How to Make Stamped Solder Pendants

How to make stamped solder pendants solder jewelry

This was such a fun project. I made all of these cute little pendants using plain old plumbing solder! I think they resemble wax seals or old coins:

Bernzomatic torch projects: jewelry pendants

Basic List of Materials (a little goes a long way):

TS4000 Bernzomatic Trigger Start Torch
MAP Fuel Canister (yellow)
1 Roll of Sterling Plumbing Solder
1 Roll of Copper Picture Wire (18 Gauge)
Non-Asbestos Soldering Block
Lead-free Water-Soluble Flux
Rubber Craft Stamps (Postmarks)

Optional but Recommended:
Parchment Paper
Bon Ami Powder

Each pendant only requires a tiny bit of solder and a few inches of copper wire making it a very inexpensive project:

solderpendant21

Here’s my TS4000 Bernzomatic Torch. It ignites with just a push of the button so it’s not scary or hard to use. Once you start torching…it’s kind of hard to stop!

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The pendants are primarily made up of metal from melting this sterling plumbing solder:

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To created the base of the pendant I used 18 gauge copper wire. Using pliers I created this “8” shape:

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I use a non-asbestos soldering block to fire against. It can withstand the heat:

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Brush a little bit of flux onto the copper wire. This will help the solder adhere to the wire:

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Using the torch, carefully heat the solder so that drops of solder begin to fall into and around the copper circle. It doesn’t have to be precise. Once there’s enough solder to fill the circle let the piece cool.  I put parchment paper underneath because it will catch any extra beads of solder that can also be reheated to create pendants:

molten solder stamping

Use the torch to remelt the solder. If you burn heat in a circular pattern around the edges the solder will shift towards the center into a circular glob:

rubber stamped jewelry

Take a regular craft stamp, mine are the “Far Off Posts” set by Dawn Houser:

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Press the rubber stamp onto the molten solder. They need to be wood-mounted so you don’t have to get your fingers near the molten solder.

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One the sterling solder has cooled you can just tap the stamp on the block and the pendant will fall away:

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Kind of addicting to make these…feels a little like minting money: [Read more…]

DIY Upcycled Infinity T-Shirt Scarf

how to make a diy infinity scarf using t-shirts

Last April I taught a class on making t-shirt infinity scarves at the SNAP Conference in SLC.  I’m just now remembering that I hadn’t posted a tutorial for them…so better late than never!  The scarves were a hit…they are so easy to make that each person in the class made more than one.

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I had precut all the squares for the class:

knit scarf instructions and tutorial - recycled t-shirt projects

Here’s Boo with infinity scarf samples I made and wearing the scarf she made: recycled and upcycled t-shirt projects - infinity scarf

 

Love all the colorful combinations:

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To make your scarf, first you need to cut a bunch of 11″ squares from t-shirts, pajama pants, etc or just knit-by-the-yard:

upcycled t-shirt projects

For the adult sized scarf you need 8 squares per scarf and the child sized only needs 6 squares.  Lay them out in the pattern you want the finished scarf to be. 2 rows of 4:

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Sew each row of 4 together first using a sewing machine or a serger, like you are making a quilt. So you will have 2 long rectangles: [Read more…]

How to Cut Rounded Corners in Large Quantities

This is probably one of my most favorite tools.  It’s a bulk paper cutter. It cuts rounded corners, diamond corners, etc.  I use it to cut round corners on everything from postcards to business cards to invitations. It allows me to purchase the more economical square corners and round the corners myself.

I’m addicted to corner rounding.

 

The Akile Diamond Cutter:

How to cut your own rounded corners on photos, scrapbooking, business cards and invitations via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #wedding #diy #scrapbooking

 

A stack of about 750 postcards took me about 10 minutes to cut:

DIY Die-Cut Rounded Corner Prints and Photos via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

 

 

The cutter has guides that you can adjust so that the paper can be placed quickly into position each time for each stack:

Rounded Corner Prints and Photos via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

 

Easy to press down (i.e. no blisters):

How to Round the corners of wedding invitations, holiday cards, photos etc with a DIY die-cut

 

The clippings fall into a small container underneath the cutter.  There’s a small drawer to hold different attachments and replacement rubber pads:

Use a Table Top Punch Corner Rounder to round corners on paper and plastic  via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

 

I’ve saved an enormous amount of expense by ordering printed items in bulk with square corners and then rounding the corners myself:

(My “Year at the Hemlock” cards…brand new and so pretty. I hand these out when people want to read why we are moving…makes the posts easy to find.)

Order economical business cards and round the corners yourself with a DIY Corner Rounder that punches bulk die cuts

 

This is how I made my cute little “Lil Journal Project” prompts:

Journal Prompt Set - I made these using business cards and a DIY corner rounder

Cute quotes on the back: [Read more…]

How to Make Personalized Burlap Bags

Gift Idea for Bridesmaids, Wedding Party, Graduation Etc: How to Make Personalized Burlap Bags via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #burlap #diy #tutorial #wedding #rustic #diywedding

 

Love burlap…and I love these burlap bags from Dharma Trading. I thought they’d make great gifts or even stylish reusable grocery bags:

Use Blank Burlap or Jute Bags via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

 

Supplies:
Burlap or Jute Bags
Supersoft Transfer Paper
Ink Jet Printer
Iron

 

There are several ways you can personalize the bags:

1. Silk screening or freezer paper stencils. (see my Beach Bag Tote tutorial here)
2. Spray paint with stencils
3. Fabric applique
4. Transfer Paper

I chose transfer paper for these particular bags because I wante pretty detailed graphics and it takes way too much patience to hand cut a stencil for something like that.

