Handmade Gifts

Guys, the craft room is coming together! I’ve still got a little organizing to do, but I’m getting there. So anyway, I wanted to show you some of the handmade gifts I’ve made and given over the last few months. Fair warning, a lot of these are quick cell phone pictures I grabbed on my way out the door rather than pretty staged shots, but I’m going on the theory that done is better than perfect.

Let’s start with a few things I made for Christmas gifts.

I made paracord fishing flies for the dads and brothers in my life, and I really liked the way they turned out. They were quick and easy, and you can find the tutorial I followed here. I wrapped mine with fishing line instead of an interior filament of the paracord and sealed it with super glue, and I was really pleased with the way they looked. I made some from bright colors and some from muted shades, which made them good for different applications.

I also made several of these paracord lanyards that hang from the straps of waders and hold the tools used in fly fishing.

I made this shirt for my cousin. You can buy a similar one here if you don’t want to DIY your own. (Not an affiliate link)

I made Taylor and her best friend Lexye each a Taco Bell Is Life pillow from hand dyed drop cloth.

These were various bracelets I made for moms, aunts, and sisters.

 (I might have kept this one for myself. Shhhh!)

This was the shirt I made Lily for Valentines Day. It was her very specific design.

This was the shirt I made for Levi, which matched the one I made for Sawyer, although Sawyer’s said Heartbreaker.

 (No, I have no idea why he was wearing a helmet)

They also got matching Plex shirts.They’re both big Yo Gabba Gabba fans.

Speaking of Yo Gabba Gabba, I made Sawyer this Brobee shirt. I passed this little green striped shirt at the thrift store 4 or 5 times before I bought it. I really liked the stripes, but I couldn’t think what I wanted to do with it, and Sawyer has a ton of t-shirts. Then one day it just clicked what a perfect Brobee shirt it would make, so into my cart it went. It’s one of his favorites.
These little Jesus Loves Me shirts for Lily and my niece Adelaide were made at the request of Adelaide’s mom Rachael. You can buy a similar one here. (Not an affiliate link)

This was Lily’s St. Patrick’s Day shirt.
This little shirt was for my nephew Lawrence who looooves his little guitar!
My brother Cary is a huge duck hunter, so as part of his birthday gift Nick and I made him this duck hunting themed key fob. It was a metal tag from the Target Dollar Spot. I cut a stencil out of vinyl, and Nick sand blasted it. The quote on the back is a scripture reference. We also sand blasted his favorite sports logo into a metal tumbler, but I didn’t get a picture of it. (I know, lame.)

This was Lily’s shirt for Dr. Seuss Day at school.
This coral earrings and bracelet set was for my sister-in-law Leah’s birthday.
Just before we moved into the new house we had the biggest blessing! A lovely lady from our church got some new furniture for her living room and gifted us her previous couch, chair, and recliner. They were in pristine condition – she just wanted some smaller pieces, and they were perfect for our living room! She is a pilot, and I made her this bracelet as a thank you.
This Minnie shirt was for my niece Adelaide’s 2nd birthday.
I also found these sweet leggings and made shirts to match them.

 
For Mother’s Day I made a few of these fun potholder purse organizers. The floral one came from Walmart and the quatrefoil one came from Target.

On Mother’s Day our church gives a small gift to every woman and girl there. This year we gave these lovely fancy paper clips. My mom, Taylor, her friend Lexye, and I added the buttons to the clips, and I cut, punched, and stamped all the cards.
I added vinyl to these cups as thank you gifts for our realty team and they loved them! FYI, these are the Ozark Trail brand from Walmart. I have the same cup in the 30 ounce, and it is identical in looks and performance to Nick’s 30 ounce Yeti tumbler for oh, 1/4 of the price. Seriously. Get one.

My friend Melissa’s birthday was a few weeks ago, and I made her this sweet little cross stitch necklace. 

