Halloween Upcycle Project – Neon Skulls In A Jar

Check out this fun project I’ve been working on…

I had these old plastic skull Halloween decorations that looked a little less than spooktastic so decided that instead of showing them to the trash I’d give them a little TLC.

List Of Items I Used…

Clean Un lidded Glass Jar (Medium Size)
7 Small Plastic Skulls
Pink Fluorescent Neon Pink Paint
Black Sharpies Permanent Marker Pen
Selection Of Flat Backed Crystals And Gems
Illuminator Paint (Glow In The Dark Paint)
Black Netting (Type You Get Marbles In)
Plastic Black Spider Ring
Jet Black Paper Ribbon
Mosaic Adhesive

First I painted all my boring skulls a Fluorescent neon pink (total of two coats, leaving to dry fully in between).

Then I used my sharpie permanent marker pen to highlight and add bone structure and additional features.

20131013-000000.jpg

Once complete I used a good strong Mosaic adhesive to add some bling into the eye sockets of all skull. As you can see some got blue gems others got green, some even got heart gems making them more a sugar skull than a scary skull.

I left eyes to fully set for at least an hour before giving all skulls to coats of Illuminator paint (this dries clear so if you try this yourself then don’t panic!)
Be sure to let dry a few hours in between coats or you will cause the first layer to go funny.

20131013-000602.jpg

Once fully dried I carefully arranged them into my jar and covered it with the black netting. I secured the netting by twisting it and adding a little spider ring. To finish I added my black curly ribbon.

20131014-180249.jpg

Display in or out their jar

20131014-180404.jpg

20131014-180444.jpg

20131014-180516.jpg

These are UV reactive and will glow in the dark (charge with a UV torch).

The skulls are available in my etsy chic collective store. I made one for myself and one for the store. Go grab it or have a try at making your own.

Advertisements

Kids Crafts – A Crown To Get You Noticed

Ok, so Alice’s school will be awarded a very large check of money today! Why? Because her school have taken first place in this years spelling bee table… In our language, it simply means that her school boasts some of the best spellers in the country.

To help to share the schools success the local paper will run a piece accompanied by some images of some of the pupils. In order to get selected as one of the chosen pupils to be photographed, children including my daughter, were asked to make a crown, the type that would get them noticed. Well, my daughter being the girl who never shies away from a camera, got on the job right away.

Armed with a box of bits and bobs, she got to work. Given we had to be somewhere yesterday evening meant she didn’t actually have all that long to design and create her “large” noticeable hat! But in all fairness this little lady is pretty capable of doing some fantastically creative projects in a tiny space of time.

So… Here it is! Her flower, butterfly, and of course… Bumble bee crown.

20130618-125750.jpg

She used all sorts of materials to create her crown, from tissue paper to sequins, glitter to foam, card and decorative tape. A mountain of flowers that were so delicately sprinkled with glitter, then laid lightly around the crown. She even made a bumble bee eye mask to match her large hat! Alice may now have walked the walk to school with a head full of bumble bees but she did so in style.

20130618-125823.jpg

She is a real inspiration my amazing Alice-Sara! Even if her oversized bumble bee crown doesn’t get her in the local rag, it gets her in my top spot list, as she always does, time and time again!

Well, thanks for checking out the crown of bumble bees! We hope Alice-Sara has inspired your little ones to get creative with buzzing bumble bees.

Top Tips – How Too Turn a Bootfair Into A profitable Business

The sun has been shining, what a perfect excuse to load up the car and head for the bootsale.

Earning extra funds while enjoying the sun’s rays makes selling at bootfairs most enjoyable.

The spring and summer months are popular ones when it comes to bootfairs (after all no, one likes to get up and sell at 5am on a cold winters morning). Both those looking for a bargain and those hoping to make some extra money are all out in force.

For me and my close friend, selling at bootfairs during the months of spring and summer has become something of a business. Last year we started clearing our homes of unwanted items and once we had done so we moved on to buying and selling in the hope of making a profit. We have done the same this year and we are on our 5th week with plans to pitch our stall over at Battersea bootfair this coming Sunday.

I love vintage items and I’m forever picking up a bargain, of course this has become a big feature on the stall. We currently have some stunning items of vintage costume jewellery as well as modern and vintage sterling silver. This year we have also been busy crafting homemade items from homemade bath treats to handmade jewellery. I’ve also been spending lots of time refurbishing items of furniture into distressed shabby chic pieces, ones that I plan to try and sell and promote at the bootfairs we attend over the summer.

