Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas Ordering Deadlines and Faster Shipping Options

Christmas is nearly upon us so we want to let you know our last ordering dates to ensure you receive your items in good time for all your seasonal crafting:

UK Standard Deliveries (First Class & First Class Recorded):  
Tuesday 20th December
UK Faster Post (Special Delivery/Next Day Delivery)
Thursday 22nd December
UK Saturday Delivery (Special Delivery with Saturday Guarantee)
Friday 23rd December
- operational
- static 

Friday 2nd December
Thursday 15th December 
Western Europe
Monday 12th December
Eastern Europe, USA & Canada
Friday 9th December
Monday 5th December

We have now added new postage options to the shop so you can make your selection for faster shipping - just pop your preferred option to your basket and we will do the rest.  See all options here:

Please ensure we receive your order before 12pm and we will try our very best to get your order out on the same day.  Don't leave it until the last minute!  :)

Apologies also for being away from this blog forever - we have received lots of new and exciting items in the shop (all will be revealed soon!) and have been busy moving things around!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Make Your Own: Five-Minute Earrings Using Epoxy Stickers

Another instalment of my Enduring Sticker Love series, here I wanted to show you just how easy it is to use (and to love!) these epoxy stickers, by making a pretty pair of earrings - and the best thing is it really only takes five minutes!

It may help to know that I was about to go out and I couldn't find any earrings to wear that I fancied wearing.  Sometimes you just have to have something new - so I figured I would make them!

I gathered my materials - simply, a pair of earwires and earnuts for the backs, a little bezel tray (here I used two of the 13x18mm silver plated ovals from the shop), two stickers, two lots of images, and a bit of ModPodge.

You need to peel off the plastic film protecting your epoxy stickers - I say 'protecting' but these stickers are actually very sturdy little things, they will withstand most things that life as an earring can throw at them.  So, peel off the plastic film, grab your sticker and position it over the paper.  I used a simple inkjet print from my home printer and I did not seal it in any way.

Here I was hoping to recreate a butterfly in two halves. It didn't quite work as I ended up with a mutant butterfly that has two bodies, and slightly askew it is too, but when you wear the earrings nobody really notices, so we're good.

The adhesive on the epoxy sticker will provide a good fast bond, but just make sure you have no bubbles showing through by rubbing the sticker against the paper.  Then carefully cut around the sticker so you have two images of the exact size for your bezel.

Glue these with a little bit of ModPodge to your bezel setting.  If the ModPodge comes up over the side of the sticker, it's fine, just ignore it for now - first of all, it dries clear, and secondly it's far easier to peel off when it's dry than it is to wipe when wet.  However the sticker will benefit from wiping with a damp kitchen towel when it is totally dry just to remove any traces of errant ModPodge.

Hang from your preferred earwires, and that's really all there is to it!

Beautiful earrings, in a jiffy.

All image credits to Download -

Make Your Own Buttons!

Add a new creative twist to your jewellery with our lovely button making kits now available in the shop

You start with two pieces of metal and end up with a beautiful button that is covered in the fabric of your choice.  The buttons are available in a choice of sizes, 15mm and 22mm:

and two versions:  flat back and wire back. 

The flat back buttons are ideal for gluing onto rings, earrings, hair pins and pendant findings, and the wire back buttons are perfect for stringing and for threading onto hairbands. 

These buttons come with a making tool for assembling your buttons (each size of button needs a different tool, but different backs can be used with the same tool as long as the size of button is the same).

To make your pretty buttons just pick some fabric – thin fabric is best – and cut a circle that’s about 1-1.5cm wider than your button.

Pop the fabric onto the white part of the tool, pattern-side facing down, and sit your button over this, ensuring that any pattern is centered in the position you want it to be (this can sometimes be a bit tricky!).  Then, with the red bit of the tool, press down into the white bit so that the fabric and button top are snug inside the white part of the tool.  

Bunch the fabric back into the button 

place the back of the button on top, ensuring it is perfectly centered

 and with the red bit of the tool again press down hard so that it fits right inside the button. 

Finally, pop the button out of the tool, and there you go, a perfect button that you have made yourself!

If you have chosen to use flat back buttons, you can simply glue these into place onto rings and hairpins or simply add a magnet, pin or tiny brooch back.  

To use them with pendant trays, you may have to apply your glue to the edge of the button rather than to the metal back.  This is because there is a 1-2mm edge where the button sides are higher than the back, so sometimes you may have to add a riser so that the back is flush with the edge so for certain applications this would be useful.  You can use a rubber pad, washer, or a foam sticker (as used in card-making) – just ensure your glue is a strong one.

I have used a small riser on the hairclips above, however for items such as rings and hairpins, a riser should not be necessary.

The 15mm flat backs fit beautifully into our 15mm bezel trays, and we are investigating offering 22mm trays.

