Cloud Clay Embellished Cuff

Burlap is a very popular fabric to be working with right now. It’s got a very natural feel and inspires a lot of creative possibilities. I’ve been making a lot of things with burlap and today I’ve got a project that combines burlap with Cloud Clay!

Now these are two media that you may not consider combining in the same project but, in fact, they go quite well together. One of the features of Cloud Clay is its ability to stick to itself so for this project I wanted to apply the Cloud Clay to the fabric and the solution was to sandwich the fabric between two pieces of Cloud Clay.

As soon as two pieces of Cloud Clay are pressed together they’re only too happy to stick fast. Here’s how to use this feature to make a cute Cuff with Cloud Clay accents:

To complete the project you will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay: White,  Red
  • Burlap
  • Felt in colors of your choice – I used grey and two shades of pink
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

To begin, take a piece of burlap long enough to wrap around your wrist comfortably. Typically, you’ll want a little more than 8-9″ of burlap to start with. Pull some threads out of the burlap so the Cloud Clay can poke through the holes in the burlap and form a nice join with itself.

I pulled three long threads out of the middle of the burlap and then every eight threads on the short edge I pulled out another two threads. This gave me a nice even grid to work with. Depending on how coarse your burlap is, you may want to adjust the number of threads that you pull out. Basically, you need to make square holes smaller than the embellishments but large enough to get good adhesion for the clay.

Condition some White Cloud Clay so it is nice and pliable and then add a tiny piece of Red clay to it to make a pale pink color. Put some of this clay aside and add another small piece of Red Cloud Clay to the remaining pink clay and make a slightly darker pink clay. Continue until you have 3-4 shades of pink clay.

Pinch off small pea-size pieces of the colored Cloud Clay, roll them into small balls, and press them over the holes in the burlap, then flatten them slightly. Use a range of colors so you have a pattern of Cloud Clay pieces that go from light to dark and back again.

Now take some half pea-size pieces of Cloud Clay and roll them into balls. You’ll place these under the burlap directly under each of the Cloud Clay pieces and then press lightly to adhere them. Make sure the topmost flattened balls are nice and round as they’re the side that shows.

Because the Cloud Clay pieces are bigger than the holes in the burlap they won’t pull through it and the Cloud Clay pieces on the back will keep the pieces on the front in place and secure. Check that everything looks good and set aside to dry while you do the sewing.

For the cuff, take three pieces of wool felt and cut them into the lengths to use for the cuff. The inner piece (grey in this case) needs to be wider and slightly shorter than the outer pieces. You need to make the cuff large enough so that you can pull the cuff on and off your wrist without requiring a clasp but not so large that it falls off!

Start by sewing the gray felt into a circle to make the base of the cuff. Over the top of this add a piece of dark pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the grey felt. Sew it to the grey felt using small stitches and coordinating color thread.

On top of that, add another layer of lighter pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the previous piece of pink felt. Sew it in place.

Once the Cloud Clay on the burlap layer is dry, you can add it. Use small stitches and make a stitch over each of the burlap threads to make sure that the burlap won’t fray any further and to affix it to the felt layers below.

The finished cuff is a quaint and unusual mix of Cloud Clay, felt and burlap, a little bit chunky, and a lot of fun!

You could take this design idea a step further and instead of using small balls of clay, make your own molded embellishments by pressing small pieces of Cloud Clay into a mold. Place the molded shape on top of the burlap and press another piece of Cloud Clay to the back of it to make your piece is secure.

You can make your own molds using a molding compound and buttons or other found objects or you may find small molds used for candy making that will have nice design elements you can use.

by Helen Bradley for AMACO (www.amaco.com)

Secret Garden Beaded Bracelet

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Capture the beauty of a summer garden in full bloom with an easy-breezy beaded bracelet.

Materials

  • Ruby Czech glass bell-shaped flower beads, center-drilled, 8mm, 25
  • Swarovski Faceted Crystal Bicone Beads, assorted colors, 50
  • Blue Moon Beads Sterling-Plated Chain, medium wide cable, 7” length
  • Sterling silver headpins, 22-gauge, 1” long, 25
  • Silver jump ring
  • Lobster clasp

Tools

  • Round-nose pliers

Directions

STEP 1

Place two different colored bicone beads on a headpin. Place a bell-shaped flower bead on the headpin so the opening of the bell faces the beads.