This wreath was for Lily’s room. It has been on my to do list since I saw it on Capture the Details like six years ago, but I couldn’t ever seem to find the fun fur yarn in this shade of green. Then when we were “in storage” as I refer to the time of our life when we were on the market and everything fun that I own was in a storage unit, I found a couple of skeins at a thrift store. I finally got to put it together a couple of weeks ago.  
These were gifts for Nick’s grandmother for Mother’s Day (the yellow set) and her birthday (the red white and blue set and the cards).

The cards are blank inside and were hand embroidered. I made them using this Amy Tangerine Stitched set I found at Tuesday Morning. They were actually pretty time consuming to make, but also kind of a soothing activity, and I hope she likes them.

   

These were the cards I made her to give her with the gifts, and I am SO excited with how they turned out. Okay, here’s the deal. As I was going through all the mountains of stuff I was putting away in my craft room I came across a couple of sheets of 4×6 photo paper. I have tons of this stuff. Tons of it. But I never print my own pictures. I have a photo lab that I love, and I just couldn’t begin to touch their quality on a home printer. But several people have given me boxes of the paper, and I was always at kind of a loss what to do with it. I was on the verge of tossing the couple of loose sheets in the trash when my eyes fell on the box housing my ridiculously large collection of embossing folders. I grabbed my Big Shot and some dies and cranked out the coolest paper elements ever! Okay, maybe not really, but I love, love, LOVE the way the photo paper looks with some embossing!

Anyway, that’s some of what I’ve been up to. What have you been making?
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Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange Winter 2015

For several years now I’ve participated in the Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange, and it’s always a blast! This round I was paired with the lovely Lisa Hickey of Caron Designs. She sent me such neat things! This was round one (yes, round one).

First was this gorgeous flattened wine bottle cheese tray. I’ve been fascinated with flattened glassware for years, but as I’m lacking a kiln it’s not really a craft I can do, so I was thrilled with it. Unfortunately this beautiful piece got cracked in shipping. However, it worked out, as you will see.

She also sent this adorable handpainted flattened jar soap dish which currently lives beside my kitchen sink.

There were also these two delicious smelling soaps, one of which is in the above soap dish in my kitchen and the other of which is in our downstairs bath.
Last were these awesome original artwork greeting cards.
I contacted Lisa to let her know how much I loved everything, and I mentioned that the cheese platter had been cracked in shipping. The break was a very clean one, and I wanted to ask her advice on the best glue to use to repair it. I also wanted to let her know in case she wanted to contact her shipping company to be reimbursed for this damage. She generously told me that she would take care of it and that I should expect a new one later in the week! I promise I was not trying to wrangle a new one from her, but I was so touched by her generosity!
So a few days later I got another package in the mail, and sure enough there was another gorgeous platter, this one clear.
But also included was this lovely pair of glass bead earrings.
And this beautiful fused glass star ornament. When I was getting to know her work online these stars were one of the creations that really caught my eye, so I was thrilled to get one! It went waaaaay up high on my Christmas tree to keep it away from the grabby hands of the short people in my house.
So here’s what I sent Lisa:
I made her these two little Christmas pillows from drop cloth and heat transfer vinyl. This one was made from drop cloth I hand dyed a deep cranberry red. The bell shape was purchased from the Silhouette Design Store. My favorite part of it is the tiny bell dotting the i in Jingle.
This one was left the natural color, and the heat transfer vinyl was cut from a Tulip Twilight Shimmer Transfer Sheet. (Not an affiliate link) I actually found these on clearance at one of the discount stores (Ross? Burkes? TJ Maxx? I can’t remember).  I was a little nervous cutting it with my Cameo, but it worked great.
Next I made her three memory wire bracelets. I love these as gifts because they work for any size wrist and are easy to put on and take off for little hands that can’t manage clasps well yet and older hands that struggle with arthritis and everybody in between. I wanted them to work well for Christmas yet still be versatile enough to wear the rest of the year, so I chose the colors accordingly.
I also made these fun snowman earrings, and they were embarrassingly easy to put together. 
They started out like this, so all I did was literally add the ear wires and backings.
Like always, this was so much fun, and I’m so grateful to Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous for hosting again and Lisa for partnering with me! I’ll be linking up at the Handmade Gift Exchange Linky Party.