The wire back buttons have a loop at the back so that these are essentially your traditional buttons and these can certainly be used as such!  Or you can also add them to hairbands – all you need to do is thread the elastic (doubled up) into the loop, and then knot it over itself.  Simple!  And if you use the metal fastening on the elastic at the back of the button you will have a secure tie and the metal won’t show.  See pictures below for a guide:


The best fabrics to use are thinner ones, cottons and linens are ideal.  Look at Japanese fabrics for beautiful designs that are little enough to use on a button, or the tiny patterns available in dollshouse shops, or use just a little detail from a bigger pattern fabric. 

If you want to be totally original, consider printing your own fabric – I usually use heat-transfer paper (for printing on t-shirts) for my own designs.  

Most of the above buttons use vintage images from my collection which I have printed onto heat transfer paper, and bonded to thin fabric.  Or if you wanted to do this on a slightly bigger scale, consider using a fabric-printing company who will print short-runs of fabric for you to your design.

The use of fabric lends a wonderful handcrafted feel to your jewellery, whether classy or cutesy, it’s very pretty indeed!

Friday, 23 September 2011

New Postage Rates to Europe

Great news for European customers!  We have tweaked our website so customers in Europe now pay less for their postage!

The standard cost to Europe is reduced to £3 for the first item (though some heavy items such as ModPodge will be £5), and each subsequent item is now £0.25 (£0.50 for heavy items).   Orders with purchased upgrades will be sent by registered & trackable delivery.

Countries included within Europe are as defined by Royal Mail here:

Postage within the UK stays at £2.50 for all orders, regardless of size.

And postage to the rest of the world remains unchanged at £5 for the first item (£7 for heavy items) and £0.50 (£0.70) for each subsequent item.  Orders with purchased upgrades will be sent by registered and trackable delivery.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New! Scrabble Tiles ...well, not quite

Finally back in the shop, beautiful wooden tiles for all your handmade jewellery. Equally as useful for making pendants, earrings or ring toppers, these are really gorgeus and easy to use.  Just Modpodge a (sealed) image to the reverse of the tile, and when dry, coat with a layer of glaze.  Done!

Actually... they are not Scrabble - I have been asking the Scrabble licence owners for some time now for their permission to supply their gamepieces (that is Mattel in the UK) to the jewellery making world, and the outcome is that they do not allow their tiles to be sold for purposes other than the game.  I think it is important to note this especially if you intend to sell your jewellery.

So we have been on the hunt for a good alternative for a long time, and having kissed many frogs, we have now found our wooden tile prince!  In all respects these tiles are just like those in the famous game: smooth and tactile, flat at the back and nicely finished, so they will be perfect for all your wooden tile jewellery.

They measure 18.5 x 20.5mm, and will suit any of our bails.  And - uhhh - just to make our crafting lives that little bit easier, matching epoxy stickers will be here soon!  :D

Friday, 2 September 2011

100 Likers Freepost Offer

To celebrate reaching 100 likers on Facebook, we are offering Free UK Postage on all orders through the website up until midnight Sunday 4th, just use code "100LIKERS" at checkout.  International customers will receive a £2.50 discount on their order.  Stock up now for all your Christmas makes!

Visit our Facebook page @ Jasmin Studio Crafts.

Monday, 29 August 2011

DG3 Project - Glittery Jewellery

DG3, one of the glazes that works really well with glass tile jewellery, can also be used to fill some shallow bezels.  I thought glittery jewellery was a good and super-easy project to explain how DG3 can be used to do this.

I got together my DG3, some small bezels (here I have 10mm silver plated shallow round bezels of the kind I sell with my dangly earrings) and some glitter.

Simply spread a drop of DG3 inside the bezels making sure it covers the entire surface and then carefully sprinkle your choice of glitter on top.

It will make a little mound of glitter - and you leave this to dry for a day or two.

When dry, you can shake off the excess glitter, you will see the inside of the bezels will have flattened and may dip a little - nothing to worry about.  Add a final layer of DG3 over the glitter straight from the bottle, again making sure it reaches all edges and the glitter is all covered - however be careful not to add too much, you just need a thin coating.

Leave to dry for a couple of days and hang from some earwires, for a beautiful pair of earrings that look like they took a lot more effort to make than they really did.

However, DG3 does have its own peculiarities and I want to tell you about them to make sure you know what it can and cannot do.  Firstly, it's important to note it is not a resin - it is a glaze, and so it can only do light coverings over your chosen inserts.

Too many layers, too-thick layers, or glaze added over layers that have not dried will result in bubbles and a cloudy finished piece:

However, if you go slow and are careful not to overfill your bezels, you can even use a large pendant tray:

This one was made on a 25mm square tray with three different colours of glitter, yellow in the middle, orange around it, and then red on the top edges.   The glaze does not fill the tray to the top, I think if I had added any more DG3 to this, it may have turned cloudy, so I am happy to keep it as it is.

