On this page you will find various projects that I have done with beads and wire including some Jewelry projects.

The Beaded Starfish
Last May I visited my grandparents in Florida. When Johnny and I were there we went to Disney. I like going in to tourist shops because you can find a lot of artwork there. I usually try to make a mental note of the things that I have seen so that I can make it. At one of the shops there was a lot of artwork done with wire and beads. When I got home I decided to try and make something similar to what I had seen. For wire and bead projects you need to buy the  beading wire (you can get this from either AC More, Michaels or any beading shop). The wire that I use is on a 10yd spool and its a 20 gauge.You want a wire that is thick enough for support but not too thick. If it is too thick it is difficult to bend or cut the wire. You will also  need some beading tools. The tool I use is called a round nose plier. This helps you to bend the wire and also cut it. For this specific project you also need a store bought starfish. You can get this at any seashell store or order them online.

I being by wrapping the wire around the center of the starfish a few times. Then I begin to add beads and continue to wrap. I usually try not to have any beads on the backside of the starfish so that it can hang flush  on the wall. The wrapping can take up to an hour or more. At the end, I secure the wire so that it will not come undone. I also create a hook with the wire so that I can hang it on the wall. Below is a picture of the beaded starfish that I have hanging in my room.

Chocolate Martini Favors

Are you trying to think of a unique and inexpensive party favor? For one of the bridal showers that I did I decorated martini glasses for all the guests. You can either go to your local Christmas Tree Shop, Dollar Store or Ocean State Job Lot to find inexpensive martini glasses. I picked mine up at the Christmas Tree Shop for .50 each.

After thinking of a theme color I went to Michaels and bought paint for the Martini Glasses. There is a special kind of paint that you need to use on the glass. The one that I chose to use was Delta PermEnamel. There are 3 steps to this paint just like painting your nails; a base; the color; a top coat. The first coat is a surface conditioner. It ensures proper adhesion between the paint and the glass. The second coat or second step is the air dry glass paint. There is a variety of colors to choose from. The third coat is called the clear gloss or satin glaze. It acts like a sealer to prevent the paint from chipping off the glass. Make sure that you read the directions on the paint bottles before using them.

 Other supplies that you will need for this project include paint brushes, wire (20 gauge), beads or charms, round nose pliers, scissors, hershey's kisses, small candy bags, paper, ribbon, and a sharpie. 

The only part of the glass that I painted was the bottom.I wrapped the wire around and up the base of the martini glass. After I attached charms that I had made with the wire and beads. You can also buy charms at Michael’s or AC More that have sayings on them.
For this Martini Glass I used shells and sea glass.

Once the martini glasses were finished I made little bags with hershey's kisses chocolates in them, tied a ribbon on it and attached the recipe for Chocolate Martini’s!

To attach the recipe card to the candies I put a hole punch in the recipe and tied the recipe on.To curl the ribbon all you need is a pair of scissors and your thumb. Put the ribbon between your thumb and scissors and pull. Please don't cut yourself!

At the end of the whole process this is what your project should look like!

Framed Sand Dollars

What would you do with 89 sand dollars if you had them? I'm not sure - but its seems a little greedy to take 89 sand dollars from the beach and not use them. I decided to do a quick 5 minute project to use some of the sand dollars that I found back in March.
What you will need:
Construction Paper
Picture Frame
Sand Dollars
Glue Gun

Tape the Construction Paper onto the back of the mat board. You may have to cut it to fit.

Shake the sand dollar to get all the sand out of it. Once it is clean apply hot glue to the back of it.

Place the sand dollar on the construction paper. I decided to center mine. Don't press to hard on the sand dollar because they are very fragile and you could break it. Then you'd have to start all over again! If you wanted to you could choose to bleach the sand dollar before framing it to make it a pure white. If you do decide to do that make sure you let it air dry before putting it onto the construction paper. The next step after glueing the sand dollar onto the construction paper is to put the frame together.

