Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy Guitar Pick Earrings

Here in the Live Music Capital of the World, guitar picks are pretty easy to come by.  But they're not just for strumming guitars!  They can easily be turned into earrings, and the possibilities for transforming them are endless!

The first step is to find some guitar picks that really catch your eye.  Any music or guitar store will have them, and they'll most likely be standard looking picks (colored with a Fender label).  The ones shown in the picture are decorative picks from Austin's own Wild About Music, located on E. 6th Street.

Next you need to put a hole in the pick.  Guitar picks come in different thicknesses.  If you get a thin or extra thin pick, you can probably poke a hole in it with a bead reamer.  Personally, I like the weight of medium to thick guitar picks. They still make very light earrings, but I think they have a nicer swing.  It's entirely up to you!

If you go with a medium or thicker pick, you'll want to use an electric drill with a very small bit.  Probably no larger than 1/16. Remember to protect your eyes when drilling.  Safety first!

Mark each pick with a Sharpie where you want to drill.  The placement of the hole should be close to the top.  If you drill too far towards the center of the pick, you'll have a much harder time attaching your pick to anything.

Once you've marked the spot to drill, you should secure your pick to your drilling surface.  Don't try to hold it with your hand!  Fingers should keep a safe distance from power tools.

Also, keep in mind that when you drill through the pick, you'll also drill through whatever is directly below your pick.  Get a stack of old magazines, and use a hand clamp like the one shown in the picture to hold the pick steady on your drilling surface.

I used an old edition of Vogue, and I positioned it on a table with a ledge so that I could clamp the pick, the magazine, and the table together all at once. Position the drill directly over the hole you marked, and gently press through the pick. You should get a pretty clean hole, but check the back side for any rough edges that might require filing.

Now that the hard part is over, it's time to let your creativity run wild!  You can use jump rings to attach chain for added dangle, or go simple and hang them directly from an earwire.  You could even drill a hole in the bottom of the pick to dangle beads!  Guitar picks are pretty inexpensive, so you can try lots of different looks!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Greetings!

Well, hello! Theresa here. We're going to be trying something new. Start watching for regular blog updates a couple of times each week with more pictures and more updates of what's going on in the store. Our big news this week is that Pam Way of Yellow Dog Beads will be bringing her beads into the store so that we will have them from November 26 through December 24.

That's right! You will not need to wait for her July trunk show. You can pick up some lamp work goodness now, just in time to finish your holiday gifting. 

This Sunday, the 25th, is Bead Brunch Sunday. Bring a project to work on and make some new beady friends. We will also be open tomorrow, November 23. Most people call this "Black Friday" but I think we should change it to "Beady Friday".  Come in and say hi when you get bored with the games or just feel a need to sit and visit. 

Here is some more inspiration using Pam's beads: 

While you are in the store, check out the class schedule. We have some great classes coming, but more on those later. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day festivities.  

Kudos to our own Jessica for her GREAT photos! See you soon!!

~ Theresa

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bottle Cap Earrings

We're hoping everyone had a fun New Year's while kicking off 2012! And just in case your New Year's involved the requisite imbibing of holiday hooch, here's a fun little project for any leftover bottle caps you may have acquired! Here's what you'll need:

  • A pair of matching bottle caps
  • Beads (optional)
  • Earwires
  • Europunch tool
  • Round-nose pliers (for making loops if you're adding beads)
  • Needle-nose pliers (for wiring the beads if you're adding any)
  • Cutters (for cutting wire if you're adding beads)
  • Wire
  • Jump rings

Let's start with the bottle caps. Find two matching ones (and if you have to down another bottle to do so, well, so be it!) You'll need a Europunch tool for this part -- don't worry, we have plenty at the store! It's what you use to punch holes through the bottle cap.

Line up your punch tool in the side of the cap, so that the logo will be right side up. Then, simply squeeze the handle together and punch right through that cap!

Then slide a jump ring through the hole and close it up. At this point, you could either slide another jump ring through the first and attach the bottle caps to earwires for a simple, no-frills set of bottle cap earrings, or you can find some complementary beads and stick them on eyepins or headpins (or wire) to augment your earrings.

I decided to add beads, to give my earrings a slightly more finished look. I used some red Chinese crystal rondelles for the top, and little red stars to dangle below -- seemed perfect for these "Lone Star" earrings! Then stick some earwires on and you're good to go!

Here's another pair, featuring Shiner's special Oktoberfest brew, along with some autumn-colored beads (brown Chinese crystals and tan glass pearls). I used bronze wire for a complementary look.

There's no limit to these neat little accessories -- make some for your friends!

Happy beading, and Happy New Year!