December 18, 2014

DIY Leather bracelets {2 styles}

I have had a few leather bracelets pinned on Pinterest for a while now. I don’t like to just be a ‘pinner’ & let them sit on my boards forever, but instead I actually try to check things off my pinned list! Now I can finally check off a couple of my pinned jewelry ideas! In particular, these two pins – bracelet with sterling silver accents & quotable leather bracelet (on etsy for a hefty price!). Here are my versions of the two styles:

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I started out with some really great quality flat leather lace, in two different colors (for my two different bracelets), both 5mm wide – Blackberry & Cognac (I love the black edges on both).

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So first I’ll start with a {HOW TO} on my “DIY quotable leather bracelet” --->

As I already mentioned, I started with the Cognac flat leather lace (5mm), and I also had some E-600, and sterling silver findings (the metal quote part comes later).

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I measured my wrist (how big I wanted the bracelet, also accounting for the findings) & measured the leather accordingly, then cut two pieces at that length.

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These end caps are 10mm wide, so the two pieces of 5mm wide leather fit perfectly inside.

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I put some E-6000 inside, then squeezed the leather in & let it sit until dry.

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**be sure when you put the leather in the end caps that you twist the leather, at least once (or as many times as you want). Then you can wear this bracelet with or without the metal quote, and it still looks awesome.

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You could stop there with the bracelet, or you can keep going & add the twisted metal quote! The bracelet I was inspired by used a piece of pure aluminum, which I didn’t have access to. So instead I used what I had available – recycled car metal! Maybe not as shiny & “pure” as the aluminum, but I get points for recycling, right ;) plus, it’s free! I also used a sledge hammer & some metal stamps.

Can I just say that this is a lot harder than it looks to make the twisted quote part of this bracelet. Mine did not turn out nearly as beautiful as the pinned etsy shop listing, and I need A LOT more practice with my letter stamping! Props to whoever it is that makes the original bracelet!!

I cut out a 3/8” wide by about 4” piece (I didn’t know how long I needed it!) of car metal & grinded then sanded down the edges until it was smooth. Then I stamped the lettering. Again, I need A LOT more practice! Oh well!!

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I went the easy route to make my lettering stand out – a sharpie and an alcohol wipe. (scribble over the lettering to make it all black inside, then wipe away the excess with an alcohol wipe).

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Then I started twisting it. Harder than it looks! Or maybe this car metal just isn’t easy to work with. I don’t know.

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I slid it over the end of the bracelet (by the way, you might want to make the twisted metal before you make the bracelet, then you can just slide it over the leather, not the findings!). Once it was on the bracelet, I kept squeezing it with my jewelry pliers until it fit a little more snug. It isn’t nearly as pretty and smooth as my inspiration, but it will do [for me].

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And the finish product (see the uneven twisting?! UGH)

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Now on to my  {HOW TO} for bracelet #2, “DIY leather wrapped bracelet with sterling silver accents” --->

For this bracelet, I used the Blackberry flat leather lace (about 3 meters x 5mm), sterling silver beads (they looked the “silver” part!), bead thread, needle, and findings. Aside from the leather, I got all of these items at Joanns, but I will say that I much prefer the findings that I used on the bracelet above. 

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This bracelet was time consuming and, to be honest, the beading was a pain! Each section of 10 beads needed a new piece of bead thread, so there was a lot of tying knots & threading needles. Maybe there is an easier way to do this part, but that is what I did.  

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There were a lot of sections of the beading, because I used the whole 3 ft (about) length for this bracelet. In the end it was worth it! I didn’t measure in between the sections of beading because I wanted it to look more sporadic and random, but they were spaced at about 1.5 – 2.25” apart.

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[I used the best findings I could find for this project, but again I’m not super excited about them. I’d definitely recommend square end caps that fit exactly. These do work, just not as awesome as the ones I used above.]

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The finished product, [and I’m totally in love with it!]

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If you have any comments, tips, or questions, please share. I’m not an expert, but personally I think these turned out pretty awesome (and I didn’t have to spend $45+ for them, like on etsy). I love DIY!!

**MORE DIY JEWELRY PROJECTS**

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December 1, 2014

“CHANGE” coin bank

I love setting goals. It helps me change and become something I wasn’t before, and hopefully it’s always something better, or at least in the right direction! In preparing for the upcoming New Year & the resolutions that inevitably come with it, my mind has been set on ‘CHANGE’. What came from that word was this custom coin bank.

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Get the double meaning?!! I thought my version of a piggy bank was pretty clever, if I do say so myself. ‘Change’ as in the definition (to make or become different) and ‘change’ as in coins!

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This is going to be set out where I can see it daily as a reminder to change. There is ALWAYS something we can do to become different, and from now on [in this post] different refers to ‘better’ in my eyes! Plus, we always have change lying around, if the boys don’t find it first ;)

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When the New Year comes, I plan on doing a lesson on GOALS & CHANGE for our Family Home Evening. My dad always instilled in my siblings and me to set goals and work towards accomplishing them, at the New Year or whenever we had a desire to set them. I know that not only setting goals, but staying focused on them, will help us fulfill them & eventually become a different & better version of ourselves. We should always be trying a little harder to be a little better. It’s time to CHANGE!