20130510-014722.jpg

This year we also plan on selling at craft fairs and best of all… festivals. I’m planning on creating a page to share all this so please feel free to visit it once published.

So… I’ve learnt a lot surrounding bootfairs, selling and all that come’s with it. I wanted to share with you some tips to make your experience the very best, while ensuring you come home with an overflowing money belt as opposed to that of a car boot.

1) If you are selling your unwanted items as a one off, then to get the very best out of your experience, take time to checkout local papers detailing local sales and selling prices. Try to pick an established sale that already has regular visitors, the kind that come out to shop rain or shine.

20130510-021716.jpg

Remember some bootsales require you to book to ensure a space. Call early to avoid disappointment.

2) This is a great tip for those who plan to sell on a regular basis! Before selling at new fairs, attend as a buyer and get a feel for the way things work. Don’t be shy, ask sellers if they recommend the sale, and any tips they may have for new sellers attending the bootsale.

3) Arrive early giving yourself time to set up your stall. It can be most stressful having loads of people try and rummage through your bags and boxes of goods as you unload it from the car. They are like scavengers as they see your car approaching they can be seen stood around ready to pounce on you’re stock. As for the above reasons, Its always best to set your stall up early, before that of buyers are let loose. However, its not only buyers who pounce when you arrive. Other sellers and traders are as bad with some being far worse. Be firm and tell them to back off. This is the most likely time you find you have had stuff stolen so stand your ground, chasing them off like mice if need be.

4) Use sites like eBay to bag bargains. I’ve sold lots of items I’ve brought from eBay at bootsales, making a really nice profit too! Look for listings with words misspelt using a site like fat fingers. These items are not often discovered because of the poor spelling, which means those looking for such items miss them all together… Example, those looking for ‘Adidas’ trainers may miss a listing because the seller has listed the trainers with a typo. The word is spelt ‘Adiddas’ as opposed to that above. This is a great example as its a word often misspelt on eBay meaning I myself have bagged one or two pairs of adidas trainers at a steal.

Also check for listings placed in the wrong category. Ive bagged some lovely pieces on eBay. The seller has listed an item when they have no clue of its true value. Vintage bone china is an excellent example of this and we sell lots at both bootfairs and vintage fairs.

5) Don’t assume that just because your selling at a bootfair it means you have to practically give your items away. Seriously, what you charge for an item has a lot to do with where it is you are selling your items rather than its true value. Seller fees are normally anything from £7 upto £30 plus, with some sales being more upmarket then others. We have some truly stunning jewellery and vintage items. We also have lots of designer items, leather bags, shoes & makeup, refurbished goods such as vintage furniture and handmade items. To sell these items at just any sale would be a waste! For items such as these, you need to go to the right sale, one that is known for its high standard of goods, otherwise you may as well sell at specialised sales. As mentioned we are setting up at Battersea this Sunday and being in a london hotspot means the fees are on the higher scale. Nonetheless, its always busy, the standard of goods on offer are excellent and buyers are there to spend money. I’ve never sold here before but have visited as a buyer countless times and having spoken to regular sellers, I fell confident about doing so.

6) presentation is everything. Whether your selling at a local church or a more upmarket location presentation is key. Most bootfair goers love a rummage though some would rather trail through clothes rails. Try to keep all happy by doing a bit of both. We have a huge box with our cheaper items in allowing the buyer a good rummage. We also have a large rail with lots of different display areas. The one below was made by my friend for our stall. She used poles from an old rusty clothes rail that she extended with old bunk bed poles from my daughter bed…. Groovy arh.

20130510-013651.jpg

7) Smile… A smile goes a long way. I hate looking on a stall that belongs to a miserable sour faced stall holder. It puts me off buying anything and I just can’t wait to walk away. I always say hi to buyers and offer them assistance if they need it. You can often spot those who love a bit of a chatter and I’m always happy to participate. Buyers need to feel comfortable buying from you, so just remember to wear your huge fat cheesy grins on sale days.

8) Take notes at the different sales attended. List what you sell and how much. This will later provide you with statistics when deciding on any regular sales you want to sell at regularly. I find that at certain bootfairs we sell lots of jewellery, yet at another we sell very little but sell more vintage bric a brac. After the second or third time selling at this particular fair I am then better able to decided what items to take. This means I’m able to take more of what sells, therefore coming home with an empty car (excluding any bargains I’ve grabbed).

9) Try not to over indulge on days that your selling. I remember one week we spent all the takings before we had packed away. Ok some of these items provided us with a lovely profit the following week but left us feeling a little gutted on the way home.

