Sunday, April 28, 2024

Faceted Gemstone Bead Bracelets with Sterling Silver Charms

Here are two more beaded bracelets I made recently.  These have faceted beads rather than heshi tube beads that I used on bracelets in a previous post.  I like the fact that they incorporate sterling silver tube beads because they make the bracelets look more exotic. Also the sterling silver charms add a lot of 'charm'...LOL!  The bracelet on the left is made from Amazonite and the one on the right has turquoise faceted beads. I purchased the turquoise beads from HM Ben Franklin Crafts on my last shopping trip to the BEST craft store in Hawaii.  I was very pleased with the quality and price of the strand of  turquoise beads.  I used 925 Sterling Silver Extreme Soft Flex  .014 diameter beading wire because of the flexibility, strength, and look. Beading Tip:  I string beads on to the wire while it is still on the spool and add the silver finding parts before crimping off the end.  Then I cut the wire, add the silver parts to the other end, and then crimp off the beads using a crimp tube bead and crimping tool.  Doing it this way definitely saves on the pricey (but worth it) sterling silver beading wire. I hope this post encourages you to learn how to make bracelets like these because they are easy and make 'charming' gifts for someone you! 


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Interactive Ladybug Card

The Echo Park ladybug items I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts are what inspired this card.  They are adorable!  It was a super easy card to create because of the Sizzix die set, Circle Flip-its.  This die was used to cut the ladybug print card stock and the white card stock base.  
The printed card stock was adhered to the card base with double stick adhesive.  
Next, the Echo Park die cut pieces were glued on to the interactive circle and the side of the card. Some of the worded black strip was trimmed to the shape of the scalloped side edge.
Here is a close up of the Martha Stewart fuzzy ladybug sticker that I added to give the card some texture and dimension.  The sticker ladybug was from my hoarded stash of ladybug stuff so you probably won't be able to find it for sale anymore, but there are lots of ladybug items being sold just have to be LUCKY! (It really IS lucky to find a ladybug!)


Saturday, April 20, 2024

Panda Photo Album, an upcycled project

I was planning to make a Mother's Day photo album but instead ended up upcycling an old 'hot pink' album. Why did I ever buy such a bright color? It must have been on sale...LOL!  Anyway, my first step for this remake was to remove the heavy see-through plastic cover.  This revealed that this not-so-pretty vinyl album also had a big hole in the back...aargh!  Okay, so now I had to cover both the front and back of the album.  In my stash of printed washi paper, I found a beautiful piece (with gold accents) that was just the right size to cover the whole album.  (I spied some great looking printed washi paper in the Hilo HM Ben Franklin Crafts and I imagine the other HM BFCs have a supply of Japanese washi paper too.)  Cutting the washi paper on my paper trimmer left slightly ragged edges, so I found some light pink cording (Clover brand from HM BFC) which I glued around the paper that was already glued down with Fabri-Tac glue. (The back of the album was finished in the same manner to cover up the hole.)  Next, I decorated the front of the album with a fuzzy panda sticker (Jolees' Boutique) and an oblong metal plaque that had some Asian characters on it. (I hope the characters say something favorable.  It was purchased in a bulk lot from a closeout sale.)  If you look carefully at the bottom photo, you can see that I covered the inside covers with a cute panda print washi paper.  Not only does it match the panda sticker on the cover, but the pandas are mothers and babies so it IS a Mother's Day photo album after all. Hahaha!  P.S. The original pink album had a plastic cover which I removed for the photo shoot but will probably be kept on the finished album to protect it from moisture or 'not-so-clean' hands. I hope this post has given you some ideas for remaking and upcycling your 'treasure-to-be' album. Make one for a friend, family member, or yourself...have fun!


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Upcycled Japanese Fabric Sketch Book

When I see photo albums, blank journals, or sketchbooks on sale at office supply stores, discount stores, and of course HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I purchase them with the idea of decorating them in the future.  Recently, while sorting through my craft room 'stuff' I came across a pile of undecorated blank album books.  This book had a cover design that I didn't like but I did like the overall shiny black look which reminded me of Japanese lacquerware. This inspired me to give the sketchbook an Asian look with some Daiso crepe fabric, woven cord charm, and a glossy Hanafuda card. It wasn't difficult to glue a piece of felt onto a measured piece of cardboard and then wrap some of the fabric over and around the felt padded cardboard.  I used Fabri-Tac Beacon 3 in1 glue because it is clear, has a fast grab, and it dries quickly.  The decorative knotted cord was originally probably a bookmark but I incorporated into the design of the cover so that it could be used from the bottom of the sketchbook as a page marker.  The Hanafuda card was purchased years ago in a playing card pack and already had a glossy surface. I enjoyed making this upcycled sketchbook because it is now 100 percent better and can be used personally or proudly given as a gift.  Upcycle something today!


