Block Printing with Fabric Creations by Plaid

Earlier this month I attended the Crafts and Hobby Association (CHA) annual tradeshow in Anaheim. I love going and checking out all the new products that are coming out on the market. Many of the products are crafting products, and there are lots of scrapbooking supplies at the show. I love seeing all the new papers, scissors, punches, and cutters… but I’m always on the lookout for fun new fabric finds. This year, in the Plaid booth,they had these Fabric Creations inks and block printing stamps. I was intrigued, and excited when they sent me home with a bag filled with the supplies!

Block Printing with Fabric

I had the supplies in the craft room, and decided to give them a try last night. I have never done block printing before, and I had not seen a demonstration at the CHA show. I have done some rubber stamping, and figured I would give it a shot on some cotton solids I had lying around. I made a video of the process. Spoiler alert: it was crazy easy!

The inks dried beautifully. The gold has some sparkle to it, all the inks are wonderfully flexible – not at all stiff or crunchy.

Plaid Fabric Creations Fabric Ink

I only had a chance to play with three of the stamps. They all created beautiful, crisp designs on the fabric.

block stamps for fabric printing

There are still several more stamps… I’m looking forward to stamping with those, too!

Additional Blocks for printing on fabric

That one time I got to Mingle with Midge and Madge!

I spent the weekend with friends, both new and seasoned, up in Denver, Colorado at the Create – Make – Celebrate Retreat hosted by the fabulous and talented Laura Kelly Walters. I got to learn some new crafting techniques, brush up on some that I’ve played with in the past, and even teach one of my favorites… English Paper Piecing!

The wonderful folks at Prym-Dritz sent kits for me to share so that I could teach the class. I was so excited to be able to share my passion with all these awesome creative gals!

Learning to English Paper Piece

Some of the gals tried it, and it wasn’t for them. But others… others really took to it! I saw ladies doing EPP in our group pow-wows throughout the weekend, and it warmed my EPP-loving heart!

epp-in-the-laura-kelly-stud

epp-at-retreat

playing-with-hexies

Two of the amazing ladies at the retreat – Midge and Madge – have a crafty YouTube series, and invited me to be a guest (WHAT!?). I had a blast chatting with them… please watch the video below!

In case you’re wondering, the quilt shown in the video is “25 Hexies” and the pattern is available for purchase on Craftsy.

25 hexies image small
And I did take a quick photo of Madge’s flappy EPP before she fixed it. This is too cute!
the-epp-faux-pas

Pin Cushion Dish

I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books. I’m so excited that Andover has come out with a line of fabric celebrating this fun series of books. They sent me some of their fabric to play with, so I made this fun Pin Cushion Dish. The dish is nice and deep so that not only can you hold pins and needles in the pin cushion, but the dish will also keep scissors, thimbles, and more corralled.

make this simple English Paper Pieced pincushion dish to hold your sewing notions

You’ll need:
Ramekin (these were 2 for $3 at Target)
LHOTP Fabric (at least 4 designs)
1.5″ Dritz English Paper Piecing Shapes
Fabric glue stick
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
Crushed Walnut Shells
Polyfil

supplies for pin cushion

Cut your fabrics with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

cut fabric

Baste the fabric onto the hexagons. I like to glue baste.

glue baste edges

Stitch the hexagons together.

stitch hexagons together

You’ll want to make a flower shape with 7 hexagons.

finished flower

Press well, front and back.

press-back

press-the-hexies

Remove the papers.

peel out papers

Press again, so seams are flat. Place onto a background fabric, and topstitch the two layers together. This is like quilting, but with no batting between the layers.

place-on-backing-fabricstitch-to-quilt

Draw a circle, and trim.

draw-circle

cut-into-circle

Trace the ramekin on spare fabric, and cut.

trace-ramekin

Pin the two together. ease the excess seam evenly all around.

pin-in-sections

pinned-pieces

Stitch down, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

cut-hole-in-bottom

Fill with crushed walnut shells. Then add a little bit of Polyfil to vover the hole.This helps to have less walnut shells fall out.

stuff-with-polyfil

Stitch the hole closed, then tuck into the ramekin.

