Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Make BEADED Bottle Cap Key Chains!

It all started a few months ago when I ventured into something new... which was designing bottle cap sized (1") printables!  I had seen them made up with beads online - but had NO CLUE where to begin. So, I signed up for two hour Jewelry 101 Class at Joann's and since then, this new little beading hobby of mine has taken me by storm! I am absolutely inspired by all the colorful beads and have loved marrying them with the bright patterns and colors of my printables.  And... based on the volume of emails I get on a daily basis asking for help, it sounds like many of you would like to give it a try too!  So, although I'm not a master-beader... I'm a beginner, in fact - I'll do my best to walk you through how to make these fun, colorful bottle cap wonders!  Throughout the tutorial, I'll also recommend (and link to if I can) the places I've bought my beads and supplies. 

And... hopefully by the end, you'll be able to make all kinds of bottle cap crafts with the same techniques!  Like this necklace for example... just adding one "bead dangle" to a necklace or key ring makes a DARLING difference!

Since black and purple are my FAVORITE colors right now... I picked this one to do step-by-step!  You can get this printable {HERE} in lots of colors!  Or.. you can take a peak at my entire collection {HERE}.

First... you'll need to buy or borrow some basic jewelry tools and supplies.  

(1) Chain Nose Pliers  (2) Round Nose Pliers  (3) Bent Nose Pliers  (4) Wire Cutters  (5) Mat

Where to Buy these SuppliesYou'll be able to find these tools anywhere that sells jewelry-making supplies and at craft stores like Michaels, Joann's and Hobby Lobby.  You can start with a Beginner's Kit of tools for $10-15 or you can get them for $4-6 each, so definitely use your craft store coupons! These kits are also available online, check Amazon if you don't have these stores near you.  The beading mat is also a must have... I paid $3 for it at Joann's. It's basically a thin, soft mat that measures 9" x 14".  It's a great work space and it's main purpose is to prevent your beads from rolling around. OR... you can buy a felt square for $0.30 or just use a small kitchen towel.

In addition to your tools, these are the other basic supplies you'll need (also referred to as "findings").

(1) Silver Spacers - 4mm    (2) Jump Rings - 6mm   (3) Daisy Spacers - 2mm   
(4) 2" Headpins   (5) Flat Bottle Cap Zipper Pull   (6) 1" Epoxy Stickers
(7) Bottle Cap Printables (punched with 1" round punch)

Where to Buy these Supplies:  The spacers, jump rings, and headpins can all be found at any craft store that sells jewelry-making supplies. I prefer Michaels over Joann's, Walmart has a decent selection of basic supplies (if they have a craft section at your store) and Hobby Lobby is good as well.  These basic jewelry findings are also sold on thousands of websites online and on Etsy.  I've purchased bottle caps and epoxy stickers from several online stores and my FAVORITE is FizzyPops. Her selection is great and her quality is the best I've found. The thickness and firmness of her stickers is second to none - and what I also love, is she sells a variety of bottle caps with epoxy stickers in DIY kits.  The more you buy, the more you save + if you want more of a one stop shop, she also has all of these findings, plus a great bead selection as well.  She has generously set up a coupon code for my readers, you can use CANVAS10 to save 10% off your order.


For your bottle cap printables... you can visit my shop to see my full selection.  I recommend printing them as 4x6 photos at your favorite photo lab, then use a 1" round punch to punch them out (punches are sold at any craft store, or here's a link on Amazon).

If you've never bought beads before... it's helpful to have a sizing guide so you know what to look for.  The largest bead I've used on any of my keychains is this CUTE polkadot bead... it's 16mm.  Then - I always pick a range of sizes, all the way down to the simple 4mm silver spacers.

  For the best design, you'll want to mix sizes, colors and materials.  Think about the design theory "earth, wind and fire"... and follow that rule of thumb.  That means you should pick at least 3 different types and sizes of beads to keep your design interesting and fun.  If you look at mine, I chose 2 colors + silver.  I chose stripes, pearls and polkadots - simply add variety with sizes, colors, materials and patterns.  Below is a list of my favorite places to buy beads:

BASIC BEADS: (pearls, spacers) - Michaels, Joann's, Hobby Lobby and Walmart
POLKADOT BEADS: Happy Kawaii Supplies
SILVER CHARMS: Bohemian Findings

These have become my "go to" shops... they usually have what I need - and between me, a few of my friends and my sister - we've ordered several times and love these shops!  A good tip if you are just starting out, look for bead "mixes".  It's a less expensive way to build your stash if you can get a mix of colors or sizes in one listing instead of buying a strand of each color in each size. Rarely do I buy a strand unless I know I need a bunch of that particular size or color - I much prefer mixes.  One spot I really like is the clearance section on FizzyPops... she offers mixes there and it's a great way to get a nice assortment of colors and sizes without breaking the bank.

You've got your supplies, now let's prep your bottle caps...

I've touched on this part of the process several times already when I've released bottle cap printables - but in case you don't know - here's a quick run down.  You print the bottle cap sheets as 4x6 photo images at your favorite photo lab.  Then, using a 1" round punch, punch each one out.  Adhere them, image side UP to the Epoxy Sticker.  Try to avoid touching the sticky part (you don't want fingerprints or oily residue getting stuck under there)!  I've found it easiest to hold the sticker and the image together with my index finger and thumb, lining them up before pressing.  Then, using E6000 Glue, adhere the stickered image to the bottle cap.  Set aside and let dry for a couple of hours...

...which is the perfect time to get started on your beads!

I like to pick out the beads I'll be using, then start by threading them onto my headpins until I like my little collection.  For most of my beaded keychains, I've made 6 to 8 "bead stems" (that's what I call them) - or "bead dangles"?  I typically choose 2 or 3 beads of varying size and style.  For some beads, the hole is larger than the head of the pin.  In that case (look at the polkadot bead one) - I put one of my tiny 2mm daisy spacers on first, then put the bigger bead on. You can also use a "bead cap" with beads that have a larger hole, you'll find these at any craft store.

Next... grab your Chain Nose Pliers.  Grip the pin as close to the top bead as you can and bend it to a 90 degree angle.  The pins are very pliable, so it's not tough and will bend easily.  Then, I usually just go down the line and quickly do this step to all of my cute little bead stems.

Then, take your wire cutters and cut the pin, leaving about 1/4th of an inch... this is the part of the pin  you'll be "rolling" to create your loop.  One important point... your pin will go flying when you cut it - so point the pin directly down into the mat so it doesn't flip back and hit you in the face. Seriously. It will. So be careful.  It's a good idea to wear glasses when you are cutting your pins.

Next... you are going to make your "loop".  Hold the bead stem straight up and down and position it so the pin is pointing directly towards you.  With the Round Nose Pliers, grip the pin at the very edge of where you cut it.  Notice that I'm about 1/4th of an inch from the tip of the pliers.  This is important - where you grip will determine your loop size.  The closer to the tip of the pliers you grab, the tinier the loop - the closer to the base of the pliers, the bigger the loop.  Remember we trimmed the pin to 1/4th inch?  That's why we are gripping the pin here.

Ok... with the pliers in your right hand, hold your beads upright with the left.  Keeping it straight up and down - then... with a twisting motion of your wrist, ROLL the pliers away from you (like you are revving a motorcycle) and your loop will begin to form.  Slide the round nose around, grip again and finish the loop - bringing the tip of the pin in towards the bead to close the loop. This takes practice and your first few will look crazy... keep trying, practice with a few and eventually you'll get the hang of it.  Just remember... rev it like a motorcycle to form your loop!  If you completely slaughter it... open it back up with your pliers, slide the beads off and start with a fresh pin.

This is what it will look like after you work the loop a bit to get it nice and round.  Make sure the tip of your pin tucks right to the hole on the top bead.  This is called a "Simple Wire Loop".

Here's a couple of short videos that might help you see what I mean... {HERE} and {HERE}.

After you master your loop... finish the rest until your little collection is complete.

If you want to achieve a cascading effect like I do with mine... lay out your bead stems and line up your jump rings.  To begin attaching, you'll need to use your Chain Nose Pliers and your Bent Nose Pliers. Grip the ring with both pliers, one on each side of the opening.  Hold one plier in place, then bring the other one towards you to open.  Resist the temptation to "pull" them apart - it will weaken the pin and you'll never get it rounded again.  While the ring is open, slip the bead stem loop onto the ring and close the same way you opened... holding one plier in place, then pushing the other back to meet it. 

I put one bead dangle on each jump ring, alternating sides.  It takes practice getting your jump rings to close and takes practice to get your beads to look the way you want them too. Be patient. Give yourself time during your first project to play around - going through a little bit of trial and error is good!  Your SECOND key chain will go MUCH easier than your first, so don't give up.  Just keep practicing your loops, opening/closing jump rings, placement with your beads and develop your own techniques and styles.  In not too many projects, you'll be beading like a master!


