Turn your child’s art into wearable jewelry February 29, 2012

Filed under: DIY,Jewelry,Kids — VisibleBlue @ 1:40 pm
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Before and After

Hey, at least it's not made of macaroni.

I don’t know about you, but I always feel bad getting rid of my son’s art. Sure, I could just scan it all and save it digitally (no paper clutter!), but why not turn it into something I can wear and look at all the time? He’s not even two yet, so his art projects are still very…abstract. In other words, perfect for turning into jewelry.

Cut triangles

An assortment of cut triangles

His latest masterpiece was a fingerpainting we made on the paper that forms a tube inside cheap wrapping paper rolls. It’s really thick, so it didn’t bleed through, and I just love finding another use for something we would otherwise just recycle. After it was thoroughly dried, I cut it into little triangles with a craft knife. The triangles were about 3 inches long, but you don’t need to be too perfect when you cut them. I just eyeballed them all – some have thicker bases, some are longer or shorter, some are a little slanted. The width of the base will determine the width of your bead, so just cut them about as wide as you’d like your beads to be. I think it actually looks better when they’re all different, but feel free to cut them all the same for a uniform look.

Roll the bead

Step three - go get a manicure before posting pictures of your hands on the internet

The next step is to roll up the paper triangles, starting at the widest point, around a skewer or other thin object. Roll it very tightly, and use a dot of glue (I used superglue because it dries so quickly) to affix the point. Paint on some Mod Podge gloss for a nice, shiny finish. Let them dry on a hard surface. Voila! At this point, you can string your beads however you like and make a pretty nice bracelet or necklace. In the above example, I linked mine together with some simple silver wire and a few spacer beads. I wrapped about a third of the paper beads in 26 gauge silver wire.

Finished Beads

So shiny and candy-like....mmmm...

This would make a great mother’s day (or grandmother’s day) gift idea. Don’t have any art to work with? This method works with all kinds of paper – used calendars, wrapping paper, and torn pages from books or magazines, just to name a few. You could even upcycle extra wedding programs or invites for a special piece of jewelry!


New items in the shop, and some Pinterest love! February 1, 2012

Filed under: Jewelry,Net Neighbors — VisibleBlue @ 12:28 am
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Delicate Vine Necklace

Silver wire and glass beads

A bracelet, some new earrings, and my absolute favorite thing I’ve made, this vine necklace! Go ahead and check out the shop if it’s been awhile!

Also, on a totally related note, can I just say how much I love Pinterest? It took me some time to get into it – two months after I received my invite I finally created an account. Now I’m kicking myself for not having done this earlier – it’s a great inspiration mill and a pretty good advertising tool as well. (We won’t mention the fact that it’s a dangerous time vacuum!)


Free shipping in December! November 30, 2011

Filed under: Jewelry — VisibleBlue @ 10:08 pm
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If I’d been more prepared, I would have had a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale over at the shop…alas, that will have to wait for next year. For now, free shipping for the month of December will have to suffice! Use coupon code VBFREESHIP at checkout to take advantage. This applies to domestic shipping only. Happy holiday shopping!


All Wired Up October 7, 2011

Filed under: Books,DIY,Jewelry — VisibleBlue @ 1:29 pm
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Since I started making jewelry, there’s been one book that I go back to again and again for great tips and how-to’s. That book is All Wired Up, by Mark Lareau. In fact, I’ve had this book checked out from the library for over four months – I just can’t bring myself to return it, just in case I need to review something! I suppose at this point, I should just buy it. I’ve read a lot of wireworking books over the past several months, and no other book has covered the basics of wire jewelry making as clearly and completely as this one. From choosing your tools and materials to more advanced wirework like cages and setting cabochons, this book is a thorough crash course in wire techniques. (My only complaint – the one thing I wish he would have included – is jump rings. A simple technique, but so important, and I’m not sure why they were omitted.)

The simple, line-drawn illustrations are clear and easy to follow. The book is written in a friendly and conversational style that makes it a pleasure to read – educational and entertaining, to boot! Included as a bonus is a full-color section of great wirework examples from various artists, which serves both as inspiration and motivation. If you’re interested in learning to make jewelry, I cannot recommend this book enough!


Etsy Shop Preview September 30, 2011

Filed under: Jewelry — VisibleBlue @ 12:22 am
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I’m working furiously on getting everything in order for the shop, but I’d like to take a minute to post a few of the items I’m most excited about. All the wirework in these items was done by hand – chains, clasps, findings, everything!


Bird's nest ring

Nest of copper and silver with freshwater pearl eggs

The robin’s nest ring is one of the first things I made after starting to work with wire. I love the aesthetic but it’s a little too big for me to wear – just not my style.





Medieval Scroll ring

Silver medieval scroll ring

This ring was inspired by a bracelet I liked. Wrapping all those curves took forever!

Falling Leaves earrings

Earrings of silver, natural stone, and glass leaves

I love these Falling Leaves earrings, and I get lots of compliments on them. Hammering the silver frames really gave them a cleaner look!


Redhead necklace

Natural stone, Czech glass beads, copper wire necklace

I made this necklace for myself after finding the large bead in a bead store bin. It reminds me of a redhead with green eyes, hence the title – Redhead Necklace. I also have matching earrings. I’m a little hesitant about selling this one!


Thebes Tassel

Antiqued brass wire, natural stone, Czech glass beads, brass bead necklace

This is the first item I made specifically to sell, and the one I most recently finished – the Thebes Tassel necklace. Inspired by the tassel trend we’ve been seeing all year, I wanted to try my hand at making one of wire. In the end, it reminded me more of an Egyptian headdress of some sort, so I named it the Thebes Tassel.