These simple earrings are perfect for using up seed beads leftover from another project!
Seed beads are usually sold by weight, meaning you often end up getting more than you need. But then you only have a few left over, so what do you do with them? Make these simple bead and jump ring earrings! This is also a great beginner project which is great for practicing using pliers and jump rings. Read more
Some exciting news to tell you; I am having a bit of a re-brand, Emma Ruth Jones is becoming Make&Fable!
I first started my blog to document my jewellery making and provide a bit of context to what I do. Since then, I have started teaching workshops and discovered my love for DIY blogging! Having everything under my own name didn’t seem to quite fit anymore. I have always struggled naming my jewellery, so I’ll admit that naming a business was a bit of a challenge! But thinking about what I wanted my little corner of the internet to be, I came up with Make&Fable.
Although my business has evolved into different parts, I felt they all came under the umbrella of creativity and storytelling. I love handmade; whether I’m making it or helping others to make and I believe that the stories and history attached to objects can be almost as important as the object itself. Craft and art are important parts of every culture on Earth. Human beings are meant to create, to be around creativity and that without it, we are doing ourselves a disservice. I want to help people lead a more creative lifestyle, especially if they think they aren’t creative!
All the old content from my EmmaRuthJones blog has been transferred over here to the sparkly new www.makeandfable.com and will continue to grow each week. Each Wednesday there will be a new post, with at least 2 new tutorials a month, a new ‘Creative Places’ feature and the ‘Craft Basics’ series. All my existing social media handles and Etsy shop are also changing to Make&Fable. Don’t worry, my Instagram feed will still feature plenty of cat antics!
Thank you for all the support so far, it honestly means a huge amount to me. If you have feature and tutorial suggestions, want to work with me, commission a pieces, customise a workshop or just want to say hi, I would love to hear from you!
Learn a simple bookbinding technique to create your own notebooks or sketchbooks!
I always carry a notebook or sketchbook with me and when I was at art college I often made my own. In fact a lot of my artwork during that time was based around the idea of artists books. I had pinned a few bookbinding tutorials from the web on Pinterest and noticed they were getting a lot of re-pins.
But I couldn’t find any tutorials for my favorite type, soft bound binding. So I decided to make my own. Soft bound binding combines stitching and gluing pages together, with a flexible card cover. I also decided to add a decorative touch with some patterned washi tape!
You will need:
-3 sheets of A4 paper, you can use any type, but a nice cartridge works well
-card for the cover
-washi or paper tape
-thick thread like a linen
-large eye needle
-craft knife and cutting mat
-PVA/white glue and paintbrush
-pencil and ruler
-bone folder, awl,
Preparing the Paper
1. Take one sheet of A4 paper and cut into four equal postcard size pieces
2.Stack them on top of each other and fold them in half. I use a bone folder to make a really crisp fold.
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 with the other two pieces of paper.You will now have three small booklets, known as signatures in the bookbinding world
4.Take one signature and using a pencil and ruler, mark 2 holes along the inside of the fold, 3cm from each of the edges.To make sewing easier, use an awl (or your needle) to punch holes at the pencil marks. Do the same for the other two signatures
5.Thread your needle with approx. 50cm of linen thread and tie a knot at the other end. I’m using black to make it easier to see, but white generally looks better. Take one of your signatures and take the needle from the outside to the inside
6.Sew through the other hole back to the outside
7. Sew back down the first hole so you are on the inside again.
8.Take the needle under the thread, pull the thread tight so it lies flat against the paper and tie a knot
9.Pass the needle through that same hole, back to the outside and gently pull the knot through the hole so its sits on the spine. Don’t cut the thread at this point
10.Using the same piece of thread (which is still attached to the previous signature) repeat steps 6 – 10 with the other two signatures
11.Tie a final knot and trim off the thread tails.
12.Use the binder clips to hold the three signatures together. I like to use some scrap paper to stop the clips from scratching the paper.
13.Spread a generous layer of PVA glue on the spine and leave until its tacky.
14.Add another layer and repeat one more time. PVA glue is flexible, making it perfect for bookbinding.
