DIY - gold leather wrapped bracelets

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Whenever I talk to people about jewellery making the reaction is often the same, a mix of fear and intimidation (a bit like how I feel about knitting) but I promise you it's really easy. Now I'm not talking setting diamonds or whizzing up a tiara because I feel as scared as you do at the thought but fun bits that you can buy in Anthropologie, Accessorize, Topshop etc are really easy and far cheaper to make yourself.

For today's DIY I'm sharing a tutorial that takes about 5 mins to make (brilliant) and is perfect for all you beginners, if you can use a pair of scissors/craft knife then you can definitely make these.
Materials - leather (I buy mine on eBay - search for leather skins), ribbon ends, I used a mix of sizes 13mm, 16mm and 20mm, fancy vintage style clasps, 5mm jump rings, super glue

Step 1. Measure around your wrist twice with a tape measure or piece of string. You want the measurement quite snug as your clasp will add wiggle room at the end.

Now cut out your pieces of leather using a craft knife or scissors if you prefer. The length will be as your double wrist measurement and width the same as your ribbon end, my bracelet was 32cm long in total but I do have ridiculously small wrists (shame about the rest of me)

step 2. Add a tiny dab of super glue to the inside if the ribbon ends and then squeeze the ribbon ends over the end of your leather strip. Repeat on both ends

Step 3. Now add your clasp using a jump ring. Depending on the direction of your clasp you might need to add two jump rings to get the clasp the right way up, if it's looking too link-y with 5mm jump rings then use smaller 4mm ones.


That's it, I told you it was really easy. I made these in three different widths and surprisingly kept them free from decoration, I am very tempted to add jewels like these but have so far resisted the urge as I the decorative clasps are enough for now. If you want dip your toe into the world of jewellery making then give these little beaut's a try. Happy Making! X

I made my back drop too - you can see the driftwood picture tutorial here and the Liberty flower garland here

Instagram - April

Monday, 14 April 2014

I could have filled my whole grid with flowers this month, this Spring has been particularly colourful and I want to capture it all. There have been some exhausting days but also some really happy ones with friends and family. When I haven't been taking photo's of flowers, I have been spending some long days decorating or ducking into charity shops buying stuff I don't really need but is too pretty to leave behind, my local charity shops seem to also be in full bloom too!

I hope you have been having a good month, you can find me on Instagram at Lotts and Lots 

Liberty Fabric - Spring/Summer 2014

Friday, 11 April 2014

One of my main aims in life is to get locked into Liberty's - you'll find me asleep dressed in Phillip Lim, bedecked in jewels somewhere between home and fabric departments. Last month I got fairly close (well until 8pm) when I was invited to hear the Liberty Fabric Design team talk about their new collection - they have my dream job, they really do. It was so inspiring to hear and see how all the collections come together, whether the designs are drawn with make up, cut, bleached and stitched together or re-worked from the extensive archive (its taken 15 years so far to get it catalogued, and there is still more to go) I could have listened to them all day.
Some of my favourites - Alexandra & Holly above, Jody & Forget-me-nots below
This season's collection is inspired by the different departments within Liberty from Mens to Childrenswear via beauty and home, it was fascinating and a real privilege to walked and talked around the store by the designers, hearing the stories behind each design and seeing original sketches. I have included some of my favourites in this post and a few on my inspiration board for a shift dress (which still needs to be made), I really hope these inspire you to make as much as they do me. Have a great weekend, I'm off to continue my search for a textile design course.
A huge thanks to Liberty, The Liberty Fabric Design Team and Rosie and Hannah from The New Craft Society for organising.

You can buy Liberty Fabrics, here but even better try and make it into store.

DIY - watercolour flower cards

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sometimes the best DIY's are the simplest and just use what you have to hand. I made these cards for Mothers Day (one for my mum and one for my mother-in-law) and I think they might be a favourite. Because I wasn't intending them to be a DIY I haven't taken photo's of the steps but they are really simple and they have given me a pang of nostalgia from when I used to experiment with painting and sewing all the time. I really miss having time and space to play around with ideas as soon as the summer comes and I'm less frantic I can't wait to take my sewing machine out in the card and play around with new ideas. I have put a few steps below... 

You'll need - watercolour paper and paints and either a sewing machine or a needle and thread. 
Step 1. Draw your picture, I went for simple flowers 
Step 2. Colour the picture with watercolours and leave to dry
Step 3. Stitch over your picture in a coloured thread (loosely the same colour as your flowers) 
Step 4.  Cut out and stick to a plain card - write and give. 
 I added on a spare bit of silk fabric to make the bouquet look a bit 3D.  This just shows you don't need anything fancy to make something really special - I think Easter Eggs would look quite sweet. Happy Making! x

DIY round up - March

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

You can tell that spring has arrived with this colourful bunch of DIY's. Last month I got back into my DIY groove and made some new pieces that I absolutely love. I have been wearing these earrings at any opportunity, they have certainly been brightening my days and the bracelets have me dreaming of summer holidays. I've also enjoyed re-visiting a favourite tutorial of mine with these statement necklaces (I have another version planned too) its been fun exploring an idea further and I've loved being back on my sewing machine embellishing these sweet lavender bags. I hope these inspire you to get making this month, if there's anything you'd like to see me make sure you get in touch. Happy making! 

Featured - Mollie Makes, DIY Fashion

Monday, 7 April 2014

Its been a bit busy around these parts so I'm behind on sharing my latest project for Mollie Makes, DIY Fashion bookazine. I contributed a tutorial for recycled feather earrings which are really fun to make and wear. I made them with both green and pink feathers, mixed in some gold leather and colourful jewels (of course) and added charms and spikes just to make sure I'd used as many materials as possible! It is always such a thrill to see my work in magazines, as a magazine addict having something to hold and pages to flip is such an amazing feeling, I just want to keep writing and writing and making and making!

My tutorial aside - Lisa from Sew Over It has done a fab job off pulling together some great tutorials from a really inspiring group of bloggers - I recommend getting your hands on a copy asap.

Want to work with me? I'd love to hear from you drop me an email at lottsandlots@gmail.com  

Mollie Makes - DIY Fashion is available from this site, WHSmith, selected supermarkets and news agents.

Statement Rings

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Oh, I'm excited to share these little beauts with you today. I have started working with the sister company of The London Jewellery School - Jewelry From Home writing blog posts and sharing tutorials. I made these rings last week and I am completely head-over-heels for them, they are really easy to make and require very little in materials. I bought the ring bases from New Look and used some of my existing jewels to create these wrapped rings. I love proper rings with real metal and stones but sometimes you just need something frivolous that puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face. For the full tutorial see this post. 

I haven't been asked by Jewelry From Home to write this post but I do want to share as its a really great site offering on-line jewellery classes, their Jewelry Making for Absolute Beginners class is completely free so I recommend if you're interested in giving jewellery making a whirl. As always happy making!  

Psst - Take a look at this statement ring video tutorial I made last year if these have inspired you. 

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