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Poking my head up…

I’ve been trying to post for like a week now, but I’m sick, and it just seems like by the time I finish all the necessary tasks like feeding the kids and putting on pants, I have nothing left in me. It’s nothing terribly serious, just a sore throat, but I’m on antibiotics now, so hopefully it’s on its way out.

So here’s what’s happening. We have a contract on the house. Yay us! Actually, we had a contract before this one, but the buyer backed out because the inspection turned up some foundation damage. Boo! BUT, we are getting it fixed in 10 days, with a lifetime transferable warranty, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Even with that, the first buyer didn’t want to stay on board. Fortunately, he’d been in a bit of a bidding war with another buyer, and they were happy to take his place with the assurance that the foundation work is being done.

So now the race is on to find our next house. We found one that we really liked, but it sold the day before the contract went on ours. And we’ve since found one that we really love, but there are some issues with it that would have to be resolved for it to be an actual option for us. It’s all very much up in the air from our viewpoint, but God has definitely been moving and providing, so we will see what happens.

So as far as crafting goes, there’s been a little bit. Not much, but a little. And I don’t have any tutorials for you right now, but here are a few things I’ve made.

Back in July a little girl at our church had a birthday, and I made her this fun candy colored paracord bracelet and earrings set. The bracelet actually ended up being a little small for her, so I made her a bigger one and she sent this one back to Lily.

My friend Melissa just had her gorgeous baby girl MacKenzie. Her nursery is done in gray and yellow with accents of teal in an elephant motif. So back in August for her baby shower I made her a few gifts. First was this paper banner with bows made using my Sizzix Bow Die.

I found this yellow and gray photo box at Hobby Lobby to put it in for gifting, and she can use the box in baby girl’s room.

I made her a couple of curved burp cloths out of white terry cloth and this super soft cuddle minky.
And I also made her a faux chenille blanket. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely happy with how the blanket turned out. The blue looked more teal in the store, and I should have used it as the one of the chenille layers and not the base fabric on the back. I should have sewn the lines half as far apart so the chenille strips would have been more even and stuck out less from the blanket. But it’s still super cuddly, and she said she loves it.

My mother-in-law Brenda’s birthday was also in August, and I made her this card.

It’s very simple, but I like it. I’d really like to get into making cards on a more regular basis. I’ve got stamps, stamp pads, and embossing folders for days, but not much of a place to do it right now. And most of my stamps and ink pads are in storage right now anyway. When I get a craft room one of these days I plan on making up a bunch of different elements and having my girlfriends/sisters in law over for a card making party.

I also made Brenda this pretty patchwork zipper pouch.

The mint fabric was a duck cloth remnant from Hobby Lobby I think, and the coral polka dot fabric was from a pair of pants in the giveaway pile. I made my Mom a very similar one for her birthday in July.
Inside the pouch for Brenda I included this simple bead and chain set I made with these awesome metal filigree beads I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby.
We also had another Walridge Baptist Church Ladies Craft Meeting last month, but that one deserves a post of its own.
We could really use your prayers that God will show us to the house He has for us and that everything will go smoothly with the sale/closing on our own house. It looks like the timing may end up pretty tight on it – for us to close on the new home the same day as we close on the old home we will have to find the right house and have an offer accepted in the next week or so. Exciting times, people!
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Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange

A couple of times a year Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous hosts a Handmade Gift Exchange. This is always so much fun! I’ve participated several times now, and I love getting to know new crafty people! My partner this time was a very cool lady named Laura, and she really nailed it with my gift! She sent me this amazing twine wrapped letter, and she captured my style perfectly!

Isn’t it gorgeous? And with most of our decorative things packed away in storage, it was awesome to get something like this right now.

I sent her a sort of motley assortment of things. She’s a pretty free form pinner, interested in a lot of different things, so it was hard for me to decide what to do. But she did tell me that she does some mixed media art pieces, and I recently discovered something pretty awesome with my Sizzix machine and some embossing folders, so I decided to send her some materials she can hopefully incorporate into her own creations.

