Michaels Makers: Teacher’s Bracelets DIY

Teacher's Bracelets DIY | by happy together
It’s back to school time this time of year, so the Michaels Makers Challenge was to create something with that in mind. I first thought of some kind of jewelry for kids or teachers and then narrowed it down to bracelets for teachers (or students even). I thought a ruler bracelet would be cool. Then when I went walking around the store I saw the alphabet beads and the inspire charm and knew they needed to be bracelets as well.

Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
With there being such a difference in wrist sizes, I decided to stick with bracelets that could work on many sizes. Elastic, wrap around, and resizable.

Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
The above picture is all the supplies you need for all three of these bracelets. They are fairly simple and would be great to have kids help to make. All of the items pictures can be found in the jewelry section (or Shop Beading and Jewelry Making Supplies at Michaels online), except the measuring tape. That along with the eyelets and scissors can be found in the sewing section. Glue can be found in a few areas, depending on which kind you want to use. I used fabric glue, but any kind of glue is fine (except hot glue, as it might melt the elastic).

Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
The alphabet bracelet is really easy. Line up your beads in alphabetical order. I just did a-z, but you could start the alphabet over to make it a little bigger. The bracelet will stretch, but some more beads wouldn’t hurt at all. Pre-stretch a 15 inch piece of the stretch magic clear elastic. Then place the beads on. Once all on, knot the ends together three times. Add a dab of glue to the knot. Lastly, once the glue is dry, trim off the excess elastic. I really liked using the gold alphabet beads because it seemed a bit more grown up and refined.

Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
The inspire bracelet is another easy one. You need the inspire charm and wrap around ribbon bracelet. This was originally silver, so I painted the top gold to match the gold alphabet beads. I used just a little amount of paint and made sure it didn’t pool in the letters. Then I wiped my brush clean and went over the paint again in a few spots so the silver underneath ever so slightly shown through. Once dry, I simply laced the ribbon through and tied a knot at the end. The recipient can retie the knot if needed for it to fit better. This simply wraps around ones wrist until it’s tight enough.

Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
Lastly, the measuring tape bracelet requires a little bit more work but is still an easy bracelet. I initially didn’t use the eyelets, but discovered the stress from the straps pulling in the holes would warp and possible tear the measuring tape. So I made another and added the eyelets. It’s much more secure. Cut a piece of measuring tape 6″ long. Then make really small holes on both ends to stick the eyelet in. 1. Place the taller piece through the front of the tape. Then place the smaller piece on top of it on the backside. 2. Next place your eyelet tool on top  of the back and hammer together. You won’t need to be too hard, but hard enough to close the two pieces together. 3. Cut a 12″ and a 16″ piece of cording. Loop the 12″ piece through the eyelets. 4. Cross the ends of the cording over each other and hold in place. 5. Loop the 16″ piece of cording in half and place the folded center on top of the 12″ crossed cording. 6. Take one end of 16″ piece and wrap around all cording pieces 4 times. You want to do it loose enough to fit the cording through, kind of like making a tunnel for it. Then take the same end of the piece you wrapped around and pull through the four loops. 7. Pull both ends of the 16″ piece until tight but not too tight that you can’t pull the 12″ pieces through to change the length. 8. Lastly, knot both ends of the 12″ cording. Knot the 16″ ends as well, but as close to the loops as possible. Trim the ends of that piece only. Now the two 12″ ends can be pulled to make adjustments in the sizing as needed.

Teacher's Bracelets DIY|by Happy Together
Teachers are so amazing. They do so much for so many children. Any time you can do something to show them you appreciate them, do so. Even if it’s the littlest thing. You never know what one small act of kindness can mean to someone. Check out what everyone else made below and  Michaels’ Back to School Pinterest Board to find more fun and creative project ideas to kick the school year off right!


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DIY Trinket Dish

DIY Trinket Dish

This is yet another diy that was created out of necessity. I like to keep my daughters hair ties in her bathroom, but she would always take them out of the bowl so she could use the bowl for her toys. So, there was no home for the hair ties any more. It kept disappearing!

