Category Archives: Jewelry

Blue Cube and Pearl Necklace Set

Finishing Projects: Blue Cube and Pearl Necklace and Earring Set

I have so many unfinished projects. I was looking through the pile of them with my mother-in-law last weekend and I couldn’t believe how much material I had there. So much of it needed to be cut up completely. However, some of it just needed to be finished. I pulled a few pieces out and am really making an effort to get them finished and here is the first finished project!

Blue Cube and Pearl Necklace Set

The necklace is made with sterling silver for the wraps and clasp, dark blue/teal pearl beads for the front part of the necklace and clear blue cube beads for the back part of the necklace.

I just loved the clear blue cube beads and knew when I bought them that I wanted to wire wrap them in a strand. I started this necklace about 2 years ago and since then, I add another cube bead every now and then, but I was never quite happy with how simplistic the blue cube beads looked by themselves. I bought the blue/teal pearls last year and looked at them a lot with no real idea what to do with them. I started putting them together and just love how the finished necklace turned out! The contrast of the dark pearl with the light blue cubes just pleases me immensely.

Blue Cube and Pearl Necklace Set

Of course, I had to make earrings to go with the necklace. I like making matching sets of jewelry. I really like the trio of pearls below the cube bead. They swing and bounce quite happily when worn.

Blue Cube and Pearl Necklace Clasp

I also made the clasp. I decided I wanted something with a little more oomph than my standard clasp and made an almond-shaped clasp that had a blue cube bead wrapped in the eye half of the the clasp. I really liked how it turned out and will probably make more clasps like this one in the future.

So, one unfinished project down, an infinite more to go. Mom (Craftysister Lynne) suggested I make a list and cross off my newly finished project, but I said that would just remind me of how many unfinished projects I still have yet to complete.

Blue Cube and Pearl Necklace

Happy crafting,


Copper Bracelet Hammered Crafty Sisters

Crafty Challenge 6: Hammered Cuff Bracelet

Copper Bracelet Hammered Crafty Sisters
Hand-hammered cuff bracelet.


I have been accused of shooting down the last few ideas for crafty challenges, so when Loryn came up with the idea of using some scrap copper discs in the garage I couldn’t very well argue. I have had those discs for the last 20 years and had never been able to find a good use for them and now I was backed into using them in a challenge.

I searched the internet and found this video on YouTube. The most exciting thing to me was the minimal need for specialty tools. Of course, when you are not using many tools, skill is always a bigger factor in the finished project. I pulled out a vise, a wrench and a ball peen hammer and set to. I will tell you now that ear plugs are a very good idea.

We have another sister who lives out of state and she was here visiting. She had brought some tools and a willingness to hammer out some ideas. Together the two us managed to hammer a small bowl with turned edges. Turning that outer edge under is not so easy but I found that brute strength is not the best idea. A small hammer with a light touch goes a long way as a hard hammer hit will put a tear in the copper.

Copper Craft Challenge Crafty Sisters Hammered
The diameter of our discs was jut 3" so the bowl is very small.
Copper Craft Challenge Crafty Sisters Hammered
Here is the bowl as seen from the bottom showing the turned edge.

I folded copper, hammered copper, cut copper and cursed copper, but I could not manage to make any progress until last Saturday. I just seemed to make one good hit with the hammer and the copper began to do what I wanted it to do. Failure does lead one to success as long as you keep trying.

I ended up cutting a rectangle from two copper discs for the two halves of a cuff bracelet. I turned the long edges under and then hammered the finished rectangles into a roughly oval wrist-fitting shape.

One of my failed projects was a ring that was too wide for my finger and I had tossed it into the growing scrap heap. However, when I needed a bridge to hold the two bracelet halves together the too wide ring was perfect. All I had to do was hammer the ring flat, punch holes in it, punch matching holes in the other two pieces and connect them all with paper fasteners (not really sturdy but the deadline was twenty minutes away) and there was my bracelet.

For my first piece of hammered metal work I was extremely happy, and despite all my complaining I have become intrigued with the process and am going to do some more work with copper.

Hammered Copper Cuff Bracelet Crafty Sisters
Hammered copper cuff bracelet.
Hammered Copper Pendant Necklace Crafty Sisters

Crafty Challenge 6: Verdigris Copper Pendant and Hammered Chain

Hammered Copper Pendant Necklace Crafty Sisters
Hammered copper necklace with verdigris patina.
Copper Necklace Pendant Hammered Crafty Sisters
Hammered copper pendant necklace.