Hobby Lobby sells 12″ x 30″ rolls of 36 gauge copper and aluminum and 40 gauge copper. For church camp this year we used copper and leather to make stamped bracelets like these that I made for a friend’s daughter last year.

That worked pretty well for camp, but we had 3 hours a day to work with crafts, and I was looking for a way to adapt the concept to the 20 minute craft times we would have at Vacation Bible School this month. So I pulled out my Sizzix machine and my embossing folders and played around a bit, and I sent my crafty sisters these cell phone photos in the wee hours of the morning:

The coffee cups! I swoon!

Success! I was addicted! And it went very well at VBS. But anyway, I decided to send Laura some embossed sheets of copper and aluminum.

I also made her a leather cuff.

I even embossed some patent leather, and the effect is subtle, but I like it.

I also made her some note cards with coordinating envelopes.

Lastly, I sent her this pair of fun dangly earrings that I made. I hope to do a tutorial on them soon.

Of course I neglected to take a good picture of the whole gift, but Laura kindly took one when she got it, so I’m stealing it from her Facebook. It kind of looks like she has the same kitchen table as me.

As always, this was a blast, and I can’t wait till the next one in December!

*This post did not contain any affiliate links.

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Christmas Jewelry Gifts

I was a jewelry-making fiend this year for Christmas. I made tons and tons and tons of earrings and bracelets, and even a few hair pins! These were all very simple to make, and they all came together very quickly. And I had so much fun making my own earring cards from pretty scrapbook paper! Here are some (but not all) of the ones that went out to loved ones this year.

Okay, this is not jewelry, but it’s the bag I made to package up Lily’s teacher’s gift (the first two pairs of earrings pictured below). I used my Gift Bag Punch Board (tutorial coming soon) to make the bag, then punched the top with my Marvy Uchida Clever Lever Border Punch System. Then I wove ribbon through the slots and closed it with a bow at the front. Isn’t it darling?

Memory wire bracelet

Coiled wire bracelet tutorial

These started as cabochons I got crazy cheap at Tuesday Morning, and I added them to hair pin blanks.

These were little scrapbook embellishments.
 
Tiny seashells for the top pair and former scrapbooking brads for the bottom.

More brads.

Covered button embellishments and cabochons.

This started as a straight metal feather. I just rounded it over my wrist, punched holes for the leather cord and added crimps, jump rings, and a clasp.

I love the worn leather paired with the gold and floral.

Metal stickers made into earrings for our oldest resident Frozen fan.

Little bitty ones for Lily.

Extra large cabochons and hair pins.

Earring and bracelet set.
Did you make any jewelry for gifts this year? Leave me a link in the comments – I’d love to see it!

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Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange

Twice a year Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous hosts a Handmade Gift Exchange. This is so much fun! If you’ve never participated in one of these, I highly recommend giving it a whirl. I wanted to show you what I made for my partner Lauren, and what she made for me.

Here’s what I sent Lauren:

First I made her some of the Christmas gift tags we did for the Ladies Craft Meeting at church a few months ago.

I also made her up a set of one of a kind cards like these.

I made her up a set of cute pillow boxes. Tutorial here.

And I sent a few pieces of handmade jewelry.

A pair of coiled bracelets. Tutorial here.

A pair of silver wire wrapped earrings. “Tutorial” here.

 

I had a lot of fun making the earring card for these.

These dropped bead earrings, tutorial to come.

And I sent her a 12 x 12 pillow cover featuring the title of my favorite Christmas song.

I really hope she loved everything!

And she sent me this AH-MAY-ZING Christmas wreath!

Isn’t it gorgeous?

I just love these colors! In fact, I have a Red and Aqua Board on Pinterest, and this beauty is going straight there as soon as this post goes live!

Thank you, Lauren – I love it!

And thank you, Linda, for hosting this awesome exchange again!

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The Fault in Our Stars Earrings

Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? Have you seen the movie? I read the book on my Kindle, then took Taylor to see the movie this past summer. And yes, we totally cried. Not quite like the lady behind us though. She was hardcore loud ugly-sobbing through pretty much the whole movie. I kind of felt like I should get her a Gatorade when it was over. Whoever you are, lady, I hope you eventually recovered. You know, fiction and all. But anyway.

