Monday, August 10, 2015

How to Make a Gemstone Tree

This entry is a bit different from what I usually post because this time I'm gonna be sharing not my creation, but one of my mom's. It was nice of her to provide pictures of the steps she did to come up with this lovely little tree. This is made from rose quartz.

To make a tree similar to this you will need:

Jewelry wire (the gauge used on this is 24)
Gemstones of your choice
Floral wrapping tape
Floral stem wire
Measuring tape
Pliers and wire cutter
Craft glue (E6000 or similar)
Decorative pot (like a bonsai pot or shallow vase)




Step 1: String gems onto the jewelry wire, estimate how many you will be needing for each branch or you can just string lots since you will keep on adding gems for your next branches anyway. For this, each branch has 5 clusters with 3 gems each, so 15 gems per branch.

Step 2: Leave about 3 inches of wire for the stem before the first group of gems, 3 gems, then twist the wire to secure the gems in place. 

Step 3: .Make 4 more groups of gems about half to 1 cm apart, there's no need to be too precise. Twist the wire from both sides of the gems together to form a single stem, cut the wire.


Step 4: Make more branches of gemstones enough for the size of the tree you want to make.

Step 5: Twist two branches together to form a branch with thicker stem. If you want branches with stems of different thickness, you can leave some of the original ones without twisting two together.

Step 6: Wrap the stems with floral tape.

Step 7: Make the trunk using the floral stem wire. Decide how thick and long you want the trunk to be, combine the stem wires together and wrap with floral tape. Leave about 5 to 6 inches of unwrapped stem wires, these will serve as the roots to be glued to the vase.


Step 8: Attach the branches to the trunk starting from the top using your craft glue and wrap with floral tape. Do this one branch at a time - glue a branch, wrap with floral tape (don't cut the tape, just continue to the next branch), glue another branch, wrap with floral tape, and so on.

You can scatter the branches evenly around the trunk or you can put more on one side for a different look, it's all up to you.


Step 9: Glue the roots to the vase, make sure to put generous amount of glue to secure the tree. Add the pebbles to cover the roots. It's recommended to also glue all the pebbles so they would stay in place specially when you're planning to ship them. You can add and glue some gems on top of the pebbles to make it look like there are fallen leaves.

And, it's done. This is about 9.5 inches in height. I love the bonsai look. The vase or the pot used looks perfect with the rest of the tree.

This is another one of my mom's gemstone trees, with a different style and this one's made with cherry quartz. The possibilities are endless with this craft, you can choose what gemstone or wire color to use, the height of the tree, or the direction of the branches. You can let real trees inspire you and try to make your creations look like them. I'll be making one soon, too, and I'm going for a cherry blossom tree, or a tree in the winter covered with snow maybe.

Thank you for visiting. Have a great day!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Crochet Mini Hat Hairclip - With Free Pattern

Crochet Mini Summer Hat Hairclips
My daughter, Jordana Kendall, just had her first haircut last week. It's amazing how different she looks with only a few trims here and there. She's just as cute as ever but she looks more like a toddler now than a baby. Oh, I feel like she's growing up too fast, I don't want her to,*tears*. 

To give emphasis on the difference between her "before and after" look, I chose this picture of her where she just woke up with her long and unruly hair, haha. 

And this is after the haircut. Before this, she always had her hair in a ponytail or pigtails, now that it's shorter and we even gave her cute bangs, a hair clip is fine. So, I decided that I will make her lots of hair clips. I have these hair clip base findings I bought a few months ago and now is a good time to use them. I'll be crocheting different designs like bows, flowers, butterflies, and other girly stuff and I'll start off with mini hats because my baby loves hats so much. 

To make my version of a mini crochet hat hair clip, these are the supplies needed:

Cotton crochet thread (2 colors)
1.40mm crochet hook
Yarn needle
Stitch marker
Hair clip base
Craft glue (E6000 or similar or hot glue)


STEP 1: Crochet the mini hat following the pattern below.

Mini hats look simple and straightforward to crochet so I just wrote my own pattern which has two parts, the main part of the hat or the crown and the brim. These patterns, both for the crown and the brim, are very easy, they basically follow the principle on crocheting circles or anything round like beanies, beads, or balls. You can change the number of stitches to adjust the hat to the size you want, also, using other materials like yarn or a different size of hook will affect the size of the hat. With a 1.40mm hook and cotton crochet thread, I ended up with a crown of about 1.5 inches in diameter and about 2.5 inches for the brim. 

Terms used:
sc - single crochet
st - stitch
sl - slip stitch

I just used a different colored thread as my stitch marker. This is very useful when working on continuous spirals, it marks the beginning of each round.

Part 1 - The crown or the main part of the hat pattern:
Magic Ring
Round 1:  6 single crochet (tighten ring then work in continuous spirals)
Round 2:  2sc in each st around (12 sts)
Round 3:  *sc in next st, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (18 sts)
Round 4:  *sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (24 sts)
Round 5:  *sc in next 3 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (30 sts)
Round 6:  *sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (36 sts)
Round 7:  *sc in next 5 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (42 sts)
Round 8-12:  sc in each st around (42 sts)
Fasten off and leave about 8 inches of tail, this will be used to sew this part to the other one.