DIY Trinket Dish

I saw some cute trinket dishes or ring dishes or jewelry holders or whatever you want to call them on Anthropologie’s site. I was really close to buying one when it hit me I can just make one of course. So off I went to the thrift store and found the supplies I needed. I only spent $1.12 to make this and now we have a trinket dish!

DIY Trinket Dish

Here is what you need to make one:
-A teacup plate
-A small figurine that fits on the middle of the plate. Also make sure it has a place that rings/etc could fit on. For example: a rabbit has ears that would work, a giraffe, a dinosaur with a long neck, a dear, etc. The unicorn I chose was perfect because of it’s horn.
-A strong glue (I used E6000; available at craft stores)
-Paint (if you want to paint your figurine. I used regular acrylic, but spray paint would be the best)
-Clear Sealant (if you do use acrylic paint)

DIY Trinket Dish

Paint your figurine if desired. I had to apply several coats. This is when I was wishing I had some spray paint. If using acrylic paint, use a clear sealer once its dry to prevent it from chipping. Wash your dish off and dry it real good too. Once everything is dry, glue the figurine on the plate.

DIY Trinket Dish

Very simple and these would make a cute gift too! I think this would also be great to make using plastic plates and figurines if breakage is a concern.

DIY Trinket Dish

This trinket dish now looks more like the above. It’s covered in hair ties and sitting in my daughter’s bathroom and solves our issue. For now anyways haha. Share if you make one :)
-Jess

Arrow Lariat Necklace DIY

Two diy’s in one week? Crazy! I’m on a roll. I was inspired to create this necklace after spotting this gorgeous one from Anthropologie in an ad. I was just going to buy that one and then I looked it up and it’s made using legit materials, making it a bit (okay a lot) out of my price range. I thought it would be a fun diy and I could use scrap leather pieces I had already.

To make one yourself, you will need some scrap leather (or other stiff non fraying material if you aren’t down with using leather, like felt even), 42″ of something for the cord (I used a leather cord), 2 beads of choice, glue, scissors, and the triangle template which can be downloaded here.

1. Cut out three whole triangles from the leather.
2. Cut out the middle triangle of those three pieces. I traced the shape on the back to make it easy to cut out.
3. Dab a little bit of glue on the very edge of the point of the triangle sides.
4. (just a picture of the materials I used! did this out of order and it’s a bit late to retake the pics and change this template….)

5. Place a triangle on top of the other one, points going in the same direction. Repeat number 3 on the second triangle and add on the last piece. Allow glue to dry.
6. Thread cording of choice through the triangles. There should be just enough room to get it through and tight enough to keep it in place. Tie on the beads at the bottom.

Then if you want, you can chop off the tips of the triangles like I did in the very top picture.
All done! Cute and easy accessory for the win.
-Jess

Pom Pom Heart Necklace DIY

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

If you follow me on instagram, you might remember the picture I posted with these mini pom poms I had bought. I really didn’t have a reason to get them at the time, but I thought they were adorable and wanted to use them in a craft. Then I thought about making a necklace or a ring with them. I decided upon a necklace and this is the outcome.

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

It’s really quick to make and would be a fun Valentine’s gift for older kids.

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

We like how bright and colorful it is.

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

Miss J approves and was very happy to get her hands on it :)

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

To make it, you will need the following:
-Eyelets (I used size 5/32″)
-Plastic that is sewable and not rippable (I bought mine at the fabric store, but you could repurpose plastic packaging. Think of how things like bed lines come in sturdy plastic packaging. That could totally be used! You don’t need a lot for one necklace at all.)
-Mini pom poms
-Heart template (I made mine to measure 3.75″ at it’s widest and 3.25″ at it’s tallest)
-Scissors
-Yarn
-Sewing stuff

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

Start by cutting out two heart from the plastic. Then sew all the way around except for an opening where you can put the pom poms in.  (PS: if the plastic doesn’t move easy for you on the sewing machine, place a piece of tissue paper underneath and it will move a lot easier. Just rip it off at the end.)

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

Fill the heart up with pom poms, leaving some room at the top middle of heart for the eyelet. I had to squish them around for even placement. Then sew the opening shut.