One of the most beloved parts of both book and movie is the gentle banter between Gus and Hazel where they have a hard time hanging up the phone and keep stretching out the conversation with “Okay?” “Okay.” “Okay?” “Okay.”….and it becomes their thing. Their always.

I’ve seen all kinds of memes and pictures all over the internet honoring that little word, not to mention tons of accessories, many of them DIY. So I thought I would try my hand at a project of my own. I asked Taylor to give me a hand, and together we made up three styles of TFiOS themed earrings.

For this easy project I pulled out one of my favorite crafting materials: Shrinky Dinks. I used a sheet of the frosted and a sheet of the opaque white. Before you get started on cutting out your clouds, turn your oven on to 325ยฐ to preheat. Now, to cut out the clouds I used a Fiskars X-Large Cloud Squeeze Punch. You can totally cut these out by hand if you don’t have a cloud punch. In fact, my first version of this was a set of best friends backpack tags I cut out by hand for Taylor and her bestie, and they disappeared immediately. But they were about 3 times the size of the earrings, and my cutting skills on anything small are highly suspect.

I’m going to show you the steps to make all three pairs of earrings at once. Of course if you just want to make one pair, just follow the directions for the pair you want. The first pair will require one cloud punched from each sheet, and the second and third pairs will each require two clouds cut from each sheet. So to make all three pairs, cut 5 clouds from the opaque white and 5 clouds from the frosted. A quick note: I made all my earrings with the white cloud on top and the black cloud on the bottom. Apparently this is backwards. But this is my blog, so nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah! If you want to make them the “right” way, just switch all the black and white clouds in the instructions. No biggie.

Imagine you see 5 frosted clouds here too. You’ll see them in a minute.

Take your 5 frosted clouds (see?) and color them completely with black Sharpie. Color on the rough side. Taylor helped me with this.

Let these dry for a minute, and in the meantime take your 5 white clouds and use your black Sharpie to write {Okay?} on each one. Write it as neatly as you can, but you’re going for a handwritten look here.
Now take your black clouds and, using a silver Sharpie, write {Okay.} on each of them. You can write on either side. I chose to write on the rough side, because sometimes the shiny side tends to show a little scuffed after baking.
Now we’re going to punch the holes for our jump rings. When you bake Shrinky Dinks, any holes shrink right along with the rest of it. For the tiny jump rings I’m using, a 1/8 inch punch makes a hole that shrinks to just the right size, but if you only have bigger jump rings, you might want to use a 1/4 inch hole punch. These are the holes you will punch for each pair. You can click on the picture to make it bigger if you have a hard time reading it.

Once you have your holes punched, place your clouds writing side up on a piece of paper on a cookie sheet. I usually use a lunch sized paper bag.

Slide them in the oven to bake, checking them after about 90 seconds. At that point mine were still curled up a bit, but a few seconds later they were all lying flat, which is how you know they’re done.

When I take Shrinky Dinks out of the oven, I press them quickly with an acrylic stamp block, just to make sure they’re all nice and flat.
See how much smaller they are? 
Now we’re going to attach our findings. Here are the findings you’ll need for each pair. Again, click the picture to make it bigger if you need to.
For the first pair, just glue your earring posts right to the back. You will be using one white cloud and one black cloud, both hole-free. I actually just used high temp hot glue for these, and they’ve held up fine. Taylor has worn them several times and they’re still holding fast. But you can absolutely use something like E6000 if you prefer. Just make sure you let them sit for the instructed amount of time before wearing.
Add your earring backs and you’re done!
For the next pair, you’re going to use a jump ring to attach a black cloud with a hole punched in the top to a white cloud with a hole punched in the bottom. Repeat for the other earring. 

Now glue your posts to the backs of the two white clouds and add your earring backs.  Done!

For the last pair, attach your black and white clouds together like you did on the last pair, then carefully open the loop at the bottom of your earring hook with a pair of round nose pliers. 