LHOTP-pin-cushion

Your pin cushion is complete!

finished-pin-cushion-dish

Quilted Christmas Stocking

Looking to make new Christmas Stockings this year? Or just want a fun way to practice your free-motion quilting? These quilted Christmas Stockings are easy to make and fun to quilt!

Fairfield Quilted Holiday Stocking

Start by grabbing your fabric, stocking pattern, chalk pencil, basting spray, backing fabric (one for the back of the quilting, one for the lining of the stocking), ribbon for hanging, and of course your Fairfield Batting.

supplies for quilted stocking

Baste your layers – the batting between a layer of red fabric and a layer of backing fabric (I used muslin).

Trace the stocking on the fabric. Flip the template and trace again, a mirror image.

trace stocking

Quilt both sides of the stocking – but make sure to go beyond the lines.

quilted layers

Cut out the stockings, and cut two lining pieces.

cut lining pieces

Stitch the top of a lining piece to the top of a quilted piece. Repeat with the other set.

stitch tops

Lay the layers on top of each other, right sides together as shown in the above image, then stitch all the way around, leaving a 4″ hole for turning.

Turn right side out through the hole, stitch the hole closed, and tuck the lining into the socking.

tuck in lining

Stitch on a loop of ribbon to hang.

attach ribbon loop

Now make more for the whole family!

tie up holiday stocking

Mini Hexie Bracelet

Last year, I made some hexagon bracelets using scrap fabric and English Paper Pieced Hexagons. I’ve gotten tons of compliments on it, and I love my hexie bracelets… but the hexies are a little big. And the bracelet itself is a little too big in circumference for my tiny wrists, and there isn’t really a way to make it just a little bit smaller… so I decided to make a similar bracelet with smaller hexagons… and I love it!

I made this project as part of the 99+ Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas series that Niki from 365 Days of Crafts and I are putting on. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more fun Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas.

Mini Hexie Bracelet

To make the bracelet you’ll need:
Hexagons cut from heavy-weight interfacing
Scrap fabric
Needle and thread
Glue Stick
Scissors

I cut out my hexies using the Silhouette machine – you can use this mini hexie cut file to cut them out. If you’re cutting them out by hand, cut out hexagons with a 3/4″ side. Glue the hexagons to your scraps of fabric using the glue stick.

glue hexies

Cut out the hexagons, leaving about 1/4″ around all sides.

trim hexies

Using the glue stick to secure, fold in the sides.

glue edges

glued hexies

Pair two mini hexies, right sides together, and whip stitch along the edge to secure.

stitch two together

Add another hexagon to one side.

add third hexie

Then give the new hexie a partner.

stitch sets

Keep adding hexagons so you have one long strip of them, and each one has a partner hanging off to one side (or the other). Ten hexies in a row is the perfect size for me. For big-wristed folks, add another hexagon.

create strip

Curl the strip into a circle, then stitch the ends together.

stitch into circle

Then flip each of the hexagons in, and stitch the edges down. Hide the stitches by using a ladder stitch.

fold down hexagons

That’s it! Your bracelet is all done. Keep this one, and make another one as a gift…

finished mini hexie bracelet

make mini hexie bracelet

Flint Lockwood Costume: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I’m so excited to bring you this costume today! Earlier this year, my son wanted to dress up as Flint Lockwood from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs… so I came up with this simple costume, and am sharing with you how you can DIY one yourself!

