Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deck Yourself from now Until Thanksgiving

Add fall color to your wardrobe with these easy-to-make, recycled jewelry pieces.
Add fall color to your wardrobe with these easy-to-make, recycled jewelry pieces.
I awoke this morning to the first signs of the fall season. It's rainy and chilly here in the Mid-South, where it was sunny and 86° on Sunday. This weather makes me want to pull out my favorite fleece PJs and snuggle up with a hot cup of joe and a good book. It also makes me yearn for wool skirts and crew-neck sweaters in rich colors, perfect for wearing while shopping the multitude of farmers' markets and craft fairs that the fall season brings. What better way to dress up last year's favorites than with new jewelry?

My mother was the costume jewelry queen. I believe she had the first piece of jewelry she ever bought, and added to her stash regularly. She wasn't big on bracelets, but I have boxes and boxes of necklaces and earrings, which provide the fill-in beads I use in recycled jewelry. This bracelet and earrings set contains pieces from three necklaces, plus the addition of some really cool items and embellishments from Kool Tak. I'm also trying to rid myself of excess jewelry findings, so my metallic pieces are a combination of brass, copper and silver.

I love Kool Tak adhesives and have since the first time I used them. They provide strong bonding for anything I want, but my new favorite Kool Tak products are the Shiny Foil Sheets and Sparkles. They make old things look new, adding the small touches of color on the wires and spicing up my plain metallic brown polymer clay pumpkins. Kool Tak products make this project so easy! The mat protects your work surface and the foils, sparkles and 3D adhesive make your jewelry pop! I guess I'm like those old crows that hoard shiny baubles - I just can't get enough.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASupplies
Kool Tak™ 3D Glue
Kool Tak™ Shiny Transfer Foil Sheets - Summer Blooms
Kool Tak™ Sparkles Set -  Red, Threading Beads
Kool Tak™ Non-Stick Crafting Sheet
24 gauge wire, 8 1/2"
18 gauge wire, 8 1/2"
Assorted recycled beads
Kato Polyclay, metallic brown, 1/2" x1 1/2" x 2" block
Findings: Clasps, crimps, jump rings, eye pins and french ear wires
Krylon Triple Thick Glaze
Tools: Craft knife, toothpicks, Smoothfoam™ block, jewelry pliers
Instructions
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Use toothpicks and a block of Smoothfoam to keep your hands stickyness-free.
Pumpkins
Condition the clay and roll it into a 5" cylinder. Slice it off in 1/2" increments. Roll each piece into a ball and slightly compress the top and bottom to make it a pumpkin shape. Use the toothpick to score lines from top to bottom to resemble the grooves on a pumpkin. Run a piece of wire through from top to bottom to create the stringing hole. Bake according to package directions and cool.
Tip: If you want to wear this with a Halloween costume, just cut Kool Tak™ Ultra Clear Adhesive into tiny triangles, arrange a face on the pumpkins and apply Kool Tak™ Shiny Transfer Earth Tones black foil. Instant holiday customization!
Place each pumpkin on a toothpick and anchor them into a piece of Smoothfoam™. Coat each pumpkin with Kool Tak™ 3D Glue. When the glue has become completely clear, it will be  sticky and ready for you to apply the foil to each piece. Don't worry if you don't get foil all over the pumpkin. This makes it look more rustic, but if you prefer, keep patting the foil on the bead until you cover it all. Apply a light coat of Krylon Triple Thick Glaze to each pumpkin and allow to dry.
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Jewelry findings include eye pin, head pin, ear wires and clasp.
Bracelet
Attach one end of the copper wires to a jump ring and add a crimp piece to hold it in place. On the heavier gauge wire, string the larger beads and three (or more) of the pumpkins. Bend the wire's end to hold the beads in place and add the smaller beads to the thin wire, continuing until you have less than 3/4" of wire remaining. Wrap the small wire around the large one. Attach both wire ends to a jump ring and add the crimp piece. Add a bracelet clasp.

Earrings
Insert an eye pin into the base of the pumpkin. Cut the shaft 1/2" from the top and bend to make another eye pin. String beads onto another eye pin and join the two eye pins. Attach french ear wires to the top of the bead pin. Attach a drop bead at the bottom of the pumpkin.
Now, put on that snazzy skirt and sweater and top it off with your recycled custom jewelry!
- Candice Windham

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