Loop it  through the hole at the top of the white cloud, making sure to put it on so that the clouds will face front when you wear them. Carefully squeeze the loop closed with flat or needle nosed pliers, being careful not to crush it. Repeat for the other earring and attach the backs. All done! Now you’ll be the envy of your book club!
I had so much fun making these that I whipped up another couple of pairs using different punches I had. These were made with a Fiskars Large Cupcake Squeeze Punch. Aren’t they fun?

And the other day I found this retired Stampin’ Up ornament punch for $2.99 at the thrift store they just opened up practically walking distance from my house! Score! (On both the punch and the new thrift store!) It turns out there are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to all the things you can do with this punch. Seriously. I’m so excited! I punched 6 ornaments from frosted Shrinky Dinks and colored them with pastel Sharpies. They turned out with this cool stained glass effect, and I love them!

I may end up going over the edges with a silver paint pen as well. I haven’t decided yet. I love how many options there are with this craft! Shrinky Dinks are always a winner around here!

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Therapeutic Crafting

Life is best for me when I take time to make things. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed with kids and housework and errands and everything that goes with having a full, although beautiful life, I have to put myself in front of my sewing machine or turn on my glue gun or pull out my jewelry wire, or just create something that wasn’t there before. It doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate, but just the process of making something appealing is balm to my soul. This past week or so has been full of tiny projects. Excuse some of the photos as cell phone pics not actually intended for the blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve made up a few hair bows, like these Frozen themed ones. My friend Amy’s little girls were going to see Frozen on Ice that evening, and she called and asked if she could bring me some ribbon and have me come up with some quick bows to match their dresses.

She also dropped off a roll of this Christmas ribbon she found at the thrift store for 49ยข, so I made this one too.
Her youngest daughter is turning three in a few days and will be celebrating with a Jake and the Neverland Pirates themed party, so I made this one for the birthday girl.
I made Lily this woven headband to match my niece’s Thanksgiving headband. Clearly this is one of the not-actually-taken-for-the-blog-pics. 
And I found this velvet ribbon in my stash, and I don’t think I’d ever laid eyes on it before. Sometimes people pass along to me random craft supplies they’re getting rid of. Like this one time my Aunt Tina gave me bags full of vintage lace and trim and ribbon and fabric remnants and it was basically the best thing ever. And I don’t think this ribbon came from her, but it found its way to me in much the same manner, and I kind of love it, so thank you to whoever gave it to me. I made this sweet bow that is going to look awesome with some little girl’s pretty velvet Christmas dress!
I made my niece this ginormous rosette headband using the remnants of the blanket I made her. It’s so soft!
My friend Rebecca asked me to make her daughter a leather and stamped copper cuff. She couldn’t decide which color she wanted so I made up an extra leather strap she can switch the plate out on if she likes.
I also made myself a new pincushion out of this sweet little vintage tart tin I found at a thrift store. I have some similar cupcake tins I plan on turning into pincushions too, so I will do a tutorial in the near future.
I’ve been playing with the Gift Box Punch Board my mom got me for my birthday, and I’ll do a tutorial on it coming up. So fun!
And I finally found the pinwheel attachments to use with the Pinwheel Punch Board, so that will be on the blog soon too!
My daughter Taylor has been feeling a bit crafty herself. She made this sweet paper banner that says ROACH FAMILY. And why yes, that is a sippy cup so fetchingly displayed on my mantle. Don’t be jealous.
She also made these awesome scrapbook paper snowflakes and decorated the wall at the stair landing. I love how unique and festive they all are!

What sort of crafts do you find relaxing and therapeutic?
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Coiled Wire Bracelets

A few days ago my mom and I did some craft shopping in preparation for the upcoming Ladies Craft Day at our church. One of the Tuesday Mornings in our city is right beside one of the Jo-Anns. Well, like 3 doors down in the same shopping center, but anyway. And yes, we have multiple Jo-Anns and Tuesday Mornings here, plus a Michael’s, an A.C. Moore, and two Hobby Lobby’s. Knoxville rocks the craft stores, y’all. Anyway, I always hit Tuesday Morning before Jo-Ann, because they have an awesome craft section, and I just might find what I’m looking for way cheaper.