10) If you’re planning on selling regularly then establish what bootsales suit you as a seller best. Book pitches early and see if the organiser will offer reduce rates for long term pitch fees. Make sure your buyers then know your there weekly. If something doesn’t work etc… Tell them to pop along and see you next week. This is the way to build trustful relationships with your buyers which will often become regulars as a result.

10) Get yourself some business cards and If possible a website/blog. Because I’m really going for it when it comes to refurbishing furniture into shabby chic pieces I want to ensure everyone knows. I love working with chalk paints and Decopatch and plan to promote this throughout the summer. I’ve even started painting furniture that belongs to others, which often involves removal of furniture, a week to work on it, before finally returning it in its new shabby form. I’m hoping that by selling smaller items of furniture done by myself with the addition of some business cards, it will help spread the word and push me in the correct direction.

11) Get noticed… When selling, especially at festivals, we like to give costumers a focal point ensuring they can find us every time. With such success from this, we have started to use this same idea when selling at large bootfairs. My friend will attach the largest most colourful flag we have to the car to ensure we are spotted for miles. The flag will ensure we are discoverable and easy to locate on future visits. What’s more its used as an ideal meeting point between friends and you can almost always guarantee that those using our flag as a meeting point, will then often find themselves having a look about at what we have on offer while waiting for their friends and then also have a little look about. This is one simple but extremely effective idea that really does work.

12) For certain sales, especially the more upmarket, vintage type fairs, its worth pricing your best pieces at home. We use tiny string tags for jewellery detailing both the price, age and specific design details such as gold, silver, kt, stone, size, etc. We tend to price up items such as makeup a little differently, we have a number of baskets filled with makeup and beauty products, each Basket has a set price displayed for all that’s in it. We also often allow costumers to choose two items of clothing for a tiny £1-£2 fee. This is especially good when you find that you still have certain articles hanging around a month later. A push towards the bargain basket is often all it requires to sell.

20130510-020637.jpg

13) Items with Value – Jewellery is a great example for this tip…. Its best to display jewellery in a way that makes it easier for you to keep a watchful eye over it and far less easy for thefts to target. Lots of gold or silver jewellery should be displayed be hide glass. If buyers ask for a closer look you simply unlock the potable cabinet and hand it to them. this way you have full control over items and are not distracted as others grab at jewellery. its so easy to be distracted by one buyer as another loads his pockets. of course its far harder to steal a cabinet full of jewellery without being noticed.

14) To have the best chance of selling your jewellery try to offer lots of information on the piece. If you happen to state a piece is vintage then try and back it up with a date. Research all article to unearth any online prices to gain an idea of what to sell each piece for. If the piece is available with its original box or packaging then let it be known… this can make a huge difference to some buyers, especially collectors or those who want pieces to maintain value.

20130510-013902.jpg

15) If selling rings its defiantly worth bringing along a ring sizer. This means no buyers claiming the ring has become stuck on their finger (seriously I’ve had this happen once). If sizes are clearly displayed on ring tag then their will be no reason to remove from under glass just for fitting purposes, therefore making selling less worrisome.

20130510-014354.jpg

Also as well as that of the above, you may want to provide potential buyers of jewellery the opportunity to see any stamps and hallmarks through a jewellers loop. A loop is a fantastic tool for anyone who buys and sells jewellery but not everyone can easily get the hang off using such a tool. For those few, provide them with the next best thing… a strong magnifying glass! Your buyer is more assured that they are buying good jewellery and will be much more inclined to visit you again when they return.

20130510-020151.jpg

16) If items are handmade by yourself and are therefore one offs then don’t be shy to let it be known. Add small tags stating the product is unique, handmade and signed by yourself. I myself like buying items when I know that it has been made by hand. No two pieces are the same which for me makes such items more desirable. Remember to always pop a business card into the bag with the byers items they have purchased. Cards should display contact details and a site where more of your work is easily accessed.

20130510-023039.jpg

17) If you are asked about the price of an item that your selling, Always ask higher than you would actually expect to sell it for. The buyer is always more than likely going to haggle you down to a lower price and this will then hopeful be the price that you actually wanted to take. The buyer is proud to have haggled themselves a bargain and your not left feeling a little robbed but actually pleased with the final price thats been paid.