Cheri: It felt so good to get back to a challenge after our winter hiatus. And this challenge couldn’t have been better. I think we were all a little excited and a bit apprehensive when this project was initiated. After playing with the copper for awhile, knew whatever I made, it would most likely be jewelry. This is when I let the metal do the talking. I had a ball peen hammer and a small vice with a flat edge and I went to town banging on some copper. I was pleasantly surprised with how pretty the copper became after being hammered. Metal can lose what small elasticity it has in it after it has been work-hardened so I really wanted to make sure that I did not overdo the hammering or it would become brittle. After I had mastered the shape I wanted, I decided to do some research on adding a patina. I came across an article that said I could add blue to the copper by suspending the piece over a bowl of ammonia in a closed container. This was super easy, just be careful with the odor, it can be a bit overwhelming.  The patina on my piece took about 12 hours to achieve and I think it came out pretty nice.

Copper Rings Hammered Crafty Sisters
Hammered copper rings with button-hole style closure-clasp.

I punched holes with a hole punch and used copper wire to embellish the pendant and make the chain. I also hammered the copper wire to give it a rustic look. The rings were made by hammering a small strip of copper and then coiling it around a mandrel. I put two holes in the upper end and two holes in the under part. This had a button hole effect when I used a bead to bring the two pieces together and basically tied them with brass wire.

The copper turned out to be an awesome material to work with and I look forward to making many more pieces.


Crafty Sisters Hammered Copper Pendant Necklace
Hammered verdigris copper pendant and necklace.
View of copper star-burst necklace from the bottom of the pendant.

Crafty Challenge Six: Copper Star-burst Necklace

View of copper star-burst necklace from the bottom of the pendant.

We are back, baby!

After an additional week due to some time constraints, our Copper Crafty Challenge is complete. We had our final reveal among the Crafty Sisters this afternoon, and boy, we really seem to be at the top of our game for this challenge. I cannot wait for you to see all the projects. We are going to post one project a day, so keep coming back!

I waffled quite a bit on this challenge. I make a lot of jewelry and I wasn’t sure if that was where I wanted to go with this particular project. After a week and a half of indecision, I decided, why mess with a good thing, jewelry it would be.

Copper star-burst pendant and leaf chain.

Using a compass I played Spirograph on a copper disc and cut out the star burst pendant. Amazingly, the copper is thin and soft enough that you can cut the discs with heavy duty scissors. I hammered the star on both sides to give it some depth. I then curled the points of the star (I couldn’t see any other way to really blunt the points. Those suckers were sharp!) to keep from puncturing anyone wearing it or snagging your clothes. I attached the light green crystal bead in the middle with wire and did some wire-wrapped crystals (also light green in color) for the dangles at the bottom of the pendant.

Close-up of the star-burst pendant.

The chain is made up of hammered copper ovals and more wire-wrapped crystals. I did  make all the jump rings and the clasp out of wire as well. The wire is standard 18 gauge copper wire from the hardware store.

All the hammering was done on an anvil that my dad made me for Christmas several years ago and with a series of hammers that he made for me 2 years ago. I started all the holes with a punching awl then enlarged then with a Dremel tool and a diamond tipped drill bit. I filled all the edges with a mini file to be sure that you wouldn’t slice yourself open on the sharp edges caused by the scissors.

The star-burst was actually the second pendant I made for this necklace. I wasn’t all that happy with the first one I had made. I showed it around and the other Crafty Sisters and my M-I-L (who joined us from my house this week) thought it was great, which just goes to show how hyper-critical I can be about my own work.

First copper pendant I made.
This pendant is made of a copper plumbing pipe fitting.

Side view of the alternate copper pendant.

I did make a pair of earrings to go along with the necklace (my usual M.O.) and I think they turned out rather well.

Copper leaf earrings.

I really like how the hammered ovals came out looking like leaves. The hammering causes the copper to curl a little and I liked the affect so much that I left it and used the same affect in the star-burst pendant.

Close-up of the hammered copper leaf.

That is my completed project! It was a fairly easy process all in all and one that I found rather fun (until my arm got tired of all the hammering). I cannot wait for the next challenge. In the meantime, I have promised this necklace to my M-I-L and and am going to take the earrings apart to make a matching bracelet instead as she does not have pierced ears. So, back to my craft table to work on some more copper!