STEP 2

Push the beads all the way down until they rest on the end of the headpin. Bend the wire 90° where it exits the top of the bell-shaped flower bead. Grab the bend wire at the very tip with the round-nose pliers. Rotate the pliers to curl the wire into a complete loop. (Note: You may need to reposition the pliers halfway through.)

STEP 3

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make a total of 25 beaded flower headpins.

STEP 4

To attach each flower to the chain, open the wire loop at the top of each flower with the round-nose pliers. Hook the wire through a link in the chain then close the loop again. Continue adding the flowers to links in the chain, making sure they are evenly spaced. Leave a 1/2” tail on one end of the chain.

STEP 5

To finish the bracelet, attach the lobster clasp to the other end of the chain using a jump ring.

by Jennifer & Kitty O’Neil (www.RunningWithSisters.com)

Secret Garden Necklace

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

The soft glistening tones of rose Czech faceted crystals create a sweet, feminine necklace that’s sure to land you plenty of compliments!

Materials

  • Rich, earthy color linen or nylon thread, 2-1/4 yd.
  • Fire Mountain Gems Rose Czech faceted crystals, 10mm
  • Vintage baubles: antique skeleton keys, faceted glass, faux pearls
  • Small millinery bloom (from antique hat) or silk craft flower
  • Vintage button (for closure)
  • Antique brass metal headpins, 24-gauge, 4-6
  • Silk ribbon, scrap

Tools

  • Mini crochet hook, size 8
  • Pliers: chain-nose, round-nose, wire-cutting
  • Fray Check solution
  • Fabric glue or clear nail polish

Basic Supplies

scissors, yardstick

Directions

STEP 1

Leaving thread attached to spool, chain stitch approximately 15 and make loop large enough for vintage button to fit through for clasp. Chain 2.

STEP 2

Stretch the last chain stitch out approximately one yard, keeping stitch intact, and clip end from spool. Leave a small tail of thread, and just under the chain stitched loop, tie two knots around the previous two chain stitches. Apply a dab of fabric glue or clear nail polish to knots. Let dry. At end of one yard length, snip thread, creating two lengths onto which you will knot crystals.

STEP 3

Slide one crystal onto thread and tie two knots; repeat with all beads until necklace is desired length. Tie two extra knots after attaching final crystal.

STEP 4

Attach vintage button by passing both threads through button hole, and tie thread off underneath. Snip thread close to knots and apply dab of fabric glue or clear nail polish.

STEP 5

Gather vintage bits and baubles, and small silk millinery flower. Attach beads and pearls to center point of necklace using headpins and pliers.

STEP 6

Use headpin to attach vintage bead or crystal to silk flower by passing through the middle hole and wire wrapping to necklace. Tie a wisp of silk ribbon behind flower to give it a bit of vintage sweetness and create dimension. Apply Fray Check to ribbon ends.

by Maryellen Kim

God Bless America Flag Pin

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

So patriotic, you may find yourself humming “God Bless America” while painting this pin!

 Materials

  • Wooden shapes: rectangle, 2”x2-1⁄2”; circle, 1-1⁄8” diameter; star, 1-1⁄2” across
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Light Ivory, Tomato Spice, Midnight Blue, Spice Brown, Golden Brown
  • Bar pin, 1” long

Tools

  • Loew-Cornell Paintbrushes: round: Series FAB, #4; Series 4000, #5; wash, Series 4550, 1⁄2”; angular shader, Series 4400, 1⁄4”; DES Stylus
  • Delta Ceramcoat Instant Age Varnish
  • Black ultra-fine tip permanent marker

Basic Supplies

scissors, pencil, transfer paper, sandpaper, soft cloth, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

STEP 1

On covered work surface, use wash brush to basecoat rectangle and circle Light Ivory and star Golden Brown.

STEP 2

Print and cut out pattern. (Note: The blue word “pattern” is a link. To access this pattern, select the link, then download and print pattern.) Transfer details. Use #5 round brush to basecoat left corner of circle (“union”) Midnight Blue, and to paint Tomato Spice stripes. Dot union field Light Ivory. Use angular shader to float Spice Brown around inner blue edges. Transfer lettering and details; trace with marker.