20130510-020836.jpg

18) Make sure you arrive with plenty of change. Its not fun when first thing in the morning buyers are waving tenners under your nose and you can’t change it. Buyers may then ask if you’ll hold the item till later on in the sale when they will return with change, however many don’t, and you’ve lost a sale, and possibly interest from other buyers as a result of holding it back. You can’t complain, I guess they intend to return but discover they no longer have funds having spent so much elsewhere or they actually totally forget. We always visit the post office/bank the day before the sale and change up at least £30 to avoid losing sales. Note, I also always unsure I have change when visiting as a buyer who attends early. I don’t want to lose out on an item due to lack of change (some sellers won’t save it but instead sell it to whoever has the right money).

19) If selling on a weekly basis its worth taking along some money to grab a few bargains for your stall. I say take some money as to avoid spending the takings, as I’ve already mentioned once or twice, this situation can become confusing and a little disheartening when discovering you’ve spent most your earnings before you’ve even packed up the car. Sellers can visit fellow stall holders before the sale is opened to the public. This allows you first refusal. I’ve grabbed some fantastic bargains this way, especially when buying from one off sellers who just want to clear their tables avoiding being left with anything once the sale has come to an end. I will then either sell the item at a later time or place it on my table right away. I then sell for a profit anything over a pound more is usually great, though I’ve often done amazingly, especially given I’ll only buy items When i have an indication of its value.

20) Remember, you will need to charge varying prices based on the location of the bootsale. We did one in Kent recently and found that at first we struggled as most buyers saw our prices as that of “London Prices” despite any value the items had. I’ve found that in outer city towns and villages, prices need to be lowered slightly.

21) If you plan to do a weekly bootsale throughout the spring and summer then be sure to get yourself a good schedule. Having a permanent pitch at one or two sales is ideal. Buyers will then visit more than once and maybe even tell their friends.

22) Share a few of the items you have for your next sale online with your friends and followers on social network sites like twitter and instagram. This gives everyone a taste of what you’ll be selling and those who can’t make it to a sale can contact you with any possible offers. You can then take payment via PayPal.

20130510-020310.jpg

23) If you’ve collected lots of stock then keep sales ticking over while lightening the load by selling some select items via eBay. Certain things will fetch more on eBay so be sure to select the right items to list.

24) If paying for a more expensive pitch, ensure your stock is of a higher standard. Just say your planing on selling at somewhere like pimlico or again Battersea, selling fees could be up to £30 or possibly even more, meaning you’ll need to make this sum back before you even go into profit.

25) At the type of bootsales I’ve mentioned above, I’ve made a little list of items that I’ve found sell well. Remember, sellers fees are higher but buyers pay more for good quality goods.
Vintage items – Pretty items such as crystal vases, silver tea services and vanity items…
Retro 80’s & 90’s – whether its lucky trolls or retro teapots these all do well.
Designer items – Its at these sales you can easily sell both modern and vintage designers bags, shoes and clothing.
Jewellery – both precious metals such as gold and silver are hot buys as are vintage pieces such as crystal bracelets, clip on earrings and brooches.
Handmade – unique and one offs are great sellers. These include handmade beauty products, jewellery and hand painted items
Watches – both modern and vintage watches do well. We even sell a lot of broken watches and pieces as scrap, especially those what are sought after brands
Vintage refurbishments – I always try to take some pretty refurbs with me to these sales. Good manageable items are things like chairs, side tables and bedside drawers.This also helps in drumming up interest when it comes to selling your refurbished vintage furniture online or working on other custom pieces.

20130510-014510.jpg

26) Now this may sound some what cheap and if anything a tad trampy but watch out for free items during packing up time. So many one off sellers who only want to declutter their homes just cannot face reloading the car with items they didn’t sell. Many leave beautiful and very sellable items on the ground where their stall had once stood. They simply just speed off leaving behind their treasures. Such items could do incredible well on your next sale! I love finding old furniture and bits suitable for refurbishing. So, my advice is… If it fits in the car, then to hell with it, grab it otherwise somebody else will.

20130510-023201.jpg

27) Make use of the resources at hand. Using the car has a display rail always gets items of clothing noticed and almost always sold.

20130510-021337.jpg

28) Lastly… Try to sell items suited to the current climate. Selling thick jumpers and long wool coats in the summer months doesn’t usually result in high sales. Many people at bootfairs don’t even want to think about the prospect of colder whether, therefore avoiding all associated with it (regardless of style, brand and pricing).

So, that’s it! Any tips of your own worth sharing, then feel free to comment.

If your in london this coming Sunday then please pop by the Battersea bootfair and say hi. Can’t attend but Interested in any items you have seen through here, twitter, Facebook or instagram, then feel free to email me at clairelouise.tss@gmail.com where I’d be pleased to help

Tutorial – Chocolate Fudge Lotion Bars With A Hint Of Shimmer

For sometime now I’ve been wanting to make some hard lotion bars and yesterday I finally found the opportunity to do so.

