Coloratura Creations

Jewelry for a Song



I've been told that I'm too crafty for my own good...I love good books, good friends, good food, good music, animals and creating...

Vintage Button Stamps

This is so simple, I hesitate to even call this a tutorial…But did you know that you can use buttons as stamps to impress or texturize polymer clay?  All you need are some vintage shank buttons, a bag of wooden spools (I bought a bag of spools in the wood aisle at my local craft store), and glue (I like E6000).  Some of the buttons had a shank too big for the hole in the spool, so I used a file to make the hole slightly larger. Then I just gooped some glue on the top of the spool and in the hole. That’s it, just let them dry! One thing I learned, put these on a piece of wax paper so when the glue leaks out the bottom of the spool you don’t glue them to your dining room table.  Not that I did that or anything….If you try this out, please share pics of your polymer creations, i’d love to see them!

Would you rather just buy some? There’s a small assortment of them available in sets of 5 on my Etsy site: Vintage Button Stamps – Set of 5.

Side note, I made these stamps to take with me to To Bead True Blue in Tucson last month. I was thrilled to take part in a special event there hosted by Christi Friesen.  I taught a make and take with my wire-wrapped button rings (kits to learn how to make these are now available in my Etsy shop). Since Christi is known for her polymer, I wanted to show the fun ways to combine buttons and clay!  Here are a few pics from this special event.

Quick and Easy DIY Faux Druzy and Opal Pendants

This is a quick and easy tutorial for making fun and sparkly pendants inspired by druzy and opal!  No jewelry experience necessary, and you don’t need tools or many supplies to make them.  So let’s get started!

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Here’s what you need:

  • Bezels in any size and shape that appeals to you, you can get these at the craft store in the jewelry section, they’re basically a cup to contain your pendant.  For ease of making your pendant into a necklace, consider one with a pre-made bail (loop for hanging) so you don’t need tools to assemble your necklace (like the oval bezel in the right image above).
  • For the druzy pendant: glass glitter, which is coarser than traditional glitter, because, you guessed it, it’s made of glass
  • For the fauxpal pendant: Iced Enamels Shattered Opal
  • Crystal Clay (2-part expoxy clay) in your choice of color, I had pink and sage handy, so that’s what I used
  • Loose crystals for accents, if desired
  • Sealant, I used Sculpey Glaze Gloss, but you could use whatever you have lying around like Mod Podge or Dimensional Glaze

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Working with the clay is so easy!  You just take equal parts of each color, and work them together until they’re mixed evenly (no more swirls).

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Take an appropriately sized ball of your mixed clay and smash it into your bezel.  Be sure to work it to the edges.  Make the clay a bit higher than the bezel for the druzy pendant so you can glitter the sides, too!  You can dome it, make it flat, whatever you want! And since you’re mimicking the look of a stone, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

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Now you’re ready to add the glitter!  I laid a piece of paper on my work surface and just dumped the glitter on.

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Shake off the access glitter and add more if needed.  I chose to use 2 colors of glitter for added dimension.  Again, glass glitter is made of glass, so be careful, it may be sharp!

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Check for any large gaps, and press on more glitter.  Don’t forget to cover the sides, too!

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Experiment with different color combinations!

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The fauxpal is the same basic idea, but with a different inclusion.  For this pendant, I made the clay level with the bezel.

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Then simply press on the shattered opal, or pour a bit on your paper and give your pendant a dunk.

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Using different colors of clay will completely change the look of your fauxpal.  I just love how it looks with the pink!  The sage isn’t as appealing to me, but you never know until you try!

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If you’d like to add some extra sparkle to your pendants, simply press rhinestones or crystals into the clay!  Then accent the exposed areas with glitter or opal inclusions.  Let the clay dry overnight, then paint a thin coat of sealer over the clay so you’re not shedding excess glitter.

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That’s it, you’re done! I told you it was simple!

Here are the finished pendants. For a super simple necklace, simply thread the bezel onto the chain or ribbon of your choice and it’s ready to wear and enjoy!

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If you’re ready for a slightly more in-depth project, you can bead a necklace to feature your new pendant.

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Quick and Easy Upcycled Denim Wrap Bracelet DIY

If you’re like me you have an extra pair of jeans lying around that don’t fit, are out of style, or are just plain uncomfortable.  Ok, so in my case it was a whole stack, don’t judge me!  So I decided to find a fun way to use some of the jeans for a new purpose.  This project just uses the hems, so I’m saving the rest of the denim for future projects.

Here’s what we’re making:

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The great thing about this project is that it doesn’t require any special tools or a lot of jewelry making supplies.  Even if you don’t have the pliers shown, you can use regular household pliers from your tool box (just be very careful cutting the memory wire!).

Here’s what you’ll need: An old pair of jeans with hems in tact (if you have a pair with damaged hems like I do, short girl problems, I’ll show you a project with those next), Memory Wire, Large Round Beads, Round Nose Pliers, Memory Wire Cutters, and Fabric Scissors.  That’s it!

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The first step is to cut the hems off your jeans. Cut slightly above the hems, we’ll clean it up later.

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Snip off the inside seam on both sides (not the double stitched outer seam).

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Flip the strip over and cut along the edge of the hem.

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You’re essentially creating a long denim tube to feed onto your wire.

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If you’re working with a large piece of memory wire, cut it down to the size you need.  I cut 2 spirals to make a 2 wrap bracelet.

