LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

Go Tigers Go Necklace

One of my girlfriends has a knack for finding the good stuff at thrift stores. She’s especially gifted at uncovering jewelry that needs just a little tlc. A few months ago, she came across a necklace with a silver and blue tiger paw charm on it. We work at the University of Memphis. Our mascot is a tiger, and our school colors are blue and grey. We’re forever on the lookout for Tiger Blue clothing and accessories.

She knew this necklace had potential, but it needed work. The rubber-coated wire that the charm was on was simply awful. Because of the heavy gauge wire, the necklace was too stiff and circular, making it not at all attractive or comfortable to wear. The charm was the true treasure. She polished it up, and the paw looked gorgeous. We think that it’s either sterling silver or silver-plated.

Once she had the charm all spiffed up, my friend brought me the necklace and told me to do something fabulous with it. So began my quest for the perfect beads. I finally found them at an Intergalactic Bead Show. Yes, I know the name sounds crazy, but their bead shows can be a lot of fun. More importantly, I usually get great deals. My beads were waiting for me at the Dragon Fly Wings booth. The most beautiful, cobalt blue glass beads jumped off the display at me. They look like sea glass, a teeny bit frosted but translucent enough to look magnificent in the sun. The vendor had them in two sizes (4mm and 6mm), and I didn’t think twice about buying them.

I revamped the tiger paw necklace that night when I got home from the bead show. To add some pizzazz and break up the blue, I strung the blue beads intermittently with silver spacers. The tiger paw charm was, of course, prominently featured.

Go Tigers Go Necklace | LulaBelle Handicrafts

I was so excited to show my friend what I had come up with and couldn’t wait to see her wear the new version of the necklace. She loved it. As I should have known, she refused to take it, telling me her plan all along was for me to have the necklace because she thought that I would wear it more. I am a pretty big Tigers’ fan, so she may be right!

Go Tigers Go Necklace | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Every time I wear this necklace, someone asks me where I got it. I love to tell them about our creative collaboration, but folks are usually then disappointed that they can’t have one of their own. If we could only find more of the tiger paws, I think we could make a fortune! Until then, I’ll keep sporting my one-of-kind necklace. Go Tigers Go!

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DIY Easy, Stretchy, Beaded Bracelets

A girl can never have too many bracelets. I love them, especially pretty, beaded ones that look great stacked. I’m usually surprised by the price of them in boutiques and at craft shows. Rarely do I buy these kinds of bracelets anymore because making them is easier than you might think. Plus they don’t take a lot of beads, so bracelets are a great way to use up some of your leftovers or highlight a few high-dollar beads.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Supplies:

  • Beads
  • .5 mm Clear, Stretchy Elastic
  • 2 mm Crimp Beads
  • Scissors
  • Crimper or Pliers
  • Scotch Tape (optional)

Supplies for Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step One:

Cut a piece of clear elastic long enough to fit around your wrist plus about 2 in. I like to cut the elastic bigger than I need so that it’s easier to work with once all the beads are strung.

Step Two:

String your beads. This is the longest part of the process for me. I often start off with one pattern and tweak it to make the proper length to fit my wrist. Spacer beads are your friend. If you need to add just a little more length, pop a couple of them onto the end of the elastic. I know that I’m done stringing when I can wrap the beads around my wrist and the ends meet.

Step Three:

Put 1 or 2 crimp beads on one end of your elastic. You can use only 1, and your bracelet will be fine. I like to use 2 just in case when I’m really fond of the beads or they are heavy. Then thread the other end of the elastic through the crimp beads, and pull the elastic taut. 

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Four:

Use your crimper or pliers to close the crimp beads. If you’ve never done this before, you smash the bead with the crimper or pliers. Then turn it 90 degrees, and smash it again.

IMG_9143

To make it a little easier, I tape one end of the elastic down with scotch tape and hold the other end in my non-crimping hand. This allows me to keep the elastic taut and beads on the elastic.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Five:

Thread the elastic through the first couple of beads on each side, and cut off the excess. Your bracelet is now ready to be shown off to the world!

I love layering these with other bracelets. Rarely do I wear just one.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

That look is a little extreme. Really I just wanted to show off some of the cool beads I’ve acquired the past few months. This is how I usually wear the bracelets.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

I also like to gift them. Three bracelets in coordinating colors make for a lovely gift.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Happy bracelet making!

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Halloween Hair Ties

If you follow me on Facebook (which you should!), you’ve already seen a sneak peak of the ultra cute, Halloween elastic that I bought from Sunshine Shoppe. They are now selling many of their elastics in 5 yd. packages, which is great for those of us making lots of hair ties or headbands at a time. Halloween prints are included!

Halloween Elastic

Making your own hair ties is much easier than you might think. Check out my tutorial to learn how. I bought the 5 yd. packages of Halloween prints and coordinating solids to make sets of three hair ties to sell at a craft fair scheduled for October. You could also make these Halloween sets of hair ties to give out as favors if you’re throwing a spooky bash. To finish off my sets, I simply placed them on 3 x 5 index cards. You could also use pieces of a decorative cardstock.

Halloween Hair Ties

Whether you’re making these hair ties for yourself or others, I guarantee that they will be a huge hit. Happy Halloween crafting!

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