DIY Hot Air Balloon Necklace {Tutorial}


Today’s DIY hot air balloon necklace tutorial is shared by Haley, from Welcome to the Mouse House.

Haley Welcome to the Mouse HouseThis is Haley’s second win this season. Following her week one win, she shared a tutorial for removable fabric wallpaper – definitely one to pin!

Removable Fabric Wallpaper

Haley our around the world challenge with her Around the World in 80 Days ensemble.

Around the World

Learn more about the sweet little necklace today and hop over to her site to learn more about the other pieces in the project.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Necklace

Hey folks!  Thanks so much for all of the votes last week… Everyone did such a great job, so it was an honor to win this week.

I am here to share a tutorial for the hot air balloon necklace from the outfit!



Roll a nickel sized amount of white into a ball and then shape it into a hot air balloon.

Snake roll (is that a term?) several colors of clay.

Break each roll in half.

Start laying them on top, opposite from each other (it looks like a weird little lady, right?).

Continue with all colors.

Continue on until the entire balloon is covered.

Now, smush each color down and start forming into the shape of the air balloon.

Now is the time to create the hole that will be used for the necklace. Take your thick sewing needle and poke it through the entire balloon, making sure to go straight through.

Now, create a little white “basket.” Roll up some white (or another color) until it resembles a marshmallow…hehehe.

Place both pieces on aluminum foil and bake at 275 degrees for approximately 7-8 minutes. Turn the pieces and bake for another 7-8 minutes.

Take some regular polyester thread and cut for equal strands.

Using your glue gun (or quick set glue) attach the four strands of thread to the balloon and the basket.

This step is optional, but gives it a nice sheen…

Cover the hot air balloon and basket with a few coats of Mod Podge, letting it dry between coats.

Grab your elastic thread, sewing needle, fun beads and your new hot air balloon.

Measure the child’s neck and allow for stretch…

Start threading the beads…

Add your hot air balloon and keep threading…

Knot the ends…


Try on the child’s head before trimming the ends of elastic to make sure it fits.  You can always adjust, if needed.

Thanks for sharing your winning tutorial Haley! 

Mallory from The Nica HOPE Jewelry Project {guest post}

Mallory Erickson coordinates the Nica HOPE jewelry project in Managua, Nicaragua. 


Chapas de Hojita- Little Leaf Earrings

Made from plastic water bottles and aluminum cans


The $48 Water Bottle

More than 300 people live inside of La Chureca, the municipal trash dump of Managua, Nicaragua, and many more enter each day to work.  A typical woman will spend an entire day exposed to intense sun, smoke, medical waste, and contaminated water, searching for recyclable material amongst the garbage.   Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and paper are collected in sacks and at the end of the day the women will sell those materials earning just $1-2.  It is an incredibly unhealthy and dangerous job, but the people of the dump have few other alternatives for employment.


In this community, recyclables are currency and nothing goes to waste. Copper is the most valuable material, and cables are often stolen and stripped down to pull out the valuable threads inside.



After copper comes aluminum, making an empty can of soda desireable. I often carry around bags of cans that I have collected at restaurants or gatherings, to use in the jewelry workshop. People on the street, students, and even coworkers have asked me for the cans when they hear me clanking around.  Their objective is to resell them and earn a few cordoba, but by saving them and taking them to our workshop, I know they will be used in a much more valuable way.

After aluminum come plastic bottles, or pichinga. These are the most common amongst the garbage, and it is astounding how little they are worth. When you drive into la Chureca, you see tents and shacks where people take their items to consolidate and package them up for sale.  In order to sell the bottles, they must be washed, smashed, and packed in sacks. The workers receive a mere $2 for that bulk of bottles, and the hours upon hours of work it takes to fill it up. Even worse is the practice of washing the bottles, which happens in highly contaminated water.


So what can you do when recyclable materials are worth mere pennies?  Transform them.


The objective of the Nica HOPE jewelry project, run through the Fabretto Children’s Foundation, is to provide a safe, healthy, and sustainable alternative for these women.  By learning jewelry making and small business administration skills, the women have a way to make money without putting themselves at risk.  Many of the jewelry items created by artisans are created from recyclable materials; a perfect way to elevate the worth of those cans and bottles.


A great example of this would be our “Little Leaf Earrings.”


1 small water bottle provides enough material to make at least 4 pairs of Little Leaf earrings. The artisans are paid just over $1 for each pair that they make, and we sell them in our online store for $12 (the rest of the money is used to cover our teacher salaries, and is reinvested in the cooperative). That means that just one bottle can be worth $48. It’s made me look at bottles and cans (and any other recyclable items I can get my hand on) in a very different way.