I decided to make two for my walls. I like this one a lot because it shows the different sizes and colors that you can find a sand dollar in.

Bottle Cap Magnets
Are you in need of magnets to hang pictures on your fridge, locker or in your dorm? This is a quick and inexpensive idea for a unique set of magnets.

Materials Need:
Bottle Caps
Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
Round Magnets (you can purchase a 6 pack of magnets at staples for about $3.00)

Generously fill the inside of the bottle cap with hot glue.

While the glue is still hot place the magnet into the glue. It doesn't matter which side because both sides are magnetic and will stick to your fridge.

Let the glue cool for a minute and then place on your fridge, or your locker!

More Magnets

Decopauge Pumpkins

Autumn is here!!! And that means it's time to decorate for the fall. I started my first fall project today. Decopauge Pumpkins. I've never made these before but I saw them in the Country Living Magazine and I decided to attempt this project.

This is what I call inspiration!

I first went to a local farm to pick out the perfect pumpkins. I felt good about supporting the local farms! When I got home I wiped down the pumpkins to make sure they were clean and dry. Then I set up an area to work in, grabbed a paint brush and some white paint. (Technically you could just use a white pumpkin and skip the whole painting process but I didn't like any of the white pumpkins that I saw.) I placed a piece of plywood underneath the pumpkins to protect the floor.
Then I began painting!

I began by painting the top half of the pumpkin because that was the easiest portion to begin with. I should have waited for it to dry before begining the bottom half of the pumpkin but what can I say, I'm so inpatient. I held the pumpkin by the stem to paint the bottom portion of the pumpkin. To do this you have to slowly turn the pumpkin. Try not to pull at the stem too much because you take the risk of ripping the stem off.

As I mentioned beforeI was inpatient about painting the pumpkin and you can see why I now think its a good idea to let the paint dry. You end up with blotch marks from rolling the pumpkin and painting at the same time.
It really doesn't matter though if you plan on putting a second coat onto the pumpkin. After I put my second coat of paint of the pumpkins I left them to dry..... overnight. I figured the outcome is better if you are patient.

While I let the pumpkins dry I picked out patterns from the internet that I would like to decopauge onto the pumpkins. I then made copies of the prints I chose so that I would have enough paper to cover the whole pumpkin. You can get copies done at either your local staples or just print extra from your computer.

I let the pumpkins dry overnight and then the next day I began decopauging them with Mod Podge. I cut the patterns into strips of paper that could go from the top of the pumpkin to the base of the pumplin.

I also poured a good amount of the mod podge into a bowl.

Dip the pattern strip into the mod podge making sure to cover the paper with a generous amount.

Then apply it to the pumpkin smoothing out any ripples with your hands. Be prepared to have messy hands!

Don't worry, a little soap and water does the trick when you've finished with the project. Once your done covering the pumpkins let them sit to dry.

I took some before and after pictures so that you can see what the results will look like.

                                              Before                                                    After

Tomorrow once the pumpkins are dry I will add new pictures of what they look like. Right now the decopauge hasn't completely dried which is noticeable around the stem of the pumpkin. By tomorrow the white near the stems will turn to clear.

Button Letters

I really liked the patterns that I chose for the decopauge pumpkins. Eventually those pumpkins are going to rot and I will lose those beautiful patterns. I had a lot of extra sheets of it so I decided to use them for another more permanent project. I decided to create a 3 piece series of pictures frames to hang in my future new home! Can't wait!
I found this picture one day while surfing the internet and loved it! Instead of making a pillow out of it I decided that I would use this same type of design for another project. I would create button letters on paper and later frame them. I first began by sketching out the letters.

Then I carefully cut the letters out and used a glue stick to glue them onto the patterned paper that I had saved.

I wasn't sure about where I could get buttons in bulk. I suppose Joann's Fabrics, AC Moore, Michaels or any other craft store will carry them. I was able to find them at Walmart for $1.50 a package. I bought 3 packages, totalling $4.50. I started by applying the buttons to large areas at a time and along the border with a glue gun.

