Thursday, January 8, 2015

WIRED!!!



It's been over a year since I've made jewelry for my girls. Like everything else I do here, I tend to favor edgy looks over the classic bead-on-chain variety. As usual, I try to keep everything simple (yet stunning) as well as keep the cost of making my doll jewelry to a minimum. For this project I'm using 20 gauge wire and even.....twist ties from my package of coffee!





When trying to come up with ideas for doll jewelry, don't rely on what's in your memory. Instead, do a web search, or better, use Pinterest to collect ideas to serve as a catalyst. Above is a sampling of items that inspired me for much of the jewelry you see in this post. I like the movement of the metal, the timelessness of these looks. Of course not everything you see will work for the doll. So I tend to look at the pictures, then put them away and let the materials guide me. Below is what I came up with.





I cannot stress enough....KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! Your doll's neck is tiny and her arms are even tinier! So there's not a lot of real estate to work with. Let's start with a few simple items, just in case you haven't thought of them already yourself.







A little bit of wire and a lovely stone or pearl (upper left photo) is a simple, elegant compliment to nearly any way you dress your doll. Next to it are two bracelets. I threaded seed beads onto superfine wire for my beaded bracelet. Next to it....one of those small rubber washers wrapped with the same superfine wire. Either of these can also be adapted to make choker necklaces. With the bottom photo, I've taken my wire and made vertical loops. Instead of wrapping the wire around the doll's wrist, you can use a pencil or a paintbrush instead. Use jewelry pliers to squeeze the loops close together.

This bracelet is simply slid onto the doll's wrist and squeezed in place to fit. If you are afraid of scratching the doll, glue a tiny bead to each loose end.





Instead of making the loops up and down, I decided to make them round and round. I used my paintbrush and swirled the wire helter skelter around the side of the paintbrush, leaving an opening to fit onto the arm (left photo). Again, place on the doll and squeeze to fit.



I love coil necklaces but I am not yet ready to embrace the soldering iron. However, I made this choker using the same idea of the loop. Black wire is looped from side to side in a width that will fit around the doll's neck. It is one continuous loop. Again I've used pliers to squeeze the loops close together and glued beads at the ends to keep from scratching the doll.



I love twist ties because you can do so many things with them. Here, I've taken this one from my package of coffee. For my necklace, I've left it as is but then folded it into a series of small horizontal loops. I wrap one end around the doll's neck, then twisted and turned the rest into the look I want. I added a bit of bling with a few spots of rhinestones. And voila! A high end piece of "art wear."






I kept the bracelet very simple, cutting off just enough to wrap around Billie's wrist. I didn't need to do anything else but add a few rhinestones there, too. Of course you can add anything else you want, or even paint your cuff!




I could have stopped there but was having way too much fun.



So I made a braided cuff out of a twist tie. I cut it down close to the wire into thin 1/8" (3mm) strips.




You'll need three strips. Bring them together and fold them down. Then braid as you would hair. When you have finished, fold the ends down and, using pliers, squeeze them. Bend around the wrist. The bottom photo shows what it looks like with traditional white twist ties.




I love "statement" jewelry. And I love the simple, sensual elegance of designers like Elsa Peretti (Tiffany). Your base can be wire, but I decided I'd like the look of black matte clay tipped in gold on a base of black rubber.




I began by rolling the clay into one, long, thin tubular shape. Tie it into a simple knot, then slide onto the rubber washer and try on the doll to check for scale. Make any adjustments and remove from doll. Just to give it a bit of an edge, I tipped the ends with gold powder. Before you bake it, roll a bit of aluminum foil and place instead of the larger loop to keep it from collapsing.



Finally, I like this chain/wire/bead pendant.






Begin by taking a bit of wire and creating an "S" shape with curly ends. The chain goes in one end of the S and a bead (or charm) is attached to the other end. Place around the doll's neck, sliding the other end of the chain into the larger loop of the S.




Be sure to stack the bracelets!!!!






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20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Welcome and glad you enjoyed this post.

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  2. One of the first jewelry-related things I ever did was work with wire, so this post makes me very happy. Your dolls look gorgeous! If you can find any, telephone wire and electrical wire are fun for jewelry, too -- the plastic coating comes in a lot of different colors.

    Have you seen the work of Isabelle_From_Paris on Flickr? She makes some gorgeous beaded wire doll jewelry. Definitely worth checking out. I wish I had some photos of mine to show you, but I still haven't had it photographed.

    Also, if you're ever looking for more jewelry inspiration, they make some amazing shapes of seed beads these days. Like these ones... http://www.beyondbeadery.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=908

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    1. Saturday Sequins, Thank you for your kind words and thank you for an excellent suggestion. Using electrical wire is such a GREAT idea!!! I didn't even think of that because I was so into black or metal, it didn't occur to me to look at plastic coated wire. I haven't had a chance to look up Isabelle From Paris (which I will), but I did peek at Beyong Beadery and their beads are AMAZING. I'll add their website to my Fab Faves page. Thank you, again. Big hugs.

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  3. Very modern and elegant jewelry, I love the bracelet and choker, and all the modeling dolls too :-)!

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    1. Thank you, Night Owl. I looked at each item on the doll and asked myself "would I would wear it?" There were a few things I removed at the last minute. It had to do with scale. There were a number of other things I wanted to make (hand jewelry, for example) but was faced with the constraint of the doll's tiny proportions. I still like working with clay, but if it's too thin, it easily breaks which is why wire is a better medium. After numerous complaints filed by certain under-utilized dolls, I have promised to use more of a variety of different models this year.

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  4. I love all the Jewelry..models make it realistic. Always amazes me what things can be recycled into. I try to look at things from a recycle prospective but not very creative ideas come to mind.

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  5. Hi simsgrl and welcome to my blog. What you have to do is to look at jewelry first, then take try to copy what you see using the materials at hand. Once you get something you like with...say with twist ties...that will motivate you to continue and the ideas will come.

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  6. Hi April, these creations are wonderful. Very creative and intriguing, I love modern designs in jewelry (as well as art deco designs). With each new post of yours I learn new ways to use materials I never dreamed could be used!
    Kisses Billa

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  7. Thank you, Billa. I too, like Art Deco because it continues to look current. I also tend to gravitate to things that use unexpected or recycled materials in creative new ways. I do tend to forget about jewelry with this blog. So it's on my list to do more of this year. While working with the clay and rubber, I realized so many possibilities lie ahead. Big hugs. April

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  8. This shows creativity with simple objects works beautifully. It's a bit like the unconventional materials challenge on Project Runway. I particularly like the looped items. There is something so elegant about that approach that appeals to me. The edgier items make such great additions to the more classic items that tend to come with dolls and outfits. Variety is good!

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    1. Thank you, Troy. I fully agree with you. For myself, I am attracted to interesting or art inspired jewelry. And though I do love the beads and the pearls, I prefer the more contemporary expressions of jewelry made of unusual materials. So glad you enjoyed this post.

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  9. Hello from Spain: great job of jewelry. Fabulous jewelry collection. Nice proposals. Keep in touch

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    1. Thank you, Marta. Glad you enjoyed my jewelry. I'll be sure to visit you soon.

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  10. Another great article about accessories! I turned towards doll jewellery experiments myself but I tend to complicate things when they can be simple. I haven't seen black bread ties here but surely painting a white one is easier than layering metal can strips between leather and paper (true story) XD
    A lot of amazing designs here!

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    1. So many other people are doing classic jewelry with beads. So I didn't want to go that route. Besides, I like more modern jewelry for myself so it stands to reason I'd want the same sort of stuff for my dolls. The challenge is, of course their scale. But since this post, I took one of the thicker twist ties and glued a tiny strip of leather over it. I'd like to explore more possibilities with the twist ties!

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  11. So many great jewelry ideas and a great reminder to allow myself to try to let the creativity flow, instead of conforming to the norm or already done.

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    1. Thank you, Jaye. This is precisely the purpose of this blog....to inspire you to turn on those creative juices and have fun!!!! Glad you enjoyed this post.

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