Monday, 29 April 2013

Wire Rose Ring

Hi Everyone

I had a fabulous day with the crafters at The Craft Patch on Saturday - what a lovely and talented group of ladies (and gentleman) they were too! There were a lot of creative ideas flying around during the course of the day, for example Fiona Morgan thought that stringing several felt flowers (Project Sheet F/0011M) together would make a fabulous scarf. (The video for how to make a felt poppy will be available soon!)

Here are a few of the lovely ladies...

                                                    ... and I'm looking forward to seeing all the wonderful felt and wirework projects they create!
For those of you who have been wondering what you can do with Efco's flat coloured wires here's one idea:

Wire Ribbon Rose Ring

This ring is made with one length of Efco's flat wire.
It can be made with either style of wire but the embossed wire reflects the light more dynamically giving the ring extra dimension.

Materials needed:

32cm of Flat Coloured Wire
Ring Mandrel
Flat Nosed Pliers (with Protector Tubes)
Wire Snips

All materials available from Efco

Mark the ring mandrel with a pencil for the required size. Cut a ruler's length of wire & wrap it around the ring mandrel at the marked point, twisting the wire ends around each other to secure it.

Use flat nosed pliers to bend the wire out in places as you wrap the ends around each other in a spiral fashion.

Continue to bend the wire out in places as you wrap the wires around in an ever growing spiral.

Continue in the same vein until the rose is as large as you'd like.

When the rose is the desired size bend the wire ends so that the wire is flat to the mandrel, allowing you to tuck the ends under the edges of the rose at either side of the ring band.

Side the ring off the mandrel and turn it over. Cut the excess wire so that the ends are hidden by the rose.

The finished ring!

Hope you like the ring. Do feel free to leave any comments - I'd love to hear what you think or if you have a better idea!

As always... Happy Crafting!

Fee x 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Wet Felted Medallions

Hi Everyone

Here's a quick how-to for making Wet Felted Medallions which can be turned into beads by threading them onto eyepins...

Felted Medallions

Material List
 Efco Superfine Merino Wool Tops
Bubble Wrap & Towel
Efco Filz-Fix Set
Hot & Cold Water
Scissors, Eyepins, Pliers & Wire Cutters

1. Use the heel of your hand to pull off sections of wool
fibre. Tease them out to spread the fibres and then
lay them horiztonally on a piece of bubble wrap
(bubble side up).
nb. One edge will form the outside of your medallion.

2. Lay more sections of teased out wool fibre
on top of the first layer of fibres at 90º (ie vertically).

3. When you have a solid, thick layer of fibressoak them with the Filz-Fix solution.
(2ml of Filz-Fix:100ml Hand Hot Water)

4. Lay another piece of bubble wrap over the top and press
down with your hands to push the liquid through the fibres.
(Do not rub or roll with a rolling pin
as this could start the felting process &
stop the fibres locking together later.)

5. Lift off the bubble wrap and apply more
Filz-Fix solution where necessary.

6. Lay the bubble wrap back over and press down again
to distribute the liquid.
nb. If you are making large medallions and so have a very
thick layer of fibres you will find it easier if you flip the mat
of fibres over whilst it is trapped between the bubble wrap
& apply more filz-fix from the other side.
Remember to flip it back again when it is all wet.

7. Remove the bubble wrap and fold over one end
of the mat of fibres to neaten it to a straight edge.

8. Start rolling the fibres as tightly as possible.

9. Keep rolling until you have a sausage shape.

10. Wrap the fibre roll as tightly as possible
in a piece of bubble wrap.

11. Start massaging the roll, wringing and
squeezing it in your hands.
Unroll the bubble wrap to check that the
fibres are beginning to felt. Reroll them in the
bubble wrap and massage again.

12. Undo the bubble wrap and, provided the
fibres have started to lock together,
gently roll them with your hand.

13. By now the fibres should feel like a loose, floppy roll.
Start rolling them between your hands applying pressure.

14. When the roll of fibres starts to feel firmer
place it in hot water. This will shock the fibres
into locking tighter together.

15. Remove it from the hot water and roll between your hands,
applying as much pressure as possible.
Continue dunking it in the hot water and rolling it in your
hands until the fibres form a firm, solid roll.

16. Rinse the fibre roll in cold water to remove
the last of the Filz-Fix solution.

Wrap the roll in a towel and squeeze
as much water out as possible.
(This will speed the drying process.)

17. When dry, use sharp, heavy duty scissors
to cut medallions from the roll.

18. Use a needle to make a hole which you can
then thread an eyepin through. Curl over the end with
jewellery pliers before trimming the excess.

