Hi! This site is an archive of my old craft blog. You can now find my new writing, and my two new shops, in their new homes: Patchwork Jackdaw for one-off, intricate jewellery pieces in muted colours, and Florence Loves Fridays for bold, chunky, quirky jewellery.
These two button necklaces are my latest woven cord creations. Made with tiny 10mm buttons (rather than my tapered, chunky button necklace style) they are great for petite necklines or for anyone who wants a more subtle and delicate necklace.
There’s a mixture of neutral and muted-coloured brooches, and also some brighter ones, and the sizes range from 40 – 55mm across. They’re made with stacks of three buttons in graduated sizes, stitched together and mounted on a metal brooch plate.
While continuing my process of delving through boxes of leftover materials and forgotten bits and pieces, I found a bag of jigsaw puzzle pieces. There were still a few left that were similar enough to each to make pairs, so they’re become earrings. Each pair is unique, and these ones come from a vintage puzzle which had a bird design on it.
It was donated to me because too many of the pieces were missing for it to be completed without being incredibly irritating – but it could still be turned into other things…
All of these jigsaw puzzle earrings are for sale at the Unexpected Boutique. Each pair is one-of-a-kind.
Last year I made a batch of safety pin drop earrings using gold safety pins with green and bronze rocaille beads. These earrings were popular with customers, so I’ve made some more, in several new colour schemes: red, peacock blue, and multicoloured.
At the moment I’m doing some using-up-of-leftover-materials from previous projects (as with my upcycled bead bracelets) and next in the queue was my box of felt beads. Previously I’ve made big batches of identical necklaces, but with the odd ones left over, over the past couple of days, I’ve made the first few of some one-of-a-kind felt necklaces. There are some more lying in a big fuzzy pile on my workbench waiting to have their clasps put on, but these three are finished and available to buy at Unexpected Boutique’s felt necklaces page.
For ages now I’ve had a stash of beads that have been waiting to be made into jewellery. However, out of the whole box, there’s probably only about ten percent that were bought by me as beads. That ten percent are leftovers from other projects; the rest of them are there because, over the years, some beaded necklace or other has broken. Some of these were from jewellery that I owned myself, and others came from other people’s broken jewellery clearouts, and were given to me because people thought I was the sort of person who cold make use of them. The thing is, I mostly haven’t, because I’ve mostly been making things out of buttons rather than beads. I never really got into the whole “bead” thing. But a few weeks ago, I thought: they’ve been sitting there for years. (And I really mean years – I’ve had some of them for getting on fifteen years now.) They are not achieving anything at all by sitting there in a box. So I sat down and made a small fraction of my bead collection into bracelets.
I’m fussy about bracelets – or, specifically, bracelet fastenings. Obviously, as a person who uses their hands a lot, I need a bracelet to do two things: not get in the way too much, and not fall off. Otherwise I just don’t wear them. But I equally despise the kind of bracelet fastening that always requires another person to fasten it for the wearer. That’s just annoying. So this limits me to the alarmingly small number of secure clip fastenings that are easy to do up and take off with one hand, or elastic bracelets. Or so I thought. All this time I’ve been ignoring one really obvious solution to the bracelet problem: memory wire.
Memory wire is basically a hard steel spring, and comes in a big coil that looks like a slinky toy. To make into a bracelet, you cut off a section of one or two coils, and basically just bead it up however you like. When you put on a memory wire bracelet, it does two things – stretches and bends briefly so you can get your wrist in, before returning to its previous shape when on your wrist. As well as this, it gently moulds around whatever size wrist it finds itself around, so will fit snugly on a variety of wrist sizes larger than its resting size (or will be like a round bangle on smaller wrists).
So, memory wire is what my new collection of boho-looking beaded bracelets are made with. You can get them at the Unexpected Boutique, and also in my Etsy shop.
My multicoloured button necklaces are very popular – probably my best-selling item. The thing about them is that as they sell out so quickly, I usually have to make them in batches of ten or so of the same design – otherwise about 90% of my life would be spent photographing different unique necklaces. This means that I have a big pile of unmatched buttons left over. And these make great necklaces – often they contain quite interesting buttons. I just don’t always have time to photograph them all.
I have come up with a Cunning Plan, however. Who wants to buy lots of surprise, lucky-dip type multicoloured button necklaces, with bulk discounts? People shopping for lots of friends and family at Christmas, that’s who… If you might fall into that category in a few months’ time, you might be interested in my special offer for lucky dip button necklaces: the more of these you buy, the more you save. The normal price for a wire button necklace is £12. If you buy one lucky dip necklace, it’s £10, and the more of these you buy, they cheaper they get – right down to £5.50 per necklace when you buy 10.
Here are some examples of the kind of necklaces you might receive:
If you want to take advantage of this offer, I don’t mind what you do with the necklaces – even if you have your own shop, you’re welcome to sell them yourself.
You can get your lucky dip wholesale necklaces here.