Round 12 is just a design on the edge, you can use a different edging stitch that you want, too.
Part 2 - The brim pattern:
Magic Ring
Round 1:  6 single crochet (tighten ring then work in continuous spirals)
Round 2:  2sc in each st around (12 sts)
Round 3:  *sc in next st, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (18 sts)
Round 4:  *sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (24 sts)
Round 5:  *sc in next 3 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (30 sts)
Round 6:  *sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (36 sts)
Round 7:  *sc in next 5 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (42 sts)
Round 8:  *sc in next 6 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (48 sts)
Round 9:  *sc in next 7 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (54 sts)
Round 10: *sc in next 8 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (60 sts)
Round 11: *sc in next 9 sts, 2sc in next st*, repeat from * to * around (66 sts)
Round 12: *sl in next st, chain 3, skip the next st* repeat from * to * around, sl in the beginning st 
                  of  the round.
Weave in and fasten off.

STEP 2: Sew the two parts together and fill with stuffing.

Position the crown on the center of the brim, using the long tail left on the crown, sew them together but leave a small part to insert the stuffing in. When you have enough stuffing, continue sewing the remaining part, close, and fasten off.

STEP 3: Design your hat.

Add details to the hat by adding a bow, a flower, or anything you want. I put a bow on my hat from a crocheted ribbon. To make the ribbon, make a chain of about 10 inches, turn, and single crochet in each stitch until the end of the row and fasten off. Tie the ribbon into a bow, you may add some details like beads, and attach it to the hat. You can sew or glue the bow to the hat, I did both to make sure it's secured eventhough I'm using E6000 which is a permanent and very strong adhesive, I'm really just OC sometimes.

STEP 4: Cover the metal hair clip base with ribbon.

This is actually a step you can skip if you're already okay with just the metal base. A fabric ribbon would be great for this but since I don't have any, I crocheted one. The ribbon I made is just a foundation chain followed by 3 rows of single crochet. Spread craft or hot glue on the metal base, put the ribbon on, and let it dry. 

STEP 5: Attach the hair clip base to the mini hat.

With your craft or hot glue, adhere the hair clip base to the hat on the position you want, I just put it on the center. Put a little pressure and hold for a while to make sure it stays in place. Let it dry. You may also sew the side of the ribbon covering the metal base to the hat to secure the connection more, which I did.

STEP 6: Wear it and enjoy, or give it to someone special.

I made another one, a combination of purple and pink. It's the one my baby likes better because her favorite color is purple. She's been wearing it for a few days now and I've noticed that the brim is curling up a bit. To make it stiff, I brushed a thin layer of Mod Podge on the brim and it solved the curling problem. If you're okay with a little curl, there's no need for this, but if you want to stiffen the brim, make sure to apply the Mod Podge from under it, it dries clear but in case you put in a little too much, it's still a bit obvious.

Here she is, my little girl, wearing the purple and pink mini hat hair clip. Everytime I put it on her, she will ask me to wear the blue one, point at it and say "hat". She's so adorable.

I'm thinking of making more of this mini hat for key chains or bag charms. It would also be a nice gift, right? I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial. Till next time!

Note: This is a free pattern created by yours truly. Feel free to share it but remember to give credit and link to this site, and do not sell this pattern. You may also sell finished items made from this pattern, provided you credit me as the designer.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Bookmarks With Clay Charms

I love books. Our house would tell any visitor that there's someone living in here who loves books. I have two full bookshelves in the living room and one more in the bedroom. Even with my Kindle and iPad, I still prefer reading actual books. But I must admit, I haven't read maybe about 25% of my collection, I've just been so busy with other stuff. I set a goal for myself to read at least 20 books this year but so far, I'm still at number 6. I'll have some books arriving next week from the US and I'm so excited that I decided to welcome them with new bookmarks. 

People close to me know how obsessed I am with Harry Potter, I have read the series more than five times. I love the films, too, though not so much. Anyway, what could be a more perfect bookmark for me than a Harry Potter themed one?

I printed quotes and spells from the book to the size that I wanted, 5.5 inches by 1.5 inches for each bookmark. 

On a cereal box, I adhered the cut out sheets of paper, a magic spell on one side and a quote on the other side of the cardboard. 

I used watercolor to write over the printed words to give it that effect of quill and ink like what they use in the wizarding world, haha.

I also painted over the white background and coated the whole surface with a thin layer of Mod Podge. I punched a hole on one side and tied a braided embroidery floss string in it.

I want a charm to dangle from the string so I made a sorting hat from air dry clay. Polymer clay would be better for this type of charm but I only have air dry clay on hand so it's what I used. I put an eyepin on the sorting hat where I'll attach it to the string and let it dry for 24 hours.

When the clay was completely dry, I painted it with watercolor and finished with a thin coat of Mod Podge. 

I used jumprings to attach the sorting hat to the string, and my first bookmark with clay charm is done. 

The next one I made is the Nimbus 2000 bookmark using the same materials and process I used with the sorting hat.

This one, I just made because I also like Minions and there's still this Minions fever going on. I used popsicle sticks on this instead of cardboard, I glued them together, painted with watercolor and coated with Mod Podge.

I'm so happy with my bookmarks. I would still recommend using polymer clay with different colors, it would be a lot easier because there's no need to paint over it after drying and it's easier to work with.

When I get the time, maybe after finishing a book, I'll probably make more of these, Hedwig is next on my list. You can make any charm you want and it would be a great gift for a book lover you know. I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for stopping by!

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