Tag Archives: project

Tutorial- Customised Plastic Tags

These are tags I made for Sarah at Fripperies and Bibelots, however I’ve decided not to make these for sale anymore so I may as well pass on how I make them in case you want them for jewellery, maybe cards or even little zip pulls…

Printable shrink plastic
Printer and computer
Scissors or a punch in the shape you want
Hole punch
Scrap paper
Double sided tape
Clear varnish spray

1) Make your layout on the computer. I use Photoshop and make a grid to put the text into. For little biddy sized ones for jewellery tags, I make a 1″ square grid, you can make rows of text instead or change your grid to fit different shapes. If you are using a punch, make the grid fit the shape. Bear in mind that the colours will darken so print colours a bit lighter and things will shrink A LOT. I can get 50-60 tags from one sheet. Most sheets of shrink plastic for printing are US Letter Size, so make sure your document is set up for that too.

2) Now print it! Leave to dry for a minute of two.

3) Punch out your shapes from your sheet or cut out with scissors. Please note if you’re not doing circles that sharp corners will stay sharp when finished and mean a lot of effort sanding them down. You may prefer to do that or you might prefer to round your corners off. To use the punch, take off the bit that collects the punched out bits and use upside down so you can get your positioning right.

4)  Take off the bit catcher from the hole punch and use upside down in the same way to the first punch to make holes in the tops of your tags. Try to leave at least 2mm from the top or the holes may tear when strinking.

5) Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C.

6) Layout the shapes on a clean baking tray so that they don’t overlap.

7) Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 2-3 minutes. They will shrivel up and then lay flat again. If you overcook they will go a bit yellow so it’s worth keeping your eye on them. Also please don’t be offended by my dirty oven! The ones at the back seem to bake a bit slower so keep your eyes on those. Just before you take the tray out of the oven , you can use a spoon to push them down and flatten them out if you need to.

8) They will cool pretty fast, so after a minute or two you can start sticking them to a piece of scrap paper ready for varnishing. Use the most low tack double sided tape you can, repositionable tape would be excellent if there is such a thing. The power of the propellant in the varnish spray will blow all your tags away if you don’t stick them down. However if you prefer a gloss finish and you want to nail varnish them instead, you won’t need to do this bit.

9) Spray with varnish outside, assuming it isn’t raining out there. I use car lacquer spray from Halfords for mine. Let dry and spray again. Once dry, peel off the sheet straight away to avoid stickiness from the tape staying on the back.

Ta da! Attached to whatever you want with string, jump rings, etc, etc….


Mouthy Stitches Pouch completed!

I was naughty and skipped Fencing last night because I desperately wanted to get my Mouthy Stitches swap finished. I’ve been working on this pouch on and off for a month, getting intimidated by various elements (and angry hedgehog under the sewing machine) a various stages and hiding it in my WIP drawer for a bit.

Each panel is separate and I made it up as I went along which means Y seams and yes I may have had to go back over a few of them…. The outer fabric is a tough duck canvas (which frays like you wouldn’t believe) with little patchwork squares of Kaffe Fassett fabrics- because I know my partner likes his designs, at least some of them. The zip has a little keyring pull on it which has a couple of pieces of matching fabric in too. I wish the shape was a bit more rigid, especially at the corners, but I think I would have had to use boning or buckram to fix that, and I didn’t. So it is what it is…

My pouch seemed a bit boring when there were so many other beautiful and more complex designs being completed (click here for the group pool!), but as a relative newcomer to patchwork, who has recently discovered a dislike of paper piecing and only having ever made one pouch previously, I didn’t want to push it too much. So I decided to have my first ever play with perle cotton last night and herringbone stitched around, which I think works. I must confess to having done all of the stitiching whilst propped up in bed with the radio on, a bottle of pear Rekorderlig and a half finished bag of marshmallows.

Because I put the top piece on last, I needed to cover the joins on the inside with bias tape, I am hoping my partner doesn’t look too hard at the corner where the ends meet as it’s a total dogs dinner, luckily because of how the zip is inserted, it’s not easy to see this area. Yeah, that’s how I meant it to be, honest! So it’s a bit like looking into a cave, but the lining fabirc is also Kaffe Fassett- however it is one of my favourites in my collection and I was a bit sad to have to use it! it did go nicely with the rest of the colours in the design and the purple zip though. there’s also a felt panel at the back for jamming needles and pins in- yes this is a pouch intended for sewing projects (LARGE ones at that- this bag nearly fills a shoe box!).

And of course there’s a 1/4 metre of scraps included too (and NOTHING ELSE as per the rules, though I was so tempted to put some chocolate in- sorry partner!).

I really hope she likes it- luckily my partner is a frequent commenter so she seems to like it from the picture. Fingers crossed!

Finished my first quilt!

It’s nowhere near perfect, but it withstood washing (albeit at 30 in a pillowcase with 3 colour catchers), it’s cute and it means I can move onto my next project! This cot size quilt took nearly a month to make but with large gaps in between stages and a surge at the end (did the binding last night and the quilting on sunday). I am pleased with it!

The binding probably needs revisiting before the weekend when we give it! I single bound it with bias binding, but the corners are a bit sharp where the next piece was attached- any tips on how to sort this? I’m thinking about just wrapping the corners with slip stitch…

Felt flower hairslide tutorial video

Due to my latest obsession with the Big Shot, I have done a video for Popular Crafts which makes cute little felt hairslides. Here it is!

