Archive for the ‘How-to’ Category

Simple leather cord necklace


Remember the dichroic glass pendant my friend bought a little while ago? It turns out, my friend didn’t like the length of the simple knotted necklace we made from the cord that came with the pendant (actually, it was too small for her to get it over her head!). So, I raided my jewelry supplies and made her a simple leather cord necklace instead. The great thing about this necklace is that you can change the pendant.

The materials – a length of leather cord cut to your desired length, a set of crimp cord ends with the same diameter as the cord, and pliers (preferably pliers that have smooth inner edges to avoid making an imprint on the crimp bead).

Step 1 – string one of the crimp cord ends on the leather cord. If necessary, trim the cord end to form a sharp tip to make it easier to get the crimp cord end on the cord.

Step 2 – take the tube part of the crimp cord end in a pair of pliers, leaving the clasp outside the pliers, and squeeze the pliers as hard as you can. The tube should squish, grabbing the cord end in the process.

Step 3 – repeat steps 1 & 2 using the remaining crimp cord end clasp and the other end of the leather cord.

That’s it! It really doesn’t get much simpler than that for making a necklace. I like to test the cord, pulling on the ends to make sure they don’t come out of the crimped claps. If they move *at all*, just take out the pliers and crush the crimp end more. If need-be, ask a strong friend to help.

Display your bling!


Over the past year I have trained for and completed two half marathons, two 10ks and a couple 5ks. Several of these races come with finisher medals. And these medals have been scattered around my office, with no good place to hang them. So, I decided I needed a rack to display them. Especially after completing the Dumbo Double Dare last weekend – I was really proud of accomplishing that, and needed to celebrate my accomplishment.

Collecting bling!

So, I picked up some supplies at JoAnn’s to make my own bling rack: an “inn keeper’s” sign, short dowels, empty thread spools, vintage-looking buttons, and paint.

Materials for a bling rack

I laid out the spools on my sign to see now many hooks I could fit.

Planning the hooks

The next step required a little math – planning out where the hooks should go.

Measuring the placement of the hooks

Next, I drilled the holes for the hooks. Any craft that involves the drill is a good craft in my book.

Drill! Drilling holes for the hooks

With the holes drilled, I could paint the pieces. I choose purple for the background, and pink, green and yellow for the other pieces. I also painted some letters to spell out “fly”, “run”, and “soar”. (I actually did both “fly” and “live”, since I hadn’t decided between the two.) I added white dots and stripes for a little detail.

Paint Details

Once the pieces were dry, I could start putting everything together. First I glued the dowels into the holes, then the spools onto the dowels.

Gluing in the dowels Adding the painted spools

Finally I added my words (decided on “fly” to celebrate Dumbo!) and put the vintage-looking buttons on the ends of the spools.


Once I put hangers on the back (which I’d forgotten at JoAnn’s), I hung up my rack and added all my bling!

Bling rack with bling


Simple adjustable necklace


I recently went to the Annapolis First Sunday Art Fair with a friend. She found a beautiful dichroic glass pendant. However, the pendant came with only a cord, not a necklace. She wanted to wear it without having to tie and untie the cord every time she put it on. I turned her cord into an adjustable necklace for her. It’s easy, and I thought I’d share the secret here.

Step 1: Insert the cord through the pendant’s bail.

Step 2: Overlap the two ends of the cord, and use one end to tie a knot around the other end.

Step 3: Now, using the other end of the cord and tie a knot around the cord.

This is what the cord will look like.

To make the necklace smaller, grasp the two knots and pull them apart.

To make the necklace longer, grasp the cord near each of the knots, and pull.

And here’s what the necklace looks like

One disadvantage to this type of necklace is that you can’t change out the pendant; however, I love that it’s adjustable so that I can make the pendant work with whatever shirt I decide to wear it with.

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