Friday, January 25, 2013

Spring-Inspired Jewelry & Simple Bird Pendant Tutorial

I don't know about you, but I could skip Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day and head straight to spring!  Even though I don't have much to complain about weather-wise here in NC, I'm just ready for leaves, birds, flowers and green grass. Call it the January blues...

Even though this blog is predominately about home decor, furniture re-finishing, and other home-related topics, I hope you don't mind that I share a few jewelry projects every now and then.  As I mentioned last week, I'm staying very busy getting for expanding my booth at SuzAnna's.  Although I've always focused on stocking my booths at shows and shops with furniture and vintage finds, I like to include small, affordable gift items for every shopper.  So even though spring is a few months away, I thought I'd add some touches of it for anyone else craving the end of winter. 
From bird nest pendants, butterflies and dragonflies under glass, I've been making some jewelry in the last few days as it got just too cold to work on furniture in the garage.
While I was crafting some cute little flying swallow pendants, I thought I'd share the process for these quick and easy necklaces in case you'd like to give jewelry-making a try...
Here are the items you'll need:
Bird or Swallow Connector Charms - you can find these at local jewelry or craft supply stores, or several different sellers on Etsy (like here or here). They are usually sold in multiples so you can make some additional pendants for gifts!
Choice of Chain - approx. 1 ft. (I used small cable chain or petite curb chain)
4 Jump Rings and 1 Lobster Clasp - these are also found at jewelry/craft supply stores and Etsy (I used 5mm antique bronze, but they do make smaller jump rings)
Jewelry Pliers and Side Cutter (something that can snip the chain)
Ruler
Note:  I'm not a jewelry-making expert and I like to stick to relatively simple designs so feel free to jazz this up with beads, double-chain, etc.
For this tutorial, I'm using antique bronze, but all these jewelry findings come in various metals including silver...
The first step is determining how long you want your pendant to be.  Most necklaces/pendants are 16''-20'' unless it is a longer style.  If you're unsure what size you'd prefer, just measure your favorite chain in your jewelry stash.  I'm pretty tall (almost 5'10), so mine (yes, I made one for me) will be a few inches longer than the average...
As you can see, I used approx. 8.5'' of chain on each side of the bird connector (please ignore the kid-scribbled ruler), but once again...just cut the length you desire.  Remember to take the length of the bird connector into consideration when determining the total length of your pendant (approx. 2'').
 After the chain is cut, all you need to do is simply attach the jump rings and lobster clasp.  You can certainly open and close jump rings with one set of jewelry pliers, but it helps tremendously to have two...
Just carefully bend the rings apart and slip them through the connectors on the bird charm, lobster clasp and chain links to assemble the pendant, closing the rings back as you go...
Easy, peasy!  It seriously takes just a few minutes and you have custom-made pendant! If you've never made jewelry before, you'll probably be addicted once you start.  I still have a lot of farm girl-tomboy in me and I never really wore jewelry until I started making my own!  I have very few store-bought pieces...
If you're interested in any other jewelry tutorials, you can find out how to make my typewriter-key jewelry HERE.  Well, I'm off to go make some more jewelry....
It's a great way to spend the time when it's snowing and cold out!

Kristen

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14 comments:

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

adorable! i love it- so pretty and whimsical! are you doing lucketts again? if so i need to come shop and visit you! it will most likely be sunday again as i think i have to work the barn on saturday. :)

Tammy said...

They look amazing. As everything you do does.

traerloves.com said...

LOVE mine that I bought from you at the Lucketts fair last year! I really do hope you come to VA again, even if it is just to visit!

Laurel Stephens said...

I'm absolutely in love with your bird nest necklace with the little pearl eggs, but I don't live in your area. Will you be offering it on your Etsy shop in the future?

Pamela said...

Kristen I just love that little sparrow necklace! That would make a great bracelet as well for those who do not wear necklaces.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

You make some beautiful pieces...love the sparrow!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Cindy

Sharon said...

Kristen...I love your jewelry tutorials! Absolutely love the birds nest necklace! I'm feeling the cabin fever since snow is covering the ground here in Michigan. I can't wait til March when I'm heading to NC to visit my sister in law and hope to see your booth!

Katarina said...

That's awesome, Kristen! Very unique and creative! :-)

Andrea said...

those are so pretty. You are so talented! My Mom loves the bracelet that I bought from you last year =)

Bettsi McComb said...

Kristen, Even though I'm still looking for my perfect antique mall space, my idea is the same! Mostly furniture, but a few pretties too. And like you, the cold weather has me making jewelry! The bird necklace is lovely! I'm going to check out the links right now. Thanks!

Hollie Joy In The Morning said...

Love love love your jewlerey! Always!! I have been wearing your crown earrings a ton while I've been sick because they make me feel stronger and better=)
Hollie

Junebug Furniture and Design said...

Love your bird jewelry! So adorable!! I have several of your vintage pieces in my home, so treasure the silver sugar & creamer I bought from you at the Funky Junk Show. They set on a shelf in my living room filled with robin eggs :)
xox Glad & Celia

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Kristen....you make the cutest jewelry...thanks for sharing this with us...Glad to hear that the temps will be in the 70's soon!

Unknown said...

Beautiful Jewlery. You make it look so easy. Thanks for the inspiration!

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