Tag Archives: tutorial

Interchangeable bead necklace tutorial

Here’s just a quick post, borne out of needing to put something together for you to show you my purchases from Beadcrafty and not being able to find a chuffing eyepin this morning.

Anyway I put an order in for some pretties from Beadcrafty and they were very quick to arrive, with friendly customer services and reasonable postage costs. It’s a really pretty website with lots of shinies to ogle. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the amount of little plastic bags used- if I ordered 5 bezels for example, each one came in a separate bag, so I ended up throwing them out, though I’m sure most of you would have ways of reusing them. Anyway I digress…

Here are some of my cute purchases…

And I thought I would make a simple necklace this morning- it was still dark which is why the pics aren’t super awesome.  I like bright jewellery but I don’t like too much faff, just a pop of colour, which is why this is quick and simple. I don’t have a Pandora bracelet but I really love silver core glass beads and there were quite a few to choose from on the site, so I settled on this one. Equally if you want a more finished look and don’t want to be able to change your beads whenever you feel like it, you could use an eyepin instead of a safety pin. I would have done just that but I couldn’t find one this morning- my craftroom is being painted and EVERYTHING is in the middle of the room.

(picture taken in dark office on camera phone with no flash- soz)

So here’s what you need… (all beads, bead caps and jump rings from Beadcrafty.com) I used a medium sized safety pin measuring 35mm

Open your safety pin and string on a rhondell, a bead cap (facing outwards to cradle the rhondell), the silver core bead, another bead cap, another rhondell and then close the pin.

Open the middle link of your chain up (or cut with wire cutters).

Open a jump ring by pushing the joins away from each other (as shown). Put the ring through the last link in the chain and the hole in the safety pin. Close back up again. Repeat for the other end of the chain and safety pin.

You can change the beads any time you like- here’s some of my other beads (also from Beadcrafty) that could have worked instead of the rhondells.

I will have another mini-tutorial for you in my next post- this time making your own cabochon pendant using some more bits and bobs I got at the same time!

No nuts chocolate brownies

I went to the Fabric Guild and it was pretty awesome. I got loads of fat quarters at 99p each, and though they didn’t have Alexander Henry or Amy Butler fabrics, they had pretty much all of Makower’s ranges and lots of other stuff, including small prints and plains that would be damn useful. I was going to take a picture on my phone but it was quite dark inside the warehouse and I didn’t want to upset anyone as I wasn’t handed my membership card ’til the end.

Before I went this morning though, I baked some brownies. These are so good (if I do say so myself) so I thought I’d share my recipe. It’s no nuts, because we prefer them that way but this is good news for you out there with nut allergies…


  • 150g butter (I use 1/3 Kerrygold Honey Butter, but this is optional)
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 55g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350º F, Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a  baking tin or do what I do and use a silicone one so you don’t need to faff with this.
  2. Melt the butter with 55g of the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
  3. Beat the eggs with the sugar in another bowl, then sift in the flour, and baking powder. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture, and beat together until well blended.
  4. Chop the remaining 145g chocolate into rough chunks and stir into the brownie mixture. Spoon and spread the mix in the tin.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, the cake should begin to shrink slightly from the sides of the tin.

Resin Tutorial: Stained Glass Windows

I haven’t really got a use for these as they are very thin, though they are quite flexible, so they might make earrings, but certainly not a bracelet or something that would receive a lot of wear. Why not try embedding them in more resin to make a pendant, or laminate them with a few more coats of clear resin for a more substantial finish?

This is not really a project for beginners because of how quickly you need to work before it sets, but go for it if you’ve done some castings in the past and feel comfortable trying something different!

Please be aware that this was my first attempt, so they have come out a bit blobby, but it should improve with practise!

Resin gelcoat (I use polyester)
Resin colour pigments
“Normal” clear resin
Paper with pretty design, stamped or otherwise
Disposable piping bag
Acetate sheet
Several mixing cups and sticks

1) Place a sheet of acetate over a design you want to replicate (simple ones are best) and mix up a batch of gelcoat with some pigment for your outline. Small designs are easiest because gelcoat has a tendency to cure faster than your standard liquid resin.

2) Stick your cup inside the disposable bag and pour in the gelcoat. You might need to scrape the sides and repour to get the most out.

3) Snip the end of the piping bag- make the hole really tiny, it means you can make more detailed designs- and trace the outline onto the acetate. It can get a bit of getting used to, make sure you squeeze as consistantly as possible, though you can go over any gaps and thin bits.

4) Once it’s all done, leave to cure thoroughly overnight.

5) Mix up two (or three, or four…) translucent colours in clear resin. Note: the green I used is pretty rubbish, so it goes clear on the final one. I have a RAL green, so might be best to avoid that one). Drip a little of the colour where you want to fill.

6) Once you have finished with one colour, move onto the next. If you are doing a larger design, it may be worth mixing one colour at a time so there’s not as much time pressure. If you overflow a bit, use a bit of torn paper towel to absorb it.

7) Leave it to dry. Because this type of resin (I used polyester again!) has a tendency to struggle to cure in thin layers, I would recommend a resting time of at least 2 days. And then just peel ’em off the sheet! Mine bled a bit into each other during curing, so be prepared for more “abstract” results than it looks like wet!

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!

Mini Tutorial: Thixotropic Silicone Moulding

Fancy making your own moulds, or maybe you have been making them with Siligum- a two part clay-like mixture? Silicone can be quite expensive but not as expensive as Siligum, but sometimes you need it’s properties for making small moulds, which help it to last longer- there’s no pouring it into a large container and having too much waste around the edge! Here’s how to make your own version of Siligum, which can be used for gravity defying mould making (maybe you want to capute a detail on a ceiling rose?!) and repairing silicone moulds too!