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Flint Lockwood costume with Spray on Shoes

To make your own Flint Lockwood costume (with spray-on shoes), you need:
Teal Shirt
Yellow Heat Transfer
White work shirt (adult size)
Black Socks
Glitter paint and white puff paint
Shoes
Jeans

supplies for flint lockwood costume

I’m going to start with the shoes. Grab large black socks, and shoes.

supplies for spray on shoes

Put the socks over the shoes. Cover with the glitter paint.

allow shoes to dry

Add detail with white puff paint, then set aside to dry.

add laces to spray on shoes

 

The shirt is easy – I have a Science is Awesome File – you can cut it from vinyl with your silhouette, print it on fusible printer paper, or paint it on… there are all kinds of file options for you to use, depending on your favorite technique.

 

Have your child put on the shirt inside out. Pin along the sides and arms, then stitch.

stitch down sides

 

Cut away the excess seam allowance, then turn the shirt right side out.

 

 

trim away excess

 

Your Flint Lockwood costume is complete!

flint lockwood costume

 

Check out the other great costumes as well…

Flint Lockwood Costume DIY  from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

 

And as long as I’m sharing costumes, I’m teaming up with Jamie Dorobek and her handmade Halloween costume site, Really Awesome Costumes to bring y’all tons of easy ideas to craft up DIY Halloween costumes for everyone including your pets, family costumes, and even a trunk or treat idea! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for all those goodies.

 

 

 

 

 

101+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

 

And now it’s time for tons more DIY Halloween costume inspiration! Join in on the BLOG HOP! Click on the links below each collage to get the detailed instructions about how to make the costume pictured, just like mine above. Don’t forget to follow the Handamde Halloween Costumes Pinterest Board for even more DIY costume greatness!

 

88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

1. Handmade Baby Hamburger Costume

2. DIY Baby Game Boy Costume

3. DIY Minecraft Steve Costume

4. Football Brothers Halloween Costumes with DIY Pads and Onesie

5. Star Trek Halloween Costume for Kids

6. A Bee and Her Keeper

7. No Sew Magician Costume

8. Flint Lockwood Costume

9. Pinocchio

10. Marty McFly

11. Princess Wedding Dress Costume

12. Handmade Lalaloopsy Doll Costume

13. Homemade Toothless Costume

14. DIY Mermaid For Less Than $20 (No-Sew Option)

15. Easy Tinker Bell Costume

16. Mario and Luigi Go Kart Costumes

17. Dog The Bounty Hunter and Beth

18. Family Monsters University Costumes

19. Scooby Doo family costumes

20. DIY Storm Cloud Costume

 

88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

21. Cheap and Easy DIY Spider Costume

22. Easy Tin Man Costume

23. No Sew Bee Costume

24. Planet Halloween Costumes

25. DIY Cheshire Cat Costume

26. DIY Instagram Board

27. Elsa crown

28. Dog Collar Ruffles

29. DIY Pineapple Baby Costume

30. DIY Lego Movie Costume

31. Weeping Angel Costume

32. Disney Planes Costume: Dipper

33. Easy Pirate Costume

34. Easy Costume Idea – Renaissance Girl

35. 10 Minute Homemade Jellyfish Costume

36. DIY Cat Costume

37. Lucy And Ricky Costumes

38. Easy Frozen Costumes (Carrisa!!)

39. Easy Greek Goddess Costume

40. DIY Family Willy Wonka Costumes

101+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

41. DIY No Sew Maleficent Costume

42. No Sew Pineapple Halloween Costume

43. Graveyard Bean Bag Toss: Trunk or Treat Car Costume

44. DIY Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Costumes

45. DIY Raccoon Costume with Printable Mask

46. Easy WildStyle Lego Movie Costume

47. Simple Hello Kitty Costume

48. No Sew Minnie Mouse Costume

49. DIY Inspector Gadget and Penny Costumes

50. DIY Frozen Elsa Dress Baby Edition

51. Fairy Princess Dog Costume

52. DIY Hashtag Halloween Costume

53. Toddler or Baby Egg Costume

54. Easy No Sew Olaf Costume

55. DIY Baymax Costume

56. DIY Tooth Fairy Costume

57. Baby Short Stack Pancake Costume

58. Elephant and Piggie Halloween Costumes

59. Instagram Halloween Costume

60. Peter Pan & Mr. Smee Halloween Costume


88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at ReallyAwesomeCostumes.com

