A Little Gift For Me

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

All too often, we spend our time thinking of others and buying gifts for family and friends and, we all know, the next few weeks are going to be hectic. Perhaps now, is the time for a little self-indulgence before the chaos. The Christmas In July team would like to share all their fabulous items with those who are looking to buy themselves a little gift.

Margie Sarrao from ZenCatPottery says

At only $11.00, these small earrings are a perfect way to gift yourself! Featuring lampwork glass and Czech glass beads, they will add a pop of color to your day. The beads are wired separately, so they will sway prettily as you move.
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Red Czech Glass & Silver Dangle Earrings

Karen Hafel from timetalentjewels says

My treat would be a cute little bracelet! This little bracelet is made of Turquoise Russian Amazonite which has Silver Plated Shells between the beads. I feel like I am ready for the beach and but I live in the Midwest, which is about 3000 miles from the ocean. Maybe some day! But this one is for sale!

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Turquoise Gemstone Beaded Bracelet

Elisabeth Perez from LizPOriginals says

My treat would be a nice book mark to go with a great book for relaxing times.
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Pink Gemstone Bookmark

mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 says

I think any crafter would love a new pack of purple beads to stitch up into something wonderful…maybe peyote, cross stitch, jewelry, or something else?
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Antique Glass Beads

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says

Give the gift of personalization, especially when shopping for yourself. It is better to enjoy a glass of wine less often and in style, than to overindulge. At Design’s the Limit, we encourage the responsible enjoyment of spirits from the safety of your own home. Design a wine glass which suits your personality, we have a variety of glass and crystal stemware and stemless glasses to choose as a canvas for our designs. Once you have selected a glass, choose the font and design which suits your tastes and include any text you wish to including name, monogram, single initial, or popular sayings in the public domain!
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Stemless Personalized Wine Glasses

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

Enjoy some “me” and “family” time by reading your favorite verses from The Bible and sitting down with the family to fill out the numerous pages for recording wedding information, birth records and your family tree! A great way to spend some down time before the Holiday season arrives!
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Precious Moments Bible Family Edition

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says

All of us experience the concept of the yin and yang in our daily lives. It always seems there is something positive pulling against the forces of something negative and we are forced to pull it together in unity and “work things out”. I also think that “making it through” whatever comes your way on any given day largely depends on your frame of mind and attitude about life in general. So, with this little butterfly yin and yang compact (pill) storage jar, you would have the constant reminder that no matter what happens, things do get better and can become beautiful, just as the bling this item offers!
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Pill Storage Box

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says

I would buy a hand knitted hat to keep me warm in winter. It’s such a nice accessory.
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Hand Knitted Slouch Beanie

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Items Of The Week: Fireworks And Sparkles

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

In the UK, Fireworks Night (Guy Fawkes Night) is celebrated at the beginning of November. Bonfires are built and huge displays of fireworks sparkle in the sky all night long. What better time to show off all our sparkling items as we head into the holiday season?

  1. Jewel Trim with Gold Acrylic Jewels by frances from supplysideeconomics
  2. Christmas Bell Ornaments by Elisabeth Perez from LizPOriginals
  3. Crystal Cat Earrings by Margie Sarrao from ZenCatPottery
  4. Iron On Pillowcase Kit by mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 

Items Of The Week: Hollywood Glam

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

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#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

 “Tutorial for Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet” by Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns

Introduction

As an Etsy seller I love making jewellery and am passionate about upcycling, so this project combines both – we are making a cuff bracelet from plastic bottles decoupaged with newspaper, decorative papers and whatever extra adornments inspire you.dawn-whitehand_002

Materials Used

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Scissors

craft knife/scalpel

ruler

PVA/craft glue

shallow dish for PVA

container of water

(for the above two I use a takeaway container – I use the lid for the PVA & the base for the water)

skewer

stiff bristled paint brushes – a range of small to medium sizes

varnish – acrylic, spray, polyurethane

plastic bottles – a range of sizes and textures

newspaper

AND a SELECTION of coloured paper, tissue paper, paper doilies, gift paper, stamps, calendars, maps, greeting cards, original drawings, children’s drawings, photocopies (not inkjet prints as they may run) and anything else you may think of!