Washi Tape Binding
15.Cut the card for the back and front covers to size and use the binder clips to hold everything together. Again, I’m using scrap paper to prevent the clips from marking the cover. Cutting a piece of tape the length of the spine.
16.Attach it, making sure you have an equal amount on each side.
17.Smooth the tape down, making sure it is securely attached.
18.Cut a piece of tape for the cover, this time leaving an overlap of a cm at each end. You can either stick this alongside the edge of the spine tape or overlap with the spine tape like I have. I’m using a paper tape from Paperchase (similar here) that is slightly more opaque than standard washi tape, meaning I can overlay them without seeing the one underneath.
19.Repeat for the back.
20.An optional step is to use a corner rounder paper punch (like this one from X-Cut) to round the corners, Moleskine style!
I’ll admit, I’m not normally one for over-the-top Halloween costumes. But I do like a little bit of something that acknowledges the season without screaming about it. These Barbed Wire Earrings are a quick DIY that uses basic jewellery making skills.
You Will Need –
-A chunky needle (like a darning or knitters needle) approx 1.2mm thick
-Chain nose, Round nose and Side cutter pliers
1.Cut a 10cm length of wire, and holding the short end, begin tightly coiling around the needle (You could also use a piece of 1.2mm wire).
2. Continue until there are 5 complete coils around the needle. Try to get the ends to be on opposite sides of the needle.
3. If the coils aren’t sitting next to one another, use the chain nose pliers to gently squeeze them together.
4.Remove the coil from the needle and trim the ends to about 5mm long.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have 3 in total.
6. Thread onto a headpin. (If you used something larger than the end of the headpin to create the coils, pop a small bead on the end)
7. Take your round nose pliers and grip the headpin.
8. Bend the wire a right angle bend away from yourself.
9.Adjust your pliers so the jaws are on top of one another and bring the wire over the top of the pliers towards you.
10.Adjust your pliers so the jaw wit the wire in on the bottom and continue to bend the wire down and away from you until you have made a complete loop. Change to chain nose pliers.
11. Gripping the loop tightly with your chain nose pliers, wrap the tail of the headpin wire around the stem, until it meets the barbed wire coils.
12. Twist open the loop on one of your fishhook earrings and hook the barbed wire section on. Do the same for the other earring!
I only chose copper because I thought it would show up well on the photographs, but I actually really like the mixed metal effect! You could even use coloured wire for a cool look. I would love to see photos if you make a pair of these earrings, so let me know by commenting below or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! Happy Making!
I have been using some empty tin cans as storage for pens and paintbrushes for a while, with the intention of decorating them . But they have been sitting on my desk in their bare metal state for far too long!
I had been playing around with Adobe Illustrator a few months ago and one of the shapes I created was this cute little bunny rabbit. I was just going to give away the PDF shape as a pattern for embroidery or applique but then got the idea for a shrink plastic project! I love shrink plastic, you can create such amazing things and using the bunny template you can make a magnet or necklace!
Learn how to make a beautiful paper flowers with this tutorial/DIY
I love plants and flowers, but so do my two cats. So much so that they chew them, which is good for neither the plant or the cats! So faux flowers are a much better option for me, and these DIY hand painted paper flowers are surprisingly simple to make and last much much longer than their real-life counterparts.
I’m not sure what flower this is trying to be, part anemone, part rose maybe? You could be more realistic, but I chose to go with something more fantastical!
You will need :
-Paper; basic computer paper will do, but a thicker drawing or cartridge is even better
-Wire; plastic coated garden wire is great
-Cutters; to cut the wire
-Paints; watercolours, acrylics, even soluble pencils will do!
-Floral Tape; a stretchy florists tape to cover the wire
-Paintbrush and water container
1. To make the petals, I used my hands to create 7 petal shapes (a bit like balloons!) by ripping the paper. You could use scissors, but I like the ripped effect. Don’t worry that they aren’t all the same shape or size, this actually helps create a more natural looking flower. For the centre of the flower make a rectangle approx 10cm long and as tall as your smallest petal. Make a series of little rips all along to create a fringe.