61. Wildstyle Costume from the Lego Movie

62. Fred and Wilma Couples Costume

63. Viking Family Costumes

64. DIY Cruella de Vil Costume for a child

65. Disney Frozen Olaf Halloween Treat Bucket

66. How to Make a Minecraft Steve Head

67. DIY Harry Potter Costume

68. DIY Duck Dynasty Costumes

69. No Sew Cupcake Baker Halloween Costume

70. DIY Skunk Mask

71. Ghostbusters Proton Pack DIY

72. Frozen Anna Costume Tutorial

73. Candy Corn Costume

74. Paw Patrol Halloween Costume

75. No Sew Toothless Dragon Costume

76. DIY Robot Costume

77. Wonder Woman Costume

78. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Costume

79. Thrifted Gentleman Spy DIY Halloween Costume

80. DIY Boy Garden Gnome Costume

81. Group Costume: Bob Ross, Happy Tree, & Squirrel

82. DIY Blues Brothers Costumes

83. Snow White Costume

84. Peacock Princess Costume

85. Scarecrow Costume

86. Easy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
Costume

87. Handmade Teddy Bear Costume

88. Princess Elsa and the Spy Kid

89. DIY Baby Koala costume

What handmade costume ideas did you love the most?! Be sure to click over to get the costume instructions, pin the costume, and let them know you love it! Also, follow the Handmade Halloween Costume board on Pinterest!

Follow Jamie Dorobek {C.R.A.F.T.}’s board “Handmade Halloween Costumes” on Pinterest.

Foam-Mounted Quilt Block

Foam Mounted Quilt Block

Do you have orphan quilt blocks lying around that need a home? Maybe one day you might turn them into a scrappy quilt… or maybe not. Maybe you have quilt blocks given to you by a friend or relative, and you have no idea what to do with them! Here is a super simple way to turn quilt blocks into home decor – mount them onto foam! I was sent a box of foam to play with, and I’m so excited to share what I came up with!

Foamology is a brand new product, and so easy to use! You can check out the whole line on the Fairfield website. I used just one sheet of foam for this project … imagine what you could do with more! I’ll show you how I made this simple foam mounted quilt block, and you can think of more ways to use this same foam block… once the wheels start turning, you’ll come up with so many ideas!

I started with a package of the Design Foam with Stickybase soft tiles. The tiles are 12″ square – perfect for most quilt blocks.

stickybase design foam

If you have a 10″ or even a 12″ quilt block, add a border around your block. I used a block that was 16″, which gave me plenty to wrap around the back.

quilt block and foamology

The process is simple. Lay your quilt block right side down on the table, then center the foam square with the sticky side up. Peel back the adhesive strip on one side, and fold over the fabric. Then peel the strip on the other side, and fold the fabric over.

secure down other side

Lift up the center paper on one side, and pull the fabric over, then repeat on the other side. And just like that, you’ve mounted your quilt block onto a foam square! You can peel back the rest of the paper, and stick the mounted quilt block right to a wall. Bam. Done.

secure sides and corners

I decided to add some big stitch quilting to my block, just for fun. So I covered the exposed adhesive with the paper I’d removed.

Using 3 threads from a skein of embroidery floss, I tacked the thread in place on the back of the block.

secure thread in place

Then I stitched into the fabric and foam, creating a running stitch.

stitch into foam

Normally, when I do a running stitch, I load up my needle with several stitches before pulling it through. This foam was dense, though, so I could only do one stitch at a time. Which was fine. However, if you have poor strength in your hands, you might want a set of pliers handy to help pull the needle through.

