Saturday, 4 August 2012

Thrift store blog hop reveal!

Reveal day is here and I have one finished bracelet to show you.  I have plans for more but nothing else materialized in time.  Let’s go back to the top on this, Sarah Goode of Pookledo challenged us to make a piece of jewelry from a thrift store find for less than £1.  I told you about my find at $1.40 that just squeaked in, as a reminder here is what I started with


Since I work with polymer, my radar is always tuned to finding anything that will produce a texture so that was what initially drew me to this little link bracelet.  My first step was to use it whole to impress a stack of polymer (like a rubber stamp) to create a mokume gane effect.  I will have to share that with you another day as the resulting veneers of polymer haven’t been made into any finished form yet, just patiently waiting sheets of polymer. 

Let’s just skip to what I do have to share!

A thrifty bangle

Pardon the lighting differences, I missed the best times of day for a great shot.  I created those diamond shaped blue beads by impressing the polymer with one single link and then squishing from all sides to concentrate the texture.  I then used tinted liquid polymer to create a glaze on the top surface.  The bracelet came together with some other polymer beads I had made a few years ago that just happened to have the right shade of blue.  Throw in a few Swarovski pearls, seed beads and some memory wire and voila!  In the end I didn’t use any of my starting piece in the bracelet, oops.  Here’s what I’m left with


If you are a real detective you would have seen the original is made of ten links and there are only nine above.  One is tied up on my worktable in a stage of being partial covered in polymer, but I haven’t decided yet if it is done.  That link alone above will stay on my worktable for future patterns and textures.  That leaves me the two with the clasp and the remaining string which I may or may not break up for some earrings, still pondering that.  One plan I had was to tint the metal itself with alcohol ink but it was a complete fail so I have to embrace this metal tone, a stretch for me.
Thanks for coming by for a visit, I hope you hop on to see what everyone came up with from their thrift store finds

Sarah -
Deb -
Kimberley -
Skye -
Ambra -
Beti -
Emma - <--- you are here, thank you!
Shelley -
Tammie -
Leah -
Denielle -
Keri Lee -
Rochelle -
Pam -
Ingetraud -
Audrey -
Julie Anne -
Sharyl -
Micheladas -
Lo -
Kala -
Jo -
edit to add Dyanne -
Oh I almost forgot, there was one other thing I brought home with me from the thrift store that day for a whole $2.80

It’s not great quality, and it’s in rough shape but I really like how the top lifts and the two side pieces flip open  - like so


I’m thinking that with a little TLC it could become a great display piece for my next show.  Any and all ideas welcome since it’s been a month and I haven’t touched it yet.

Ok now get hopping!


  1. Ok, I'm so lovin' what you did with the bracelet! My daughter loves polymer, so I've dabbled with it just a tiny bit. That square pattern is so very cool, especially as a contrast to the swirls. (I'd love to know how to make those!) Wish I could help with coloring the links, maybe someone on Creative Bead Chat can.
    I so, so love the jewelry display! If you have a signature color you use when you set up, I'd go with a light base, and then use those links to make a mold, and then a stamp! Aren't I coming up with a lot of work for you. :) I'd probably rip out the interior and cover it in a neutral linen or cotton. Please post a pic when you finish it!

  2. What a great idea. I was intrigued when I saw your purchase. Very nice :)

  3. Great way to use your thrift store find!! I was left off the list of participants so here is mine!

  4. What a smart idea! Your textured beads are cool and the bracelet is gorgeous. I will be taking a lesson from you -can't wait to see what you do with the new display piece - you WILL share right?!

  5. That bracelet is an awesome find! I recently started playing with polymer clay and creating texture is my latest obsession. I can't wait to see your polymer pieces created with these links!

  6. Oh my, what an innovative way to use the old bracelet. Love those beads you created :)

  7. Very cool effect you created with the polymer. And I love the vintage-y jewelry chest you scored!

  8. Love what you've done! Makes me want to get my polymer clay back out.

  9. I love the beads you made and the bracelet is awesome. I would so rock that. :)

  10. Wow, what a creative way to use your choice. Boy we really come at this stuff from different directions. Cool bracelet!

  11. Wow! That's was really creative! Well done!


  12. What a brilliant idea! And the little cabinet you bought it great too. Will look forward to see what you do with it :)

  13. ooohhh... Love the beads. It is definitely money well spent. Not sure what effect you want to achieve to tint the metal with ink but you may want to try Swellegant from b'sue boutique. It will definitely change the look of the metal.

    Love the jewelry box too. I would paint the base with a metal coat color and paint flower motifs all over it. It will look a wee bit like chinese jewelry cabinet. Here's a pic.

  14. Emma, did you experiment with gilder's paste on those links? I guess tinting would depend on what surface finish is on them. Swellegant paint is a finish I see cropping up everywhere, too. I must say those diamond blue beads totally rock! And I am so very jealous of your gorgeous jewellery box; it's sure to be a hit at your next show. Don't go too crazy redoing the wood, though... it has a cool distressed look.

  15. From one PC lover to another, nice job. I too have a little stash of 'texture bits' that I love to use. I just ordered some Swellegant to try on PC & old metal junky jewelry. I hope to do a blog post about my experiments on those things in the next few weeks. I love the box too, i'd rub some Old English 'scratch guard' into it and it will look rustic without being too over done.

  16. I love those beads you made!

    I used those old jewelry boxes for my show displays last year. I painted them all white & distressed them a little so they looked matchy. It gave my table sort of a shabby French country look and the display drew as many people into my booth as my beads did...and no one else had the same display as me, which also helped me stand out. I'll use them again this year because I really liked how they turned out.


  17. Fun and funky colours.Thank you Love and hugs Tanya


I'd love to hear what you think, thanks for taking the time to join in the conversation