The most interesting part is seeing the artisan’s reactions when they see me working with the recycled materials. One day, after a trip to the main office’s recycle dumpster, I entered in to the workshops with a big sack full of plastic bottles. They all laughed and called me a “pichingera,” (a bottle collector). They think it is really funny to see a “Chela” (white girl) doing work similar to what they do in the dump. I hope that my efforts to collect and clean the materials myself shows a bit of solidarity with them and their families, and shows them that the same materials that they collect and sell can be even more valuable as jewelry.


We call the program “Nicology,” a mixture of Nicaragua and Ecology. Jessica Hirst, the founder of the recycled jewelry project, often said that “no one is disposable.” When I am in class and see the kids working, using their brains and their hands and their creativity, that saying just rings so loudly in my heart. The waste thrown away by the people of Managua almost magically transforms into something beautiful and valuable, by the hands of the people who too often are cast aside themselves.




To learn more about the Fabretto Children’s Foundation, or to purchase jewelry, please visit:

Hand Turned Wood Bracelet Tutorial

*Tutorial by Erin for the DIY Jewelry challenge of season 12*

I am very excited to share with you how to hand turn a wood bracelet.  I understand that not everyone will have the tools to do this, but maybe some of you do or know someone who does.

You will need a lathe or midi-lathe in order to do this project.  My husband and I purchased ours off of a local shop teacher that was laid off.  So many high schools are closing down their wood shops (insert super sad face here), and many of the teachers are given the tools to do with what they please.  Yay for Craigslist!  We also took a class on pen turning and bowl turning at our local Woodcraft store to get the basics skills needed to use our midi-lathe.

Please do NOT attempt wood turning without taking a basic class and reading the instruction manual for your lathe.  Please wear your protective safety gear when wood turning.  I do NOT want anyone to hurt themselves.  As with any power tools, there are risks associated with it’s use. [Read more…]

Washer Earrings {guest post}

*Hey everybody! Season 10 of So You Think You’re Crafty is going to be the most fantastic one yet. It’s the All Star round so many of you have asked about. We’re having some past favorites and winners going at it again! However, it won’t be starting until the New Year – we decided to let them have a little break and family time too :) . But I have a great schedule of guest posts and shop spotlights lined up from now until then. Have a great Holiday season and see you all after the New Year!*

I am super excited to be guest posting on SYTYC!  I’m the me from bugaboo, mini, mr and me – where I share my crafting and sewing failures and triumphs, craft with my kids, cook and bake and pretend to be a photographer.  Basically, I subject you to my many creative endeavors and way to many pictures of my kiddos.  

Now, if you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for fun and unique stocking stuffer and gift ideas.  Similarly: if you’re like me, you’ve procrastinated until the last second.  So you’re REALLY looking ideas.  Today I’ve got a simple and inexpensive gift idea for you that’s got a big impact.

First off, you’ll need:
2 medium-sized washers
2 small-sized washers
Embroidery floss in 2-3 coordinating colors
A large needle
4 small jump rings
Fish hook earrings with backs

OK, so these washers [Read more…]

Turquoise Knot Necklace

*Project by Terra @ Mama Says Sew for the season 9 Knock Off Challenge*

I came across this necklace on pinterest and fell in love.  When I clicked on the link, it took me to Karma Loop, and said that it was out of stock. Not to worry, I’ll just make my own. {Okay, who am I kidding? I probably would have been to cheap to buy it anyway.}
Mine didn’t turn out exactly like the original, but I’m still happy with the results.  And my children are happy with all the leftover beads. Since it was out of stock, I have no idea what the price was to compare, but I can almost guarantee that it was more than my grand total of $3.
I love the color, I love the simplicity, I just love this necklace.

Chic Framed Necklace Holder

*Project by Margo @ Art Surrounds Us for the season 9 Thrift Store challenge*

When searching through the thrift store I found this beautiful frame that needed some sprucing up. Then I came across the cork board and I knew what I wanted to do with them. All I needed to to was add a couple more supplies and I was ready to go.

We are updating my daughter’s room and what I had made before for all her necklaces wasn’t working anymore so I took the idea and ran with it and made her this new more “mature” one to use.














Lime “Green” Necklace

The theme green could be taken in a few ways, to recycle, the color, or greenery…I chose to go with the color green.

I love necklaces and this necklace was made with wooden beads, spray paint, and brown ribbon.

So easy, yet elegant.

I’ve worn it around town and have been asked on several occasions where I got it. when I say I made it, people are even more impressed with it!

Wooden Pendant Accessories

These are some small gifts I made for Christmas presents. I transferred images onto small pieces of wood and made them into necklaces, bracelets and keychains. I love them because they can be for girls, boys, adults or children. Each piece is about 1” tall and matched with coordinating leather cord or a key chain attachment.

Here are a few I made the kiddos….a robot necklace, a -shaped super hero necklace, and a princess and frog necklace with a distressed image from the movie:

I made one for myself too…..a distressed piece with the latitude and longitude coordinates of where each member of my family was born: