crazy with your designs by adding ribbon, beads, buttons, etc.

(I know. I still owe you lots of tutorials from my craft room and dining room makeovers. Oh, and the paper lantern tutorial too. I’ll get to them soon, I swear. Girls camp crafts come first because they seem more timely. And fun.)

Stitched leather bracelet closeup

This bracelet was inspired by a souvenir my friend Kristi brought home from Mexico. Essentially, it’s a strip of soft, thin leather that’s folded, glued, punched, and sewn. The girls loved it. You should have heard the racket when all 12 hammers were going to town on those punches! They came up with some super creative designs. I wish I was able to take pictures of all of them.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

DIY yo-yo headbands brooches hairpins

These yo-yo headbands, brooches, and hairpins were the sixth and final camp craft I had planned. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for them at girls camp last June, so we’re saving the supplies for next year. In these samples, I hand-stitched them to a stretchy headband, pin backs, and a bobby pin. The brooches look great pinned on a scarf or hat, and the headbands are cute alone or in multiples.

Yo-yo headband

After you make a few yo-yos, I’m sure you won’t want to limit yourself to just these accessories. Try sewing them onto a tote bag, purse, hat, belt, scarf, or shoes. Or a sweater, t-shirt, tank top, or socks. Or sew them onto pillows, pillow cases, towels, quilts—you get the idea. I just made small yo-yos for these projects, but you can make them any size you want. Have fun!

Yo-yo headbands

Special thanks to all my friends who spent hours cutting circles with me. We had fun chatting and working together. Don’t worry, ladies, our work will pay off next year!

UPDATE 7/2011: I just added the photos above from this year’s girl’s camp. The yo-yos were a success. For an alternate craft using most of the same supplies, check out our fabric flower headbands.

Read more »

Resin pendant necklaces

Resin pendants close-up

Devon at girls camp

Resin pendants at girls camp

These resin pendant necklaces are the final craft that we made at girls camp last June. (I planned one more craft that we didn’t have time for in the end: yo yo headbands and pins. I’ll share that craft next week.) They were inspired by bethtastic’s amazing photo necklaces. We chose something from nature or created a scrapbook-paper design to embed in the resin. The girls embedded blossoms, leaves, twigs, bugs, and spiders. One girl even put the tick that had been removed from her body in her pendant. And some girls embedded their .22 shells saved from shooting at the camp rifle range.

Although the girls loved the pendants, I wouldn’t recommend this as a camp craft. Four reasons: 1) The process is quite involved and doesn’t lend itself to group participation, 2) It requires some special tools, 3) Cold weather delayed the typical 24-hour cure time, and 4) The end result was unpredictable. Almost everything from nature floated out of place and changed color (usually yellow or brown), some more dramatically than others. It became a science experiment to see how each pendant would turn out.

A special thank you to my lovely and talented sister-in-law, Devon, who single-handedly taught the girls how to wrap the wire (or did it for them) and attach their ribbons and cords. Read more »

Survival bracelets

Paracord bracelets at camp

These paracord bracelets were a hit at girls camp. As you can see, even some of the male camp leaders joined in. I got the idea from Stormdrane at Instructables.com. His tutorial is excellent, but although the site pictures two-color bracelets, he doesn’t explain how to make a two-color bracelet. I wanted to keep it simple for camp anyway, so we made one-color bracelets. However, a few innovative girls at camp figured out one way to make them, so I’m passing the info on to you. I also improved upon the final step to better prevent the bracelet from unraveling. This bracelet takes about 45 minutes to make.

Survival bracelets at camp

By the way, paracord bracelets are also known as survival bracelets. They’re a convenient way for soldiers and hikers to always have eight feet of 550 parachute cord (which easily supports many times one’s own body weight) literally on hand. Check out Stormdrane’s Blog for more amazing paracord projects. I’m planning to make the adjustable paracord watch band myself.

UPDATE 10/2011: Check out the fabulous video tutorials for making other survival bracelets, keychains, and sinnets at TyingItAllTogether’s YouTube Channel. Thanks to Austin for sharing this information! Read more »

Fashion accessories valet hanging on the back of a door.

Before picture of the room divider.

A few people have asked me for jewelry organizing solutions. You asked for it, so you got it. (More jewelry storage ideas to come.) I bought this Ikea room divider for $10 in the As-Is section last year. I wasn’t a fan of the black hook-and-loop holding it together, but the individual panels make a handy valet for fashion accessories. One panel holds enough for me, but fashionistas may need the entire room-divider to hold all of their accoutrements. I also think the panels would be classy spray painted black. Right? Read more »

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