Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Faux Leather Necklace 5 Ways!

I love the versatility of the Craft Fantastic components! I can dismantle one piece intended to be worn a certain way and completely transform it into something spectacular by reconfiguring and adding other products from the line. My designs can be as simple or complex as I want to make them. This creative freedom gives me LOTS of design options.  

Today I'm working with the Faux Leather Necklace. Yesterday, in a flash of inspiration, I was hit with ideas for 5 different ways to wear this fabulous piece! Some are easy and some are a little more involved, but each results in something fun and unexpected!

I'll start with the simplest project. I've noticed online that many stylish folks are sporting necklaces that utilize more than one type and texture of neckwear, frequently pairing a leather cord with a metal chain and sometimes even adding a sheer ribbon. Here I've cut a 24" Rolo Chain to the size of the Faux Leather Necklace and rearranged my jump rings to finish it as one piece. Very easy to do, but that added metal detail really elevates this simple pendant into a fashionable accessory.  

This next piece requires no additional components. Instead, I've opted to attach it to my tray using the same technique we use with the Faux Leather Bracelets. I pinch the Faux Leather necklace in half and push it through the top loop of the tray. Then I string the loose ends of my necklace through the loop of the leather cord to create a knot. A simply change in how the tray is attached creates a modern, youthful piece. Find my Faux Leather Bracelet tutorial with step by step photos and instructions HERE

Here is a variation of the previous necklace. This time I've attached two Faux Leather Necklaces creating a double cord on each side of the necklace. This gives the necklace a more substantial feel and balances the three link trays pictured.  

Here, I've removed all of the hardware from a Faux Leather Necklace and added two Charm Bracelets to create a long, dramatic necklace. This piece is perfect to wear on it's own, or layer with shorter pieces for a casual, carefree style. 

I'll end with the piece de resistance of my Faux Leather Necklace projects. Here I braided 3 Faux Leather Necklaces and a Rolo Chain together, again mixing my textures and materials. I attached two Charm Bracelets to create another long, dramatic piece and added some of our newest trays for whimsical interest. I LOVE this look! 

I know I say this every time, but these were truly fun to make! The finished pieces look completely different from the original Faux Leather Necklaces and the projects are thoughtful and unique. I'm sure there are many more ways to transform these simple necklaces. Please share your design ideas with me at I would LOVE to see what you're working on!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Collage Pendants!

The Craft Fantastic line of Art Image Sheets is glorious in style, color and tone! Anne, the owner extraordinaire, has carefully curated the designs and selected images that complement each other. However, if you need even MORE options, this collage technique will fit the bill!

Last year I shared a blog post featuring the Collage Words Art Image Sheet. The projects were oodles of fun and I meant to create more pieces using this technique, however, the excitement that is Craft Fantastic distracted me and I never got back to it. Recently, Erin, one of our newest Show Team Members started creating samples using layers of our Art Images. The results were so fabulous, that it made me want to share another post with you regarding collage and how to incorporate it into your jewelry pieces. By the way, the wonderful sample at the top of this post is one of Erin's.

Let's get started...

What You'll Need

Craft Fantastic Art Image Sheets - An assortment of your favorites.

Craft Fantastic Glass Cabochons - Whatever sizes and shapes make you happy. 

Super Fine Glitter - Optional


Cotton Swabs (not pictured)

Scrap Paper - To work on.

A few meager supplies and I'm ready to go!

I've selected a nice background image, a couple of butterflies and a lovely lady in profile.
 I cut them out using scissors.

I also decide to add a couple of words from the Collage Word Art Image Sheet. I lay them out to get an idea of how I want my piece to look. I use some of the Glaze & Glue to start gluing my smaller images to my background to make sure everything stays in place when I lay my piece of glass on top.

I use a generous amount of Glaze & Glue on the back of my glass cab to ensure that no air bubbles get trapped between my layers and show up later. I sprinkle a bit of super fine glitter on the glue as an after thought.

I lay my glass cab on top and firmly push out the air bubbles as I normally would. I let this set for a few seconds, then wipe away the excess glue with a cotton swab. I let it dry completely before I trim away the paper edges.

I quickly made a slew of these! I used a little bit of glitter on a few and then left the others plain. Erin's beautiful piece is in the middle. 

I hope you enjoyed this week's tutorial! Super easy, but SUPER creative! 

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See you next week with something new!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Chunky Bracelet Chain

We sometimes receive requests to carry a chunkier chain. While we love the dramatic look of a bigger chain, we hesitate to add one to our product line. Primarily because our pendant bails on our basic trays would not easily slide on and off. A large jump ring would accommodate the pendants that contain a flat loop, but our beautiful pendant trays with the lovely pendant bails would not work with them. It would be a crime.

However, now that we're carrying these new charm bracelets, it's easy to create a fresh, chunky chain just by stringing them together! Gather round Crafty Friends, this is going to be a quick tutorial! If you blink, you'll miss it! 

Let's get started...

What You'll Need

Craft Fantastic Charm Bracelets (3 or 4) - It depends on the desired length. I wanted something long and stylish for my samples so I opted for 4.


Scissors (not pictured) 

As I said, this is going to be a lightening fast tutorial!

Our new Charm Bracelets have an adorable ball dangle at the end, which makes for a lovely detail on the bracelet, but not so much for our chain. I clipped the dangles off easily using a pair of scissors. 

I've removed the dangles from my bracelets and now I'm ready to string them together.

I attach a lobster clasp from one end of a bracelet to the exposed jump ring of another bracelet. I do this with all four bracelets.

VOILA! I like the substance of this chain and I even like the detail of the lobster clasps. They provide an edgy, modern appeal. Plus I have the flexibility of using the bracelets again later as bracelets if I so desire. I could easily remove the lobster clasps and attach them with small jump rings if I wanted to give the chain a cleaner look and I knew I was only going to use it as a necklace. 

The chain looks pretty great as is and a large jump ring will allow the addition of a tray with a flat loop to slide right on. HOWEVER, for something even more stylish, I added a large jump ring to the small jump ring of one of the bracelets, along with a couple of our fabulous pendant trays and attached the lobster clasp directly to the large jump ring. This creates an elegant long piece (which I adore)!  

Now that is a good looking piece of jewelry! Substantial and rich! The addition of the Extra Large Round Tray and Small Round Tray is perfectly balanced by the chain and doesn't overwhelm it. 

Here's a version in silver using our new Grand Cross. I added a small glass round that I created using the Faux Turquoise Water Marbling Technique I featured in a previous post. This piece really speaks to me as it is reminiscent of New Mexico art, sky, and terrain. The Southwestern style of using silver and turquoise together is sort of our state's notable jewelry collaboration. You can tell I love the Land of Enchantment :) 

A closer look!

Four bracelets strung together create a necklace approximately 32" long, three bracelets create a necklace approximately 26" long. Do you want to wear it long one day and short the next? No problem! Just remove one bracelet! Want to wear one of the bracelets as an actual bracelet? Again, not a problem! I guess you could consider this a truly convertible piece!

I'll be honest. I really love the bohemian look of the longer pieces layered together with shorter pieces. Sort of like the wearer just threw them on with carefree abandon, but the layers come together to create something artsy and original. Now that I'm thinking about it, these longer chunky necklaces would be perfect with our Faux Leather Cords!

I hope you're as excited about this alternate use for the Charm Bracelets as I am! Be sure to follow us on the Craft Fantasic FACEBOOK PAGE, sign up to receive our monthly NEWSLETTER, and subscribe to the BLOG (in the sidebar) so you never miss a post. We frequently host giveaways, share project ideas, feature customer creations, provide product sneak peeks and MORE on all of our social media sites!

See you next time with something new and CRAFTY!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Custom Painted Spring Cabochon!

It's no secret that I love to play with nail polish in my craft room. The endless color options and the hard glossy finish it leaves behind draws me in like a moth to a flame. Of course, these qualities are meant to give your fingernails a bit of glitz and glamour, but what it does to a Craft Fantastic Glass Cabochon will send your crafty mojo into orbit! I paint it on the back of the glass for a faux dichroic effect, I paint it on the front for a completely different effect, and I swirl it around in water for a faux marble effect. Ironically my nails always look terrible, but my glass cabs look great!  

Let's get started...

What You'll Need

Craft Fantastic Glass Cabochons - use whatever shape or size your crafty heart desires.

Nail Polish - pick your palette. I used dollar store polishes in this project to keep it economical, but you probably have a medicine cabinet full of nail polish bottles just gathering dust. 

Nail Art Polish - I also picked this up from the dollar store in white, black and silver.

Clear Top Coat

Pencils with an Eraser Top

Flat Topped Tac


I forgot to take a picture of my supplies, so I'll just jump right into the process. I needed a sturdy way to handle my glass cab so I stuck a flat topped tac into the eraser end of a pencil.

Next I added a jeweler's dot to the top, firmly pressed it into the tac and peeled back the red liner to expose the adhesive.

Then I pressed the back of the glass cab onto the jeweler's dot. This gives me a way to securely paint my cab with the polish without the risk of dropping it or getting fingerprints all over it. 

I started with my base color, this is a light aqua polish and it was pretty sheer, so I needed about three coats to provide opaque coverage. I placed the pencil in a heavy mug and let the cab dry thoroughly between coats.

Time to get creative! I picked up some polish at the dollar store specifically for painting designs on fingernails. This bottle refers to it as Nail Art Paint. It typically comes in a tall narrow bottle and has a long skinny brush. I used this jet black color to create a few simple branches on my cab then I placed my pencil holder and cab into a mug to dry. 

Next, I took Nail Art Paint in white and dabbed it onto the top of another bottle of polish. I needed a flat surface that I could easily dip a stylus into. I stole this idea from watching the ladies at the pedicure places. They know their stuff! A stylus is used in lots of paper crafts for embossing and scoring techniques. I bet you already have one of these in your craft stash.

I dipped the stylus into the white Nail Art Paint and then gently pressed it into to the cab around my branches to create petals for my flowers.

This is already looking pretty great!

I followed the white Nail Art Paint with a few random dots of silver Nail Art Paint. Then I finished my flower centers with dabs of basic red nail polish. I let all of these layers dry and then topped it with a coat of clear Top Coat nail polish. This adds a protective layer and gives it a nice smooth glossy finish.

I added a tray and some findings to create a one of a kind hand painted necklace. Oh my gosh! This was so much fun! I hope you'll try your hand at this technique. If you do, feel free to share pictures on the Craft Fantastic Facebook Page. Also, if you liked this post and want to see what I do next, be sure to sign up in the sidebar to receive blog updates right to your IN BOX

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See you next week with something new! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Working with Modular Trays!

Have you been poking around the Craft Fantastic online shop lately? Well, you should because there are LOTS of new items waiting for some crafty attention from talented crafters like you! 

One of my favorites from the new additions are the Modular Trays. They are the most flexible jewelry findings I've ever worked with. The trays are lightweight and low-profile, not adding any bulk to the glass as you're creating your piece. The edge consists of tiny loops that are easily bent to accommodate jump rings and pinch bails, allowing you to link them together or hang small charms and beads from them. My head is swarming with ideas!

Today I'm featuring a fairly simple project using these new trays. I will walk you through the basics, but at the end of the process we'll have a pretty fabby completed piece.

Let's get started...

What You'll Need


Looks pretty similar to the supplies used in other projects, but wait until you see the end results!

The magic is in the loops! This tiny lacy detail allows you to turn them into bracelets, earrings, extravagant necklaces, the list goes on and on. 

I start by adding a jeweler's dot or two to each of my trays. The tiny trays are very petite so a dot cut into quarters does the trick.

I made up my glass pieces earlier using images from the Porcelain Art Image Sheet. I actually used images from two of these sheets so that I could create a symmetrical pattern. Here I've laid out my trays in the configuration of my necklace. I find that it's easier to string the trays together before I add the glass. This allows me to have complete control over which loops I use for the jump rings instead of letting my images dictate the loops used.

I use a pair of pliers to gently bend back one of the loops that will accommodate a small jump ring.

Here I've selected my loops on my large round modular tray and bent them out.

After selected and bending back the loops on each tray, I string them together using small jump rings. 

Next, I add my glass pieces. My necklace is really starting to take shape now.

I remove the clasps and jump rings from each end of my three rolo chains. These jump rings are slightly smaller than the jump rings that I will be using in the rest of my project. It's a small detail, but I like the consistency, so I replace them all. 

I add new small jump rings to the end of each chain.

Then I string one end of each of the three rolo chains onto a large jump ring. I do the same with the other ends of the chains.

Next I attach the large jump ring to one end of my linked modular trays using a small jump ring and do the same on the other end.

I split the center of the backs of the chains using a pair of scissors. This is the point farthest from the modular trays.

I measure out 7" and carefully trim off the excess from the end of each chain. If you want to be more precise, you can count the number of links on each of the chains to ensure they are of equal length. I would normally do this, but today I opted for quickly measuring, cutting, and praying that I got them right. PHEW! Today it worked out, sometimes it doesn't. 

I've trimmed my chains.  I'm almost done! WOO HOO! 

The final step is to add small jump rings to the end of each chain and string them onto a large jump ring. On one end I attach one of the lobster clasps that I removed earlier, with a small jump ring. Now I'm all done and ready to show off the finished piece!  

Pretty swanky! This would make for a lovely Mother's Day gift!

I left the remaining loops standing straight up on each tray and I have to say that I prefer it this way.

If you like a tighter finish, gently bend each loop over the glass, as I've done for this photo. It's really just a matter of preference. 

Did you like today's project? I hope it inspires you to take these fabulous trays for a spin and see where your inner creative tour guide leads you. They're very easy to work with, yet they allow you the freedom to have fun and think outside the (jewelry) box. Share pictures of your designs with me on the Craft Fantastic Facebook page. I love to see what you're working on!

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See you next time with something NEW!