STEP 3

For worn look, sand edges of shapes; wipe with soft cloth. Apply varnish to all shapes. Adhere pieces together as shown and bar pin to back.

by Karen Sippel

Cupcake Dreams

Cupcakes have just the right balance between fluffy, sweet frosting and cake. I’m not a big cake person, but cupcakes piled high with frosting are great in my book. Cupcakes also look pretty, so they look great regardless of whether they are edible or if they are faux cupcakes for decorating or wearing.

My cupcakes are sized according to their purpose, big ones for decorating and tiny ones for earrings. They’re all made from AMACO Cloud Clay which is light and yet very robust when dry.

You will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay in white and colors you can mix to make the colors you need. Or, buy a packet of white and color it with acrylic paints (think DecoArt Americana or Plaid FolkArt) or alcohol inks (think Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks).
  • Scissors
  • Non-stick work surface
  • Acrylic roller
  • Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents (optional)
  • Findings: headpins, jump rings, earring wires, cell phone charm attachment, key-ring attachment
  • Jewelry tools

Mix the white clay with the color. If you’re using colored clays, you only need the smallest bit of color to mix with the white to get dreamy pastels. If you’re using paint or ink, start with small amounts and add more if you need it. To mix the clay, add the colored clay, paint, or ink, and fold the colored bits into the white clay. Pull apart, fold over, and repeat. It only takes about 20 folds and pulls to mix the color; it’s simple to do.

Now shape your cupcake. For the big one, I used an individual silicone cupcake mold and filled it with the Cloud Clay (once the clay is a bit dry you can easily remove the mold to complete drying). For little cupcakes, just roll into a small cylinder and add dents around the edge by pressing the edge of a credit card into the clay. Set aside to dry a little while you mix the color for the icing.

For the big cupcake, I mixed a heap of colored Cloud Clay for the icing. Pull it into long strips and you’ll see it begins to take on a texture. I just placed one end on the cupcake base and started winding and building it up so it looks like piled-up icing.

For the little cupcakes, you need a much smaller amount of clay. Roll it into a long thin snake and curl it for the icing. Tuck the end of the clay back into the icing to finish.

Make a strawberry shape – basically a large teardrop – from red clay. As it dries, press small dents into it with a toothpick for its seeds. Add a small green leafy top and push it into the icing so it dries in place.

The tiny cupcakes just need a small ball of red clay and a green leaf if desired.

The large cupcake, when dry, is a fun decorative piece. The smaller ones can become cell phone charms and key-ring charms if you add the appropriate hardware. The teeny tiny ones are great earrings – I like to cover these mini cupcakes with a coat of Glossy Accents to protect them and give them a sheen.

by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

Red, White, & Blue Anklet

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Create this patriotic anklet to celebrate America’s birthday in style! Show your patriotism by wearing this red, white, and blue anklet to backyard barbeques, parades, fireworks displays, or any other Independence Day festivities.

Materials

  • Beads: 12 silver star beads, 12 blue tube beads, 11 red tube beads, 24 white seed beads, 2 silver round beads, 2 silver crimp beads
  • Beadalon 7-Strand Bead Stringing Wire
  • Silver findings: lobster claw clasp, two jump rings, 1-1/2” headpin, 1-1/2” eye pin

Tools

  • Pliers: round-nose, crimping

Basic Supplies

tape measure

Directions

STEP 1

For dangle, thread: white seed bead, blue tube bead, white seed bead onto headpin. Use round-nose pliers to wrap wire end around headpin.

STEP 2

Thread star bead onto eye pin. Use round-nose pliers to wrap wire end around eye pin. Attach headpin with beads onto end of eye pin. Attach jump ring onto top of eye pin. Set dangle aside.

STEP 3

Measure around ankle for anklet length; cut bead wire to length. String crimp bead on wire length, leaving 1/2” on end. Insert wire through lobster claw clasp and back through crimp bead. Use crimping pliers to squeeze crimp bead.

STEP 4

String beads on wire as follows: silver round, beaded dangle, red tube, two white seeds, blue tube, star. Repeat pattern (omitting dangle) nine times (or more).

