DIY Checkered Glass Collar Tips

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I am obsessed with collar tips right now. Cash is extremely tight as of late, so I’ve been getting creative to feed my fashion hunger. I made with decorative glass from the Dollar Tree, magazine clippings (a Louis Vuitton ad to be precise), Mod Podge, and gold hardware I already had for making jewelry.

Would anyone be interested in a tutorial on how to make these?

Review of The Best and Worst Glues for Making Jewelry: E6000, Amazing Goop, etc

Jewelry making has become one of my passions. I spend a lot of my evenings hunched over my work-desk twisting wires, beading, gluing, and mod-podging the night away. I am toying with the idea of putting together a self published book of thrifty jewelry how-tos. (Let me know what you think about that idea.)

For the purposes of jewelry, you need to use something that will stand up to wear and tear. When I first started making jewelry, I know nothing. I had to teach myself how to do it all, and in the process, I’ve tried a ton of different glues, always questing for that one glue that would bond anything to anything. And so, I present to you the best and the worst of my trials and errors.

 

1. “Super Glue” Fix-All Adhesive

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This was the first glue I tried after failing miserably with normal superglue. I like that it is more of a gel than normal super glue or crazy glue, but it does NOT fix “all,” as the packaging promises. It will not bond metal or plastic, glass, or stone. It may adhere at first, but within hours of wear, the stone or whatever you glued onto the metal will fall off. It only works on very porous surfaces — not good for jewelry making.  But, at $1, I got what I paid for.

2. Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue

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I bought this one at Michael’s. I’ll be blunt – it sucks. Just as #1, it doesn’t work on smooth, non-porous surfaces. It breaks off very cleanly. This one was a waste of money. Everything I tried to glue onto ring blanks or brooch pins eventually fell off. Not cool for paying $5.

3. Amazing GOOP Craft

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This glue isn’t the best, but it does work. You do have to rough up plastic before glue it, to ensure the optimal bond, but if used right, this glue works. It dries clear, and has a rubbery, flexible texture. However, with more vinyl like plastics, the bond stills break on occasion. However, at $3 it’s not so bad.

4. Shoe Goo

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I love this stuff. I actually bought it to repair a shoe that’s sole literally ripped off. It is intended to bond rubber, vinyl, and canvas. I don’t use it to bond those materials to metal, but when I want to bond them to each other, this is a good choice. You have to allow ample drying and curing time, but it will be worth it. It also did the trick for my shoes!

5. E6000

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This is the absolute best glue I have ever used. The label is very plain, but it is amazing. It is industrial strength, which means super smelling and not good for you, so I advise cracking a window when using it. It is a gel and dries clear. It dries relatively fast for a gel, but I recommend allowing at least a day for the glue to fully cure. It truly bonds anything to anything. I haven’t experienced any breakage to date. It works on smooth non-porous surfaces as well as porous ones like fabric and maintains just enough flexibility.

Normal super glue/crazy glue is not viable option for making jewelry. It is too runny, does not dry clear, and dries with a rough unattractive finish. Elmer’s Glue will also not work. It is not waterproof and just not meant to last. As for hot glue, I don’t really bother with it, because it doesn’t last and can be messy.

If you’re interested in what I have made, check out my etsy store, The Betwixt Boutique!

 

 

My new favorite earrings – Glow-in-the-dark Bats!

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Hello all! I am pretty pleased with these earrings I made around Christmas time. I took rubber bats from Halloween ($2.88 per pack of 16, at the time), affixed gold jumprings, chain, and fancy gold ear hooks. Takes like five minutes, and they look so cool, especially in the dark, as they GLOW! They are reeeeally big and swing around violently, but that is exactly how I want all my earrings to be. Thoughts?

 

DIY Skeleton Hand Collartips

 

Took some leftover skeleton hands from crafts of years past, glued lapel pins to them and attached a chain. So easy, it’s stupid. Saw the idea on tumblr. By the way, why don’t you check out Thrifty Cent’s tumblr?

 

 

I picked up this lovely collar necklace at a local antique mall called Route 30 for $5. The price seemed a little steep since it probably isn’t any older than the eighties or nineties but it was one of those times where I felt like I’d regret it if I didn’t get it.

And here are some snapshots of the jewelry I’verecently made for my etsy shop, The Betwixt Boutique:

For my rad readers, I have created a coupon code for you for The Betwixt Boutique. Enter coupon code THRIFTY at checkout.