So.. there you have it - a list of tools, supplies, shops, tips and pictures!  I hope this helps you get started... if you'd like more instruction, search "Simple Wire Loop" or "How to Use Jump Rings" on YouTube... watch a few video tutorials and you'll get the hang of it really quick.  If you are having tons of fun - you might also consider signing up for a class at your local craft or jewelry store... it's a great night out with the girls.  If you have any questions... please leave a comment and I'll answer them in the comments so everyone can read them.

Happy Beading!

Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Valentine's, St. Patrick's & Easter KISS Printables!

It's KISS-mania at my house right now!  As soon as I finished the Valentine set, I just couldn't help myself but keep going!  I love these little morsels of cuteness - they make great gifts and favors, make gorgeous candy dish displays and NO ONE can resist them!  

I love to put them in mason jars, but of course, there are lots of things to do with them!  Organza bags, little glass dishes from the Dollar Store, white organza gift bags, Chinese take-out boxes, little clear paint cans... the list goes on!  PLUS... making them is super quick and easy too!  Here's a couple of ways you can try... do what works best for you.

PRINTING TIP: I always use glossy photo paper from the Dollar Store and always make sure my printer is set to it's "BEST" print quality setting... my photos represent these two tricks!

One efficient way I've found to make up a batch is to first cut my printable into strips.  Then, using a 3/4" round punch (find at a craft store or online, here's one on Amazon) punch them out.  I turn the punch over so I can line up the image within the circle.  Then, quickly run your KISS bottom over a regular glue stick and adhere your cute punched image.  DONE.

Another similar way is to print your page on full sheet sticker or label paper.  You still cut into strips and punch - but instead of gluing, you peel off the little sticker backs.  For me, this way is tedious and I got tired of peeling the backs off, felt time consuming.  Gluing has been faster for me - but others swear by the sticker paper... to each his own! :)


If you make tons of KISS jars like I do - you might want to consider a sticker maker!  Oh my heavens, this is my most favorite new tool!  I'm sure there are other versions, but mine is a Xyron "Create a Sticker" MAX - and oh my word, it's awesome!!  You print and punch like normal, then feed the little dots through and it automatically puts adhesive on the bottom. It's very basic, no batteries or plugs.  You actually turn a crank to feed them through.  Then you just peel and stick - super fun, super fast!  I bought mine at Walmart for $20 and have found the refill cartridges are cheapest on Amazon ($9.99 for 18 feet of adhesive).  Xyron has a few different types of machines - so if you are interested in getting one, make sure you look at all the different styles so you get the one that will work best for you and the types of projects you do.  There's also one that makes stickers AND magnets... that one would be VERY fun to have!

I've also been getting some questions lately about how to get the KISS (or Rolo) bottoms to face outward in your jar.  Unfortunately, if you just dump them in - they tend to hide their cuteness.  Using a long pencil, I put in a small handful, adjust a few with my pencil to make sure they are facing out, then add another small handful, adjust... and so on until the jar is full.  I also dial into my mad- "PLINKO" skills (Price is Right Reference) to get them to slide into place as well! :)  It definitely takes a few extra intentional minutes to "style" the jar - but it's worth it to make sure to get the look you want. 

They are just so fun... fun to make and even more fun to give. These are probably my most favorite type of printable right now and I hope they are a favorite of yours too!  Below are the links you need to grab your new sets!


Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SWEET Valentine Giveaway with FizzyPops!

Anyone recognize the heart image on the bottle cap?

YEP!  That's the February Image from my Annual Bottle Cap Collection and seriously... who knew a printable could be used to design holiday hair accessories?! This fun project was designed by Erika at FizzyPops. I absolutely love seeing my printables come alive through the creativity of others and was pretty excited when she showed me! 
Aren't they all so cute!!

If you'd like to check out a step-by-step tutorial on how to make these fun accessories, stop by FizzyPops blog for instructions and more pictures... :)

In addition to her tutorial... we teamed up together with two other Etsy Shops to bring you a  SWEEgiveaway with the supplies you'll need to make your own!  Below are more pics of what's included in the giveaway, followed by details and instructions for entering...

PART 1 OF THE GIVEAWAY: Clips, Caps and Stickers 
Courtesy of  FizzyPops

PART 2 OTHE GIVEAWAY: 4x6 Printable JPEG of Heart Images
Courtesy of  My Computer is My Canvas (hehe... that's me!!)

PART 3 OTHE GIVEAWAYRoses + 1 yd heart and 1 yd lace elastic 
Courtesy of  Headbands Etc and More

PART 4 OTHE GIVEAWAY3 (9x12) wool felt squares in red and pinks
Courtesy of  Busy Little Bird

A few official details about the giveaway...

