Sass & Bite

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Category: I Made Dis

I Made Dis: Sparkly Ear Cuff

First of all, let’s get the important things out of the way: today’s date is 11/12/13. The fact that I get to write this on the date line for all the messages I take at work today is very exciting for me.
It’s the little things.

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Speaking of little things, I made an earring/ear cuff hybrid. I saw this on HonestlyWTF a while ago, and my mind-numbing boredom and love of sparkly objects combined forces over the weekend to get me to make one. And I like it. It’s like a sparkly bluetooth.

Mine is less intricate and slightly different than the original; the stones I used are somewhat wider and I didn’t get settings to make them flat because A) I didn’t realize I needed to, and B) I probably wouldn’t have anyway because it would have required me to go to a specialty store and I’m too lazy for that. Except I had to do anyway the next day because even though I had an earring-back fastener, I didn’t actually have the pointy earring post part. Which you’d think would be pretty obvious and at the top of the list, but no. Not in my brain. Didn’t even occur to me until I tried to put the thing on.

I’m a mess. I also spent a whole day unaware that my underwear was on backwards. So. You know. Me in a nutshell.

It's actually really sparkly in real life.

It’s actually really sparkly in real life.

Anyway. It’s pretty simple. All you need are:

  • some gems, beads, whatever — I’m making another one involving a pearl that I haven’t finished yet — I got my navette stones in the bead section at Michael’s
  • curved tube finding, also in the bead section at Michael’s
  • earring post with a flat backing; I got mine at a bead store because I just wanted one set, but you can also get them at Michael’s
  • earring back; I took mine off an old earring with no mate
  • super glue
  • a hammer
  • needle-nose pliers and a toothpick, if you want more precision

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First, use the hammer to flatten the tube.

Apply glue to the back of the bead — you might want to use a toothpick so it doesn’t get all over the place, which it will because superglue is unreasonably difficult — and set it where you want it on the flattened base.

I used just the tip (badum kssh) of the bead and set it on the edge; hold it there for a few seconds to give the glue time to set a little bit.

Continue the rest of the beads, alternating to form a leaf-like pattern.

When you get to the end, if there’s excess metal trim it off with wire cutters. If you don’t have wire cutters, there’s often a hidden set in the joint of needle-nose pliers.

Glue the earring post to the back of the flattened base, not too close to the end because you don’t want it to fall once it’s in your ear.

Let the whole thing dry for at least several hours, or overnight before wearing.

*If you managed to somehow get superglue all over the damn thing and it dulled the stones (not that I speak from experience or anything), go over it with a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover: it’ll dissolve the glue on the surface. Then go over it with a Q-tip dipped in water so the acetone doesn’t dull the stones or seep into the setting and dissolve the glue.

Wear and look stylish.

 

Buddha and Jewels

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I’ve been on the hunt for a Buddha statue to drape my necklaces over forever. I still haven’t found quite what I’m looking for, but after I found this baby and spruced it up a bit, it’ll do nicely for holding my many rings and a few shorter necklaces. I stumbled across it at Ross, of all places, and even though it was shiny white ceramic and kind of tacky looking, I instantly saw potential.

First, I sanded it down lightly with sandpaper; I tried 220 at first but it was too fine so I switched to 150. It didn’t do much to the glaze, as far as I could tell, except for some microscopic scratches, but it did enough to hold a primer. It should be noted that I did somewhat fear karmic repercussions from the universe as I was sanding down Buddha’s face. But clearly I got over it. I did one coat of white primer and let it dry for two hours.

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Then I broke out the spray paint — I used Krylon Hammered Finish in Dark Bronze, which I got ¬†at Michael’s; I initially considered gold, my go-to, but I didn’t want it to compete with the jewelry. Then I toyed with the idea of a stone finish, possibly in a lighter color. Then I saw this dark metallic hammered finish I knew it would be perfect — neutral enough to enhance rather than clash with the jewelry, but still sleek.

Now matte after a coat of primer

Now matte after a coat of primer

With most spray paint, you want to hold it about 8 inches away from what you’re painting and move in smooth, overlapping strips. WIth this one, however, I realized you have to get right up close and get it on there thickly if you want the hammered effect to show — otherwise it just comes out a gunmetal grey.

Ta-da! The Finished Product

Ta-da! The Finished Product

All told, this little guy cost about $20. Whaaaat. So easy.

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