Friday, April 12, 2024

Heshi Gemstone Beaded Bracelets

Heshi gemstone beads are not new. Tribal cultures have used them in their jewelry for centuries.  They are inexpensive beads that are easily incorporated into modern day designs. I purchased some heshi bead strands from the Tucson Bead and Gem Show and from HM Ben Franklin Crafts locally.  These are just two bracelet designs I created recently.  The bracelet on the left is made from Amazonite and sterling silver.  Amethyst heshi beads and sterling findings were used on the other bracelet.  Not many tools were needed to fashion these bracelets: two needle nose pliers, one wire cutter, and a crimping tool.  I used Beadalon silver colored 7 strand beading wire for the flexibility and look (matches the sterling silver findings).  With just some simple techniques (easily learned online or from a jewelry class), you also can be creating heshi gemstone bracelets to wear, give as gifts, or sell.  Give it a try!


Monday, April 8, 2024

Floral Bouquet Cards

It's surprising sometimes where inspirations come from.  This bouquet card idea came from a card I purchased in a Japan 100 yen store.  It was a simple design that was easy to copy.  
I started by choosing two 12x12 sheets of card stock, one from the Crafter's Companion ombre sparkle pad and the other from the Crafter's Companion Nature's Garden pad.  Each sheet can be used to make four bouquet cards.
The shape for the cone part of the bouquet is approximately 8" wide by 7" high.  It's a simple fan shape with two folds that form the overlapping sides.
Inside each card is lots of space to write a message  or greeting.  The artificial flowers (purchased over the years from HM Ben Franklin Crafts and hoarded in storage boxes) were glued to the top of the center portion of the fan.  HM BFC has a vast supply of artificial flowers throughout the store.
From the back view of the cards you can see the shape of the flattened cone better.  Also the beautiful ombre sparkle and gorgeous floral print papers can be appreciated.  Small bows made from Heiko ribbon were glued on and worded die cut pieces (from another Crafter's Companion 12x12 pad seen in the previous post) were affixed as well.  I really had fun arranging the blossoms and leaves in the bouquets...just like a floral designer..LOL! To close the flaps into a cone shape I attached one small piece of Velcro tape fastener to the upper edge.  (This can be seen in some of the photos.)  These bouquet cards are perfect for so many occasions...graduations, weddings, birthdays, Mother's Day, etc.  I hope that you will try to make bouquet cards because they are so easy to put together and require so few supplies that you can economically make dozens in no time at all.  Everyone loves floral bouquets...Don't you? 


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Floral Pocket Pal Shaker Cards

These two cards were inspired by three products that I couldn't resist while shopping at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The first item which landed into my shopping basket was the Sizzix Pocket Pal die set...must be the cute animals just jumped in!  
The next item(s) to catch my eye were packets of colorful confetti for making shaker card elements.  For these cards I chose Easter egg and flower confetti but I did purchase many others for future projects (wink*wink*).  
To make the shaker pocket, I cut two pockets and used a heart die to cut a window.  I attached a clear piece of acetate to the back of the heart window and lined the window heart with double stick adhesive foam tape (cut into thin strips). Next the confetti was added and the back of the pocket adhered.  The pocket pal animals were constructed  and joined to the confetti pockets.  Since I didn't want to fiddle with the tiny pieces for the eyes, I just drew them in with a black marker.  

The third fantastic craft item I discovered in HM Ben Franklin Crafts was a 12x12 Crafter's Companion card making pad.  This is a beautiful assortment of gorgeous floral prints with cutting and folding marks to turn the pages into cards, envelopes, die cut sayings, and even pages for the interior of the cards.
I love how the envelopes are decorated on the outside AND the inside.  There are endless color combinations and designs you can use to make cards for graduations, birthdays, and other special occasions.
I love the lavender pages but all the pastel colors in the pad have floral prints and combine well with each other.
The sentiments on the die cut sayings page are very inspirational and usable.  I will definitely be returning back to this  paper pad to make future projects.
I am so happy that I went shopping at HM Ben Franklin Crafts because not only did I pick up these three fantastic products, I acquired ideas for many future projects.  Oh yes, I did buy many, many more craft items which I will showcase in future blog posts. Everything was irresistible...LOL!!!!