Happy Crafting!


This post is featured on Todays Creative Blog.

Almond ear wires with pink conical beads.

Almond Ear Wires and a Pretty Pink Earring/Necklace Set

Almond ear wires with pink conical beads.
I just love this shape of ear wire.

New and interesting shapes for ear wires are very popular lately. My favorites are the almond-shaped ear wires.These have been featured all over the web and television. The first time I really noticed them was on Emily Deschanel in the television series “Bones.” They are elegant and fun and are actually very easy to make.

For demonstration purposes and because it photographs a little easier, I made these ear wires out of heavier 18 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire. I usually use lighter 21 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire, but I wanted something that would be very visible in the photos.

Wire bent at 90 degrees at 3/4".
Bend the wire to 90º.

Using flat nose pliers (although you can use the rosary pliers for the whole project if you prefer) I bent the wire at 3/4″ to a 90º angle.

Wire loop made with rosary pliers.
Wrap a loop with the rosary pliers.

Then I used rosary pliers (also called round-nose pliers) to make a loop by placing the pliers above the bend on the short wire and wrapping it around the nose of the pliers.

Completed wire loop.
Finish wrapping the short end of the wire around the stem.

Holding onto the loop with the rosary pliers, I use the flat nose pliers to twist the short end of the wire around the stem (below the loop). By having only 3/4″ of wire for the loop, there is no wire to trim and you are good to continue on to the next step.

Wire wrapped around the mandrel.
Wrap the wire around a mandrel or other object approximately 1" in diameter.

Here I used a mandrel that my father made me for Christmas a few years ago (Aren’t fathers wonderful?). The widest end of the mandrel is 1″ in diameter and the thinnest end is 1/2″ in diameter. For these ear wires, I wrapped around the widest point of my mandrel at 1″. I just made one wrap around the mandrel and as the wire is half-hard, it stretches back out to an incomplete circle when I let it go as shown in the photo below.

Wire just removed from the mandrel will stretch out to form an incomplete circle.
Wire just removed from the mandrel will stretch out to form an incomplete circle.
Completed almond shaped ear wire.
Here is the finished view of the almond ear wire.

Next, I bend the circle at the half-way point to create the top of the almond and lightly stretch out the two halves to create the full almond shape. I also bend the wire-wrapped loop to hang correctly down from the almond. I then use a small file to smooth the cut made by the wire cutters so it won’t catch in your ear when you put it through.

Almond ear wire earrings and matching necklace with pink pendant.

To show the ear wires in action, I made the matching earrings to a necklace I made from pretty pink glass florets, red pearls and crackled white quartz beads. The pendant is a piece of dyed jasper that I wire wrapped to hang it from the necklace.

I hope this helps you to create your own almond ear wires, or inspires you to create your own new shape entirely!


Rolled paper pendant made from Matisse paper.

Matisse Paper Bead Necklace

Rolled paper pendant made from Matisse paper.
I am so happy with how the pendant turned out.

Over the holidays, I visited Half Price Books with a specific project in mind. I wanted to make rolled paper beads. To do this, I needed a coffee table art book. (Yes, I, the bibliophile, was planning to desecrate a book.) My favorite artists are Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse and I was able to find a lovely Matisse art book. Flipping through it, I was able to find a couple of images that I liked. I ended up choosing Plum Blossoms, Green Background, 1948. It is a lovely painting and has these reds and greens that would show up really well in my beads.

Rolled paper beads wire wrapped to form a necklace chain.

I did manage to cut out the page that I had decided to use (it hurt only for a minute). I cut the strips and flags that I wanted and started rolling around a yarn needle and pin. I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue (that wonderful, all-purpose craft glue) to glue the ends of the strips down.

Rolled paper pendant.

For the pendant, I folded the 1/2″ strips in half so that the color could be seen from the front. I also covered the back of it with Tacky Glue to give it better stability.

Rolled paper beads wire wrapped to form a necklace chain.
These are 1/2″ strips of paper rolled straight.

I really liked the rondelles, but did not want them to go all the way around the necklace, so I made straight cylinders to finish out the necklace. I wire-wrapped all the beads, made a clasp and I was good to go. For the wire, I used copper coated black wire.

Rolled paper bead necklace.

