my new jewelry display (and a giveaway)!

Almost a year ago, I spotted a printer’s tray on one of the blogs I read. I left a comment immediately because it looked like it was in great shape. I got a quick response and snapped it up since she was offering a good price.

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My idea was to do a cool printer tray earring holder like I’d seen on Etsy. Unfortunately, the finished pieces on Etsy average more than $100 which is out of my price range. (I got this tray for less than half of that, including shipping.)

I enlisted the boyfriend to transform this wooden tray into a fabulous jewelry display. He didn’t want to put in all those tiny screw eyes, so he decided to put copper wire in loops through holes drilled in the back of the tray.

The project got put away for awhile shortly after he started it, and despite my nagging constant reminders it was only finished and hung up on the wall within the last few weeks. Yes, that means the tray was sitting around half finished for almost a year. But I love it, and I love that he made it for me. ūüôā

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Looks like I need some more jewelry!

It’s still not completely done. I want some necklace/bracelet hangers on the bottom, but it’s finished enough to be used for now.

And now I’d like to take this opportunity to show off some of my favorite pieces of jewelry! I lean towards simple, small pieces and away from the loud and chunky.

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1. sapphire and diamond earrings from the boyfriend! ¬†2. lapis lazuli earrings¬†from little bug jewelry¬† 3. caribbean blue quartz earrings from true elements¬† 4. my dad’s mother’s class ring from 1942 (it survived the fire!) ¬†5. earrings my mom bought me in Sonoma ¬†6. cheapy earrings my little brother bought me years ago (they still get a surprising amount of wear!) ¬†7. gold arrow ring, $12 at Kohl’s during a recent sale

One of the great things about this display is that it serves as a nice visual as well as storage. I like seeing all my jewelry options at once, and have been wearing some earrings, rings, and bracelets that I tended to forget about before.

I used a large standalone jewelry chest for storage when I lived in Alabama, but gave it to the roommate when I left since I knew the apartment I was moving to in Kentucky had limited space. So what was I storing my jewelry in for that year+ since the move?

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This egg carton was where my earrings had been living since September 2012. Some of the larger ones were in an embroidery floss box, but a lot were hanging out in here. I used a piece of tissue paper between the egg cups and the top to keep them from rattling around, though I still lost a few… Anyway, the lid came off at some point, but I clung to hope that my display would be finished soon so I didn’t move them to another box. I am so glad to be rid of that egg carton!

And I promised a giveaway in my last post since this post will be my 200th on the blog!

Who’d like to win a zipper pouch featured in my last post? I’m giving away the one on the left with the sailboats. I’ll leave the giveaway open until the middle of next week. Just leave a comment to enter, and thanks for reading!

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gathered clutches and more button bracelets

My roommate, Kendra, found this gathered clutch tutorial on noodlehead awhile back when my sewing machine was in the shop and I mentally bookmarked it as something to sew when I got my machine back. I had the fabric picked out, but was wary of the zipper so I delayed a bit.

I shouldn’t have worried! The zipper wasn’t bad at all and the clutch worked up quickly. Being a bit of a perfectionist I had a bit of a hard time with the gathering since I wanted it all to be even and perfect, which of course it wasn’t. This first one used pieces I had left from a dark pink sheet, extra fabric from making curtains and a remnant I used to make an apron.

I couldn’t find an 8-inch zipper anywhere so I used a 7-inch zipper and cut an inch of length off from the pouch pieces accordingly. Turns out I probably could have used the measurements as they were in the tutorial since the zipper tabs added length on the loose ends of the zipper and the whole thing turned out to be longer than expected. I had to trim the zippers pretty close to make them the right length with the tabs on.

Here’s another completed pouch front, inside and back:

This one had a divider pocket, but the rest I did without anything inside. It took me a few times making the pouch to figure out that the front/back/lining should be a little longer than the zipper with the end tabs so you don’t get the clipped corner look that you see in these pictures.

I’ve made so many things out of this thrifted pink sheet and there’s still some left! I can’t believe the amount of notions that match almost exactly with the pink. The green and the multi-colored striped fabric are both remnants from Hobby Lobby. The brown and light blue are more curtain leftovers.