2.Wet the petal with plain water then apply one colour to the top, rounded edge and another, complementary colour toward the bottom and blend the two together. Repeat for the other petals
3. Do the same for the fringed centre, adding a darker or even black colour to the edges of the fringe.
4. Once touch dry, spatter a darker colour of paint on the petals and centre using your paintbrush or a toothbrush.
5.Once completely dry, its time to assemble your flower! Cut a 30cm length of wire and fold over one end by a couple of cm and glue this to the bottom (non-fringed) centre strip. Fold the first ‘fringe’ over and glue.
6.Roll the centre strip around the wire, gluing a couple of times to secure.
7. Add some glue to the base of your smallest petal, and stick to the rolled up fringe. Glue another petal on, over-lapping the previous one slightly. Work your way around adding petals, working up to the largest.
8. Once all the petals are attached, start attaching the floral tape from the base of the flower down the stem. This stretchy tape comes in green and white and is available from craft and cake decorating shops. Strangely, it only seems to stick to itself, which makes it a bit tricky to get it started, so use a bit of glue if needed. (If you can’t get hold of floral tape, strips of crepe paper and some PVA glue also work. The tape is just less messy!)
9. Curl the petals backwards to open out the flower and there you have it, a gorgeous flower that doesn’t need watering!
If you have a die-cutting machine, embossing paper is simple. You buy an embossing folder with the design of your choice and run it through the machine. Hey presto, you have a perfectly embossed image! But what if you don’t have a fancy machine or find the folders too expensive? Well it is surprisingly easy (and ridiculously cheap) to emboss with using this method.
You will need
-Thick card, like greyboard, mountboard
-paper tortillon/stump or a suitably smooth, rounded object (Sharpie pen lids work well!)
This freehand method requires you to cut out a shape of thick card board then use a tool to gently push cartridge paper into the shape.
1. Start with drawing a simple shape onto the thick card. Rounded shapes like circles and http://www.cpad.org/index.php/en/class/oc-chapter?start=10 hearts are perfect. Leave a good margin of cardboard around the shape and cut out. Now I’m not the best at cutting out, my lines are always wonky, but trust me, it doesn’t matter too much.
2.Turn the card over as if there is any pencil or pen left from where you drew the shape it can transfer.
3.Place a piece of cartridge paper onto top of the cardboard stencil and very gently rub over with the paper tortillon. Paper tortillons (sometimes called stumps) are mainly used by fine artists to smudge charcoal and pastel drawings. However, any smooth rounded object like a Sharpie pen will also work. Go gently and concentrate on the edges of the shape, not the middle for a smoother emboss.
4.Turn the paper over to see the result. Pretty good for a bit of card eh?! You might want to have another go, pressing lighter or firmer until you get it just right, even playing around with it and over-lapping the shapes.
5.Now try something a bit more complex, like letters or a monogram. Shapes with sharper corners are a bit trickier to get right so don’t worry if the first go isn’t perfect. I had to use masking tape to secure the hole into the ‘R’ which can stick to and damage, the cartridge paper. To help minimise this, I tried to remove the visible sticky areas using a damp cotton bud. Being careful when embossing and only rubbing over the edges will also help.
Have you had a go with paper embossing using this method? I’d love to see the results!
The month of February has Amethyst, a beautiful purple variety of quartz as its birthstone.
The word amethyst can be translated from the Greek “amethystos” which roughly translates as “not drunken”! In fact for centuries amethyst was considered a potent cure for intoxication and wine goblets were made out of the stone.
Prehistoric man used amethyst as a decorative stone as far as 25,000 years ago in France and it is said that Cleopatra owned an engraved signet ring made from amethyst too.
The stones link with the month of February comes from its association with Saint Valentine, the third-century Roman saint who died on February 14th. According to legend, he wore an amethyst engraved with the figure of Cupid.
To this day, the regal purple of amethyst is associated with royalty and religion, with clothing, jewellery and ceremonial objects incorporating both the colour and the stone itself.