DIY Jewelry Design Ideas – Earrings

So I was putting together a pair of earrings that feature two of my favorite design elements: vintage glass rhinestone jewels, and chains. More importantly, chains of more than one style and more than one metal. I love the look – maybe a little messy, casual, easy to wear 🙂

These earrings have sapphire blue rhinestone pear jewels in silver settings, with silver, copper, and golden chains in deliberately un-matched styles. I added small yellow-green teardrops – just to give a little tangy color to the mix.

Then I tried an experiment – take a look at the earring, with small crystal rhinestone rounds added asymetrically.

Sapphire Vintage Glass Pear Jewel Earrings with chains and green garnets
Sapphire Vintage Glass Pear Jewel Earrings

It’s a nice way to give a little extra sparkle – and suppose you were to use small jewels in, oh, peridot green, emerald, aqua…. or pink and orange.

Try it! Take this sort of design and run with it. Play with textures and colors – there is no “wrong” way to do it – and you’ll be surprised at how many designs you can create with this basic concept. Make it yours!

DIY Jewelry Design Ideas – Necklace

This necklace design shows one way to add just a little extra pizzazz – and highlights the idea of repeating a motif or design element:

Crystal Rhinestone Necklace - do it yourself necklace design idea

The crystal rhinestone pear jewel as a design element is repeated three times here. The central two-jewel “duo” pendant measures just a smidge over one inch long and is the focal of this necklace. Yes, it’s available here in my Etsy shop – all these jewels are (of course I used my own stuff for the example here)!

I repeated the “crystal teardrop” element in two similar-but-not-identical shapes. It doesn’t have to be teardrops. Try the same idea with round beads or crystals, in ascending size to the central, larger pendant.

It adds an extra bit of design excitement 🙂

This idea isn’t original with me – it probably started back in the Stone Age. Take the idea – run with it – make it your own!

A beautiful quilt – and DIY inspiration!

I saw a beautiful – and inspirational! – quilt this morning at All People Quilting, part of the Better Homes and Gardens family:

Victoria Findlay Wolfe quilt at American Patchwork Quilting

Of course, just seeing this quilt is inspiring – the intricate, lovely design, and those cheerful happy colors! And then we get to the “DIY inspiration” I mentioned.

First, you could buy one from the designer, which would mean you’d have a beautiful piece of useable art and an heirloom for your kids. But if you want to Do It Yourself (or have to because, well, funds are limited) – think about it. You could use a quilt design as a template for recycled fabric scraps, discarded t-shirts, or old neckties, and use the design as a quilt – or as wall art.

Take the idea further – you wouldn’t have to use fabric. How about cut out magazine images? construction paper, or too-creased-to-use-again wrapping paper.

You see what I mean? Endless options – and using recycled materials, almost cost-free.

There are a LOT of inspiring quilts out there. Until you can buy one of these masterpieces, well, make your own!

Upcycled Fashion

Today I wanted to talk about upcycled fashion – with the emphasis on “fashion”. Also on style, and affordability, and great, unique design.

Case in point:

Upcycled One of a Kind Sleeveless Dress from Great Fabrications SRQ on Etsy

Now this is a great dress. It’s one of a kind – you’re not going to see it on everybody else wearing stuff from the Mall. It looks really comfortable without being all fussy. It’s feminine without being, well, all fussy and cutesy. It’s washable (stop laughing; that’s major important!)

And it’s upcycled – made of fabrics and garments that were discards or rejects or out of style or who knows what – it’s a wholly new dress. And it’s got great style – with the right accessories, a woman from 20 to 50 could wear this dress. Or from 15 to 60. It looks *good* 🙂

This is just what clothing ought to be. A little bit fun and original. Washable. Affordable (try buying handmade garments for less!) Upcycled. And, it looks great.

Lisa at Great Fabrications SRF started her shop focusing on bags (they’re great) – and now is showing us garments as well. This is a trend we want to encourage 🙂

P.S. Lisa has a lovely vintage shop as well – Jay Bird’s Vintage – with some totally yummy items for your home. There’s an aqua pyrex which is totally calling my name….. it may be gone by the time you get there 🙂

Vintage for the Home

I had intended to do a blog post about another goodie altogether, and I will, later. But then, just a little while ago, by complete accident I saw these:

Vintage Ducks Salt and Pepper Shakers

I’m not usually into “cute”. But these? These aren’t just cute, they are adorable and darling and other words I don’t usually associate with salt and pepper shakers.

I want them to have a good home. They’re from the 1950s. They should be loved for at least another 50. They are currently living with Ms Jeannie Ology on Etsy and I know she wants them to have a loving home too.

If you search for them and they are already gone, I will be sad with you – but then you should look around at Ms Jeannie’s other vintage treasures because there are many and they are wonderful.

Truly, almost, really as special as those little ducks.

Street Style – Vintage Shoes

Interesting: I was scanning through British ‘Glamour’ magazine’s Street Style pages recently, just because it’s fun to see what real people – young, pretty, and stylish, but still real people – are actually wearing. I saw a lot of interesting outfits, which of course is why I look.

NOT ONE person I’ve seen so far, has been wearing high heels. None. Flats, boots, trainers (sneakers), you name it: no stilettos. Maybe the Brits know something about comfort *and* style that we haven’t quite got to yet?

In that spirit, I’ve found some yummy vintage boots over at Etsy. Love these:

Red Lace Up Vintage Boots

Because those are like the greatest vintage boots on the planet. And then, there are these:

Red Lace Up Vintage Boots

I don’t usually use this word (acronym) because it’s so overused, but this time I have to: OMG, this woman’s got some great stuff in her shop! She’s Sazzafrazaz on Etsy and, well, like I said: the greatest vintage boots on the planet.

AND great prices too. If these boots are gone, BELIEVE me you’ll find more to love. Go! Yes, I meant now!

Vivid Red Rhinestones, Jewels, and Stones

“Jewels, stones, rhinestones” – those are all words used “in the trade” (how’s that for an old-fashioned term!) to describe the glass jewels that sparkle so beautifully in affordable costume and fashion jewelry. Truly, you don’t need gemstones to have beautiful baubles!

Case in point: some beautiful Light Siam Red jewels I have in my shop right now. Most of these are vintage style, but they’re actually new jewels. The look – classic (and classy!)

Light Siam Red rhinestones in my Etsy jewelry supplies shop

Think how gorgeous these’ll be with black, or black and white, or red, or navy, or used as a “new neutral” with turquoise or emerald! Yes, contrasts can be fantastic. The beauty of these glass jewels is that you really can play with new ideas – not spend a fortune – and look like a million bucks 🙂

Recycle Vintage Chandelier into Bird Feeder

This is good on so many levels. You reuse a cool vintage chandelier that comes from a thrift shop or your attic. So: recycled and re-used, which is wonderful.

And: you’re feeding birds! Also wonderful.

And: it looks so classy!

Vintage Chandelier becomes backyard bird feeder

I found this fun DIY over at Craftster.org which is so full of great projects, you could surf there for a year and still be finding new stuff.

But this one? is on top of the cool list 🙂