Make a loop in one end of the memory wire.  You’ll cut this off later, but it’s much easier to feed a smooth edge through the denim (trust me, I tried!).  To loop memory wire, use round nose pliers to curve the wire in the opposite direction of the spirals.

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Start threading your denim tube onto the memory wire, this might take a little bit of finagling (especially through the seam), but you’ll get it.

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Thread one of your beads on the unbent end.  I used bead caps on either side of a jasper bead for more of a finished look.  Make a loop after the bead (remember to bend out).  Then cut your first loop off.

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Add a bead on the other end of the denim tube, and curve the wire.

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That’s it, you’re done! Told you it was easy!

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One final thought: If your denim is longer than the wire, it will gather to create a ruffled effect.  If it is the same length as the wire, it will lay smooth.  It’s your choice, just cut your denim and wire accordingly.  Here’s what the two look like: the bracelet with the blue beads uses denim cut to the same length as the wire while the bracelet with the green beads uses denim that is slightly longer than the wire.

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Remember I said we’d do something with damaged hems, too?  Well here’s denim wrap bracelet option 2:

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We’re going to prepare the jean’s hems in the same way as above, but then we will cut the hem into shorter lengths to make denim “beads.”  I cut an equal number of 1″ and 2″ lengths for variety.

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You’ll need the same supplies as the first bracelet, but more beads are needed since we will be putting beads in between every denim “bead.”  Using several glass beads in between each denim “bead,”  I was able to make 2 bracelets out of one hem.

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Start by cutting 2 loops of memory wire (or whatever length you prefer).  Then make a loop on one end and string your first bead.

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Add on your first denim “bead.”

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I thought the denim looked kind of hollow, so I added some inexpensive wooden beads inside the denim.  I threaded on a few wooden beads first, and then slid the denim over top.  This step isn’t necessary, it’s up to you, but any small inexpensive bead would work to round out the denim slightly.  Here’s what I used:

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And here’s what it looked like with the wooden beads inside:

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Continue stringing for the length of the wire.  I alternated 1″ and 2″ strips of denim in between a pattern of 3 glass beads.  Look closely and you can see the wooden beads peaking out of the denim.

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Add a bead on the opposite end, make a final loop and you’ve created your second bracelet!

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Depending on the length you chose, you probably have some denim “beads” left, so make another bracelet!  I just love the contrast of the pearls and crystals with the denim, this bracelet is my favorite!

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Here’s the two denim “bead” bracelets.

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Hope you enjoyed this easy project! I’d love to see your variations!

Quick and Easy DIY Stash Necklace Using Pendants and Extra Beads

I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty huge problem with pendants…The problem is that I keep buying them but I rarely use them.  So while I’m wire-wrapping or stringing, all the pretty pendants I bought get tossed in a box.  I decided to start using them, and as an added bonus, this necklace is a great way to use up extra beads as well.  My first project used a pretty teal agate focal, and I just happened to have some agate beads the same color.  I was so happy with how it turned out, I thought I’d dig through the pendant box again and make a tutorial.

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Materials: Chain, Wire (choose the heaviest gauge that will go through the holes of your beads), Small and Large Jump Rings, Magnetic Clasp, Pendant, Beads

Tools: Round Nose Pliers, Chain Nose or Bent Nose Pliers, Wire Cutters

1.    Select a pendant you’d like to feature, and then choose matching beads.  For this project, I chose a blue agate focal and small round agate beads for accents.  You don’t need to use all the same beads, I’ll show you an example of using a variety of beads as well.

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2.    Cut chain into small sections, I chose sections of 12 links each.  The number of wire sections you’ll need depends on how many beads you chose to use, so you can cut the chain as you go.  Use 2 large jump rings to attach the pendant to 2 chain sections.

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3.    Now you’re ready to make your first beaded bar.  Cut a few inches of wire, and make a wrapped loop on one end.  I like to make these bars 2 at a time so that both sides of the necklace are as even as possible.

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4.    String on a few of the beads you’ve selected.  For this necklace I chose to string 5 bead sections.  Make another wrapped loop after the beads, straighten the loops so they’re even and facing the same direction, and you’re done with the first section.

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5.    Use the small jump rings to attach one end of the bar to the end of the chain suspending the pendant (if you prefer, you can wire-wrap the loops directly onto the chain).  Repeat on the other side with the second bar.  Then use 2 more small jump rings to attach sections of chain to the other side of the wrapped bead components.

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6.    Repeat the process of adding wrapped bars, and chain sections until the necklace reaches the length you prefer.  I used 3 beaded bars on each side to create this necklace.

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7.    Using 2 more small jump rings, attach the clasp to the end of the chain.  I used a magnetic clasp.  You’re done! Now dig through your stash and make another!

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There are so many ways to create using this method, here’s another take on the same idea:

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This time I chose a gunmetal colored peacock feather charm, using the same method I attached the feather to 2 small lengths of chain using a large jump ring.

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This time I chose a variety of assorted beads to make the wrapped components.  I used the feather as my inspiration and chose beads in peacock themed colors: purples and teals.

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This necklace is much longer in length than the last necklace, so no clasp is needed.  I finished the necklace with a long length of chain which allows the necklace to be slipped on.

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I thought the pendant looked a little plain, so I accented it with a length of crystal cup chain, and a wire wrapped crystal dangle (both attached to the large jump ring that attached the pendant to the chain).Copy of 2

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I hope you enjoy creating these fun necklaces, please share your creations with me!

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