Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Xmas gift how to: Earrings in 3 super-easy steps

I'm all for super-easy How Tos and this one certainly ticks all the boxes - quick, simple & budget-friendly. Oh, and I'm not fibbing in the slightest when I say it's three super-easy steps. 

For this pair I just raided my jewellery kit (remnants spanning 15 years of collecting) - but you can easily source the above at your local craft/bead shop. All you need are 2 beading headpins per pair (I've used silver and they may be called different things in different shops). Beads of your choice. The only requirement is that bead's holes are not large enough to fall off the headpins. I have used a tarnished black jump ring at the base to stop the two large beads from falling off.

I chose the small bolt like beads as I liked the contrast they give against the round discs - one is very industrial and one is organic and soft in its shape. You can choose what ever beads, colour etc you like - you might just want to consider how heavy they are so that they don't weigh down the earlobe too much.

Threading the beads is easy. Just do as above in the order you wish - you can try as many different variations as you wish until you're happy.

Lastly, to bend the headpin into an ear wire use your fingers as your measuring guide. I place my two fingers from the top of the headpin and my thumb was then used to bend the metal. You don't need pliers. 

To package I simply brushed some gold paint over a small piece of watercolour card, let it dry and then folded it in half. I made two holes in the front of the card using a safety pin (or needle) and hung the earrings through. The folded back protects the earrings (you can use a little double sided tape on the inside if you wish) and also works as a stand on which to hang the earrings when they're not being used. 

Now these little beauties are being packaged up with love for a friend... 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Xmas gift: DIY wine label

A few years ago in Oz there was an oversupply of wine and the 'cleanskin' supply was booming. My husband and I came up with the idea of dressing up your cleanskin - Would you go naked to a party? Dress up your cleanskin for only $2! The idea has stuck with me and it's still one of my favourite ways to dress up a gift. Here's how:

What you'll need:
• Wine of your choice - clean skin or labelled (you can always add your personalised labels to the backside of the bottle
• Gloss paper - special printing paper if you're using a colour printer - about 150gsm is a good durable weight. If you're drawing by hand and then colour copying use a good quality cartridge or similar paper.
• Colour printer - if you don't have a colour printer you can get the original hand drawn version colour copied. Coloured pencils/textas/paints if you're doing an original
• Cutting mat, metal ruler and cutting knife
• Double-sided tape

Step 1:
Measure the label size. Create a graphic on computer, or by hand within this size. You can use photos/images/words that are important to you - and you can use image sites for reference if you like. You could also download the above!

Step 2:
Once happy with your design set it up ready to print. If using a computer place as many of the designs on an A4 as you can. Make sure you include crop marks so you can trim easily once printed. If colour copying take original to copy centre. They may be able to set up many to a page. Make sure they print on a gloss stock.

Step 3:
Once printed, trim labels to size using your cutting mat, metal ruler and cutting knife. Adhere double-sided tape along all four edges and carefully adhere to bottle starting with top edge, running your fingers gently down so as to avoid any ripples.

Voila - done - easy! If you like you can also do a matching gift tag as shown above to 'finish' your gift. Now you just have to try not to drink it before you give it!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

How to: Honeycomb print t-shirt

Seriously quick, seriously easy - a gift for young or old. This t-shirt took me about an hour to make, including waiting for the paint to dry! You can even get the little ones involved (if you don't mind a slightly more abstract result)...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A very merry graphic just for you

I'm just going to ignore the fact that I haven't posted anything for months and get right into the festive spirit by giving you this cute, colourful and a little abstract 'Merry' graphic. Feel free to use it as you wish (perfect for gift cards or tags) - just because I'm feeling generous. Over the next week  I'll post a few easy to do yourself present ideas. For all of those of you who love leaving everything to the last minute!