STEP 5

To finish, string: red tube, two white seeds, blue tube, silver round. String crimp bead and jump ring on wire end; bring wire end back through crimp bead. Use crimping pliers to squeeze crimp bead. Trim excess wire.

by Sandy Parpart

Dramatic Waves Stitched Bracelet

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Explore a different method of creating jewelry with a peyote stitch. Follow this simple tutorial to create this beautiful Dramatic Waves Stitched Bracelet!

Materials

  • Assorted beads of choice (Designer used amethyst glass spacer beads, 2 pkgs.; lavender glass flowers and petals.)
  • Nylon-based beading thread
  • Toggle clasp

Tools

  • Beading needle, size 10 or 12
  • Bead dish, fleece square, or terry cloth towel
  • Thread conditioner or beeswax

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler

Directions

STEP 1

Pour small amount of beads in dish. Thread needle with 30” length of doubled thread. Condition thread.

STEP 2

To begin peyote stitch, pick up bead on needle and slide to end of thread, leaving 5” length. Pass needle back through bead. (Note: This bead will act as a stopper to prevent the following beads from falling off. The extra loop will be removed and tail woven into beadwork later.)

STEP 3

See Figure 1. String 7-1⁄2” length of beads, using an even number. Stitch through jump ring on one half of toggle clasp. Pick up bead on needle and pass needle through second-to-last bead added in base row; pull thread through. Pick up another bead, skip a bead, pass through next bead.

Figure 1

STEP 4

Continue to add beads to end of row. (Note: As beads are added, new beads will nestle between first-row beads. See Figures 2 and 3.)

Figure 2

Figurie 3

 STEP 5

At end of row, stitch through jump ring on remaining side of toggle clasp. (Note: Be sure to stitch through toggle-clasp jump ring to anchor it to beadwork at end of each row.)

STEP 6

Pick up a bead and stitch back along row. Continue rows in same way until bracelet is desired width. When finished, remove stopper bead and thread needle with original thread. Weave length through beadwork to anchor; cut excess.

STEP 7

To add dimension to bracelet, create “arches” as follows. Weave thread approximately 1” down row of choice. Add beads to fill 2” to 2-1⁄2” length of thread. Move thread across bracelet to determine look; anchor arch by passing thread through spot of choice, then continue with peyote stitch. Weave thread through arch length and across width of bracelet several times to secure.

Tip

To start or end thread, weave length through beads in several directions to anchor. If ending, cut excess. If starting, be sure to come up with needle at same spot where previous thread ended.

by Linda Musante

Bunting Flag Necklace

Recently my friend, Ann Butler, sent me these fun stamps from her new stamp line “Faux Quilting” from Unity Stamps. I love to stamp on fabric and decided they would be perfect for creating patterns on scrap pieces I found in my stash.

I gathered some fabric, a new stabilizer I am trying out called Phoomph for Fabric from Coats and Clark, some Staz-on ink, and an iron.

The stamps are available in a variety of patterns. I used the 1” stamps “Diamonds and Plaid” and “Leaves All Over.” To stamp, simply mount the stamps on an acrylic block. Apply Staz-on ink and stamp onto fabric several times.

Once I started stamping, I got the idea to create a bunting flag necklace. So I stamped onto the fabric several times. Keep the stamped images close together so that you will have plenty of room to cut out triangle shapes for the bunting flags.

Phoomph is very easy to use. Simply peel the top layer of paper away and apply to the wrong side of the fabric. Phoomph is a double-sided adhesive fabric stabilizer. I used it for the necklace to give the bunting flags more body since I was creating a necklace. I left the back side of the paper on. Make yourself a simple bunting flag template by cutting out a simple triangle shape from a scrap piece of cardstock, cardboard, etc. I used the Phoomph packaging.

Use the template to trace and cut out several bunting flags.

To finish the edges, use a sewing machine and thread to sew a straight stitch on the edges. Sew directly through the fabric, stabilizer and paper on the back. I used black thread for contrast. Use a heavy-duty hole punch to punch two holes for stringing on the edges of the bunting flags.

Decide how long you want your bunting flag necklace to be. Cut a length of black satin cord and string on bunting flags by inserting one end through the right hole on the flag and working front to back, then back to front. Once I got my bunting flags strung on the cording, I decided that they needed to be a little heavier so they would stay in place while being worn on a necklace. I glued pennies to the back of each one using tacky glue.