To stitch the center, I just poked my needle up from the back, leaving a long tail.

poke through center

I stitched all the way around.

stitch center of block

When done, I poked the needle back through to the back, and tied a knot with my beginning and ending threads.

tie down from back

It took about 2 hours to complete the big stitch quilting, but I love the added texture that the quilting gives!

stitched foam quilt block

I’m not sure where I want to hang it yet, so to give myself lots of options, I stuck the foam mounted quilt block to a 12″x12″ canvas. This way I can lean it on a shelf, hang it on a wall, or do whatever I like.

stick foam to canvas

Wasn’t that simple? What kinds of decor would you make using Foamology? While you’re deciding on your first project, head over to JoAnns or Fairfield to order yourself some foam squares! If you order on the Fairfield site use the promo code 14FOAM25 at checkout for 25% off of your Foamology order.

Make sure to check out Fairfield on on Pinterest and Facebook, and Foamology on Facebook for more inspiration!

Thanks Foamology for sending me this fun new product to play with! It makes home decor so simple!

 

Quilted Tie Dye Pillow

Sometimes, you have a shirt that you love, but can’t wear. Either it has gotten worn out, or it isn’t the right size, or it has a stain on it. Don’t tuck it into a corner of the closet, or into a bottom drawer – celebrate your tie dye by turning your shirt into a custom decor piece! I work with the folks at Rit to come up with original dyed pieces, and was super excited to work on a quilted piece using a shirt I dyed with Rit dye.

If you’ve been following my Instagram feed, you know that I’m into quilting feathers lately… and I thought it would be fun to combine quilted feathers and tie dye in this handcrafted decor piece. I love how it came together!

Make a quilted tie dye pillow

Of course, you could use different quilting designs on your pillow, but be sure to get the how-to over on Rit Studio!

quilted tie dye pillow

How to Make a Duck Tape Dress

Making a Duck Tape Prom Dress

Yes. You read that right. How to make a Duck Tape Dress. Why? Well, besides the obvious “totally unique” aspect, and the fact that you really can make anything out of Duck Tape, if you’re in High School, making a Duck Tape Prom Dress could win you a fat scholarship with Duck Tape’s “Stuck at Prom” promotion.

My mom and I sewed my dress for my Senior Prom, so making a dress out of Duck Tape for a potential scholarship would have been right up my alley. But I’ve already gone to my 10 year reunion, and am well on my way to my 20 year reunion, so I missed the boat.

But, Duck Tape sponsored an “80’s Prom” at a conference I went to, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making a Duck Tape dress. I looked up the official rules to make sure that my dress would be Stuck at Prom “legal” (besides the obvious fact that I’m not in High School), so that I could share any Duck Tape Prom Dress-making secrets.

Before you decide that you want to make a Duck Tape Dress, here are some things that you might want to consider:
Duck Tape is not Breathable
Wearing a Duck Tape dress is very hot and sweaty. It keeps in all of your heat. I had a sleeveless, short dress, and my cheeks were red the entire night. Consider this as you design your dress.

Duck Tape is not very Flexible
There is a little bit of “give” to Duck Tape, but once you’ve made an entire dress out of it, it isn’t very flexible. If your skirt is going to be snug, you might want a slit up the back. And you can forget about bending over if you’ve dropped something.

Duck Tape Display

Duck Tape can be Expensive
Your Duck Tape dress will be more work than buying a dress off the rack, and may be expensive. I used about 9 rolls of tape for my dress. Some rolls (like the glitter rolls) have a lot less Duck Tape on them. When you decide what colors and patterns to use for your dress, look at the label to see how many yards are on the roll. The glitter and prism tapes are awesome, and will add great sparkle to your dress, but they will also increase the cost.

Duck Tape isn’t always Flattering
You want to look good at your prom, and if you don’t have any experience making clothes, or you already feel self-conscious, a Duck Tape dress might not be for you. I’m over 30, and while other gals at the event said that I looked good in the dress (one specifically told me that Duck Tape made my butt look great!), I felt very exposed. The dress didn’t really hide any flaws, and I didn’t feel like it played up any assets, either! But, a 17 or 18 year old going to a high school prom probably has a better body than me, right?

