Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dollar Store Jewelry Makeover!

Every time I hit the dollar store I'm mesmerized by the racks of cheap jewelry.  Indeed, it does look cheap, but the creative person in me always wants to figure out something to do with it.  Well, after watching Downton Abbey (I'm obsessed) and seeing the Victorian mourning jewelry, I knew just what to do with all of that wonderful cheap jewelry!  This project is so easy, it will have you dressed for an Anna Sui runway show or a Downton Abbey funeral in no time.  Plus, how cool would this stuff look with a white dress or blouse?  I'm thinking AMAZING!
 My Downton Abbey Masterpiece
Check out the how-to video  
From The Big-Ass Book of Bling
From The Big Ass Book of Bling

Assorted pieces of dollar store jewelry
Black gloss Krylon spray paint
Jump rings
Lobster claw closure
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Gather your pieces 
Cut off the rings and pin backs using the wire cutters 

 Arrange your pieces the way you want
 Link them together with jump rings
Create a tassel by cutting 5-6 lengths of chain about 3" long and 
adding them all to one jump ring
Add the tassel to the base of your necklace 
Add chain to the back at a length you desire 
 Clip the center back and add a closure with jump rings
Lay flat and spray paint both sides outside!
Let dry at least 15 minutes on each side and give several coats if you need to.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

He Crafts She Crafts: Black Plate Special

We're back with another installment of He Crafts She Crafts and I'm seriously excited about this post.  There are a few things that I truly love in this world and the work of the designer Piero Fornasetti is one of them.  Many of his home decor designs used images of an early 20th century opera singer named Lina Cavaliere.   I think he had a "thing" for her!  I'm also madly in love with my friend Stephenie who writes this He Crafts She Crafts blog with me.  For this post, we trolled the dollar store and found some amazing square black plates which I thought would be perfect for some wall decor.  Stephenie turned her square black plate into a beautiful cake plate by adding a stand.  Fantastic!  Check out how she made hers at  I gave my plate some Fornasetti images and turned it into a terrific wall hanging.  BTW, leave a comment on our 
blogs for a chance to win some amazing goodies!  
Inexpensive plates make a great canvas
Here's my how-to video
Plates are also a terrific way to decorate your home without spending a fortune!
These were one dollar each at my local 99c store.
Stephenie took the same plate and created an embellished stand for it.
She has a way of making everything look effortless and beautiful.
Learn how she made this at

Print out of Lina Cavalieri (below)
White glue
Acetate print out of butterflies (images below)
Gold Krylon Spray Paint
Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer
Small dish for your glue
Click on this image and drag it to your desktop to print on plain paper
Images of butterflies to use.  Take a print out of this to your copy shop and have them print it on a clear sheet of acetate.
Cut out your image 
Spray paint one side of the acetate print out
with the Krylon Metallic Gold and let dry.
You'll end up with wonderful metallic gold butterflies.

Carefully cut out the butterflies.
Spread a thin layer of glue on the back of your image of Lina.
Carefully position her on your plate and let dry.
Press out any bumps and make sure that your image is smooth.
Add your butterflies with a thin layer of glue and let dry.

When your images are dry, coat the entire plate with 2-3 coats of the Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer.
Wait at least 10 minutes in between coats.
This will give it a nice finish and it will be ready to hang on your wall!
Here is a photo of the beautiful Lina Cavalieri.
She is the woman who inspired Piero Fornasetti's work.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lina Cavalieri and butterflies (printable images)

Make a decorative Fornasetti inspired plate in no time!
An image of Lina Cavalieri to use for your decorative Fornasetti inspired plates.

Click and print  
Print these on white paper and then take to your local 
copy shop to have printed on clear acetate.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Recycled "I HEART YOU" Garlands

It's true, I have a hard time tossing out old magazines.  Stacks of magazines make me sad because I know that they could become everything from bowls of paper beads, a super cool collage or even a Valentine's Day"I HEART YOU" Garland.  For my Valentine's Day party this year, I'm decorating with tons of garlands made from magazine pages and a few pieces of red paper.  Instead of buying tons of glitter hearts and pink streamers I'm going to use what I have to make the party magical.  Even if you're having a small dinner for two, these paper garlands will make the night a little more special.  Just don't get them too close to your candles.  Happy Valentine's Day!
Garlands on my patio (Sounds like a country song)
Here's the video
Here's the quick how-to
A little up close shot
Red paper
Magazine pages
Sewing machine
Red thread (if you have it)
Rip out a stack of 5 pages 
Cut them in half 

Fold the stack of 5 pages in half 
Cut out stacks of stars 
Cut out small stars from the red paper 
Alternate stitching red hearts and stacks of hearts  
Finish with 3 red hearts for your tail

Fold open the stacks of hearts to give them dimension and then hang.
If you really want some fun recycled paper crafts, grab a copy of  my book