DIY: gold leafed wood bead & rope necklace

Finished_necklace_3

Finished_necklace_2

I'm starting off the week with a new feature: DIY! There are a couple of reasons for this new addition. First: I really want to bring you guys more original content. Second: I used to be fanatic about making things. To the point where I literally could not sit still for a single moment. I wouldn't let myself relax. Ever. If I was sitting watching TV or a movie, I couldn't just sit, watch, and enjoy it. I had to be making a bracelet, or sewing a pillow, while making jam in the kitchen. (Hello, crazy lady!)  Needless to say, I burned myself out and needed to take some time to learn to RELAX while also focusing on my design business. But now the pendulum has swung the other way and I never craft anymore! (and it makes me sad) So I'm hoping that having projects on the blog will rev up my crafting gears again while also providing some great inspiration for all of you!

So here is project one: Gold leaf wood bead & rope necklace.

It's a great accessory for summer, and a cinch to do! And if you've never leafed anything before, you will discover it is one of the most magical of all crafts.

Here's what you will need:

• wood beads of various sizes and shapes. The holes should be big enough for the rope to pass through.

• Gold leaf & leaf sizing. Available at most craft stores. Lots of times it comes together in a kit too.

• Masking tape

• 5 1/2 feet of 1/4 rope

• 4 feet of jewelry twine or embroidery floss

• bead fix

Leafing_beads

First, decide which parts of your bead you want to be gold and which you want to stay wood. Use your imagination for your gold designs. Tape off the parts you want to stay wood. I like to use blue painters tape for this step because it gives a cleaner edge and peels off easier than regular old masking tape.

With a small brush, paint the size onto the parts you want gold on your beads. Once the size has turned clear and is slightly tacky you're ready to leaf. (Be sure to double check the directions on your size in case it's different than what I used)

When I apply the leaf, I try to put it on in one full piece. Then I rub it down with a small dry brush and kind of burnish it a little- it's a good way to get all the little leaf "flakes" off too. It works and looks better than using your fingers. If some spots are missing, just add leaf to that spot and burnish it down with the brush. (instructions will also come with the leaf)

Peel the tape off, and Wha-Lah!

Necklace_end_assembly

Next, assemble the necklace. Thread the beads onto the rope and put a knot between each one. Wrap some masking tape around the end of the rope if you're having trouble threading it through the holes.

Once the beads are on, measure the necklace on yourself and chose a length you like. Overlap the ends about 1 1/2- 2 inches and trim.

On one end, trim 1 of the 3 strands 1 1/2 inches. On the other end, trim 2 of the strands 1 1/2 inches. Now twist the two ends together, and then secure in place with masking tape. For this step, I like to use the regular old masking tape, in case any of it peaks through the twine when I finish it up.

Now we're going to finish the ends by wrapping them in twine. I used a white color with gold thread, but use what you like- for instance, a pop of pink or bright green embroidery floss would be a fun way to wrap the ends.

Tie the twine just past the masking tape on one end- leave about a 4" tail. Pull the twine down to the other end, and begin wrapping. Once you get back to the tied end, tie the 2 tails together, then pull one tail back towards the part that's already wrapped. Wrap around it a couple times, then glue both ends with bead fix. When it's dry, clip the ends as close to the wrapping as possible.

You're done!

 

Finished_necklace_4

I'd love to hear what you guys think!