20130502-123934.jpg

Are you all familiar with the term lotion bars?

For those of you who are not, lotion bars are basically the same as body butters and lotions, only these come in a solid form. Lotion bars are basically solid at room temperature but melt at near skin temperature. When you finish in the bath/shower you simply rub the bar over your body allowing your skin to absorb its moisture.

By making my own lotion bars I know exactly what it is I’m applying to my skin, therefore avoiding anything that may irritate me! My skin is very sensitive, making me prone to outbreaks of eczema and other flare ups. However, this isn’t the only benefit to making your own lotion bars. Its also a much cheaper alternative to expensive shop brought brands. Though the ingredients used are rather expensive, the quantity of what you have purchased will last some time, allowing you to make a good number of homemade skin products, therefore making the ingredients great value for money.

So, not only did I want a lotion bar that combats dry skin, I also wanted something a little sweet smelling and girly. With this I decided to make a batch of ‘Chocolate Fudge Shimmer Lotion Bars’

For this simple lotion bar recipe you will need to first buy these ingredients

Yellow Bees Wax Pellets
Almond Oil (Carrier Oil)
Unrefined Coca Butter
Raw Shea Butter
Witch Hazel
Pure Vitamin E Oil
Chocolate Fudge (Fragrance)
Cosmetic Glitter (Silvery White)

Tools…

Double boiler
Silicone Moulds (hearts)
Metal Spoon
Grater
Bowls
Scales or measuring cups
Spoons for mixing

20130502-121147.jpg

Warning: This recipe does contain nut extract so those allergic to nuts should avoid!

So, before I get started on the tutorial, let me explain a little, my reasons for choosing the above ingredients.

For the lotion bar to work a carrier oil must be used. I chose almond oil as its known to be a great natural oil for people who suffer with dry skin. Almond oil moisturises and keeps the skin at a normal PH level during the colder months avoiding cracked dry patches like I sometimes get on my hands as a result of my eczema.

Secondly almond oil provides its user with a natural way to fight them frightening signs of ageing with its use of antioxidants and anti-aging properties.

Unrefined Cocoa butter is the best option for this recipe as it still retains all of its natural goodness and is completely pure and untouched. Its brought in large hard blocks that can be melted down into a liquid. It has a long shelf life of anything from 2-5 years dependent on its stored environment. It has a great buttery texture as it begins to melt and a pleasant natural fragrance. Cocoa butter is a great stable fat that is naturally packed full of antioxidants. Its great used as a lotion as like that of almond oil it helps to prevent dry and itchy skin. What’s more its perfect for a lotion bar as its solid form melts easily when it comes into contact with the skin which is then easily absorbed leaving your skin smelling delicious and feeling silky smooth.

Shea butter is extracted from the nut of African Shea trees. Its packed full of natural fatty acids that are again great to use on the skin. Shea butter is again a great option as like cocoa butter it has a reasonably low melting point. saying that, Shea butter isn’t the easiest butter to work with as it can often become grainy if not heated and cooled in the right way.

The benefits of Shea butter for your skin is that it is both moisturising and rejuvenating. It acts as a great skin toner too, helping beat cellulite and uneven skin texture. Like the above ingredients it fab as an anti ageing treatment and helps to combat dry skin such as eczema. This butter is packed with vitamins and therapeutic properties to protect skin from elements such as the sun and the wind making it a great addition to lip balms.

Yellow BeesWax has a higher melting point range of 62 to 64 °C compared to that of cocoa and Shea butters that normally have a melting range of below 40 °C. The beeswax therefore keeps the product solid for longer. For those living in hotter climates than the UK, a higher ratio of beeswax can be used if desired. Lastly, pure yellow beeswax has a nicer texture and naturally sweeter aroma then that of refined white wax pellets.

Added extras are both the witch hazel and the vitamin E oil. Only a small amount of both is needed but both have great benefits to the skin making these lotion bars even more beneficial.

So Lets Get Started….

Measures

to get the measurements needed for my batch of 6 large heart shaped lotion bars I used the following…

Equal measures of your main ingredients, which for this bar are cocoa butter, almond oil and wax pellets…

Unrefined Cocoa Butter 4 oz
Almond Oil (Carrier Oil) 4 oz
Natural Yellow Beeswax Pellets 4 oz

Other ingredients…

Shear Butter (1.5 oz)

Witch Hazel 1 1/2 Table Spoons

Vitamin E Oil 2 drops

Chocolate Fudge Fragrance Oil 30 drops

Cosmetic Glitter (Shimmer) 2 Tiny Pinches

First, take the cocoa butter and weigh out 4 oz. Then grate it into a large bowl. Note… This is time consuming and hard work so if you have an electric grater then go for it! As to avoid waste cut the last small pieces that are too small to grate into tiny pieces with a knife. Once done leave it to one side.

