January 2012 archive

Crocheted Wire Earrings Tutorial

crocheted wire earrings
crocheted wire earrings

You can make these!

These beautiful crocheted wire earrings are light to wear and easy to make.

You will need: fine craft wire in a colour of your choice. I used silver plated wire.
A crochet hook
2 earring wires
2 jump rings (optional)
Wire cutters (scissors will do but not your best pair :) )
8 or 10 8mm beads and a selection seed or smaller beads in a colour of your choice. If you want your earrings to be identical, you will need 2 of each type of 8mm bead. If being asymmetrical does not bother you, then why not make earrings that are slightly different?

1. Cut 3 pieces of wire, each measuring about 15cm. Twist the ends together a couple of times then slip on one of the 8mm beads. Thread the wires through a jump ring (or the loop on the earring wire if you are not using jump rings), bend down about 0.5 cm and twist to secure.

crocheted wire earrings

The wires are threaded through a bead and a jump ring then twisted together

2. Slip the bead over the twisted part so it is next to the jump ring.

crocheted wire earrings

The bead is hinding the twisted part of the wire

3. Using the handle end of the crochet hook, make a loop next to the bead in one of the strands of wire and twist it a couple of times. I have found that this is easier than trying to make a slipknot :)

crocheted wire earrings

The little loop has been twisted so it does not become undone

4. Now we’re ready to start crocheting! A word of warning first though: crocheting wire is not like crocheting wool. It sounds obvious but the lack of stretchiness took me by surprise.
Make a couple of chains, then slip a bead onto the wire. Push the bead up the wire until it is next to the crochet hook.

crocheted wire earrings

The bead is about to be crocheted into the first strand of wire.

5. Crochet one chain by taking the wire from the far side of the bead, so that when the chain is formed the bead is part of it, secure, not going anywhere or at all likely to fall off the wire.

crocheted wire earrings

The bead is crocheted in.

6. Continue to crochet chains, adding a bead each time. On the first strand, add an 8mm bead near the top, on the second, in the middle, and on the last strand, near the end. When you get near to the end of the wire, pull the end through the last chain, trim, and tuck any excess back up into the last bead.

crocheted wire earrings

First strand completed.

7. Repeat for the other two strands.

crocheted wire earrings

All three strands completed.

8. Gently plait the three strands together. If you have used a jump ring, attach it to the earring wire.

crocheted wire earrings

All finished except for the earring wire.

Repeat for the other earring, put them in and wait for the compliments!

Tips and Suggestions
As wire does not stretch, the loops in the chain need to be big enough. If they are not, wiggle the loop down the crochet hook to where it is wider then back up again.

If overworked, the wire will break, so be careful when twisting. It will take a bit but not too much. If it does break, you may be able to reattach beads using extra bits of wire.

If the strands are difficult to plait, try pulling them gently to stretch the chains a little bit.

The beads I used for the blue and purple pair and pink ones used in the tutorial I bought from http://www.beadcrafty.com. Nice selection, reasonable prices and prompt delivery.

The blue and purple pair are for sale in my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/peacockinapeartree and I will have a kit version in there by the end of the week if you would like to make them but do not want to faff about finding beads and stuff. I can also do customised versions. Please email me at arwilson7@gmail.com with your request and I will see what I can do!

Happy crafting! :)

 

Jewellery Bag Tutorial

jewellery bag
jewellery bag tutorial

Jewellery bag made from upcycled fabric

Now that Christmas is finally over I can concentrate on making things that are not jam or dinosaur hats. I’ve made some tiny purses and some earrings, but the jewellery bags have given me trouble. It has to be lined because nobody wants to find that they cannot remove their favourite earrings from the little bag because they’ve got caught in the seams, but the biggest problem I’ve had is with the casing for the ribbon. I could not figure out a way to finish the ends of the casing tidily and leave a bit more fabric at the top. One option would have been to put buttonholes in near the top, only my sewing machine doesn’t do buttonholes. So I decided that the casing would just have to be at the top and I would have to do some embroidery or something on the front to make it special.

Here is how to make it.

You will need two pieces of fabric, one for the outer and one for the lining. You might want a fancy bit and a plain bit, or two plain bits in different colours, or a piece with a larger pattern and a second with a smaller pattern. Whatever you think looks nice. I’ve used poly cotton, some from my husband’s old shirts and some from some little bits and bobs I got from an ebay shop, http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Vintage-Fabric-Company?_trksid=p4340.l2563. They offer a weekly surprise bundle of little bits of fabric, some of it old and some new, for a reasonable price. They are also able to employ a young adult with special needs through the stuff they sell on ebay so you get a nice feeling that you are helping somebody, even if it is indirectly.

To get the size, I tore a page from my A5 notebook and folded it in half. This was the basic size for the bag, so to get the right size of fabric, the fabric needs to be twice as long as the paper template. When you have cut your two pieces of fabric, you will need to cut a couple of centimetres off the lining piece. This is so that it doesn’t get caught up in the casing.

jewellery bag tutorial

The lining piece is smaller

If you want to embellish the front, do it now. For the bag in the first picture, I used a rubber stamp and some permanent ink, then attached a sequin and a bead. Maybe you could do some embroidery or applique, or just leave it as it is.

2. Put the lining on top of the outer, wrong sides together, so that the lining is in the middle of the outer.

jewellery bag tutorial

Lining fabric in the middle of outer, wrong sides together

3. Now to make the casing. I have found that it is easiest to do this first. Leaving it until last resulted in a messy tangle of fabric, thread and sewing machine, and some bad language, so we’re going to make this first so we won’t get stressed with it. Take one corner of the outer fabric and carefully fold it in about 0.5cm. The folded bit will look like a long triangle. The pointy end of the triangle needs to include some of the lining. Pin and then sew. Repeat for the other three corners.

jewellery bag tutorial

Corners folded and sewn

4. This stage is a little bit fiddly.

First of all you need to fold the outer fabric down to the top of the lining piece to make a hem.jewellery bag tutorial

Then, holding the fold, fold it down again so that the first fold is level with the pointy end of the triangle that you made in the previous stage.

jewellery bag tutorial

Folded edge is level with pointy end of triangle, see?

Pin and sew, then repeat for the other end. Voila, casing complete! And hopefully no swearing!!

 

 

 

 

 

5. Now we make it into a bag. Turn it inside out so that the right sides of the fabric are together and the casing is inside.

jewellery bag tutorial

Fabric right sides together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjust the fabric so that both bits of the casing are together with the outer on one side, folded in half with the right sides together, and the lining on the other side. We are going to sew the outer first, so make sure that the casing is inside the lining.

jewellery bag tutorial

Outer ready for sewing with casing inside lining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sew up both the open sides of the outer as far as the casing. Don’t sew the lining or you’ll find yourself in a pickle.

6. It’s almost done! Just the lining left to do now. Push the casing into the outer so that you don’t sew it when you sew up the lining. Make sure you leave a gap of about 3 cm at the folded end of one side so that you can turn it the right out.

jewellery bag tutorial

Both sides sewn up, gap left on one side of lining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Now you can turn the bag the right way out. Push it all through the gap that you left in the lining.

jewellery bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Neatly sew up the gap in the lining, pop the lining inside the outer and, Bob’s your uncle, one bag!

jewellery bag tutorial

One almost finished bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you need to do now is thread some ribbon through the casing and fill it with your treasures. Happy sewing! :-)