If you’ve read all of that and you still want to move forward (yay!), I’ll tell you how I made my dress.

How to make a Duck Tape Dress

The Stuck at Prom rules don’t say that your outfit has to be entirely made out of Duck Tape. You can see in this clip from Season 11 of Project Runway that some of the designers did use a sewing machine to make their dresses. What you don’t see is that some also used a muslin underneath the Duck Tape to help it keep its form.

Duck tape is sticky on one side, and you absolutely don’t want to stick it directly to your skin for your dress. So your options are to either make a sheet out of the Duck Tape by making a double-sided sheet, with the adhesive in the middle, or to stick the Duck Tape to fabric.

To make my Duck Tape dress, I went to a discount clothing store and bought a plain dress. I double-checked the 2014 rules (don’t just take my word for it, make sure you read the rules carefully for yourself), and you can use other materials in your dress. However, you cannot use someone else’s design. I read this to mean that I couldn’t just Duck Tape over an existing dress and call it “original”, I had to truly make it an original piece. And I couldn’t look online to see a dress I liked and re-create it in Duck Tape. The finished product had to be one-of-a-kind. That was my interpretation, but don’t take my word for it – read the rules to make sure you understand them. Really, the biggest benefit was having a base to stick the tape to – and that the base had a zipper so that I could get in and out of the dress easier.

The dress I picked to be my base was not a style or color I would wear. But it had the basic shape I was looking for – and everything else was going to be covered in Duck Tape, so what I saw in the mirror wasn’t the deciding factor.

Base for Duck Tape Dress

Once I bought my dress, I started adding the tape. The dress I bought was a knit fabric, which stretches. I would have preferred a woven fabric (which doesn’t stretch as much). Because it was a knit fabric, I had to have the dress on while adding the tape. Because once the tape was applied, the dress didn’t stretch. However, any areas where the dress stretched while I was in it (think: stomach, hips, thighs, chest, etc), as soon as I got out of the dress, the fabric would start to un-stretch, which made the Duck Tape less smooth. If you plan on using a fabric base for your Duck Tape dress, a woven fabric, rather than a knit, is your best choice. If you have access to a dress form, that would be a big help as well.

Note: I did overlap the strips of Duck Tape to make sure there were no gaps.

bottom of the Duck Tape Dress

I mentioned before that Duck Tape has almost no stretch, right? While taping the dress on my body, I filled my lungs with air to expand them as much as possible. This sounds like the opposite of what you might want to do – because this will make the dress bigger. However, getting in and out of a tight dress with almost no stretch is very hard. Expanding the top of the dress by filling my lungs with air made it much easier to get the dress on and off.

My goal was to make an 80’s dress, so I wanted to have an off-the-shoulder top. I cut off one strap, then used some Duck Tape to hold it all in place while I taped up the top.

making the top of the dress

While doing this, I managed to get some Duck Tape stuck to my armpit. OH MY! Getting that off was painful!

The final step was taping the back. I couldn’t reach the back myself, so I had my friend Gina from Mom’s Lifeboat tape the back for me. She taped on either side of the zipper, so that I could still use the zipper to get in and out. On the night of the event, my friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage added a vertical strip of tape over the zipper to cover it.

Finished basic Duck Tape Dress

The plain dress was fine, but I wanted to give it a more 80s look with ruffles. I would have loved to add lots of ruffles, but they take some time (and quite a bit of Duck Tape) to make.

If you want to add ruffles to your dress, here is my secret: use your bed. I used the bed at the hotel to make the ruffles. I lifted the sheets off the bed to expose the fitted sheet. I taped long strips of Duck Tape to the fitted sheet, overlapping them a little. Once my ruffle was wide enough, I peeled it off, and lay it on the bed tape-side-up. Then I covered the tape with fresh strips of Duck Tape, overlapping the seams.

Duck Tape Prom Dress

I added some sparkle with glitter Duck Tape on the ruffle and the bottom of the dress.