You can thread your felt medallions onto headpins to create unique earrings!

Happy Crafting!

Fee x

Friday, 5 April 2013

Efcolor Enamelled Watch Strap

Hi Guys

I've had several people asking me how I created the peachy enamelled watch strap that was on the Create and Craft tv Show, so I thought I'd better put it out into cyberspace for anyone else who might also be interested...

Efcolor Enamelled Watch Strap

Materials Needed:
Copper Blank Set - (90 050 21)
Basic Efcolor Powder Set - (03 717 10)
Efcolor Tealight Stove - (93 717 06)
Wooden Clothes Peg or Heat Resistant Pad
Scrap Paper
Watchface - The Bead Shop
Silver-Plated Copper Wire 0.6mm - (22 200 06)
Swarovski Crystals - (21 050 02)
Silver-Plated Carabineer Findings - (99 214 71)
Jewellery Pliers
Flat Nosed Pliers
Old piece of lace
(Efco Product Codes in brackets)

1. Pour some white Efcolor powder onto a scrap of paper and add a little yellow. Mix them together with your spatula. 

Enamelling the Back:
2. Lightly sand both sides of a copper blank and wipe clean. Pick up some of the mixed Efcolor powder on the end of your spatula and tap it over one side of the blank. When you have covered the blank with a good layer of the powder place it on the tealight stove. When the Efcolor powder has melted, leaving a smooth, glossy finish, remove the blank from the stove and leave to cool. (If necessary, repeat with a second coat.)

Enamelling the Front:
3. When cool, flip the blank over and cover the other side with the same creamy mix of Efcolor powder. This time, place it on the metal stand to heat on the tealight stove. (The more level you get it on the stand the less it is likely to nick the edges of the first enamelled side.) When melted remove the stand from the heat and leave the blank to cool before lifting it off. (Use a clothes peg, pliers or heat resistant pad to lift the stand off the stove as it is very hot and will burn your fingers.) Again, if necessary, repeat with a second coat to achieve a smooth, glossy finish.

4. Take some bright pink and orange Efcolor powders and mix them together on a scrap of paper. (nb. It's a good idea to mix up enough powder for all the blanks so that they match, as it is not easy to mix exactly the same colour twice.) 

5. Lay a piece of old lace over the blank and, picking up some of the peachy mix on the end of your spatula, gently tap the Efcolor powder over the lace. When you have covered the blank with a thin layer of powder carefully lift the lace up and move it to one side. (Try not to tip the lace up as you remove it as the powder sitting on top could fall through the holes onto your blank ruining your pattern - if this happens though, don't worry, as you can tip off the powder, wipe the blank clean and start again.)

6. Carefully lift the blank onto the stand endeavouring not to get the peachy Efcolor mix on the back of the blank. Place the stand back on the stove to heat. When the powder has melted, remove the stand from the heat and leave to cool before removing the blank.

7. Repeat the process for the other three blanks.

Making up the Watch Strap:
8. Use jewellery pliers to bend a piece of wire at 90º approx 1.5-2 inches from the end. Start to wrap the bent wire around the end of the pliers, leaving a gap. Loop the end of the wire through one hole of a blank so that it sits in the ring you've created. Take the end and, using pliers to pull it tight, close up the ring, wrapping the end twice around the wire to secure it. Trim the excess. 

9. Thread a Swarovski crystal on the other end before repeating the process to attach another blank. Make sure when you bend the wire you leave a little gap after the crystal as otherwise you won't be able to wrap the wire around to secure it.

10. Connect the other two blanks in the same way.

11. To attach the watch face put a 90º bend in a piece of wire approx. 2 inches from the end. 2mm towards the end from this first bend, bend it back on itself around the pliers and thread the end through one hole of the watch face finding. Bend the wire around the other side of the finding until it crosses over the other end of the wire. Wrap the end twice around the wire before trimming the excess.

12. Attach one of the copper blank sections in the same way as above but this time without adding a crystal. (If a longer watch strap is needed you can thread on a Swarovski crystal as above.)

13. Repeat for the other side of the watch face.

14. Attach a wire to one end of the strap in the usual way. Decide whether or not you wish to add a Swarovski crystal - it depends on how long you need it to be. Then attach a jump ring to the other end of the wire before wrapping it to secure it in the usual way.

15. Repeat for the other end of the strap but this time attach the clasp.

As you can see, decorating the copper blanks is easy and, if you have a little jewellery making experience, making up the strap is easy too!

Happy Crafting!

Fee x