Pom Pom Heart Necklace diy

Next, put in the eyelet following the packages instructions. Finish off by cutting a long piece of yarn and placing it through the eyelet. Knot it right above the heart and further up, making sure there is enough room for child to get necklace around their head.

Enjoy!
-Jess

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

I received the chance to try out a new product from DecoArt again called Dimensional Effects (this is the new and revamped Decorating Paste shown in that link. See below pic for what it will look like in stores now) .

It is a paintable texture paste that adheres to most surfaces and you can use in all kinds of ways. It is aimed more at using in mixed media/art projects, but I wanted to use it to make earrings.

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial
Dimensional Earrings Tutorial
Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

I simply made these by piping them out with a icing tip! When dried, the paste is kind of rubber like. So to help protect it, I covered these in mod podge when I was done. They are really easy to make, require minimal supplies, and they really remind me of cabochons (which are so in right now!).

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

Here is a pic I took today of myself wearing a pink pair.

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial
Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

Of course, miss J wanted some too. Now for the how to:

Supplies:
-DecoArt Dimensional Effects
-Acrylic Paint (I used Americana Acrylics in Canyon Orange, Bahama Blue, Saffron Yellow, and Peony Pink)
-Earring posts and backs
-Sealer (I used Mod Podge)
-Wax Paper
-Star shaped Icing Tip (mine didn’t have a size on it; was just a set I bought at the grocery store)
-Plastic bag (You could use an icing bag, but I just used a sandwich bag)
-Something to scoop the paste into the bag with
-Glue (I used E-6000)

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

Place a piece of wax paper down. Then cut a small hole in the corner of your plastic bag. Place the icing tip on the inside so that it comes out of the hole about halfway. Scoop the desired amount of Dimensional Effects paste into the bag. A little goes a long way with these.

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

Squeeze the paste out through the tip to create flowers. Practice a bit to get the hang of it. I pushed down then pulled up while squeezing the paste out. Try to make them the same size, at least big enough to cover the earring post. Let them dry.

Dimensional Earrings Tutorial

Once dry, paint the flowers one side at a time. It may require more than one coat. Once done painting, cover with a sealer and let dry. Then glue earring post on back of the flower.

*Dimensional Effects and Paints were c/o DecoArt*

Gifts For the Moms

Mothers Day necklace gift

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and it was a good one here. Not perfect, but good :) We even had our two girls dedicated at church. For some reason it had just never worked out when a church we were at was doing one until now. That made yesterday extra special. I sent some goodies to my mom and mom-in-law from us.

Mothers Day necklace gift

I made them each a necklace with silhouettes of my girls and their names. They are their only grandbabies at the moment, otherwise I would have done them all and made multiple charms. I found these neat picture holders at Hobby Lobby. It has two glass panels, so I just printed out the silhouette pic (which I made in pse using this tutorial) and stuck it on in.

For Nana

I had my daughter help me with these fabric scrap bird wreaths. I had originally wanted to fill up the whole ring, but she got bored after this ;) She picked out the fabrics (with my guidance) and helped put the bird together too. I always try to add things she made.

For mema

She just loves making gifts for people. Then, here is me with my girls yesterday. We had a lovely lunch out and froyo afterwards. Yum yum! These two take a lot of time, but I’m so glad they are mine :)

Me and my girls

New to Me Vintage Jewelry

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I have recently become the new owner to a lot of vintage and some new costume jewelry. It’s a long story about how this happened, but I can say that I am so very excited about it.

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There are so many lovely vintage pieces! I cannot wait to clean them up a bit and add them to my personal collection. I just adore vintage pins. You can use them in so many creative ways.

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There were many pairs of earrings also. Some were missing the second earring and some are missing some jewels, but there are many I plan on wearing. The single ones will be perfect for crafts and I plan on repurposing many of these.

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There are so many sparkly earrings! I love it :)

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These are just some from a whole box full. I’m going to go through the necklaces and bracelets next. Be still my heart. Any other vintage jewelry lovers out there?

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Vintage Butterfly Necklace DIY

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have a soft spot for vintage things. I especially love the vintage graphics that were used on postcards, advertisement, etc.

