{DIY Antique Key Necklaces}

Antique Key Necklaces

A few months ago, I was desperately searching for the perfect antique key necklace to add to my jewelry collection but couldn’t find anything I liked. I scoured etsy, local shops, and even big department stores but the few necklaces that I could find were either too new looking, too short, or just too small. Eventually, I had the brilliant idea–why not just make one myself?

So I immediately went back on etsy to search for the antique keys. Still, the antique keys I was finding were just too expensive. Ultimately, I ended up finding the perfect keys for the perfect price on ebay of all places! Of course, the key I wanted came in a set of 5 other keys, so I ended up with a lot of leftover skeleton keys for about the same price 1 key would have been on etsy.

The rest of the process was pretty easy–I custom ordered a set of antique brass chains on etsy and then picked up a packet of small round closures at Michaels. The necklaces themselves took about 5 minutes to assemble and have made great birthday presents!

Here’s what you do. First, get an antique skeleton key. Again, I highly recommend looking on ebay.

Antique Skeleton Key

Then, get an antique (or new, depending on your preference) long necklace chain–mine are 30 inches and hang just below the chest.

Necklace Chain

You’ll also need a round closure and some needle nose pliers (not picture).

Closures

Once you have all of your supplies, all you have to do is open the closure with your needle nose pliers, slip the closure around the top of the key, insert the closure and key into one of the middle rings on your necklace chain, and then close the opening on your closure–that’s it! Easy, right?

I did buy most items in bulk, but I would estimate the total cost per necklace was about $5, if that.

Antique Key Necklace

Would you make your own jewelry?

{DIY Cake Stands}

Cake Stand

Happy Saturday everyone! I’m actually home visiting family this weekend, so I thought I’d share with you a project that I worked on this past week. On my first visit to Kenneth Volk winery, I fell in love with these cake stands they had on sale in their outdoor garden section. The stands were homemade and ridiculously cute, but were pretty basic in their construction–just a pretty plate attached to a stand. And with a price tag of $30-$50 each, they definitely weren’t in my budget to purchase. Then, when browsing Etsy one day (don’t you just love that website?) I came across another vender selling similar cake stands for around the same price. When I looked a little closer, I noticed that this seller had just used candleholders as the base for their cake stand and interesting plates for the top. Again, I didn’t wish to spend that much money on a cake stand, so I decided to make my own! I headed over to our local Cost Plus (World Market) to grab a few decently priced decorative plates and candleholders. Old antique plates and candleholders you might find at a garage sale would also be perfect.

Each plate probably took about 5 minutes of hand-on time and then a few hours to let the glue dry completely, and cost about $10-15 per finished cake stand.

Here’s the step by step process:

First, gather your materials. You’ll need a plate, a candleholder, tacky or epoxy glue, and a heavy book.

Note: You’ll need to pick a plate with as flat as a bottom as possible and a candleholder with as flat a top as possible to allow for the best attachment.

Plate

Candleholder

Tacky Glue

And I chose Harry Potter as my heavy book just for fun!

Book

Next, you just take your glue and line the outer rim of the candleholder. You then place the glue-side of the candleholder in the center of the plate. Finally, place your book on top of the candleholder to help the glue adhere the plate.

Cake stand in the process

I let my cake stand dry overnight just to sure, but you’ll probably be okay after a few hours. Here’s the finished product:

Cake Stand

I love the idea of using 5 or so of these as a spring or summer centerpiece, or at a bridal or baby shower–I just need to make a few more to complete my collection!

Cake Stands

I also love mixing the finishes and designs of the candleholders:

Cake Stands

What do you think of DIYing cake stands?

{A Weekend DIY Project}

Finished Picture Frame

I never used to be a crafty person. In fact, I pretty much avoided doing anything remotely crafty during my entire childhood and adolescence. What changed? 2 Words: Wedding (and) Budget. You see, while planning our wedding last year, I became obsessed with reading wedding blogs, particularly about how people would do DIY (do it yourself) projects in order to save money on wedding details, so, naturally, I decided why not do some¬† DIY wedding projects myself, it can’t be that hard, right? Well, it turns out being crafty is just a bit harder than it looks, but after 3 chalkboards, escort card displays, flip flop baskets, dinner menus, and about a million aluminum can tea lights, I must admit that I’m a bit addicted!

During the wedding process, I came to terms with the fact that I’d never be the next Martha Stewart or anything, but as long as I don’t expect perfection, I’m usually mostly satisfied with the way things turn out.

This DIY project was inspired by a piece of $3 wrapping paper I’d had my eyes on for quite some time at a cute little stationary store (who also happened to do our wedding invitations!), Paper Sky, and the lack of a cute frame at Aaron Brothers in the size I needed (love their penny sale!).

I had never distressed a picture frame before, but I figured it would be an easy stepping stone for other projects I’ve been wanting to do. And it’s pretty easy to fix if you mess up!

So I biked down to the local hardware store and grabbed the materials I needed: grey and white paint, and sandpaper. The store was out of regular white paint, so I ended up buying spray paint instead–I wouldn’t recommend using spray paint if you have a wood with a lot of grain but since my frame was already smooth and glossy, the spray paint worked just fine.

Oh, and you also need some wax–I just used an old candle.

Supplies

After gathering all of my supplies, I first lightly sanded my picture frame to help the paint adhere more easily. Then, I painted it my first color–grey.

First Layer

After letting the paint dry for about 45 minutes, I rubbed wax on the newly painted frame in order to prevent the two layers of paint from sticking together. Then, I painted the frame with the white paint and let it dry for another 45 minutes.

Now comes the fun part–distressing! When the paint has completely dried, carefully sand your frame to reveal the grey paint below and the original wood color. Sand the frame more where more wear would normally occur such as the corners and edges. Note–make sure you sand outside or in the garage cause it gets messy!

Corner

Then just dust off the frame, insert the piece of artwork–or wrapping paper in my case!–and hang up your creation on the wall!

Finished Frame

Do you like DIY projects?