And a super important bit of information:  DG3 does not dry rock-hard - in fact it retains a lot of flexibility and it will not stand up well to knocks and scratches, therefore I would not recommend that you use it on items of jewellery that would receive a lot of wear - generally rings and bracelets have to survive the most wear, whereas pendants and earrings do not.  Still, I could not resist having a go:

Gorgeous huh?  Sadly it's not exactly practical.  See the darkest red bezel?  When I stored this bracelet the bar on the toggle clasp sat over the DG3 on the red tray, and look, you can see quite clearly how it has left a rather deep mark!  So no, this lovely thing will not live up to normal daily wear, so it is not recommended that you use DG3 on bracelets and rings, and just to be on the safe side, you should warn your customers that they have to handle and store very carefully any pieces that you have made with DG3, to prevent them knocking against one another, as it will mark.

However, there are plenty other things you can do with DG3 - like Diamond Glaze and resins, it has a tendency to pull into itself and form a drop, so you can use it over flat surfaces as decoration.  I made some colourful glitter droplets over the flat pad hair pins that I have - I think these look rather nice:

You must dry them straight however.  Want to know a little trick?  Jewellers working with metal clay already know the wonderful multi-uses of an old pack of playing cards!  And here, they were used to stand the bobby pins perfectly horizontal until the glaze dried.  But of course any sturdy bit of card or plastic will do.

There are many other things to use as well as glitter, however you need to ensure it is small enough that you won't need a deep covering of DG3 that could turn the item cloudy.

Oh and one last thing - Diamond Glaze and DG3 do not behave the same way.  Diamond Glaze will often dry bubbly if used to fill bezels so it will be risky to use it on the ideas shown here as more layers usually mean more bubbles - having said that, it can be used to glue things and as a glossy top layer over a sealed image.

See what ideas you come up with and show us your makes on our Facebook page @ Jasmin Studio Crafts!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Just Arrived: High Domes!

Very excited about these new cabs I have just received - these beautiful bubbles are high domed solid glass pieces that measure 25mm across ...and they are a colossal 11mm high!  They are just as clear as our popular 25mm glass pieces, so if you thought our usual cabs did wonders on your images, wait until you try these!

See these new high domes (left) compared to our standard 25mm cabochons (right):

We also have for sale high domes in 12mm and 15mm, and more sizes will be coming to the shop soon.  Three cheers for choice!

Glass Painting Fun

I have always thought that our glass pieces lend themselves beautifully to being painted, and yeay, I was right!!  I bought some Lefranc & Bourgeois glass paints and outliners and set myself up in the garden (one rare warm day).  

Amazing!  The paints were easy to use and came in a pack of 10 small pots of colour.

For some pieces I just painted straight onto the back of the glass, and for some others I used the outliners and painted in between the lines (after they had dried) to create some definition and metallic accents.  It took a little experimenting to get the lines to be thin enough not to overwhelm the little glass pieces, but it was easy enough even for me!  

You don't have to paint the back of the glass either, you may prefer to paint the front of your tiles and take advantage of the puffy effect of the outliners, but painting the back means you retain the 3d effect that the glass gives, and it looks rather beautiful.  But if you do paint the back, you will need to remember that you are working back to front, so the detail needs to be painted first, and the backgrounds last.  Also, remember that you need to write in mirror image for any text to show properly when reversed - this will not do:

Ha ha, me thinking that writing upside down was the way to do it... 

Evidently not!

Now that's better!

The painting itself is really easy - if you want to use an outliner, just apply it very very gently as it's easy to make lines too thick.  However, if you are very careful you can scrape any stray bits when dry.  

Then you can apply the paint with a soft brush - there is a brush provided with the paint sets, or you may prefer a thinner one for detailed painting.  You do need to make sure your glass is very clean and free of grease to begin with.

The outliners are available in silver, gold and black, and the paints are available in two finishes:  opaque and transparent.  The paints come in sample packs of ten diddy pots in the following colours:

Transparent Colours are: Lemon Yellow, Mandarin, Red, Magenta, Purple, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Light Green, Dark Green, Brown

Opaque Colours are: White, Black, Brown, Tan, Dark Green, Mid-Green, Dark Blue, Mid-Blue, Yellow, Red 

Colour sampler - transparents to the left, opaques to the right.  
(Think I applied the transparents a bit too thickly that they look opaque!) 

Colours can be mixed and you can make your own combinations. Wet colours applied side by side will end up mixed, so to keep colours true just apply your colours in layers, making sure each layer is dry before applying the next - this takes about an hour or so.  Or you can try marbling or fading effects by using wet paint.

I have made several examples and will show them once I have made them into finished jewellery - they look rather fab!

Work in progress

After you have waited 3 days for your piece to dry, you can bake it in your home oven at 150oC (300oF, gas mark 2) for 30 minutes after which the paint becomes permanent and can even be dishwashed!  Ok, so you may not have a need to pop your jewellery in the dishwasher - but your new-found hobby doesn't need to stop at jewellery.  Think of the new gifting possibilities....  personalised celebratory champagne glasses?  Customised mugs for each member of the family?  Unique ceramic tiles for your bathroom?  Just ensure that the painted area will not come into contact with food (more than anything because constant scratching by cutlery would affect your image) and will not be painted into dishes that are meant to go in the oven at high temperatures, but beyond that, the glass and ceramic decorating world is really your oyster.

I have brain buzz. Can you hear it?  

If you are interested in purchasing these paints, they are available in the shop.