Friday, May 31, 2013

Sponsored post: DIY rhinestones and raffia necklace

This DIY necklace combines four trends into one piece of jewelry: raffia, rope, pom poms and rhinestones. You can make it using components from the new line Martha Stewart Jewelry and a few inexpensive additional supplies.

As reported earlier, high-end designers are all over pom poms and raffia this spring. Tory Burch and Dolce & Gabbana knock offs are everywhere from Anthropologie to H&M.

Why settle for a $60 knock-off when you can DIY your own custom jewelry.

Here is some of Martha's new stuff - tools, rhinestones, settings, beads, enamels, glazes and epoxy clay. I hope to play with the clay and custom molds in a future project.  Martha Stewart Jewelry is available only at Michaels.

I'm not much of one for tiny crafty things, and the sight of a whole box of weensy rhinestones, beads and charms put me in a cold sweat. I could imagine Martha tut-tutting over my shoulder as I flipped an entire container of little gems onto the carpet.

About 12 hours later, I came up with this.


To make it you'll need:
  • 10 mm rhinestones and settings
  • 6 mm rhinestones and settings
  • filigree (package of three)
  • 21 small jump rings
  • 6 large jump rings (8 mm)
  • 2 end caps (about 6 mm depending on rope thickness)
  • Martha Stewart chain
  • 1 lobster clasp
  • spool of raffia
  • piece of rope
  • three pom poms
  • Martha Stewart jewelry glue
  • white glue for raffia

Cut a 16-inch piece of rope. Cut the raffia into pieces about six inches long. Bend in half. Apply glue and glue to rope. Go back and forth over a 5-inch section, layering raffia until you get a nice thick necklace base.

Use up the whole spool (60 feet in my case.) This will take forever.

Glue the four large rhinestones into settings with two loops. Using small jump rings (I made my own with jewelry wire. This also will take forever. This is Martha. We did not say it would be easy, only that it would be fabulous.) attach the rhinestones to the filigree as seen above.

Glue the small rhinestones into their settings.

You won't have enough single loop settings in one package for the next step, so either cut off loops from some of the double loop settings or buy more than one package. Above you see a double loop setting and a cut-off single loop setting. Sand down any rough spots.

Attach the 15 smaller rhinestones as show, five per filigree. You will be hating life right about now.

Hard part is over. Glue pom poms to the filigree. Now use three large jump rings to attach the components to the rope as seen above and below.

Glue on two end caps. Add two large jump rings and add chain.

Add another jump ring and lobster clasp to the top of the necklace.

The whole thing looks like this. You can wear it full length or shorten it up to be more of a bib or collar necklace.

This is my first totally self-designed jewelry not made from something weird like jump rope or a tin can. The products aren't quick to use by any means but when you are done you feel like you really created something. If I had more filigree, I would have made this a five pom pom necklace (and might still do so).

Here's more on Plaid Crafts and Martha Stewart Jewelry:

Disclosure: Plaid Crafts provided me with the products and reimbursed me for trying them. The project and opinions are my own.

Check out the diversity of projects you can create with this line of jewelry:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

20 DIYs with pom poms

Pom poms are such a fun, low-budget crafty fashion thing for summer. Designers use them. Little kids use them. You can buy a bag for a dollar or make your own.

In addition to the projects listed, you can also add them to: shoe clips, hair clips, earring backs, wrapping paper, thumb tacks, garlands and gift wrap.