This is just a study and is not meant to be worn regularly. I do like the pendant so much that I will probably make another one and coat it to make it more durable to regular wear. This process is so much like quilling, that I could probably use some of those techiques to improve my beads if I continue making them.

This is a huge step from the rolled paper beads we used to make as kids. You know the ones.

Rolled paper pendant.

Happy crafting from Kristin!

Natural Stone Pendants

Labradorite and sterling pendant

Loryn: My favorite jewelry pieces are the ones that Kristin makes me. I especially love pendants, and she made me two beautiful pieces this year. Labradorite is one of my favorite stones, and the simple piece above has beautiful fire. I love her simple treatment of it. It’s shown on my omega chain.

This one is onyx and quartz that is side-drilled at the top. I oohed and aahed over this piece of stone while I was at her house a few months ago, and she didn’t let on that she was already planning a necklace for me! I love how she’s hung it from the bead necklace.

Here you can see the complete onyx necklace. I can wear it with just about anything!

Red coral and sterling necklace

Last year she gave me two great necklaces, too. The one above is red coral, and very dramatic.

Red coral and sterling necklace

Here is the complete coral necklace. I love the vintage vibe that it has.

This last one is a dark gray jasper on a beaded necklace. Another simple, elegant piece that I can wear any time!


Earrings on Parade

I realized that I haven’t posted any of my jewelry lately and decided that I would show some earrings  I have made as presents for Christmas this year. They are all made with pearls and sterling silver. I made the earwires as well.

Brown pearl dangles on almond shape earwires.

Maroon pearl dangles on french style earwires.

White pearl dangles on drape style earwires.

I just love the almond shape for earwires. I have made several pairs of these for myself and they always look so beautiful. I think I will have to make a pair of the white pearl earrings for myself too. These would look good with just about anything!

Sparkly Jewel Cardboard Rings

Tiphony Rings
Tiphony cardboard rings.

Cheri: I find that a lot of the things I create is because I can’t create something in the usual way. In my perfect world I would be able to make jewelry from silver and have a jewelry bench with a torch, a jewelers saw, and the like. Since I don’t, I have decided to do the next best thing. I create out of what I have.

These rings are similar to how they would be made if I was using a precious metal, only a whole lot easier. The bezels are created by gluing a strip of cardboard into a ring. Then glue the edges of that ring to another piece of cardboard. After it is dry I cut closely around the strip.

I then make a ring band with another strip of cardboard and glue the bezel on to it. I  painted the whole piece to give it a patina like finish. After that is dry, I filled the bezel with sparkle glue and covered it with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.

This was a really fun project and is quite easy. I have to thank Loryn for coming up with the great name of “Tiphony.” I just love the name and it really sums up the whole project.

Tiphony Rings
Close-up of jeweled cardboard rings.
Paper Rolls Ring
Jeweled paper rings.
Tiphony Rings
Jeweled paper rings.

Crafty Challenge 3: Drinking Straw Necklace

Drinking Straw Necklace
Drinking straw necklace with triangle and chain links.

Cheri: Wow, what a tough challenge number 3 was. I spent a week trying to figure out what I was going to make. I had all kinds of ideas floating around in my head and it really gave me a new perspective on how I looked at items that I was throwing out. With projects like this, I guess the hard part is just picking up something and working with it. It doesn’t always mean that you will like what you are making but each step will give you some insight into your final product.

I decided that I would make my project out of straws. So I grabbed a bunch of straws and started to cut them, bend them and punch holes in them. When I came to the flexible part, which I had discarded, I started to work with the curves. I finally decided that I was going to make them into triangles and I would link one into the other. I fiddled with them until I had the size I wanted and then I glued each one of the ends in to the other end.

I worked with the possibility of making them into a bracelet, which would be awesome, but I really wanted to make a necklace as I had been working with using the leftover portion of the straws as a link in a chain and I liked how it looked.

I love the way the necklace hangs. After I completed it, I started thinking about using straws in different colors or using clear straws. I even worked with a hole punch and put holes in the straws and was able to put other straws through the holes and build structures, like you would with Tinker Toys.

For all my misgivings about this project it ended up being a project with unlimited possibilities, and a go-to whenever I want to make a unique piece of jewelry that is really “out of the box”.

Drinking Straw Necklace
Close up of triangle links.
Drinking Straw Necklace
Close up of chain links.