★ STARTS Tuesday Night (1/20) -  ENDS 9 am EST Saturday (1/24)
★ Must be 18 years or older to enter
This giveaway can ship to US Addresses ONLY (sorry about that)
★ Each participating shop will ship individually
★ Winner randomly chosen by Rafflecopter; will be announced Saturday afternoon!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


✱ BUT WAIT... EVERYONE IS A WINNER ON THIS ONE!!  I've decided to offer my February Bottle Cap images as a freebie!  Visit my FB Page (HERE) to download from my freebie library.  The files are in alphabetical order, this one is named "FEBRUARY Bottle Cap Images - 4x6 FREEBIE".  Enjoy!

A huge thank you to FizzyPops for her mad-crafting skills and to Busy Little Bird and Headbands Etc and More for joining us in this fun giveaway!

Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HE is the GIFT Nugget Freebie!

I've designed a ton of nugget printables this year... but THIS one has got to be my favorite among them all.  Everything we have, all we've been given - is made possible by HIM, our Savior. What more can be said than a sweet and simple reminder that HE is the Gift?  I've been completely inspired by the #ShareTheGift campaign (launched by the video below), I love it's message, I love it's reminder and I wanted to create something to express how much I love this message. 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

If you haven't seen it, this is the #ShareTheGift Christmas video I mentioned above.  It's the best 2 minutes you'll spend today... I hope you love it and share it with your family.

 To grab the free nugget printable, visit the "Fan Freebie" Library on my Facebook Page {HERE} - link is at the top, under the main header. Let's spread the word on this freebie... please share on FB, tweet a link or PIN.  Thank you!! ♥

Merry Christmas, Friends!

Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Printed/Bound Planners Available + A GIVEAWAY!!

Wanna see THE biggest secret I have for keeping my busy life together?  This planner!  It has literally been a life saver for me. Between juggling the schedules of 4 busy kids, being a full time caregiver to my brave hubby, running my Etsy Shop and blog (which has become a full time job in and of itself) - this is my secret to keeping all of those chaotic marbles accounted for.  There is a spot to record everything and as long as it's written down, it doesn't get forgotten or lost in a pile and leaves me able to sleep at night. 

This planner has been in my shop (here) as a printable file for some time, but a couple of times a year I run a printed/bound batch for those of you that prefer the convenience of it being put together for you.  For this run, I did regular full sized ones + some half sized ones too!  Below are some features worth mentioning:

★ January to December 2015
★ HALF Sized Planner (5.5" x 7") | FULL Sized Planner (8.5"x11")
★ High Quality DOUBLE O WIRE Binding 
★ Heavy Stock, Silk-Coated, Full Color, Borderless Front & Back Covers
★ 158 black/white interior planning pages
★ Sticker/Divider Tabs OPTIONAL (to be applied by customer)


The cost on these is fairly comparable to what you'd pay if you bought the printable then had it made up at a local copy shop. You'd first buy the file for $10... then print all 158 interior b/w pages at a copy shop (plus laminate the covers and bind).  Printing/binding will run you around $18-$20 if you are paying $0.10 per copy on the inside (which is pretty standard).  So what's awesome, is because I can order a bunch at a time and get the costs down - I can send you these for about the same prices as doing it yourself!  Plus, if you prefer a half-sized (fit-in-your-purse) version, this is your chance!  The regular printable file is designed for full sized printing - but my awesome printing pals specially format the printable to print smaller - which is perfect for a woman on the go!

Here are the links you'll need if you want to order now... digital delivery is instant on the printable of course, delivery on the printed/bound ones is quick too.  I'm using USPS Priority and shipping within 24 hours (or less) of ordering - so there is still plenty of time to get yours BEFORE Christmas!

I'm also excited to do a GIVEAWAY today as well - it will only run now through tomorrow at 4PM so enter quick!!  No worries here - if you already bought a printed/bound planner and you win, I'll issue you a refund!  Winner announced tomorrow (12/18) evening! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!!


Still dying to get your hands on one of my planners... the links you need are below!  
Thanks to all who participated in my giveaway!!

Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Friday, December 12, 2014

NEW YW Printables for 2015!

It's almost time for a new YW theme and time to start thinking about how you'll infuse the theme into your activities, gifts and events!  I hope this set will get you started on the right track... it's full of things that will keep you busy all year!

