Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween leftovers

It's not even Halloween yet, so how can I have leftovers? (you may be thinking) -- well, this is leftovers from my necklace that I posted last Tuesday - I took a bead that I removed from that necklace, and a chandelier finding that I didn't use, and some chain that I had on hand, and made something new.

Here's the bead I took off of the other necklace:

It wasn't because I didn't like it that I took it off. And in fact it's basically a bead that I made myself (out of a bead and a charm - I'll go into that a bit more below). Here it is on an early version of the Day of the Dead necklace:

I liked the way it looked on the necklace, but the problem was that it was the only stone bead on the necklace, and it wasn't in the center, and I decided the weight of it was making the necklace hang funny. The easiest answer would have been to just move it to the center, but by that time I had already put something I really really liked there, and I didn't want to change it. So off it came, instead. But I didn't want to waste it, so I decided to use it to make something new, and this is what I came up with:

The bottom part is a chandelier finding that I already had, and some little jet-colored glass beads I already had, and the chain is a couple of different gunmetal-colored things that I had bought lately. I'm really pleased with the results of my improvising, actually!


I'm new at writing tutorials for my jewelry, and I'm already wanting to edit the heck out of what I wrote below (which I mostly wrote at about 5:30 this morning). But it gets the idea across and I really have other things I need to be doing right now, so I'm going to resist the temptation to change it all up. Think of it as a tutorial-lite!

Here's how I came up with that bead in the first place: I had pulled out everything Halloween-ish that I had, plus all black beads - and I happened to notice that this charm echoed the shape of this big stone bead perfectly:

I know where that stone came from - I bought it from FMG in a bag of mixed stones that they don't seem to have any more. Most of them looked more like this but there were a couple in that star shape. The spiderweb charms came from one of my local bead shops but I've seen those charms all over the place lately. I don't know if you're likely to be able to find a similar stone bead but it occurs to me that you could do the same thing with other shapes - I was thinking that if you could find a flat black rectangle, a headstone charm might look good on it! I'm sure there are others that would work as well.

Anyway, what I did was, I snipped the bail off the charm with my regular wire-cutters - it came off pretty cleanly, but you might need to file it a little. Then I cleaned both pieces up really well, and I mixed up some 2-part epoxy. If you haven't used it before, it's easy to use, at least if you have the kind in my link where the two tubes are connected - I got mine from FMG but I'm sure other places sell it. It automatically squeezes the same amount out of both tubes, so that makes it hard to mess up too bad! It's good to use something like an index card to mix it on, and a toothpick works really good for doing the mixing and applying. It just takes a tiny amount, and you put a very thin coat where the parts are going to meet - I don't think I put any at all on the stone side, just on the back of the charm.. And you have at least a few seconds to wiggle things into the right place before it starts drying. There was a little epoxy on the front after it dried and I think I scraped it off with a piece of wire. And voila! A whole new bead to play with. And that stuff sticks like a rock, once it's dry. I tried to pry it off with my fingernail, just to see if I could, and I definitely couldn't.

So there's your charm. For the chandelier, you need to add your little beads underneath - I think I used 4mm jet bicones on the two sides and a 4mm and 3mm jet round in the center. I just put them on with simple loops, although of course wrapped loops would be fine too. And then to connect the two, I had a gunmetal (or maybe just dark-oxidized) headpin that was long enough - 2", I think - to do all the connecting I needed to do - I made a loop at the top and the bottom of the stone bead, connected the bottom end of it to the chandelier and then set it aside.

As far as the chain, I had two kinds of gunmetal chain - big links, about 20mm ovals, and a smallish rollo chain, maybe 2-3mm wide. I cut off about 9" of the big links - the most important thing there is that you have an odd number of links - and then attach each end to the rollo chain to that piece with jump rings. I still haven't cut the rollo chain down from what I started with, so I have several options on the length - but I'm thinking it would look really good at choker length or just a bit longer. Anyway, figure out how long you want the necklace to be and cut it your rollo chain accordingly, and then add a connector at the back with jump rings. I'm partial to S-hooks for necklaces, but other things would work just as well. Then find that center big link in the front, pull it downward, and attach the stone-and-chandelier piece to it, and you're done!


Margot Potter said...

Great use of your stash! Love this!


Brenda Pinnick said...

very nice!!! I would love to wear this on Halloween.

My Big Mouth said...

Great idea!
The best crafts come from using your statsh!

Inspired at Home said...

Love the style! Thanks for sharing!