Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Etsy Fort Worth January Challenge

I've spent the past month working on this project for the Etsy Fort Worth Craft Challenge. Below is a simple how-to in picture form.

Materials list:
1 sushi tray
2 pieces of leather cut to the same size
4 lengths of 26 gauge copper wire cut to about 20"
4 lengths of 26 gauge copper wire cut to about 18"
2 lengths of 26 gauge copper wire cut to about 36"
Barge Cement

The item they chose for this challenge was a sushi container and I just happened to have some around the house. You can see in this picture how the bottom is already divided into rectangular sections.

Using a pair of sharp scissors I cut the rectangles out.

Then, using a sharp tool I punched a hole in each of the four corners. The sections are fairly delicate and so punch the holes with as little pressure as possible.

I cut a rectangular strip of leather about 6inches long by 3 wide. You can cut it to any size that you are comfortable with. I set the rectangles into a pattern that I found interesting. I also had some cut glass beads I planned to use in the necklace. I also cut 4 pieces of 26 gauge copper wire into about 20" lengths. I set the rectangles onto the leather and punched holes so that I stitch them on using the copper wire as my "thread".

I started from the backside of the leather and laced the wire through putting using the rectangles as beads.
To place the beads I brought the two wires out of the first "bead" and put both of them through the bead. Then I laced both wires through the same corner hole in the next "bead" and brought both of them out of the opposite corner hole. Place the next bead on and then split the wires back into two and lace through the next corners. I completed one whole side, top and bottom before doing the other side.

Then I continued the same way on the other side.

When I finished both sides and had ample wire remaining, I laced all the wires through to the back. Then I cut 4 more lengths of wire and punched 8 holes on each side in the approximate middle of where the first ones finished. I used 2 of the 4 additional wires on each side. I bent them into a 'u' shape and brought them from behind, to the front, and then back through so they end on the back side. Next I used one of the long pieces of copper and attached it on the back side to some of the copper loops there. To make the necklace part I used an over-under technique and wove the copper.

I braided the ends into a loop and wove the wires back through.

Here's what the back looks like with the wires pulled though and the weaving on the sides. Then I used the same technique as above to weave the other side of the neck piece.

When I wove the side as long as I needed it to be to meet up with the other side, I bent the wires over and twisted them in pairs of 2 making sure to leave a loop on top. Then I cut off the excess wire.

I continued weaving up and over the the wires that I bent. This covered the cut ends nicely.

When I reached the loops I brought the wire over and through the end loop. Then I continued by lacing the wire through all of the loops until there was no more wire strands left and they were all wrapped together.

I cut off the excess and pinched it down with pliers. Then I bent over the end to make it into a hook to go through the clasp loop.

I used barge cement to glue down the corners as well as to attach the second piece of leather, which serves to cover all of the wire lacing and protect my neck from it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012


I completed my first mosaic this week. It was
 inspired by both my father-in-law and mother-in-law. I am really pleased with the way it came out.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last week of 2011

The last week of 2011 has been really full and fun. I didn't work too hard on creating many new items, but here are the few that came out.

For a while now my MIL has wanted me to create a beaded flower arrangement for this basket. Somehow I could never get quite excited about it. However, given all of m recent copper wire work, I had an idea to create her a tree made just for the basket. This is my starting armature created with 18 gauge copper wire. My plan is to us thinner gauge wires and either cut faceted glass beads or some kind of semi-precious gemstone. I'll post more pics of that as it progresses.

After Christmas, my SIL and I were talking about ear cuffs. She mentioned that she had been wanting one and so we spent some time looking around online to get ideas and inspiration. Here are the two designs I ended up creating. One for her and one for me.