A Stick Pin Tutorial

stick pins

stick pins

If you’ve been here before and have seen my pins on Pinterest in the sidebar lately, you already know I have a thing for stick pins. In fact, I recently posted a tutorial on making a pin cushion. What does a jewelry maker need a pin cushion for? Stick pins, of course! So today’s tutorial is all about making stick pins. We’re going make them two different ways, easy and really easy.

 

 

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Memories Map Bracelet

Memories Map Bracelet

Memories Map Bracelet

I’ve been working on this Memories Map Bracelet post since Monday night, and it’s now Thursday afternoon. It took a long enough, didn’t it? Actually, here is how it goes: I read on Tip Junkie that they want to feature projects involving maps, on Monday night.  I think to myself, I love maps, and remember that I wanted to make a map bracelet. So Monday night I gathered my supplies. And fell asleep. Continue reading

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Garden Party Earrings Tutorial

Today’s tutorial involves using plastics.

Assorted shapes and colors

Assorted shapes and colors

I used to think that plastic was not a material I wanted to use in my jewelry. That was, until I started seeing these little flowers. Call them plastic, lucite, resin, whatever; they are so lightweight and come in a wide range of colors and shapes. Today’s tutorial is about how to utilize production line techniques to create a seemingly complicated pair of earrings in a short period of time.  I call them garden party earrings. Continue reading

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How to serve a tasty class

menu- choices for the evening

menu- choices for the evening

1. Let your students know they are in the right place. A nice menu will do the trick.

how to serve yourself

how to serve yourself

2. Display their choices  in an organized fashion. If you can, be sure to serve a set of printed instructions. This will save you time later on.

printed instructions

printed instructions

3.Make sure they have a good variety to choose from. And in sizes to fit their needs.

beads

beads

4. It’s O.K. if they pick their dessert first. A pretty button is like the icing on a cake, the cherry on a sundae.

buttons

buttons

5. In a perfect location, it’s bound to be a good meal  class!

 

Now let's bead!

Now let’s bead!

A couple of year ago, our local Arts Council offered a jewelry class, taught by a traveling designer. I thought this would be a great way to expand my skills. But there was no specific project; you picked out your beads and decided on what you wanted to make, and the instructor gave basic stringing instructions. It was a smorgasbord of beads, a mini bead fest. So many beads, it was overwhelming. And you paid for your beads, wire, crimps, everything. Plus the fee. I spent nearly $80 to make a necklace that I don’t even wear. To be fair, I could have purchased the exact number of beads I used, and saved myself some money, however, I knew I was going to redo that necklace one day. It’s sitting on my table still, with the leftover beads. So when I decided to teach a class, I knew I wanted to teach something specific, so the participants didn’t get overwhelmed.. The ring making class I gave at the Sampson Arts Council was fun and everyone seemed happy with their rings. The director, Kara Donatelli, was a big help in contacting prospective participants and setting up the space. However, providing everyone with tools was expensive, and the cheap little kits I bought were, well, cheap. Enter the bracelet making class!

Take a break and make a bracelet!

Take a break and make a bracelet!

Can you see that? No Tools Required! So all I had to do was provide the supplies. Well, I had to do a little more than that.I had to make samples. I think I made 10. I had to make sure I had enough seed beads for each bracelet. I stuffed more little baggies than a drug lord. 50 beads to a bag. And then bought more colors, just in case. And stuffed more baggies. I had to find jump rings that were already closed, and when I did, I bought them by the gross. I couldn’t find antiqued brass rings that were closed, so I bought 500 and closed them myself. And bagged those too. 75 to a bag. After ordering some colorful waxed linen online, I made a trip to Hobby Lobby, and found that they had colors, so I bought them too. And cut them to length. I raided all my stashes of buttons, picking out what I thought people might like. Then I ordered more metal buttons. I took pictures of a bracelet in progress and typed up a tutorial. And printed 30 copies. The “buffet” idea hit me about 3 hours before the class, so I made a sign, framed it and ran off to buy some paper plates to group everything in.

The location couldn’t have been better. Bonnie Augustine of A Peaceful Path was most gracious to host the class. Alice helped me set it up, and shortly, there were students arriving. Some I knew, a few I didn’t. We guided them to the buffet, they grabbed their plates and began filling them up. And got busy. Most just went by the pictures on the tutorial and needed no help until they had to make the loop to go around the button. These were some awesome ladies! I just got to walk around and check out what they were creating. No stress on me!

focused

focused

I didn’t think to take pictures until everyone had started, and even then, I forgot to take a shot of the “buffet”. There were 15 participants, which was a good size, as most ended up buy more supplies to take home and make another bracelet. I think that is a good sign they enjoyed themselves!

So if you ever want to give a class on a craft, just make sure you have the right ingredients. Easy to follow instructions, a good selection of supplies, a nice location, comfortable seating, and smart students. No, wait, those are my students! And have a good time!

 

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