Friday 26 February 2016

DIY Jewellery // Hammered Silver Disc Necklace // Metal Clay & GIVEAWAY!

Last weekend, I worked with what can only be described as MAGIC.
Metal Clay.  I didn't know it existed and when contacted me for a collaboration - I couldn't say no.  Clay that turns in to metal? That you fire on a gas hob? I had to see for myself.

So, what do you get? This is the Beginners Kit:
In addition to the kit I had a modelling knife set, firing mesh, circle cutter and pen scriber.
I'd also recommend having a small pot of water, kitchen towel and cocktail stick to hand.

The kits is incredibly comprehensive and it came with a wealth of information - within the kit as well as online - and I read it all.  But it didn't stop me feeling incredibly nervous about using the clay.
There are many reminders to work quickly, have everything you need ready and I was
concerned that as I hadn't used the kit before, I'd not make my items quickly enough.
 Look how scary that is.

I cut off a small section [in my mind I wanted to create 4 pendants, so just divided the clay
 visually in to four to gauge my sizes] and set myself up a rolling station using the two acrylic
 pieces either side of the clay to roll at an equal thickness.  
The look, feel, texture and way the clay works is just like any other clay - easily moulded and rolled.
I used the small circle cutter to make my disc:
Just in case I didn't work quickly enough, I then made a hole at either side of the disc to
create my pendant.  I found the pen scriber great for marking this and then used a cocktail
stick to work through the clay:
Using the pen scriber with the cap on, I used this to make impressions in the clay disc that gave the impression of a hammered disc:
I have to be honest, I still wasn't completely sure how this would turn out.
The next stage is to dry the clay.  With a hair dryer.  As my clay piece was quite small and it was a warm(wish) day, I found 30 minutes on and off enough to completely dry the clay out.

Having previously felt very much like air dry clay, once dried, the clay now had a definite
weight to it - much more like metal.  Now, the clay can be lightly sanded to smooth the edges
 and any imperfections out:
On to the firing.  On your kitchen hob.
We were fully prepared for fire, smoke, flames - but it's actually much more safe than this!
Setting your mesh in place and firing up the hob to heat it up, you place your clay pieces on top and they do go up in flames - just in a very tame and quick fashion!
Fire the clay for 5 minutes and then leave to cool for around 20 minutes.
To ensure the clay is completely cooled, place them in cold water:
At this point, you will notice, your clay piece still look very much like clay.
The weight is there, but I was still unsure how this would turn in to metal...
Using the brush, the white clay exterior is slowly removed, revealing a matt silver in its place.
It is genuine magic before your eyes.
You can keep your piece with the matt silver finish, however, I wanted a polished look, so lightly sanded the disc and then with the cloth, created a high-sheen polished finish:
Now to add this as a piece of jewellery.
Using pliers to help, I added my pendant to a gold necklace [I quite like the combination of gold
 and silver] and my necklace - that I made MYSELF - was completed!
What do you think?  I am so pleased with the result - if you have worked with air dry clay, clay or Fimo - you'll find this process very similar.  If not - you have to give it a try.

I have three more tutorials [sneaky peek above] to share with you, including how to mend broken pieces, create different finishes and how to create your own jewellery based on templates.

GIVEAWAY! *update: now closed!*

Fancy trying this out for yourself?
Metal Clay have offered a lucky reader a Basic Beginners Kit & 7g Silver Clay!
Have a go yourself - what would you make?
There are three ways you can enter, each earning you one entry!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Wednesday 17 February 2016

DIY Home Decor | Rose Gold & Marble Clock

 I warned you that vinyl contact paper goes a long way, so here is my second DIY using the marble transformer.

Fancy seeing this made in video form? Have a little watch below...
...and subscribe to TTSM on YouTube!

I picked this round frame up from Poundland, so no great expense required for this DIY.  I found my clock mechanism in HobbyCraft [but plenty of cheap alternatives are to be found online] and the marble vinyl from Wilko.

The main elements of your frame you will need for this DIY is the frame and backboard - remove everything else.

Use the backboard as your template to draw on to the back of the patterned vinyl and cut out :

 Peel away the paper and stick securely on to the backboard, smoothing as you go to prevent 
any air bubbles [a ruler works great for this if needed]:
 Using the backing of the paper, fold in to quarters to create a template for the centre point.
Mark this with a pencil and then carefully pierce through the backboard until the pencil 
can move through [this will be the perfect size to fix you mechanism in place]:
 Follow the instructions to add your mechanism parts in order:
Now to cover the frame.
Use the frame as your template to measure the width and length of the vinyl required
 to cover the sides and front:
 To neaten the lines, a craft knife will help remove any excess and helping create a clean join: 
 To add interest and an accent colour, I chose a vinyl in gold, with a slight texture to cover 
the inside of the frame.  
Again, I used the frame as my guide for the measurements and a craft knife to neaten the edges:
 Finally, the backboard can now be fixed into place within the frame:
A stylish, classic addition to your home decor that's quick [and cheap] to make too!
It's also a simple way to update any existing accessories you have, simply.
see you next time x

Monday 8 February 2016

DIY Stationery | Personalised Notebooks

Hello! Well, 2016 isn't messing around, is it? February already?

It's been far too quiet on the blog and as the English weather continues to be dull and terrible for blog post photo taking, I'm grabbing the 5-10 minutes of good light when I can.  These little personalised notebooks are the perfect 5 minute craft - they are quick, easy and cheap! 
Perfect little gift ideas too, even if they are just for you!

Fancy seeing a little video about how these were made? Visit the TTSM YouTube channel!
There are a few other videos up there too - why not subscribe and have them delivered straight to your inbox?

These couldn't be easier to make and they are so quick, you'll be creating them for everything and anything.  Simply create words, quotes, inspiration, lyrics - whatever you want to help organise yourself and have an excuse to buy more stationery!

These are fab for noting down all the ideas that moving prevents me from making.
What would you put on the front cover of yours?
see you soon x
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