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***Find these ‘Change’ Coin Banks at Remembories***
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November 22, 2014

‘Christmas Present’ coin banks

I recently made some super cute ‘Christmas Present’ banks for my boys, and they (ages 4.5 & 2.5) are about to get their first lesson in saving & spending wisely!

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The idea behind it is to earn money (by doing work around the house!) and save it in their present bank until it’s time to buy Christmas Presents for each other. They do have piggy banks, which are collecting quite the savings, but those are not to be opened or touched until we, their parents, deem it necessary! But these Christmas present banks are reserved for the sole purpose of buying presents for Christmas!

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I know my boys are still very young, but when it comes down to it, money is a big deal (unfortunately). They love finding money & holding it. They love being able to buy candy in a candy machine. But more importantly, there are many lessons to be learned with money; instant gratification or long-term happiness, debt or savings, etc. I don’t think there is a “too young” when it comes to learning how to treat money?

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Not only money (and saving) but the act of giving on Christmas. I hope these boys, with the money they earn and save over the next while, will find joy in the act of giving. No, it doesn’t have to be store bought, but there is a lot to be said about a little child that can give up hard earned, saved money in order to give a gift, especially to their sibling [trust me, I have 7 siblings]!

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I hope that giving gifts on Christmas (bought, homemade or as simple and kind as a hug) will become something they look forward to every year, and all the time for that matter.

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And with that, here is my ‘Christmas Present’ coin bank HOW-TO --->

{what you need}

    • wood (I used pine and my dimensions are approximately 5 1/2”W x 7 3/4”H x 3/4”D –and- 7 1/2”W x 6”H x 3/4”D)
    • scroll saw
    • sander
    • drill (handheld or press)
    • plexiglass (picture frame quality)
    • sharpie
    • Dremel (or you can use a handheld drill)
    • spray paint (colors you want & clear coat)
    • masking tape
    • tiny little screws (smallest I could find at the hardware store)
    • screwdriver

Okay, lets get started! [Beware: lots of cell phone pictures, taken at night…didn’t want to get my good camera full of saw dust!]

First I drew out a couple sketches of what I wanted the banks to look like. Not the best quality picture, but you get the idea (if you can see the lines!). I drew it the exact size I wanted it & then measured about an inch for the width of the bank walls.

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I cut out those sketches & used them as a stencil for the actual bank. I like to tape it down on the wood & use a little bit of spray paint to make a quick outline. You could always just trace it thought. Take it to the scroll saw & get to cutting! Make sure the bottom edge of the bank is flat – as in, it is level and can sit on the counter.

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To cut out the inside of the bank, I drilled a hole (using the drill press, but you could use a handheld drill), then I had to take out the scroll saw blade, put it through the hole I just made & tighten it back up. Then I was able to cut out the inside block.

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Next came the plexiglass cutting. I laid a piece of plexiglass on the cut bank and made sure it was about 1/4” bigger than the inside of the bank walls. It was just a hand drawn line, and I made one for each side of the bank. Next, I took them to the scroll saw & cut them out too.

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Then came the coin slot. I REALLY wanted a coin slot at the top, like a regular bank, but because of the height of the bow on top of the present, it made for a very difficult process. I’ll have to collaborate with Grant (my husband) to figure out a better way to do this part, but I’m not really sure there is an easier way to do it due to the width of the wood I was drilling through. What I did was, using the drill press, drilled multiple holes (slightly thicker than the width of a nickel and just over the length of a quarter). Even then, I was only able to get through about 3/4 of the wood.

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The rest of the process was tackled with the Dremel (using the same drill bit). [**By the way, Back Friday is coming up and that is when we got this Dremel, years ago. Totally worth it!!]. I did some drilling from the bottom of the slot (or where I guessed the bottom would be). It doesn’t look pretty from the bottom, but the coin slot works!

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After that drilling endeavor the painting began. I always use Rustoleum 2x coverage spray paint (primer included). I painted the ‘ribbon’ parts first, on both sides of the presents (drying in between). These colors are Apple Red & Sky Blue.

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Once dry (24 hours-ish later) I used masking tape to take when I wanted the “ribbon” to stay & covered the bows. Then painted the rest of the presents in the other colors – Meadow Green & Deep Blue (Rustoleum).

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Almost done!!

With the plexiglass I cut previously, I put them on the present & drilled holes through, and barely into the wood, for the tiny little screws.

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Screw on the plexiglass & DONE!

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These boys are beyond excited about their new present banks! Now it’s time to start earning money!!! Which is also great, they are so much more helpful around the house now ;)

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November 11, 2014

Family hand turkey of 5

Another family hand turkey, this one with handmade with 5 hands of the family. [Hands cut to actual size of person’s hand]IMG_1871IMG_1873

Colors:

  • Sunshine yellow
  • Pumpkin orange
  • Apple red
  • Deep purple
  • Espresso
  • Nutmeg (Turkey head)

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Find it at Remembories!

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