That day we found 10 mini glue guns with 10 glue sticks each included for $2.99 a piece, which was terrific. And I wasn’t even there to shop for myself, but I happened to see this funny looking little thing called The Coiling Gizmo. It was also $2.99, so I grabbed one. This has turned out to be the coolest little tool! And the good news is, even if you can’t find one at Tuesday Morning, you can still get one for under $10. (Not an affiliate link)

They have a couple more incarnations too that are a little fancier, and I’ve got my eye on the Professional Deluxe version, maybe for Christmas. (Not an affiliate link)

What this nifty little tool does is make it quick and easy to get professional looking wire coiling that you can use as is or coil further to create various jewelry components.

Here’s how it works:

First, you want to choose which rod you’re going to coil your wire on. You get two, one thicker, one thinner. I like the smaller one better for most applications because it gives you a more flexible coil. Also, I mounted my bracket on a piece of 2 x 4 for stability, but you can clamp it to the edge of your table with a c-clamp if you have one handy.

Here I’m going to show you how to make a coiled bracelet with a double coiled accent. For the double coiled piece, I used 9 feet of 26 gauge wire, and for the rest of the bracelet I used about 7 feet of 18 gauge wire. The 18 gauge wire comes in many colors in 3 yard coils at Walmart for $1.

First of all, you will take your 26 gauge wire and secure it to the rod by wrapping the end around the curved section of the rod.

Next you want to insert your rod through the proper holes in the bracket. As you can see, the larger rod goes through the top holes, and the smaller rod goes through the bottom holes.

Now, start winding the handle of the rod, whichever way is more comfortable to you, making sure you don’t pull loose where you wrapped the end of your wire.

Guide the wire by holding it lightly as in your other hand as you wind. It’s best to make sure it’s not scraping across the edge of the bracket as you wind, as this may scrape some of the color off some tinted wires.

Keep winding, making sure your wire coil is neat and even. You may occasionally need to stop to push the rod in toward the bracket if your coil is a little loose or spread out. If your wire starts wrapping on top of itself, just reverse a little and recoil.

When you get toward the end of the wire, you will probably have filled the rod up so far that the end comes out of the second hole. At that point, you can either stop wrapping and trim the excess wire from the end, or just finish wrapping it by hand, which is easy enough with this gauge of wire. When the first end is finished, gently pull the beginning end loose from where it was secured to the handle. You can either trim it where the coil starts, or move the whole coil down the wire a little to give you room to wrap this end by hand. Remove the finished coil.

Now, take that finished coil and string it onto your 18 gauge wire.

 At this point you will need to know how big you want your bracelet to be. When your 26 gauge coil is coiled the second time, it will be about 2 1/2 inches long if you coiled the entire wire piece and didn’t trim it. So you will need to subtract 2 1/2 inches from what you want your finished length to be, then divide that difference by two to see how long your bracelet needs to be on either side of the double coil. This bracelet is meant to just slip over your hand, so it will need to be big enough for that. My bracelet actually ended up a little bigger than I wanted, but it was 9.5 inches, so 9.5 – 2.5 = 7 รท 2 = 3.5 inches on either side of the double coil. Of course if you want yours smaller, adjust accordingly. Once you know how long each side section of your bracelet needs to be, secure your 18 gauge wire to the rod and wrap it until it reaches that length.

At that point, you need to slide your 26 gauge coil up to the point where it touches the rod.

Holding it firmly in place on the other end of the 26 gauge coil, continue wrapping, coiling the 26 gauge coil again.

When you have completed this double coil, continue wrapping the 28 gauge wire until the entire length reaches the planned size of the finished bracelet.

You will likely have to take it off the rod before this is done, turn it around and feed it onto the rod backwards, and wrap the rest by hand. This is one reason I want the Professional Deluxe model – longer rods.

