Quick, Easy & Beautiful!

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Sometimes, when I am browsing my favorite blogs, Pinterest or Etsy, I come across some cool stuff I would love to be able to own. But, with me being a stay at home mom, money is tight – especially around Christmas. So, I do without.

One of the things I immediately fell in love with were lovely little “bird’s nest” pendants. They had beads or pearls in the middle of a wire bird’s nest. They are usually sold for mothers, with the number of beads equaling the number of kids a mom has. I would look at them for the longest time, longing for one of my own. And then I found this post on Pinterest! I was so darn excited and had to run to Michael’s right away! And then remembered I didn’t get jump rings and had to go back! LOL! The hardest part of this project was picking the perfect beads. I thought about pink and blue (for my kids) but I don’t wear pastels. I searched and searched, until I came across an assortment from Michael’s, simply called Autumn. They were perfect!!

I ended up using 22 gauge gold wire since it was all I could find. I had the tools and have worked with jewelry making before so didn’t need to buy anything beyond the basic supplies, but you definitely need a wire cutter at least to make these. I strung two beads of my choosing and proceeded to have a sweet little nest made in just minutes. I added a jump ring, put it on a gold chain (purchased at Michael’s) and added a clasp. I will say my clasp is too big for my liking, but that is easy enough to correct.

After all was said and done, I am THRILLED with what I have! See???

I wore it today for the first time and LOVE it! It is so lightweight I can barely tell I have it on! And I think it cost me under $10 to make it, too! Beats paying $15 – $20 and not getting to personalize it exactly the way I want! I highly recommend trying this one yourself! It’s a great intro to jewelry making!

New Bling

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I love crafty blogs! I currently have 70 blogs on my RSS feed and 65 of those are craft related! They are where I get my inspiration, ideas and often instructions on how to do some of the things I attempt. Honestly, craft blogs are dangerous for me!

It was a craft blog, One Pretty Thing, that led me to another blog, Helping Little Hands, where I discovered stamped washer necklaces. I was immediately in love with the simplicity of these beauties, not to mention the fact that ever single item used can be procured in a home improvement store!

The first thing I did was order a set of alphabet stamps from Harborfreight.com. I was so surprised to see how inexpensive these were! I was hoping to go for the set I linked to, but they were on overstock. I ended up paying a bit more for the 40 piece set. For under $20, though, it was a great investment!

Next I headed to Lowe’s. I went on the trip with my kids and without the husband! I had fun wandering. I bought several sizes of washers and even found some ball chains (in with the chains) and the ends that fasten them (in with the ceiling fans.) I left feeling quite proud of the fact that I navigated the store and found items spread all over without needing any help!

And then the fun started! I should have taken pictures of the during, but I was having too much fun! I took my self-healing cutting mat out on the front step and put my washer down and started pounding! I found that a heavier hammer works better. The larger washers are also thicker and give a better impression. The thinner, smaller washers (like those I used for the kids’ below) tended to bend when struck. I bought extra washers and I am glad I did, since I messed several up. I am still not pleased with my daughter’s washer and may end up redoing it.

This is my daughter’s. As you can see, I messed up on the E and some of the letters weren’t very deep. After I was finished, I used a piece of wire to add the bead and hang it from the necklace. The bead chain is too heavy, so I need something smaller, but this works for now.

My son’s was next. I was able to get the letters deeper and clearer. I just hung his straight on the chain and it is so darn cute around his neck! He loves having his own necklace he can wear!

And this is mine! I love it! This washer was only slightly bigger in diameter, but it was much thicker and easier to get a good impression. I strung the bead using wire, which I used to hang it off the chain. This helps it hang straight when I am wearing it.

Again, the chain is a bit too thick, so I need to see what I can find elsewhere. Lowe’s didn’t offer much in that department, but they aren’t exactly a store that supplies jewelry making needs! I think these will make great gifts in the future. I have also seen them made into keychains (the thicker washers would definitely need to be used for those) and I am also planning to look for small rectangles or other shapes of metal that can go on necklaces. These are so darn easy and fun! And I love having the personalized jewelry!