NOTES! This has the consistency of cake frosting, so you will need a mixing cup and stick. This only works with addition cure silicones- these are the most common types where you add a 2% catalyst to the silicone liquid. Thixotropic Solution is available at all good silicone suppliers, I bought mine from http://www.tomps.com

1) Pour your silicone into a cup and add 2% volume catalyst (instructions in my book) with the same amount of thixotropic solution (2%). Mix really well until the colour is consistent. I used a fast catalyst (red), but it is also available in slower curing varieties such as blue. I find red works best for this technique.

2) Now you have a thick, gloopy mix! Spread it like a thick layer of peanut butter on the model you want to make a mould of. You can also use it on your skin to make body part moulds though do be aware you will have to stay still for quite a while! This is really economical moulding as you don’t need to put your model into a container. Make sure your mould walls are pretty thick though, about 1cm should give you a long lasting mould.

3) Leave to set for a few hours (half an hour to an hour should be enough for skin moulds) and if it is no longer wet and sticky, then you can peel it away from your model, and there you have it!

You can use these for resin, polymer clay, silver clay, allsorts really! I now plan to test out the flexible additive for polyester resin today and see what happens!

Resin Meets Decopatch Pendant Tutorial

It’s about time I posted the other tutorial I promised a couple of weeks back; today I will be showing you how to make this…

1 Square Copper Patera Pendant (available here)
A sheet of Decopatch Paper- I used #358 (bought from The Decopatch Place)
Decopatch Glue and a brush
Silver colour letter beads (I bought mine from Dizzy Beads)
A Sixpence or other “lucky” coin
Resin Obsession Water Clear Resin (available here)
Mixing Cup
Stirring Stick
Disposable spoon (optional)

1) Tear the paper into tiny bits. Apply glue to the inside of a bezel and place a shred of paper in, coating it with more glue.

2) Keep adding pieces of paper and applying glue over the top. Use the straighter pieces to meet up with the edges of the bezel until it is all completely covered.
3) Whilst the glue is still wet, position your coin inside. Then insert the silver letter beads how you want them. Leave to dry.

4) Once completely dry, mix up some resin according to the instructions. I measure it in teaspoons, so two spoons A to one spoon of B. Fill the bezel until it domes and leave to set- that’s it!

I did have more photos but they were lost in the great memory card disaster so I hope this is OK!

Seaglass tutorial live and some other things…

As promised, I am letting you know that the faux seaglass tutorial I mentioned in my last post is now live on the Resin Obsession blog here!

Also I have been working on some custom pendants, including these hair ones, despite moving house in two days which is a total stress right now:

And I have just received delivery of some stuff that should make polyester resin less brittle (I’m thinking great for knitting needles) and some stuff you add to stop the nasty squidginess it sometimes has- I wish I had this before embarking on the chess set. Which reminds me I really should go back and look at that.

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.


Tutorial: Dead easy earring display

I made this display to replace my tatty acrylic one at craft fairs and it was so easy I thought I’d share it with you. You can also use it to hang your own earrings on at home, and works for both dangles and stud types as long as they’re not too small.

– 2 sturdy wood frames the same size. I chose 2 black A5 size ones, but the bigger they are the more earrings they will hold
– 7 mesh plastic canvas
-2 jewellery box hinges (4 if going for A4 size)
– Hammer and miniature screwdriver or pin vice
– Glue Gun
– It’s optional, but if you wanted to colour your mesh, you could do so by leaving in fabric dye overnight.

1) Take your frames and carefully remove the backing board and glass.
2) Cut the plastic canvas to size using the backing board as a guide. It will need to be the same size. and you will need to cut two.
3)Put the canvas into the frame and fold down the prongs on the back to secure it in place. Add a small blob of glue from your glue gun in each corner to stop it from sagging.
4) Once the glue is cool and hard, put the frames together so that the front on both are touching. Attach your brackets to the top and bottom of the long edge. Use your pin vice or tiny screwdriver to make the initial hole before bashing the pins that hold the brackets in with the hammer.
5) Admire your (not very) hard work! The way that the frames open  means that they will stand on their own accord.

Preparing objects for embedding in resin

I’ve had a few people recently ask me about what can or can’t be embedded in resin, and how they should go about preparing the items ready for use in resin, so I thought I’d share some information that should hopefully help in your experiments!

For best results, print the image on photo paper and leave 24 hours to thoroughly dry. You can often embed it like this straight away, but for extra caution, seal the image with PVA glue. This will stop the greasy blotch marks appearing that can spoil the work you’re doing.

Shrink Plastic
Shrink first and leave to cool. Spray with a couple of coats of car lacquer to seal the image, leaving half an hour between each coat.

Polymer Clay
Bake in the oven first to set the colour and shape as the heat from the exothermic reaction when the resin is setting might affect the look you’re going for. You shouldn’t need to varnish, simply embed them once cool.

Flowers and leaves
These need to be dried out first as resin hates water! You can bury them in silica gel for a few days (depending on the specimen type) for best results, or with some small blooms you can put them in a dark, dry cupboard or drawer for a few days instead. You could also press the flowers first.

Spray butterflies and moths with hairspray from about a foot away to seal their dusty wings. For beetles, clean with acetone to remove the natural oils, then once dry dip in uncatalysed resin and leave overnight to drain.

Coins, stones and shells
Clean with detergent and leave to dry. To make the coins shiny again, use acetone with steel wool to remove the oxidation. Once dry, dip in uncatalysed resin and leave overnight to drain.