I used a similar strip to add a bow to the back. Very 80s.

back of Duck Tape Prom Dress

Here are a couple photos of me at the event in the dress. In this top photo I’m hanging out with Angie, who is wearing a vest made out of Duck Tape.

80s Duck Tape Prom

In this bottom photo, I’m posing with Kimberly from Stuffed Suitcase, who also made a Duck Tape dress for the event.Wearing Duck Tape Dresses

My Duck Tape look was finished off with some fun accessories. I dressed Trusty the Duck (the Duck Tape Mascot) in matching lapels and tie, added Duck Tape to my shoes, and added some Duck Tape jewelry.

Duck Tape Prom Accessories

If you want some detailed instructions on making accessories, here are some tutorials:

Duck Tape Bracelet
Duck Tape Bangles
Duck Tape Earrings
Duck Tape Necklace
Duck Tape Flowers (if you want to make a Duck Tape Corsage)
Duck Tape Cat in the Hat’s Hat (you can modify these instructions to make a top hat)

I hope these details help you make your own Duck Tape outfit for Prom! Look around online for inspiration and ideas, and save your pennies for all those rolls of Duck Tape!

Rit Dye Pearl Necklace

Rit Dye has compensated me for this post.

DIY Faux pearl necklace with dyed wood beads

When the folks at Rit Dye contacted me to come up with a project using their new Pearl Grey dye, I knew I wanted to make a pearl necklace! I love the look of dark pearls, and an homage to real pearls made out of dyed wooden beads would perfect.

The challenge I had to overcome was that dyed wood takes on a very flat look, and pearls are not. They have a luster that comes from inside the pearl itself – and I found a way to replicate that look with wood! Check out how these Rit dyed pearl beads are made.

To make the necklace you will need:
RIT Dye
HOT water
Small containers
Large Wooden Beads
Ribbon
Wooden Skewers
Darice Americana Decor Wax
Paintbrush
Soft Cloth (I often use an old sock)
Jewelry Clasps and Jump Rings
Krazy Glue

Put the hot (almost boiling) water in the small containers, and add a little of the Rit Pearl Grey dye. With this color – a little goes a long way! Mix, then add your wooden beads.

dye the beads pearl grey with Rit

Once the beads are your desired color, rinse them until the water runs clear, then lay them on a towel to dry overnight. The beads will have a stripe through the middle, as a result of the grain of the wood absorbing the dye. Don’t worry about this – it will virtually disappear by the end of the project!

allow beads to dry

Time to wax the beads! Pour a small amount of wax into a disposable container. Add a dash of dye and stir to mix.

add dye

Using a paintbrush, paint each bead with the dye-wax mix. I found the best way to do this was to thread them onto skewers and paint several at a time.

paint wax onto beads

Paint on three coats of the dyed wax, allowing it to dry for a few minutes between each coat. Then let the beads dry completely.

Time to bring out the shine! Using a soft cloth (I used an old tea towel), buff each bead until it glows.

buff beads

Here you can see the difference. The bead on the left has been waxed and buffed. The bead on the right has only been dyed.

buffed bead vs non waxed bead

 

Once the beads are buffed, start stringing them onto the ribbon, tying an overhand knot between each bead.

string and knot beads

Once you have your faux pearl string at the desired length, add a jewelry finding to each end. I threaded one side on.

add lobster clasp

Then tied it in place with an overhand knot.

add overhand knot

I tucked the tail into the hole of the last bead using the pointy end of a skewer, then cut off the excess.

poke excess ribbon in

I repeated this process with the other side, then added a bow to cover the clasp.

faux pearl necklace with ribbon

I dabbed some Krazy Glue at the knot, and ends of the cut ribbon. This will keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying, and keep the knot secure.

glue on ends of ribbon to prevent fray

Let the glue dry, and you are all done!

make a diy dyed pearl necklace

 

dyed beads no longer look like wood

 

dyed bead pearl necklace

 

wooden beads are made to glow like pearls