20130502-121327.jpg

Next weigh out your wax pellets (4 oz) and then your Shea butter 1.5 oz.

20130502-121622.jpg

20130502-121523.jpg

Boil a pan of water and once its bubbling turn down the heat and place a smaller pan or glass jug (if you don’t have a double boiler like me) into the boiling pan of water.

Keep the heat low and add your wax pellets. Remember these have a higher melting point so should go on first.

20130502-121715.jpg

Once the wax is almost liquidated, add the grated cocoa butter, stir a little and within a few seconds it should have began melting. At this point you should now add the Shea butter to your mixture. Give this a stir and then leave on the low heat while you prepare your carrier oil.

20130502-121849.jpg

For this measure out 4 oz of almond oil adding 1 1/2 table spoons of witch hazel to the oil followed by two drops of vitamin E. Give this a good mix before pouring into the mixture.

20130502-122004.jpg

At this point something very strange will happen. The addition of the cold oils to the hot wax makes the oil suddenly turn white with almost a solid appearance. Don’t panic just stir to blend all the ingredients together till the whole mixture has become a liquid.

Now remove from the heat and allow to let for 30-60 seconds before adding 30 drops of Chocolate Fudge Fragrance mix well and don’t take to long to avoid solidification.

20130502-122114.jpg

Lastly sprinkle in a few pinches of cosmetic glitter, mix and pour into your silicone moulds.

20130502-122211.jpg

20130502-122338.jpg

Let sit in till the liquid has solidified enough for you to more them into the fridge where you will leave them be for a good few hours (2 should be enough but 3 is even better).

20130502-122441.jpg

Once these have set, they should pop out the silicone moulds with ease. Let them stand for 20 minutes and then decided how you want to store them. If keeping for yourself, store in an old tin or some air tight containers, placing them in a cool dark place away from sunlight and other heat sources in-till your ready to use them.

20130502-123809.jpg

20130502-123715.jpgabove image I’ve tried to capture the sparkle

If you want to dress these up for a gift you can simply wrap them in some greaseproof paper, pop them into gift bags, tie with twine and write the name of the gift on a cute matching gift tag. Another idea, which I like best, is to line a glass jar with a pretty cellophane bag, piling your lotion bars inside before securing the lid and again adding a gift tag or naming label.

20130502-124015.jpg

20130502-124053.jpg

These lotion bars really do smell gorgeously chocolatey. The shimmer is so pretty and subtle too.

My skin feels smooth and soft and the smell last for hours as would a perfume.

Am I proud of my homemade lotion bars? Hell yes!

Reference Section

I’m a UK girl living in London. All the ingredients were attainable, but health food stores are charging the earth for this stuff. With this I opted for eBay when buying the majority of my ingredients. Below is a list of stockiest accompanied by links to the places I brought my ingredients…

250g Raw Shea Butter, 500g Unrefined Cocoa Butter, 10ml Vitamin E Oil

All the above brought from … ‘Aina’s Bargains (eBay Shop)’

Witch Hazel & Almond Oil purchased from Sainsburys

Heart Mould Tray purchased from Lidl

Chocolate Fudge Fragrance purchased from J’s Natural Soaps (eBay Store)

How To Make Jewellery From Shrink Plastic

Shrink plastic is a very versatile medium. Its fun to work with for both children and adults alike and its available from most good craft stores and online.

Today I’m going to show you how to use shrink plastic to make these two lovely pendants…

20130425-213413.jpg

The materials you will require are…

2 x frosted sheets of shrink plastic
Black permanent marker pen
Gold metallic gel pen
Gold metallic pencil
Silver metallic pencil
Length of black cord or leather
Thick silver memory wire (for choker)
10 4mm flat backed crystals (white)
2 x Charlotte crimp bead tips (silver)
1x jump ring
Flat silver charm (like a tag)
2 silver pendant attachments
1 necklace clasp
Small amount of silver tiger wire

Tools

Scissors
Mini hole punch
Access to a pre heated oven or heat tool
Flat nosed pilers
Wire cutters
Super glue

To make your round pendant use your permanent black marker pen and draw a circle that goes into a swirl on the rough (frosted side) of your shrink plastic.