So I wanted a necklace that was a butterfly, but not just any butterfly. One that looked like it came off of a vintage valentine or something. I thought and thought of how I could make this happen and then it came to me: printable shrinky dink paper. Yup. That’s it.

Can I just say I adore how these came out? I’m thinking about doing some more with different vintage clip art, like a bee or flower. They are really easy to make and would make a great present! Christmas is just around the corner……

Here is what you will need:
- Printable Shrinky Dink Paper (I found a pack at Hobby Lobby. Now, this stuff is twice the price as regular shrinky dink paper, so save a coupon if you can. It also said online they sell it at Michael’s. Make sure your printer will work too, so you don’t waste your time and money. You can find it here online.)
- Vintage clip art of your choice (I found these on The Graphics Fairy)
- 4 jump rings (mine were size 6mm)
- chain of choice for necklace
- lobster clasp for end closure, or another closure of choice.
- 2 pairs of needle nose pliers
- hole puncher

*If you aren’t into messing around with this kind of jewelry making, you could always just use ribbon/thread and tie a knot in the end pieces. Just make sure it’s long enough to go around your head.*

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Begin by preparing your graphic to fit on a piece of printable shrinky dink paper. I created an 8″x10″ document in word and then made the graphic as big as I could for printing. I highly suggest you do a print test on regular paper first. The paper also comes with instructions on how to prepare the graphic (you have to fade it down before printing), so follow those instructions as well then print.

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Once it’s printed, cut it out. I had to use manicure scissors for some of the tighter areas. Then take a hole puncher and make a hole in each of the wings.

I don’t have a picture for this next part, but prepare to stick it in the oven according to directions. Really keep an eye on it because I had to flatten out each butterfly myself before it got too hard. The wings and antennae are prone to curling, and if it gets hard you can’t flatten it back down. I tried to reheat it to get it bendy again, but it didn’t work.

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Once it has cooled off you need to cover the printed side with a coating. The paper instructions suggest Krylon acrylic coating as the best, but the coating in the above picture is what I found and it worked great. I guess you could use mod podge or another medium, but I didn’t want to take the chance of the ink bleeding by painting that stuff on. After spraying, let it dry for a while.

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Now its time to make it into a necklace.

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Cut two chains for each side at your desired length. I did 13″ for one and 11″ for the second necklace.

Then attach a jump ring to each butterfly wing using your needle nose pliers and then add the chain to it. I somehow wasn’t paying attention and got a double jump ring and it was a bit of a pain to work with but it was more secure. If you do not know how to attach a jump ring, see here.

Then on the other end of the chains, attach a jump ring to both sides. Then add a clasp to one side. Now it’s ready to wear or give as a gift.

Grown Up Friendship Bracelet Tutorial

Guess what I found? A tutorial that I had kind of forgotten about! See? My hair was long here! Seeing this pic makes me miss my hair a bit, but it is so much easier to manage at this point in my life (plus, it went to a good cause :). So, back to the bracelet. I was inspired this summer by a lot of bracelets that incorporated silver with string. The string part reminds me of making friendship bracelets at camp.

In fact, one summer during college, I interned at a camp and one of my jobs was putting together the craft activities for the campers. One thing we did was friendship bracelets, and let me tell you, I made so many and helped make so many. Seriously. So I decided to make this one using the “knot” that we used there (since it was ingrained in my mind from doing it so many times!). Adding the silver piece makes it more grown up though, which is why I call this the Grown Up Friendship Bracelet.

What you need:
-Some sort of round/square/etc. metal piece for the middle
- 16″ of string (I used hemp)

1. Cut your string into 4 pieces that equal 40″ each (I made them extra long just to make sure there was enough. You could probably get away with a shorter piece, but I like to err on the safe side).

2. Take each of the four pieces and fold in half. Take two of the strands to begin one side of the bracelet.

3. Place the metal piece on top of one of the strings middle where it has been folded.

4. Pull the “loop” where it is folded through the center and over the front. Then pull the two long pieces up from the bottom through that loop.