After I completed the first layer, I added a second layer to fill in any gaps. This was a really easy, fun project. Here is the finished product.

All I need to do now is find the perfect frame. I love picture frames but I am very picky about the ones I choose. I prefer square over rectangle and I prefer that they have a mat border in them to enhance the pictures. Hopefully I will find some that I like soon!
Of course! This stands for Johnny & Kaleigh!

Save Your Corks!

Save Your Corks! Recently I was visiting Block Island and I found the coolest corkboard at one of the gift shops. It was made out of wine bottle corks. I took a picture of it and when I got home I decided that I was going to make it. In order to make one of these corkboards you need a lot of wine corks. Fortunately I knew someone that had collected them over the years and they gave them to me. If you're a bartender or you know someone who is a bartender you can ask them to save the corks for you, or you can simply order them online.

The corkboard that I saw in Block Island didn't have a border but I knew that for mine I would like a border. I wasn't sure what to use. I thought about using a picture frame at first. After rumaging through my art supplies to see if I had anything that was usable I came across an old canvas that I never used.

I flipped the canvas over and realized that this would be my best option for making my corkboard!

It has the perfect size wood frame and the canvas backing is flexible for when you're trying to arrange the corks. It provides the perfect depth for the cork. Before inserting my wine corks into the frame I decided to paint the frame. Seeing as it is wood you could probably stain it. I painted the frame black.

You can see from this picture that this is one of those projects where you have to have some patience. Once the paint dried I strategically placed the corks into the space provided. Believe it or not, its a lot more difficult than it sounds. Not all the corks are the same size so they don't fit perfectly together. It was kind of like making a puzzle. I also had to cut some corks to fill in the gaps.

After I found the perfect place for each cork I began gluing them to the canvas with the glue gun. I haven't finished gluing them but this is what the final product should resemble. It might look a little better once I fill in some of the smaller gaps and hang it in the kitchen!

Decorative Pillows

Keeana has inspired me to start making decorative pillows! She started about a month ago and has already made six!

Keeana and her mom have become pillow experts so I decided to join the fun. It began a week ago with a trip to Joanne's Fabrics. I wasn't sure where to start so I brought Sheila and my Mom along with me. Here are some of the fabrics that I picked out.                                                              


These are fabric quarters and are the perfect size for making a 16x16 inch pillow. They were $0.99 each and I got two of each pattern.
Depending on the shape and size of the pillow you can either buy stuffing or pillow inserts. On the day that I went shopping the pillow inserts were buy one get one free so I got the inserts rather than the stuffing. The stuffing is a better option if you want to make different types of shapes and sizes for you pillow.
After all the supplies were bought we began by measuring out the fabric. You want to always make sure that you have an extra inch on all sides. You end up losing this inch once you sow the seams together.
For my first pillow I wanted to do a basic pillow. Instead of having my pillow be one solid color I cut out strips from two different patterns.
Once you have all your pieces you pin the fabric together. You pin it close enough to the edge so that when you being sowing with the machine you don't hit any of the pins.
After I pinned all the strips together I brought it to the sowing machine to begin sowing.

This antique from 1958 worked like a gem!

When your using the sowing machine you have to make sure you guide the material along. Do not push or pull it the material.
When making a pillow you have to be sure that you leave a small portion unsown. Through this hole you have the ability to turn the pillow case right side in and then stuff the stuffing or the insert into the pillow. Then you have to hand sow the pillow shut.

Yep! How sweet. Keeana's boyfriend Mike decided to help with the pillows!

Other pillows are more intricate and require a lot more than just a sowing machine. I feel ready to try one of these. You can add buttons, embroidery or decorative flowers onto the pillows. I decided that for my next pillow project I would sow on buttons. Once I got home from Keeana's I began that next project!