Married to the Empire

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Crafting Success and a Bit of a Fail

I have a fabulous book called The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts.  It's a really great resource for making all sorts of things out of ribbon.  I tried one of the jewelry crafts out of it this weekend, and it was a total success!  All it takes is a piece of ribbon, some beads, needle, and thread.  It's totally customizable, as you can make it any length you want and use any size beads and ribbon.

I wore it to church on Sunday and received several compliments.  I know something is a success when other people like it!

The fail was in my attempt to dye pearls with a natural dye--in my case, red onion skins.  Martha Stewart has a really great project for dyeing pearls with Rit Dye, but I found a thing online listing ways to do it with natural materials.  I opted to try red onions because I didn't particularly want to go out and buy bottles of dye.  That was just me being cheap thrifty. 

Back in my bridesmaid days, it seems like the brides were always giving strings of pearls to me to wear in the wedding.  They've all just sat in my jewelry box ever since because I'm an admitted jewelry snob who would rather wear my real pearls.  I decided to put these fakes to use by attempting to dye them and use them in new pieces of jewelry.  Part of crafting is finding new uses for old things, after all!

Well, here's the thing.  Martha Stewart's instructions call for glass pearls.  I assume you really need glass pearls for the natural dyes, too.  But I have no idea what these fake pearls are made of.  I was just experimenting. 

Pearls placed in double boiler

Red onion skins added to make a nice purplish dye
The pearls didn't seem to be taking the dye in a timely manner, so I let them sit overnight.  And this is the end result:

The bracelet I threw in didn't really pick up any color at all. (And bits of the beads are flaking off now.)  The necklace took on a greenish-yellow tint.  It's actually not a terrible color, but against my skin tone, it will make me look sick.  Now, I could probably make a necklace out of it like the turquoise one in the first picture, but I would definitely have to give it to someone who doesn't have my fair, pink skin tone.

Bit of a craft fail?  Yes.  But I did enjoy trying it out, and I wasn't out any money for it, which is a good thing.


R said...

That's very interesting! Actually the natural dye was probably a good move during pregnancy anyway- Can't be too cautious w/ chemicals. ;)

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