DIY Decoupage Necklace

DIY Decoupage Necklace

DIY Decoupage Necklace
Cold as Ice Project DIY

High above the street, on the 3rd floor of the M & J Trimming flagship store, designer Michelle Levy was revealing the next Project DIY set to me. My eyes lit up with instant inspiration, and Michelle and I were soon excitedly swapping design ideas.

Rain Blanken and Michelle Levy
Rain Blanken and Michelle Levy

It was Fashion Week in New York City, so my brain was already spinning with inspiration by the time my mother and I had ducked into the 6th avenue store. Inside, things had only gotten worse for me. From ceiling to floor, M & J Trimming was a mecca of all things craft. Picture the New York Pubic Library, with books towering above in all directions, tucked away in every available space. Now, turn all of the books into feathers, buttons, beads, lace, and fabric. That’s the M & J Trimming store in Manhattan.

MJ Trimming NYC
MJ Trimming NYC photo by Rain Blanken

So, after being hit in the face with Fashion Week and the cavernous possibilities downstairs, I was ready to word-barf all of my ideas in the studio room with Michelle. She showed me a mock-up with a blank acrylic plate and all of the jewels included to decorate it:

DIY Decoupage Necklace
Pieces included to make the Project DIY statement necklace

By the time I had left the studio, I had so many ideas for my own Cold as Ice statement necklace. But, not every week can be as magical as Fashion Week. Back home, I had ten more projects to complete, and then our car met it’s demise via a patch of ice on the road. I was not looking forward to participating in anything named ‘Cold as Ice’.

When I finally opened my Project DIY Cold as Ice box, all of that inspiration came flooding back… and all I could think was spring. Check out how I turned my winter misfortune into a spring rejuvenation with the Cold as Ice project:

DIY Decoupage NecklaceI had never expected that a ‘Cold as Ice’ project could putt me out of the winter blues, but it turned out to be just what I needed. See how I made my Cold as Ice DIY Decoupage Necklace at About.com…

Film Noir Project DIY

Dark City-Inspired Jewelry: Film Noir Project DIY

Film Noir Project DIY
Film Noir Project DIY by Rain Blanken

During my latest New York Fashion Week frolic, I spent some time in the upstairs workshop of M&J Trimming. This is where Michelle Levy, the Lead Designer for M&J Trimming’s Project DIY, brainstorms fun projects that come complete with a theme and everything you need to build them.

Film Noir Project DIY
My latest Project DIY box doubles as a work space.

Project DIY will send a box straight to your door that contains all of the jewels, chains, notions and even tools to make beautiful jewelry projects. Not only that, but they come with a theme. From hardcore punk cuffs to glittering baroque-inspired earrings, each box is a different world for you to explore in the best way… through jewelry!

Actually, what I love best about the themes and materials is what you guys are out there doing with them. Not only can I build a Joan of Arc bracelet, but I get to see, through the Project DIY community, how everyone else interpreted the project.

Dark City-Inspired Jewelry

The January box was Film Noir themed, dripping with all the mystery of classic crime drama.

Film Noir
Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in Out of the Past Photo: RKO Radio Pictures for promotional use.

But mine was a very specific crime drama; one that is probably vintage now, but a lot younger than it’s hard-boiled counterparts. I like a little sci-fi with my detective stories.

My Film Noir character was all about hushed whispers in the corner of the lounge. She was Jennifer Connelly caressing an old ribbon-style microphone, crooning in Dark City,

Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore. Hold me close, sway me moreā€¦

Dark City-inspired jewelry
Connelly in Dark City

The Dark Romance charm bracelet remains my favorite piece from the set. I was able to use the Film Noir packaging to decoupage an ominous ‘knock’ to the flat heart charm provided.

Dark City-inspired jewelry ala Project DIY
Dark City-inspired jewelry ala Project DIY

The ribbon and chain belt project was easy, but it took me a long time, as I got picky with how my gray and black ribbons were twisting through the links. Can you see the Dark City inspiration in this one? There’s no way out!

Dark City-inspired jewelry
A bit more Dark City-inspired crafting

Which way to Shell Beach? Take the express. I highly recommend the Project DIY Film Noir set as a platform to create your own Dark City-inspired jewelry.

See how I customized the Project DIY Film Noir bracelet and belt to fit my personal vision of film noir in my full article on About.com…

Tarnished Jewelry Headband

How to Tarnish Jewelry and Metal with Nail Polish

How to Tarnish Jewelry and Metal
The Baroque & Roll styles were too gold for me, so I learned how to tarnish jewelry using nail polish.

When I opened the latest Project DIY box, I was nearly blinded by the plethora of gold within. It was like a treasure trove. Unfortunately, I’m not that into gold jewelry. Find out who was my inspiration for turning all of this gold into looks that were more my style, and learn how you can transform gold pieces into tarnished treasures.

Suggested look from Project DIY:

Baroque n Roll Ring BraceletRain’s look:

Tarnished Metal Jewelry
Rain’s take on the bracelet, with tarnished metal.

I couldn’t wear all of that gold, so I creatd a tarnished look using…

Nail polish!

I’ve admittedly been painting a lot with nail polish lately, but this time, it was all about creating a very specific look. The nail polish colors in purple and brown really helped to dull down the gleaming gold. Check out my other designs compared to the originals:

Make Jewelry Tarnished
Tarnished bracelets by Rain Blanken
Nailpolish Tarnished Jewelry
I added a bit more of a purple color to this one to give it a little edge.

Suggested look from Project DIY:

Project DIY Headband

There were so many cool details on the metal pieces provided that were just lost by the flat gold look. Adding nail polish really helped to make all of those filigree details stand out.

To tarnish your jewelry, first apply nail polish with a small paintbrush. The brush included in the bottle may be too large and clumsy for this kind of work. Use a tissue to wipe the excess polish off of the surface of the metal, leaving polish in all of the nooks and crannies.

Rain’s look:

Tarnished Metal Headband
Rain’s look: with added stones and a tarnished metal.
Tarnished Jewelry Headband
Green stones to match my eyeballs!
How to Tarnish Jewelry and Metal
I have to stop making this face in photos.

Suggested look from Project DIY:

Baroque EarringsRain’s look:

How to Tarnish Metal
Rain’s earrings with nail polish applied as a faux tarnish.

Let your faux tarnish dry completely, then use a toothpick to rub off any spots that you want the gold to shine through.

Read more about the Baroque N’ Roll Project DIY box and how I transformed the bright gold pieces to match my eyes and personal style.