Mixed-media fiber/fabric jewelry art!

May 6, 2011

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Mollie embellished the tag Toni made with seed beads and added a sweet little brass bird charm, before hanging it from a length of chain.

We’re very fortunate to have Toni, a mixed-media artist and art teacher, as one of our jewelry designers here at Rings & Things. From pottery to doll making, Toni has dabbled in it all. So when we started seeing fabulous fabric tag pendant necklaces in magazines like Belle Armoire and Cloth Paper Scissors, we asked Toni to make a few for our design team to play with. She has a huge fabric stash and was more than happy to put her scraps to good use! Toni’s “Patchy Blue Skies” in our design gallery also has a wee little birdie.

Whether you’re a jewelry artist or a fiber artist, it can be a lot fun to cross over into a similar craft. It challenges your creativity. Toni never does anything half way, so we had a ton of fabric swatches and squares of all sizes and patterns to play with. Here are some of the results, as well as some design tips and tricks we learned along the way.

First off, Toni sandwiched a piece of felt between two layers of fabric to give each tag a nice sturdy feel. If you’re using thick fabric, this step can be omitted. Most of the designers used
3/16″ eyelets to create a sturdy hole from which to hang their tags, but as you’ll see, you have other options.

Kameron used a piece of Vintaj natural brass altered blank canvas (read: sheet metal) and used Artistic Wire to stitch a lovely ocean-esque piece of impression stone on top.

Sondra used her polka-dot tag as a backdrop for inked Tim Holtz idea-ology pen nibs for "Letters Never Written." The only jewelry-making skills required for this necklace are opening and closing jump rings to hang the pendant from a trio of pre-made magnetic cable chokers.

Laurel stitched luster fire-polished Czech glass beads and bronze seed beads around a "raku" ceramic Buddha bead to make a beautiful purse clip.

I used choker clamps to grip the ends of the tag and added short sections of chain to turn it into a cuff bracelet. The choker clamps could also work in place of a bail to make a pendant.

Amy's "Lime Delight" necklace uses olivine glass beads, lime keishi pearls (available at our road shows!) and red bamboo coral to match the bright colors of the fabric tag.

She punched holes into a copper tube bail to stitch it onto the fabric tag.

It is so much fun to see what unique designs people come up with, even when starting with almost the same inspiration. Look for one of Toni’s fabric tag designs in an upcoming Rings & Things magazine ad! ~ Cindy

Shopping list:
Buy some of the items used in these projects…

Vintaj “rustic” altered base-metal canvases

Artistic Wire

Tim Holtz idea-ology pen nibs

magnetic cable chokers

“raku” ceramic Buddha

choker clamps

impression stone beads & lime keishi pearls from our BeadTour bead shows

red bamboo-coral beads

copper tube top bails

PS: here are some handy links to some other how-to‘s in the Rings & Things blog!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Tiffany-at-Rings-Things May 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Everyone made such beautiful and different designs! Love it!

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