W00t! A tute! Distressed Victorian Lace recycled jewellery pendant

It’s about time I shared a tutorial with you. I have a couple of other ones I hope to post relatively soon too…

You will need:
Clear Polyester Gelcoat
Plastic spoon (optional)
Plastic cup
Mixing stick
Mould release spray
Hot pink Pearl Ex powder
Lisa Pavelka “Romance” Texture stamp
Band Saw or Junior Hacksaw
Black pigment inkpad
Acrylic spray
9mm jump ring
Recycled jewellery chain
Recycled flower dangly earring

Pearl Ex powder and Lisa Pavelka stamp from the Polymer Clay Pit: www.polymerclaypit.co.uk

1) Prep the texture stamp with mould release spray and leave to dry. Spoon about 4 level teaspoons of polyester gelcoat into a plastic cup and add catalyst as directed.

2) Stir well until it is a beige colour instead of pink and sprinkle in some pink pearl ex powder. Use the stick to mix this in thoroughly to give a pearlised effect.

3) Pour the gelcoat onto the rubber stamp and then level out with the spoon. Leave to set for about an hour- gelcoat sets much faster than normal resin!

4) Pull the rubber carefully away from the resin piece.

5) Cut a rectangle out of the resin sheet. I used a band saw, but you can also use a junior hacksaw if you don’t have one.

6) Apply the ink to the texture on the resin thoroughly and leave to dry for a few minutes before sealing with an acrylic spray.

7) Drill a hole through the top of the piece. Take some old chain from some retro costume jewellery and attach each end to the pendant through a 9mm jump ring. The chain should be long enough that it doesn’t need a clasp. Next, take the earwire off an old costume earring and hand the charm in front of the resin piece. Close the jump ring.


I’m really untidy at the minute and this is why…

I’m working on a 2 week assignment to make 250 necklaces and 125 charms. This is really testing me since by the time my moulds were ready I only had 10 days! My fingers are bleeding from invisible wounds from all the sanding I’ve been doing. Yuck. So I’m taking a break right now.

Anyway this is the progress…

These moulds are constantly full. I’m backing the pieces with gelcoat because it sets faster which means I can get almost two batches a day, which is 52 pendants and 32 bracelet charms. I keep track of what has been casted successfully in a book.

I have stuff that has been demoulded and is airing, then stuff I’m currently sanding moves to the TV room…

Then I have stuff being varnished to cut out some of the sanding and polishing stages and speed everything up a bit…

And those that got sanded but have bubbles have their own section for filling, and then they’ll re-enter the sanding chain. Anything with uber bubbles is binned.

And lastly this is my tub of finished pieces to be put in a bath of Demon Shine then drilled and hung on necklaces.

I think I can do it!

Chessboard Project 2010: Part 1

I am undertaking a large project in 2010 as already mentioned a few posts earlier. I am making a chessboard complete with two sets of chess pices. The pieces will be the popular Staunton style, and whilst I haven’t decided opn whether to go for glittery, marbled colour or button inclusions yet, they will be all made from resin with felt bases. The board will be made up from 64 50mm squares of 3mm acrylic in black and opal and gelcoated onto a sheet of 2mm frosted acrylic.

So far I have 10 squares cut, though the saw hasn’t cut them perfectly straight. I’m hoping this can be fixed with a bit of gelcoat “grout” when put together, otherwise I will be on the grinder machine for some time!

Create Your Own Resin Jewellery – the book


I’ve started on my book over the last few days and aim to offer it for sale on 1st March 2009 in e-book form, followed shortly by a limited number of paperback books in a compact 6×9″ size.  There will be 12 projects to follow and approximately 80 full colour pages. The e-book will be for sale at £7.99 and the book £12.99 plus p&p. I am starting to offer this as a preorder item, and for a limited time only (until the 15th February) I will be offering the book to preorderers for a special price of £5 for the e-book and £10 for the paperback.

To preorder, click here
Here’s what the book includes!

Foreword by Cindy Carter from Resin Obsession
Resin: The Basics
A description of the properties of polyester and epoxy resins, equipment needed and a guide to mixing resin successfully.

1) Abalone shell necklaces

Using shells as bezels, embedding starfish, faux pearls and other co-ordinating elements with clear resin.
2) Bottle cap keyrings and magnets
How to print and coat paper for embedding into bottle caps as a ready made bezel.
3) Recycled fabric pendants
Single layer embedding into a ready made mould. Introducing sanding and drilling techniques.
4) Metal leaf jewellery effects
Adding fragments of gold, silver and copper leaf to create precious autumnal jewellery.
5) Swirled dye earrings and bracelets
Introduces transparent and opaque pigments, mix ratios and filling pre-made moulds with part mixed dye.
6) Decal pendants
Create perfectly clear pendants featuring decal transfers.
7) Layering with glitter
Making pieces with three layers for a 3-dimensional effect.
8 ) Making your own moulds
Introducing RTV Silicone and Vinamould, how to use each material, and when to choose one over the other. Shows you how to make a basic band ring mould and stud earring mould.
9) Introducing gelcoat as a glue
Making stud earrings and adhering the posts with gelcoat resin.
10) The ice resin technique
How and when to manipulate part cured resin, and create freeform imitation ice pieces without a mould.
11) Embedding Swarovski stones and gemstones
Selecting the correct drill bit, and affixing stones and Austrian crystal into cured pieces.
12) Plique-a-jour bracelet
Filling hollow objects to create a window effect. This project specifically shows how to fill a cross section of deer antler to create an unusual charm for a bracelet.

How to solve commonly faced problems, such as tacky surfaces and cleaning spillages.
Where to buy?