To complete the bunting flag necklace stamped with Ann Butler’s Unity Stamps, attach a looped finding on the end of the satin cording.

Live Life Creatively,

 

 

 

Melony Bradley (www.mel-designs.typepad.com)

One Design = Many Projects

Once I get started making a project, I seem to always have a lot of excess “stuff’ on my desk. If I am making elements for a card or cutting up felt for a project, I usually end up with pieces cut out that are all ready to use – but they are more than I need for this particular project. I have learned over the years that stopping at the end of a project is the wrong place to stop. Now I finish when I have used the materials on hand. That way I not only stretch my creativity to find new uses for the project or materials, but I also end up with embellishments and items ready made for future projects. Sometimes, as a bonus, I end up with multiple finished projects all from a single idea – some for me to use and some to give as gifts.

This is what happened with the “great mushroom project.” I was playing around with AMACO Cloud Clay which is an air-dry clay that comes in great colors, mixes well with itself and with acrylic paints, and  is great to work with. I was thinking miniatures as I love making cute and tiny things.

I was thinking earrings at the time, and with the clay colors laid out in front of me, the red, white, and green were demanding my attention. I immediately thought about mushrooms with white stalks, red tops dotted with white dots, and green grass around the base. The project makes for really cute earrings. Here’s what you need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay: Red, White, Green (This is a great project for the Assortment Pack which includes 1 oz. each of Green, Red, White and Blue clay.)
  • Scissors
  • Non-stick work surface
  • Acrylic roller
  • Ranger Glossy Accents (optional)
  • Earring findings: headpins, jump rings, earring wires, tools

To make the mushrooms, pinch off pieces of Red, White, and Green clay and work each color in your hand to soften and condition it. I like to pull the clay out to a longish piece, fold it in half and in half again, and then repeat. In a few seconds, it is smooth, warm and pliable.

Roll some White clay into a teardrop for the stem of the mushrooms. Roll a sphere of Red for the tops, flatten it a bit and push onto the mushroom stem. While these pieces are drying a bit, roll some Green clay flat using an acrylic roller. It needs to be pretty thin – set it aside to dry.

Pinch tiny seed-size pieces of White clay and roll into balls. Press on the top of the mushrooms.

Once the Green clay is dry enough to handle – this will take a few minutes – cut it into a strip of grass using the scissors. Wrap the grass around the base of the mushroom. If the clay is having problems sticking to itself, dampen it with a little water and it will stick tight.

Once the pieces are dry, you can push a headpin vertically through each mushroom from bottom to top, wrap the end into a loop, and attach an earring wire using a jump ring.

So far so good, but why stop at one set of earrings? Once you’ve made a couple of extra sets for gifts, it’s time to think outside the box. I upped the ante to make a pencil topper. Simply make a larger-size mushroom – or two side by side – and push the piece onto the top of a regular pencil and leave to dry.

To make this pencil topper more robust, coat it with Ranger Glossy Accents – this is a glue as well as a glossy cover coat and it helps not only to protect the piece but also to stick it firmly to the top of the pencil. I also like to use Glossy Accents on the earrings too so they last really well and it also gives them a great shine.

I made a few extra mushrooms to sit around on my desk – you never know when they might come in handy. And I finished off with this “oh so cute” tic-tac-toe game board in green and white – complete with mushroom playing pieces in red and purple.

Next time you’re crafting, challenge yourself to think out of the box – what else can you do with your design and your supplies? Pieces of paper left over from a scrapbook page can be affixed to a tag for gift giving or used on a card. Clay designs can be used for all sorts of purposes and extra pieces from a jewelry project look great dangling from a mini scrapbook or made into a barrette.

by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

Beaded Safety Pin Jean Charms

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Kids can express their personality while adding a bit of flair to their wardrobe with these fun-and-easy safety pin charms.

Materials

  • Darice 2-1/4” safety pin: gold or silver
  • Gold or silver charm of choice
  • Large beads

Darice Safety Pin

Directions

 (Note: Materials listed are for one charm.)

STEP 1

Open safety pin.

 STEP 2

Add beads and charms as desired.

STEP 3

Attach charm onto belt loop.

by Chris Malone