When your length is complete, trim your excess wire and make sure the ends of all your coils are safely curved in. Now, grab another piece of wire, preferably 18 gauge of bigger. Mine was 18 gauge and came on a good size coil for $2 from Walmart ages ago. Color doesn’t matter too much here as it won’t really show. Cut a piece several inches longer than your bracelet and string your bracelet on it.

Now put a closed loop in one end, using either round nose pliers or a one step looper. You can actually put the loop on first and then run the wire through the bracelet if you want.

Feed the other end of your wire (the silver wire here) through the loop you just created and pull it tight.

Now use your one step looper or round nose pliers to create a loop on that end that hooks through the first loop. If you’re using pliers, you’ll need to trim it to just enough to make the loop first. If you’re using the one step looper, it will trim it as it forms the loop.

All done! This project can be done in well under 30 minutes, but it looks like something that took hours!

Here are some simple earrings I made for Taylor using a basic coiled length for each one. Easy!

I already have a jewelry board on Pinterest, but I added one just for Coiling Gizmo ideas if you want to check it out and see some other projects here.

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What’s been going on lately…

I know I’ve been scarce around here, but it’s not because I haven’t had anything to post about! It’s just been very, very busy. A few things that have been occupying me:

My SIL Rachael’s birthday was just a few days after my last post. I got her a Marvy Uchida Border Punch System a few weeks ago, but I wanted her to have something special on her actual birthday too, so I whipped up this fun little window pillow box and packed it with a couple pairs of handmade earrings.

To make the pillow box I used my WRMK Pillow Box Punch Board, then just used a large scalloped circle paper punch to create the window. Then I cut a piece of transparency film to cover the opening, adhered it to the inside with an adhesive roller, then folded the box up and glued it.

The ball shaped earrings were one of the pairs I featured a few weeks ago. The second pair looks really impressive, but truthfully, they almost don’t qualify as handmade. The wire wrapped circles came in a string of four from Walmart, and I literally just added the ear hooks and backings. She really seemed to love them though, and she’s worn them several times already. ๐Ÿ™‚

I used a Sizzix die and embossing folder I got recently to create a mason jar themed card. I added various buttons as filler for the “jar”, and on the envelope I added a fun little pennant I got at Tuesday Morning.

The day after was my BIL Scott’s birthday. He and his family live in Texas, so his gift needed to be something that would do well in shipping. He does a lot of traveling, so I thought he might like a new Dopp kit.

I sewed him up a good sized zipper pouch using men’s tweed suiting and sturdy cotton, and filled it with some nice poured soaps, a new razor, and some shave cream. He loves to grill, so I also sent him a bratwurst grill cage that very narrowly escaped staying here with Nick. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Lily girl turned 5 a few days later on October 5th! That morning before church she woke up to a new baby doll that looks just like her baby cousin Adelaide :), and this assortment of pillow boxes:

My girl loves accessories (as you can tell lol), so each one contained a new piece (or pieces) of jewelry:

This necklace and bracelet set was a clearance find at Hobby Lobby.

The charm bracelet was one I put together using charms from Walmart and basic findings.

The rings are actually midi rings from Rue 21, but they fit her 5 year old fingers like regular rings.

The rose necklace was one I made. The rose pendant came from Hobby Lobby on clearance, and I added the crown and chain. The crown was another charm from Walmart. I cut the top ring off, then sealed it into the well of the rose using Lisa Pavelka Magic-Glos.

The rhinestone crown necklace was yet another Walmart charm added to a chain, and it ended up being one of her favorites.

We had a party for her on the 11th, and I’ll tell you about that in my next post!

I’ve also been having some fun playing with my new Pinwheel Punch Board, which We R Memory Keepers was kind enough to send me to try.

It was my intention to make some pinwheels for Lily’s party to use as favors and decorations, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on any of the pinwheel attachments that makes the pinwheels functional. Every craft store I’ve gone to has been sold out of them, but as soon as I find some to snatch up I’m going to do a review post on the punch board.

In between everything else I’ve also been doing some mending and altering jobs, as well as giving the growing laundry a meaningful glance and a promise. But hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to post now that the cluster of birthdays is past!

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