First, I created this little “Groceries” graphic in Photoshop. If I’m making a graphic that prints out onto multiple pages I usually use Powerpoint to size and print it because it turns out easier to visualize and match up. I printed out the graphic onto Super Soft Transfer paper:

Use special iron on paper to transfer image via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

Transfer paper from Dharma Trading.

 

I carefully cut out my graphic and made sure the two sides matched up, placing them face down onto the burlap bag.  Pressing a hot iron for a few minutes (careful not to burn the paper or bag!) transfers the image to the bag: [Read more…]

Turn Children’s Artwork into Gifts

 

Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas: Turn Children's Artwork into meaningful handmade gifts with these ideas via lilblueboo.com #gifts #diy #tutorial

Looking for some special gift ideas for the holidays?  I’ve come up with a few ways to turn your child’s artwork into amazing gifts this year.  Boo has a new “how to draw cats” book that she’s so excited about. I asked her to draw me a cat that we could make into some handmade gifts:

Gifts from kid artwork via lilblueboo.com

So impressed by her cute little cat:

turn children's artwork into gifts via lilblueboo.com

Here’s what we made with that one simple drawing:

1. Printed Paper

screen print paper bags and paper via lilblueboo.com

 

2. Printed Pillow

turn kids artwork into stuffies and stuffed animals via lilblueboo.com

3. A Rustic Piece of Artwork

preserve children's artwork making meaningful gifts via lilblueboo.com

4. T-shirts with Matching Packaging

how to make your own t-shirts and print your own boxes via lilblueboo.com

Materials Needed: (click for source info)
Adhesive Shelf Paper or Contact Paper
Double Sided Tape or Glue Stick
Razor blade or Exacto Knife
Speedball Screen (reusable)
Screen Printing Ink for Fabric and Paper
Small Squeegee or use an old credit card

Things to Print:
T-shirt
Wood Cradled Panel Canvas
(use Minwax Driftwood Stain to make rustic)
Kraft Paper

[Read more…]

How to Make Chalk Paint Books

I love this decor from my sister’s house, probably because of my love for a muted palette:

How to Make Chalk Paint Books via lilblueboo.com #diy #decor #homedecor #anniesloan  (annie sloan chalk paint tutorial)

The books were purchased from the thrift store:

Ideas for using Thrift Store Books via lilblueboo.com

 

The dust jackets were removed, and the outsides carefully painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

Chalk Paint Book Tutorial via lilblueboo.com #chalkpaint

 

I love the matte, sueded look of them:

how to decorate book shelves via lilblueboo.com

 

These will go great with almost any type of decor too: [Read more…]

How to Make a Custom Skateboard and Grip Tape Design

How to make and paint a custom skateboard (custom grip tape to custom design) Great birthday party idea, Christmas gift, etc. via lilblueboo.com #skateboard #diy #griptape #custom #tutorial #gifts #handmadegifts

 

Boo has been asking for a skateboard so I thought I’d make one for her using a blank board. I just finished it up and took it out for a test run today. My skateboarding skills are a little rusty…I think it’s been 25 years since I was on one:

Paint a Custom Skateboard Ashley Hackshaw Lil Blue Boo via lilblueboo.com #skateboard #diy #gift #handmade

It rides pretty well!  A custom skateboard would be a great Christmas gift or even an auction donation….or just hanging on the wall for a shelf or custom decor.

How to make a custom skateboard design via lilblueboo.com #skateboard #diy #gift #handmade

You can buy blank boards from Amazon (this one is 8″): [Read more…]

DIY Elastic Shoelaces

I bought this pair of shoes at a consignment sale for Boo last year and her shoelaces kept coming untied so often that I decided to replace the laces with elastic.  The colorful elastic below is just fold-over elastic (FOE) used for hairbands and other crafts:

Turn lace up shoes into slip-ons via lilblueboo.com #diy #tutorial #kids

 

Foldover Elastic comes in a wide array of colors:

where to buy foldover (FOE) elastic for shoe laces via lilblueboo.com

 

You can also use lingerie elastic for a cute, girly look:

where to buy lingerie elastic for shoe laces via lilblueboo.com

I used white scalloped lingerie elastic for Boo’s school shoes so that she match uniform policy: [Read more…]

How To Build A Fort

Boo is constantly making forts…laying blankets over chairs and couches…stacking boxes and toys. For a while she was using tape to try and keep all of her blankets in place.  I didn’t realize this until:

1. I needed tape and there was no more tape available.

2. I found tape on the furniture, floors, dog etc.

Finally I had Mr. LBB pick up a bunch of industrial clamps at the hardware store.  The fort making has gone to another level:

Advanced Fort Making: Industrial Clamps to keep sheets and blankets in place! via lilblueboo.com #tent #fort #kidsactivities

I like that I can easily pack it all up and put it away too.  I don’t need any permanent tents set up in my living room…..

 

 

Make a Wood Toy Camera

How to make DIY wood toy camera via lilblueboo.com #tutorial #diy #wood #toy

 

Today I made a little wood pretend toy camera.  Pink.  With a real leather strap. For my little tourist:

 

It’s modeled off my Holga camera….with a viewfinder:

How to make a wood camera via lilblueboo.com

 

I’ve always wanted to make a little toy camera but never had the right tools. Dremel asked me recently to review their Moto Saw (a compact scroll saw) this was my first project choice (among 4,000 others on my list of course)! I used a scrap piece of wood and sketched my little camera:

Wood Toy Camera via lilblueboo.com

The Dremel Moto Saw took only about 5 minutes to set up….and it attaches to almost any table as an instant jigsaw.  I love that I can just pop it back into it’s case and it goes back into storage until the next project: [Read more…]

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