 

Earrings Anonymous

I’ll be the first to step up and admit that I have an earring problem. I love them way too much. My bedroom doesn’t appreciate it, and neither does my boyfriend, but pish posh. A girl’s gotta have her earrings. These particular earrings are a set a made a few nights ago.  I think they are chunk and funky, and those are qualities I value highly in jewelry, if you know what I mean. What to you think?

How to Get the Most Out of Your Shoe Collection

Time to sharpen your skills in thriftiness, my friends!

In past decades, women knew how to get the most out of their closet and their money. It’s seems that here in 2011 we’ve forgotten how to do that. Gas prices are rising rapidly, unemployment is going up, employers are cutting back hours and wages… Basically, money is getting tight for a lot of us. That doesn’t mean we need to cut back on our fashion, we just need to find ways around this whole “money” thing.

Michelle Phan (youtube makeup guru and all around awesome person) posted this awesome video awhile back about how to expand your shoe collection without buying a single pair of shoes, but simply utilizing the pairs you already own.

 

Now, in the video Michelle and stylist Chrisselle show how adding clip-on embellishments like flowers and bows can recreate the whole look of a shoe. You may be wondering, where can I get that stuff? Michaels, which is a popular US craft chain store, has clip on fabric flowers for only $1 each in the bins that sit in the middle of aisles with other cheap things. I just bought a few a couple of weeks ago, and now that I’ve seen this video, I may go back and buy some more in pairs. Michael’s also has ribbons in all different widths and designs if you wish to fashion your own bows.

Buttons, beads, chains — almost anything can be used to spice up your shoes. I sometimes like to wrap a pyramid stud belt around the ankle of my knee high boots to enhance them, since I wear them so often.

Another place to find supplies is Dollar Tree. (Get used to me referencing this place a lot. I work there.) Dollar Tree has silk and fabric flowers, headbands in all varieties (literally hundreds of headbands that you can pluck flowers, bow, bits and baubles from), and all kinds of other goodies. The crafting supplies section is getting larger and better every week, so give that a try as well.

You see this shoe? These are Christian Louboutins, some of the hottest and most expensive shoes around. You can recreate this look with your own basic black stillettos and embellishments like those shown in the Michelle Phan video. For like a dollar. Come on people.

But, I do feel the need to point out that Michelle and Chrisselle are not inventing the wheel here… Shoe clips have been around for a long time. They aren’t too commonly sold in major stores these days, which is sad, but like I said, we’ve forgotten how to save money! However, I’ve seen a lot of vintage shoe clips at flea markets and thrift stores. Or, bypass all that and search etsy. Here are some nice ones:

From etsy seller HarringtonHeirlooms.

Also, another extremely common option is clip-on earrings. I see them by the bucket load at every second hand vending place (my umbrella term for places like thrift stores, yard sales, auctions, antique stores, flea markets, etc etc). Just clip them to your shoes instead of your ears! The only downside is that they don’t clip to shoes or ears too strongly, so I wouldn’t use any valuable or treasured clip-ons.

Some jewelry I’ve made…

Here are some things I’ve made, some recent, some old.

Leopard pendant choker.

I made this about a year ago. I am in love with it. I like chunky and dramatic jewelry, and I couldn’t really find things I liked in stores, so I started making my own. A necklace like this takes less than ten minutes to make and it relatively inexpensive. You can purchase neat beads on etsy or at stores like Michael’s.

Vintage pendant.

My friend Kathleen gave me this vintage pendant for my birthday. Because it’s already a “dramatic” piece, I decided to just string it on a piece of blue cord. This takes no time at all, but still looks pretty rad.

Game Piece Earrings.

These were so easy and they look really chunky and cute. I made them in about five minutes using game piece beads I picked up at Michaels (a string of six was $1.99), and some seed beads.

Buddha chain dangle earrings.

I made these Buddha earrings fairly quickly as well. I used leftover chain from an old broken necklace to add some interest, as the Buddha beads alone might have been kind of boring. I love making new jewelry out of old jewelry. I suggest picking up old jewelry at yard sales and reusing the components for new projects, as yard sales usually have the cheapest jewelry, and since they’re so cheap, you won’t feel so bad about tearing them apart.

If you want to make jewelry like this, you need jewelry making pliers. You can get a cheap set at Michael’s or Wal-Mart. I have a miniature set, which I would not recommend as they are very frustrating to work with.  Websites like Threadbanger.com offer tons of great DIY tutorials. I can spend hours on that website, and I have made a lot of their projects. Threadbanger doesn’t have an enormous amount of jewelry tutorials, but it’s a good place to start off and get inspiration for your own projects. Craft stores sell magazines and books on jewelry making that offer patterns and tutorials that will have you get started.