The poster/sign prints come in all sizes... 16x20, 11x14, 8x10, 5x7 and 4x6 - frame and use them as displays or centerpieces at events - or use the smaller sizes as gifts for the girls!  Also included is a PDF with bookmarks and lipbalm labels - perfect to use as handouts during the year + I also added 4x4's and 5x5's on the PDF for crafting.  

Mounting one of the square images (found on the PDF file) is super easy and would make a great craft activity for your girls - or could be made up in advance and given as birthday gifts!  

In the images shown above, I printed the 4x4 page on glossy photo paper at home on my inkjet.  I found a 4x4 wood plaque at Michael and painted it red.  I then did a THIN layer of ModPodge on the face of the plaque and applied the image.  I rubbed over it well to make sure it was adhered and smooth, then I let it dry for 10-20 minutes before adding a thin coat to the top.  To give it a consistent sheen, when I applied the ModPodge on the top - I did it on the edges too.  Dry time after that was about 20 minutes.  To embellish, I hot glued a rope-style ribbon to the edges and stood it on an easel.  You can also follow the same basic instructions and mount one of the images to a white canvas.



Have a great weekend!

Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

FREE Printable Scene to go with Nativity Bottle Cap Images!

If you've already snagged my Nativity Bottle Cap Images - you'll LOVE this freebie!!

It's just a simple printable scene to use with bottle cap magnets!  I made the scene up as both an 8x10 (shown) or a 5x7 and it can be used for play, with a lesson or as part of your Christmas and Nativity traditions!  Simply print, laminate and either use on the fridge or frame with a magnetic sheet behind the image.  All made up, it would make a great gift set too!

To get the Nativity Bottle Cap Images, visit my Etsy Shop {HERE}.

To get the free Nativity Scene, visit my "Fan Freebie" Library on my Facebook Page {HERE}.


Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!

Friday, December 5, 2014

{NEW} Nativity Bottle Cap Crafts!

Oh boy... I've got a new addition and it's getting out of control!!


These little 1" circles of delight have so many fun uses!  So, this morning I grabbed my bottle cap stash and went to work thinking of all the ways I could use them.  First - the easiest and most obvious way is to make necklaces!  My kids were eye-balling these as I made them and they've now mysteriously disappeared. ;)  My youngest daughter wants to make them for her friends at church, great idea (I'm seeing them in a white organza favor bag)!  Then you have other easy options... like key chains and magnets.  I, personally, LOVED getting out my bead stash and taking my JOY key chain to a whole new level.  See... bottle caps are fun for moms too! 

My FAVORITE use though, was making them into ornaments!  I used a regular necklace pendant bottle cap, then simply attached a regular ornament hanger.  I also had some bottle caps that have the double pendant connection (one on top, one on the bottom) and that's what I used to make the trio.  If you look closely at the picture, I used a small jump ring to attach each one together... then used an O clasp on the top.  I love how they rotate as they hang and catch the shimmer of the lights... so fun!! 

Another perfect use would be to make up a set of bottle cap magnets... 
You can tell the Nativity Story with them - just frame a magnetic board or use the fridge!

To get started, you'll first want to grab the 4x6's in my Etsy Shop {HERE}.  Print them as photos at your favorite photo lab or at home on your inkjet's BEST print setting.  As shown in the pics, mine were printed at home on glossy photo paper.  Just a friendly tip... DON'T print at a copy store.  Color laser ink and the Epoxy Stickers are not friendly.

Next, either trim the images with scissors, or for a super fast craft - get your hands on a 1" round punch!  Then, once they are punched, just apply them (image side up) to the Epoxy Sticker.  Avoid touching the sticky part with your fingers or it will leave a little bit of a residue. Then, use an adhesive made for gluing things to metal.  My glue of choice is E6000 - but please follow the instructions.  It's not a kid-friendly glue, has a strong odor and needs to be stored properly when done.  It also needs to dry at least overnight, if not 24 hours.

Such a fun set of images... I hope you like them as much as I do!!  

{For a free "Nativity Scene" to use with your bottle caps see THIS post}

One final tip, you can find the bottle caps and stickers various places online, but my personal favorite is Fizzy Pops.  The quality of her stickers far out-way anything I've bought anywhere else + she has convenient DIY kits that come with various caps and equal amounts of stickers.  I've been a repeat customer a few times now - and am thoroughly impressed with both her product and her customer service.  I reached out to her before this post and she has generously agreed to set up an ongoing coupon code for my readers for 10% off... CANVAS10!  I'll post this on my side-bar as well so you can refer to it down the road as I continue to create these fun sets!

On last link... to get the Nativity Bottle Cap Images, please visit my Etsy Shop!

Happy Holidays!

Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!