Upcycled Mixed Media Bead Bracelets

I’ve been making bracelets from my hoard of beads and bits and pieces. The hoard came about for various reasons: one reason is that there are leftovers from previous beading projects; another is that sometimes pieces of my own jewellery have broken and never ended up being fixed, or were so badly broken that it wasn’t worth repairing them. Then there is the slightly weird reason that sometimes when I buy a stash of vintage buttons, or receive one as a donation, there are a few beads in with the buttons. This happens surprisingly often, I suppose because they’re a similar size and people tend to just shove them into their button tins for tidiness. My mum gives me piles of beads too – she seems to mysteriously acquire them as well (I think people give them to here on the basis that she is an Arty Person and thus will know what to do with them).

My latest bracelets are in the mixed media bracelets section. They’re made with memory wire, which is a useful type of wire that is flexible but also holds its shape, meaning the bracelet can stretch to fit different wrist sizes while still retaining a firm, round shape. It also means they don’t need to fasten at the ends, which means they’re really easy to put on and take off (and I am a great fan of bracelets that are easy to put on and take off without having to fiddle with clasps).

Each one is unique, although as they sell I am replacing them with new ones in similar colour schemes (until the beads run out, anyway!).

You can find these bracelets here.

Glass Leaf Earrings in Green and Amber

I have a whole load of these glass leaf beads leftover from another project – so they’ve become two different sets of glass leaf drop earrings. You can get them in green, or in amber.

The beads are lovely Czech glass, with the leaf veins filled with gold paint that has a kind of antiqued effect. You can choose between silver plated earring hooks as a budget option (£6) or solid sterling silver for £7.50.

Amber glass leaf earrings, green glass leaf earrings.

Button Purses – New in the Accessories Collection

In the accessories section, I’ve just added a collection of button purses. These are handmade from 100% cotton fabrics in various different prints, and decorated with buttons that co-ordinate with the fabrics and zips. The fabrics are a mix of spotty, floral and paisley designs. Each one is unique. You can browse the purses section here.

These purses are handy for holding loose change, business cards, receipts, store cards, bank cards and any other general bits and pieces that you might find in a larger bag and in need of containing. I keep several of them in my larger bags that I occasionally swap between – when I’m going for a long walk, I use one of these to hold a bit of cash and my keys inside a rucksack, rather than taking my entire handbag with all its day-to-day nonsense (I mean, I don’t need my Boots Advantage Card and eye-liner and train-ticket holder when I’m going for a walk…)

These might even work as a soft, unusual mobile phone case, if you have a phone that fits – they measure 13x8cm, or 5×3″.

Talking of the purse dimensions, it’s probably worth mentioning for the benefit of my American customers: I’m using the word “purse” in the British sense of the word, here – a small bag for holding coins, rather than a larger bag to hold everything (known here as a “handbag”). So make sure you check the measurements are going to be right for you before buying!

Custom Button Necklaces with No Metal Parts

Back in February, I got a message from Heather in Lincolnshire. She had recently lost a favourite button necklace, which wasn’t one that I’d made – it was slightly different. The main difference was that it was one continuous piece, with no clasp, which she preferred because she is sensitive to metals. Given that there was no clasp, it was also slightly longer than most of the necklaces I make, so that it could fit over a person’s head to put it on. The colour scheme was also a bit different to any single one of my regular ones – Heather described it as a combination of my autumn colours necklace and vintage summer pastels necklace.

She asked if I could recreate this lost necklace – and thanks to her detailed description, I was able to make something that she said was very close to it. This is what it looked like:

Heather got in touch again last week and told me she’s still wearing it almost every day. She had a new commission for me too – she’d raided her mum’s button tin and wanted me to make another necklace using the buttons. So she posted them to me, and once they arrived, I made another one in the same style.

If you have some buttons you’d like to be turned into jewellery, you can find details on my heirloom button jewellery page.

Four New Delicate Button Necklaces

Here are some new button necklaces in the lightweight, delicate style that I’ve been using just recently – one in silver-grey, one in various shades of green, one in vintage pearl, and one in a mix of warm, bright colours.

These necklaces are great for petite necklines and people who want something subtle and buttony. They also make good presents for children, who can wear them as a longer necklace when they are small (I’d suggest around age 8 and up) but also continue to wear them as they grow, as they still fit as a shorter necklace on an adult.

The buttons used to make these necklaces are usually between 8 – 11mm across, and the necklaces measure around 45cm (exact lengths are specified on individual listings).

You can browse my button necklace collection here.

Viola Joke Cufflinks – ‘Viola’ and ‘Bow’

I am quite proud of these because they are a physical viola joke.

viola joke cufflinks

As I’m a violist, I’ve been hearing viola jokes since I was seven years old.  The idea is that viola players are not as intelligent as other musicians, but this is, of course. nonsense*.

These cufflinks are based on the following joke:

‘ A violinist noticed at the end of each rehearsal break, one of the violists would look at the inside flap of his jacket before he sat down to resume rehearsal. This continued for several decades, and the violinist became quite curious about it. One day, during hot weather, the violist took off his jacket and went off on break. The violinist waited until everyone was off the platform, looked around, and sneaked over to the jacket. He pulled back the flap and saw a little note pinned on the inside. It read: “viola left hand, bow right.” ‘

They’re available in my Viola Emporium, or my ‘Bling for Strings’ Etsy Shop.

*We know it is nonsense, because there’s another joke which goes, ‘Why are all the viola jokes so simple?’ ‘So violinists can understand them’.

New Delicate Woven Cord Button Necklaces

IMG_3721

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.

These two colour schemes are blue, grey, white and lilac, and peach, coral and cream.

I’ll be adding more in this style over the next few weeks.

Button Brooches – New Designs

I’ve made a new batch of button brooches to fill up the previously rather sparsely populated brooch section of buttonjewellery.co.uk.

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.
Wooden button broochpink and blue button broochpink and lilac button brooch

There are lots more designs on my brooches page.