20130425-114520.jpg

Next decorate the edging of your swirl with a petal like pattern like I have.

Use the gold gel pen to colour in groups of the petal like decoration like so.

Decorate any other way you wish.

20130425-114558.jpg

Now cut out the shape and use the mini hole punch to make a hole in your pendant (not to close to the edge).

If using an oven preheat this to the temperature stated on the manufacturers instructions on your shrink plastic. Follow the guidelines to shrink the plastic.

If using a heat tool, place your plastic, frosted side up, on a ceramic surface and hold it with a pencil tip as you apply the heat.

Within seconds the plastic should start to shrink. It will all fold up into a ball before finally opening back out to reveal its smaller self. This process takes seconds.

The plastic will now be 7x smaller and much more thicker than it was previously.

20130425-213630.jpg

Once the plastic has cooled use super glue (a tooth pic or similar) to glue one crystal to the centre of your swirl and three more crystals like I have in the image below.

20130425-213744.jpg

Now fit a pendant grip through the pendants hole and thread the black cord through the hoop.

20130425-213833.jpg

Its now time to finish of your necklace using the jewellery findings!

Thread a charlotte crimp end to each end of your thread. Tie in a knot to secure and use flat nosed pilers to crimp the thread securely inside the body of the Charlotte.

20130425-213919.jpg

Now, to one end of your thread add a jump ring to the Charlotte crimp end and to the other end attach a clasp.

Your first pendant is now complete.

20130425-214007.jpg

Gold and silver pendant

Cut your shrink plastic into a thickish strip.

Use your gold and silver pencils to add swirls of both colours to the rough side of your plastic. Ensure your swirls overlap one another like so…

20130425-214106.jpg

Once your design is complete again cut down your plastic remembering that it will be 7x smaller once shrunk. Your finished pendant will need to measure at least 2-2 1/2 centimetres in length.

At this stage you will also need to round off your edges to ensure there are no sharp corners.

20130425-214501.jpg

Turn your plastic long ways up and use your mini hole punch to make a hole both at the top and bottom of your shape.

20130425-214615.jpg

Now place in the oven shrinking your plastic as you did before (instructions above).

Once your plastic has shrunk and it is cool to touch use you super glue to glue on five of your crystals randomly in the centre of your swirls.

20130425-214740.jpg

Attach a pendant grip to the top hole like so.

Now take your flat silver tag and glue on one more crystal to its centre.

20130425-214830.jpg

Thread a small piece of silver tiger wire through the loop of your flat pendant and then through the hole at the bottom of your shrink plastic.

Twist using flat nosed pilers and cut of any excess with wire cutters.

Your flat silver tag should now dangle from the bottom of your plastic pendant.

20130425-214927.jpg

Lastly mould the memory wire into a hoop and thread the pendant onto the wire. Secure the end by forming two loops using flat nosed pilers.

And your finished.

20130425-215057.jpg

Alice loves wearing these home made creations and the shrink plastic has done well to impress us both.

Why not give those above a try or simply use your imagination to create your own style of shrink plastic jewellery.

20130425-215141.jpg

Tutorial – Shabby Chic Crackled “Love” Hearts

20130415-190916.jpgSo cute but so so easy.

To make a small crackle heart in this pretty shabby chic style you will need the following materials…

Small Paper Mâché Heart
Folk Art Acrylic Paint (940 Coffee Bean)
Mod Podge Shimmer (Gold)
PVA Glue (Mixed with water)
1 4mm White Flat Backed Crystal
Acrilex – Tinta Craquelex Branco (basically white crackle paint)
Black Marker Pen

Tools
Glue & Paint Brushes
Heat Tool or Hair Drier
Sponge Paint Applicator

First paint both sides of your heart in the coffee bean paint.

20130415-191246.jpg

When dry apply one thin coat of mod podge shimmer to both sides of the heart.

20130415-191623.jpg

Once dry mix 4 parts PVA to 2 parts water. The mixture needs to be thin but still tacky (apply more glue or water if you need to).

Apply the mixture to your heart with a sponge applicator. Don’t apply to thickly.

20130415-191739.jpg

Now blast your heat tool or like me, your hairdryer, over the heart. Don’t dry the glue fully! It needs to be tacky but not wet.

As soon as this is done use a brush to dab the Craquelex over the tacky glue (do not reapply over the same area more than once as this stops the effect from appearing. Be sure to work fast as to avoid the glue over drying.

20130415-191922.jpg

Once your heart is covered blast the hairdryer on to the heart and watch as the cracks begin to form.