Optional Adornments

buttons

sequins

beads

jute

ribbon

cabochons

wool offcuts

embroidery cotton offcuts

and whatever else inspires you!!

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Tutorial Directions

Got all your ‘ingredients’? What’s next….

Choose a plastic bottle that, when cut, will fit around your wrist – be creative – it doesn’t have to be a round bottle, and if it is too big this could be an opportunity to add fasteners (buttons, etc) at the end.

Using your craft knife carefully cut (away from yourself) a portion of the bottle depending on how wide your want your cuff bracelet to be. If you want your end to be rounded or curved use some scissors to trim the square ends. I kept mine square as this is easier to fold your decoupage ends neatly and tightly.

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The first three layers of your cuff will be built up using newspaper strips – use newsprint as this will be covered up – unless of course you want newsprint or certain words to feature in your bracelet – in this case reserve those pieces of newspaper for later layers.

Tear the newspaper layers using a ruler, rather than scissors, or simply go with the grain of the paper and tear them manually in about 2 cm wide strips although you won’t see these initial layers in the final product it does lend a textured surface beneath your final layer which will add to the final textural finish.

As you tear the newspaper look at both sides in case there are any colours or patterns you would like to reserve for the final layer.

Next pour a small amount, about the size of a ten-cent piece, of PVA into a shallow dish. Put your brush (approximately size 8) into the container of water and then place the brush in the PVA and mix.

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Apply a generous amount to strips of paper, individually, and wrap diagonally around the plastic cuff until the entire surface is covered. (the water makes the paper more flexible and more easy to slide along the plastic). If there are any stubborn edges of paper that won’t lie flat use a small stiff bristled brush dipped in the water/pva mix to encourage it into place – until it does what it is told! The skewer can also be used as a mini rolling-pin to rill any bubbles and surface irregularities out; it can also be used to reinforce any patterns or lines in the bottle (see above picture of plastic bottle with indented lines). If you want to retain these lines they will have to be reinforced by pushing each layer of paper while still wet into the grooves. Use the entire length of the skewer to do this by holding it in the groove and turning the cuff.

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Allow to dry – it won’t take very long, but you could use a hair dryer or heater if you are feeling impatient!

Repeat the previous step three times, allowing each layer to dry, and on the final third layer we will finish off the ends of the cuff.

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To do this tear a larger square of newspaper that can be folded around the cuff end, tucked in and then folded over the ends – like a square envelope.

As before, apply the water/PVA mix generously and if need be, use a small stiff bristled brush to coax it into place.

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Now it is time to think about the final layer we want on the cuff – gather together any reserved bits of patterned newspaper you have, coloured paper, paper doilies, stamps, maps – whatever your vision entails – I have used coloured and patterned newspaper to finish my cuff, positioning the paper in strategic spots to attain the finish I desire.

Use the same method as above to diagonally wind your cuff with strips of paper and finish the ends with enveloped squares as above also…. you can repeat this multiple times in various parts of your cuff till you get the design / colour combination that you like. You can also finish with a final feature of a picture or row of stamps, etc across the centre of the cuff as a feature. Don’t worry about uneven layers as this adds to the textural feel of the cuff (unless you want a less textured look, then you can be more particular about your layers and the layout of paper strips).

Allow this final layer to dry.

To seal the decoupaged surface apply 4-5 layers of the water/PVA mix, allowing each layer to dry, with a final sealing of an acrylic, spray or polyurethane varnish – the reason this project only requires one layer of varnish is so that your cuff will remain flexible enough to put on and off.

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Once your cuff is finished you can adorn it with blingy bits….my cuff was a little big for my wrist so I sewed buttons and leather thong onto it as fasteners to fit my wrist – or any size wrist – it is adjustable!

Conclusion

Below are pics of other examples where the bottles I used fitted my wrist so no fasteners were needed. I also made a choker and ring …. the ring was made from the screw top part of the button which I removed using a hack saw as it is thicker than the body of the bottle.

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I hope you enjoyed this crafty tutorial, and have a great day with many more to come!

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Website: dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.