Caroline Issa pom pom parrot shoes DIY version by A Matter of Style. (Photo by Tommy Ton)
Pom pom choker from Anna Evers.
Pom pom clutch from Swellmayde.
Pom pom trim bracelet from Thanks I Made It.
Simple pom pom trim necklace from Stars for Streetlights.
Pom pom earrings from Transient Expression.
A rainbow pom pom statement necklace from Rags to Couture.
Pom pom bookmarks from Design Mom.
Pom pom Mom tote from Loeffler Randall.
Big pom pom tote at Caught on a Whim.
Pom pom chandelier from Small for Big.
Pom pom tablecloth from A Bubbly Life.
Pom pom trim necklace from Honestly.
Pom pom trim scarf from Swellmayde.
Pom pom Tory Burch inspired necklace from Refinery 29.
Pom pom and chain necklace at Stripes and Sequins.
Wrapped pom pom bracelet from Swellmayde.
Pom pom flower pillow from West Elm.
Raffia pom pom flip flops from Henry Happened.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A few little changes

Got one of my faux Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis pillows out of storage. It looks fresh again with a cobalt blue throw.

Thrifted this basket, which now holds my entire craft stash. (The bottom fell out of my last basket, also thrifted.)

Almost threw out these fake budding branches. Trying them for a pop of white in the bedroom. They tip over once a day.

And bought my very first item from Anthropologie, which privileged me with the bag with the ribbons and the grommets and the dainty font and the tissue paper - for a soap dish on sale for $5.

It's hand blown Mexican glass. Structurally it functions as a soap bar Slip N Slide, landing my Dove  behind the sink every morning. I'm thinking about turning it into a piece of jewelry.

The delights of blogging - posting photos of one's bathroom sink to an admiring audience of 10 or so.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My DIY closet makeover

Here are few closet cleaning tips that worked for me. And photographic evidence that it looked good for even a minute.

As mentioned earlier, my goal this year was to get real with my closet - in other words to think about what I really tend to wear.

Belts are one thing I have a lot of. But I hardly ever wear a belt. So I threw out belts by the handful. Above are the freshly organized survivors.

Clothes are no longer crammed like the 2 train at rush hour. I came to the conclusion that I rarely wear red, purple, lavender, or pink. So I got rid of that whole end of the rainbow, except for a couple of items in coral and yellow.

This has done miracles for me. If everything you've got is either blue or green or a neutral - then everything goes with everything. Close your eyes and grab any top and any bottom and they will be pretty much fine together.

Jackets have been cut back to four and probably could be further reduced to one or two. Shirts and blouses are also blue, green or neutral.

Then there are the shoes and jewelry. Two purges and still out of control. It's OK. I'm auditioning for The Coveteur.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My DIY easy leather journal

Make a quick leather journal from a dollar store notebook and a thrift store coat. This is similar to my DIY rustic leather journal except this one uses an inexpensive notebook for lined paper (instead of cutting your own paper.)

It's easy enough to make a bunch as teacher appreciation gifts or as a DIY gift for groomsmen in a wedding party.

Get the full tutorial at Dollar Store Crafts.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spring cleaning - shoes and accessories

Above is a small fraction of my Shoemageddon. At last count I had 26 pairs on active rotation and probably just as many stashed in tote bags in the bottom of my closet.

Shoes get out of control because they are so easy to try on and look interesting even when not actually being worn. If the shoe fits, take it home and store it.

If one is feeling down about personal excess of any sort, one can always turn to celebrities to feel better. Take a stroll through The Coveteur and various other blogs and your own shoe issues will dwindle to a single shelving unit.

So, gotta ask - does anybody out there not have enough shoes for a centipede with a personal stylist? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring cleaning - getting real with your closet

Have you started spring cleaning yet? Here are some tips and inspiration to get you started or keep you going.

First I'd advise a spring cleaning mantra. My friend Katie's mantra for 2013 was "space not stuff." Mine has been "get real."

'Get real' means to sit down and make a list of what you really never wear.

I did this and came up with the following:
  • wrap skirts
  • short fat furs
Since I don't own any this was not helping.

So I tried a list of "things I tend not to wear."

I tend not to wear:
  • red, pink, lavender or purple
  • pants
  • non-neutral shoes
  • jackets

I'm not sure how far this will get me in eliminating half my closet.

How about you? Are there broad categories you know you really don't wear?

Closets via The Coveteur and Domaine.