(The rented 1950s-era house we are living in now has 18 windows, and 11 of them are nearly floor to ceiling. We didn’t want to buy curtains for all of them so I bought broadcloth and made curtains instead, while Kendra helped me iron and pin. I’ll have to do a post on those sometime. It was a feat! Some measuring mistakes resulted in varying sizes of curtain remainders.)

This last pouch is my favorite, and the one I am keeping for myself. I loved these three fabrics together. I couldn’t believe how well the pink and green matched with the dots in the lining, considering the pink is a sheet, the green is a Hobby Lobby remnant and the polka dot lining is a remnant from Material Girls, my local fabric shop.

I was extremely happy with the way these clutches turned out. The blue with polka dots went to Crystal (whose husband didn’t believe I made it because it looked “too professional!”), the second went to Natalie along with a beaded bracelet for Valentine’s Day, and the third went to roommate Kendra for finding the tutorial in the first place. (A fourth not pictured here will be sent on to another friend who is not expecting it!)

On another note, here are the last two completed button bracelets in my¬†possession. I’ve passed these, along with all the rest, to Cyndi. She said she’ll put them out in the shop this weekend and we’ll see how they do and go from there. There were a lot more of these larger black buttons than anything else, so there’s plenty more where they came from. I’m going to try to resist making more until I see how they sell.

Have a good weekend everyone, and happy crafting!

beaded bracelets

Here are some beaded bracelets I made for my aunt and cousins. I took the picture late at night shortly before I shoved them into an envelope and sent them on their merry way. The hat seemed like a good enough background at the time, but this photo reveals it not to be.

When I visited my aunt and cousin almost a year ago, I was wearing one of these bracelets. My aunt mentioned she liked it and I told her I’d make her some. Eight months later, I fulfilled my promise to make them some of the bracelets. I really like the peacock assortment (bottom left) that I got at Hobby Lobby. The long skinny beads in the back were very difficult to work with. I’d made bracelets out of them before, but either the beads I used this time were smaller or I forgot how hard they were to string.

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A few months ago I was looking through my roommate’s buttons that she had gotten from her grandmother to finish a project I was working on. I forget what project it was, but I found a bunch of ¬†green buttons with a post back and thought, why not make them into a bracelet?

Green is my roommate’s favorite color and since they were her grandmother’s buttons I thought she might like them in bracelet form since she’s not a sewer. When she got home I showed her what I had whipped up.

I just strung the buttons on thread I had already, used an extra clasp from an earlier bracelet projet and added smaller light-colored buttons to fill in the back. She liked it a lot and for me that was it, nothing more to it.

So Kendra, my roommate, is also my co-worker. She liked the bracelet so much that she wore it to work the next day. My other co-worker, Cyndi, saw it and also really liked it. So much so that when we were out on assignment she started raving about it to the person we were out with.

Cyndi works at an antiques & more store on the weekends and started talking to me about making more to sell. I told her that I could if I could find some buttons. She passed the button search on to her husband, who is into the scene of estate sales and that sort of thing. Not long after that, she told me he had found a trough full of buttons and bought several large scoops. We were in business.

The last few weeks I’ve been whipping up a few bracelets here and there, after dealing with the¬†colossal¬†project of sorting two large coffee cans full of buttons by colors and styles. I’m learning as I go about making the bracelets, like unless the holes on your buttons are all the same length apart, your buttons will slide up under each other. I decided to embrace that look instead of fighting it, and here’s how my bracelets have turned out thus far.

This gray one is my favorite I think, but I also like this light and medium purple one. Shout out to Laura for being my up-for-anything wrist model.

There’s one more black one with larger buttons that I haven’t photographed yet, and I’ll be working on some new ones in the next few weeks. Cyndi’s going to start taking them to her store, so we’ll see how they do there!

This purple post one was our first sale! My co-worker Melanie bought it today and I happened to find some tiny purple flowers growing outside to complement it in the photograph. Thanks Melanie! She says she has a hard time finding bracelets to fit her larger wrist, but these can be made in any size. I’ve made them ranging from 6.5″ to 9″ for a looser fit.

The only trouble with the post bracelets is that they can flip around some, but once you have it on your wrist it tends to stay in place. I’m happy with how they are turning out so far, and hope Cyndi’s customers like them too!