5. It will look like this:

6. Repeat with second piece.

7. Now push the very left and very right piece to the sides. These will be what you knot with. The two in the middle will stay in the middle the whole time.

8. To begin the knotting process, take the far left piece and place it on top of the two middle pieces and underneath the far right piece.

9. Now take the end of the piece you just put under the far right piece and take it on top of the far right piece, then under the two middle pieces to come up through the loop the far left piece made (see below pic).

10. Pull tight to create a knot. You will need to keep the two middle string very straight so the other two strings create the knot over them.

11. Now repeat that process, but backwards. Take the far right piece and place it on top of the two middle pieces and underneath the far left piece. Now take the end of the piece you just put under the far left piece and take it on top of the far left piece, then under the two middle pieces to come up through the loop the far right piece made.Pull tight to create a knot.

12. Continue the process by switching sides each time until it is the length you want it to be.

13. Repeat this whole process with the other two pieces of string to create the other side of the bracelet.

 **Once getting it started, I like to put it on something to help keep the strings straight. Here I just placed it on a bottom. Some people clip it to their shoe or tape it to a table with strong tape.**

14. When finished, knot at each end.

15. Decide how you want to finish it. I just tied an extra knot on the left end (see below)

so the right side knot could slip through the two knots on the left end.

Alternatively, you could add a clasp to the ends or create a sliding knot like this here. Now you can make a Grown Up Friendship Bracelet for yourself or as a gift. Christmas is just around the corner you know :)

Charming Clay Flowers Tutorial

I have to admit that I’m one of those moms who enjoys playing play dough with my daughter. I find it fun and relaxing to sit down and create with it and then smoosh it up and put it away. There’s no agenda, it’s fun to squoosh in between your fingers, and the colors are pretty. Every now and then we also get clay, the more grown up version of play dough. I saw this brooch and flowers on BHLDN and decided to take a trip and buy me and the little one some clay to play around with.


My daughter got a pack with some pretty colors and I got some plain ole white. We sat down and began to create. She made towers and I made these:

Charming Clay Flower

Earrings on

Aren’t they just so elegant looking? It makes me want to go find some fancy dress to wear with it.

Originally I was just going to make the brooch, but then I had extra leftover and thought a pair of earrings would be lovely as well. Maybe I’ll make a ring or make some for a necklace next?

Charming Clay Flower Earrings

I’m sure by now you are ready to find out how to make them! Here is what you will need:

-Clay (the kind you bake to harden it)
-Something for the center (I used a vintage earring on the brooch and a small bead on the earrings)
-Wax paper
-Pan to bake it in
-A strong glue (I used E-600, industrial strength glue)
-Clay glaze (I used Sculpey Glaze from Micheal’s)
-Desired backing (earring backs, pin back, etc)

On wax paper, I started off by softening the clay some. The wax paper helps not make your work surface messy and at the end you will just lift it up with the flower and place it into a pan.

Then for the brooch, I made ten balls about the size of the end of my thumb. For the earrings I made ten balls as well, but they were a lot smaller.

Then I molded each one into a flower petal looking piece.

Next, create a ball and squoosh it flat. This will be what you rest all of the petals on. Make sure it is size appropriate.

Lay the first layer of five petals down. Push down at the middle to squish the petals to the round bottom piece.

Then place the second layer of five petals on. I alternated the petals so you could see the edges of both layers. Squoosh the middle of the petals down again to make sure they are secure.

Take the object you are using for the center and press it into the middle to create a mold of where it will go. This makes sure the piece will fit in place after baked. See the earring impression here?

Now lift up your wax paper, with your creation on it, and place it into a baking tray. Follow the directions for your clay on how to bake it.

Once it is done and cooled off, paint on a coat of the glaze. I did the top, let it dry, then flipped it over and did the underneath of the petals.

Then put some glue in the spot where the middle piece will go and place the piece in place. Let dry.

Last but not least, add your backing. I used the same glue again to make sure everything stayed in place.

Now you have some charming clay flowers to wear, use for decoration, etc. The sky’s the limit!

If you make some, please share with us here! I love to see your take on things :)