Let the heart now sit for an hour before taking your permanent maker and writings the word ‘Love’ in which ever style you desire across the front of your heart.

20130415-192005.jpg

Leave to dry for a further 30 minutes as to not smudge the ink on the next step.

Now applying another coat of mod podge shimmer gold. At this point also apply the 4mm flat backed white crystal to the bottom point of your heart.

20130415-192050.jpg

Leave to dry and then hang and display.

20130415-192125.jpg

If you love these hearts but don’t want to make them yourselves please email me and I’d be happy to create these for you. Prices start from £2.50 and can be made in various colours.
Email clairelouise.tss@gmail.com
All payments are taken via PayPal

Kids Spring Crafts – Tissue Paper Flower Bouquets

20130413-060912.jpg

Here’s a very easy craft project to do with the kids this weekend.

Given its been kinda wet outside these past few days spring doesn’t really feel like its in the air. So, why not bring spring indoors with this cute spring bouquet made with tissue paper flowers.

These are easy to do yet an enjoyable activity for children both big and small.

Bouquets can be decorated anyway your child desires whether it be simply dotty flower wrapping or crystals and bows.

To make these with your children, here’s what you are going to need to make it happen.

3x Sheets Of Tissue Paper (3 different colours)
Mod Podge (or PVA/water mix)
Ribbon
3x Strong Glue Dots
3x Tiny Faux Pearls (for smaller flowers)
3x Big Faux Pearls (for larger flowers)
Decorations (examples… Embellishments, beads, glitter..)
1x Elastic Band
1x Sheet Of Green Tissue Paper (optional – if leaf shoots are desired)

Here’s what to do…

First take two sheets of tissue paper in 2 of your 3 colours and rip them into strips (you want around 6 strips, 3 in each of the 2 colours).

Now one at a time roll your paper strips ( ensure that 3 of the strips are rolled more tightly than the other 3). Now pinch 1/4 of the way down and twist to form a bud and stem.

Fiddle with the paper buds to form the flowers shape. At this point you can slightly open the buds and fluff them out a little on the not so tightly rolled flowers. For the 3 tighter flowers be sure to twist and pinch a little firmer to keep them closed like rose buds. Remember, for this tutorial we are making 3 rose buds and 3 open roses.

20130413-061033.jpg

Now, cut of some of the stems away to make the flower smaller. At this point no glue is required as the twisted paper will hold itself.

Once you have done this step for all your tissue paper strips bunch them together and secure with an elastic band.

20130413-061244.jpg

Now bring forward your remaining sheet of tissue paper, fold in half and half again and lay down at an angle like that of the image below.

Place the bunched flowers at a tilted angle so that the buds are directly beneath the top right corner like so.

Wrap your flowers in the paper forming a cone like shape, squeezing the bottom tightly and securing around the middle with pretty ribbon.

20130413-061341.jpg

Push the 3 small faux pearls into the 3 rose buds.

For the larger open roses, add an extra strong glue dot to the bottoms of the 3 large pearls and again push into the centre of the flower.

20130413-061446.jpg

Now add a very thin layer of Mod Podge or PVA/Water mix (though this will require many more hours to dry).

If using mod podge leave to dry for around 40 minutes (more or less dependent on the conditions your working in.) If using PVA/Water mix this could take anything from 6-24 hours to dry.

20130413-061550.jpg

Use your decorations to glam up your bouquet. We just added a sequinned pink heart to our flowers wrapping for a pretty finishing touch. If using gems and glitter apply another coat of glue mix or mod podge to ensure all decorations are set. We just added our heart so nothing more was required.

20130413-061632.jpg

You can let the kids go crazy making these. They could really mix up the colour combinations or even roll one colour tissue paper inside of another to give that pretty two tone effect.

Experiment with the wrapping of your flowers, maybe wrapping them in pretty cellophane or felt. Another pretty idea which can be done for winter as opposed to spring, is to add white ultra fine glitter dust around the edging of each flower for an iced, snow effect.

If like us you want some green in with your roses, then why not add some shoots of grass to your bouquet which are easy enough to achieve and requires nothing more than a sheet of green tissue paper.

Here’s how its done.

1… Simply roll the green tissue paper tightly
2… Pinch and twist a 1/4 of the way down
3… Twist tightly the remaining paper making a stem and cut in half (discard of bottom half)
4… Tie off at the end and then snip the flat end (top) to resemble grass.
5… Fit into your bouquet where desired.

20130413-062448.jpg

Don’t they look lovely?

20130413-062854.jpg

Hope you’re now feeling inspired and the kids are too.