Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Well, hello again. And another gift.


Whew!  Life is INSANE, am I right??  I totally didn't mean to take that much time off... which is how it always goes, isn't it?  Actually, I totally didn't mean to take ANY time off, it was a complete accident.  Then Labor Day happened, and school started, and my kids are crazy hooligans... and well, I'm sure you have crazy lives and can relate to those accidental "life happens" moments.

In any case, I totally left you hanging with the gift it series!!!  Remember that?  You can see the deets here, and look through all of last months posts for awesome gift ideas from guest bloggers, etc.
We left off with the reclaimed wood light up wall art for a wedding gift.
And since I have several gift posts left to share (from my unplanned time off) I've decided to go ahead and show you, instead of just ending gift it suddenly and unexpectedly.

Yea!

So today's gift is perfect for mom's day, a birthday, or for Grandma's for Christmas!


You've seen those cute DIY photo cubes, right?  Like this one from all Parenting:

It's not really a new idea for parent or grandparent gifts... and I really wanted to give it a new twist.  As I brainstormed, I happened upon some small wood cubes I had in my stash - intended for something completely different that I hadn't gotten around to yet.
And the lightbulb went on.  What if you wore your photo cube around your neck?  Cute!

to make your mini cubes, you'll need:
small wood cubes (mine were 3/4" and I got them at Hobby Lobby for $2.99)
a drill with a very small drill bit
craft paint
photos of your kids printed on photo paper (more on that later)
mod podge, matte or glossy
a paint brush


1. Gather your cubes.  This necklace can be made a few different ways, depending on the number of kids you want to show on the cube and how many cubes you want on the necklace.  I made two different versions, both of which you can see below - one with only one cube and a different person on each side and one with a cube for each person.  So, gather the appropriate number for the necklace you're making.
2. Drill a very tiny hole through the cubes from top to bottom.
3. Paint your cubes.  I decided to make a few necklaces without photos, just to show how versatile the project is and I painted these cubes in fun geometric patterns using tape for straight lines.  Let them dry completely.
4. Size and print your photos.  The cubes are 3/4", so size your photos to just smaller than this in order to leave a border of color around each picture.  Then print them off or use your favorite photo print place.  Closeups work best.
5. Cut out your photos.   For my 3-block necklace I used 4 photos of each of my kids - so I needed 12 photos total.
6. For my 1-block necklace, I needed 4 photos - 1 of each kid and one of the whole family together.  
So for each block you use, you'll need 4 photos sized just under 3/4" square.
7. Using your brush, spread some mod podge on one side (NOT the top or bottom with the holes).
8. Carefully lay your photo on the block, straighten it, then push it down into place with your fingertips.  Mod podge will squeeze out the sides, just wipe it away with your fingers.  You'll likely need to re-straighten the photo after pushing it down.  Do this to every side of the blocks, leaving the top and bottom photo-free.  
9. Let the mod podge dry.
10. Apply a very thin layer of mod podge over each photo, careful to smooth out any lines.

Now that you've made your mini cubes, we can turn them into necklaces!
You'll need:


(disclaimer: I'm not a DIY jewelry officiando by any means.  I just made it up as I went.)


1. Begin by placing a clear seed bead on your straight headpin.
2. Slide your photo block on.
3. Slide a clear seed bead on.
4. Use the handle of the paint brush to make a perfectly round curve in the end of the headpin.  Just bend it around the paintbrush handle with the pliers twice.
5. Slide the block off of the paint brush.
6. Use the pliers to squeeze the wire circle you've created shut tight.
7. Measure how long you'd like your chain and cut with the wire cutters.
8. Place a jump ring through the wire circle, then
9. through the very middle link of the length of chain.  Squeeze the jump ring shut tightly with the pliers.
10. Attach a large jump ring to one end of chain and a lobster clasp to the other end of chain with the pliers.

Ta-da!

To make the 3-cube necklace, you simply slide on a clear seed bead between each block, and the rest is exactly the same.  Make sure you purchase headpins that are long enough, or you may have to twist two headpins together to get the length you need!  Personal experience and all...

I wanted to add some leather to the little geometric wood block necklace.
1. Slide your blocks on the headpin - seed bead, block, seed bead, block, etc. - and finish it off with a curl using the same method as above.
2. Cut 3 strands of leather, all the same length.  Braid them together.
3. Double knot the ends of the braid.  Add a jump ring to each knot.  Attach a short length of chain to each side with the jump rings.  On one chain, add a large jump ring to the end, and on the other chain add a lobster clasp to the end.
4. Using a jump ring, connect your wood blocks to the center of the braided leather.

You can also add different wooden beads for interest, or knot a single piece of leather.



And there you have it!  How to use those little wooden blocks for 4 different versions of a modern, fun necklace!

My favorite part is that the blocks spin, so it's like four necklaces in one since any of the four sides could face out!

I'm partial to the photo block version, myself, but if you're not the "wear your kids around your neck" kind, the other version is cute as well.

Maybe I'm just partial to those adorable little faces...


gift it. 2014 button photo 0ffd9711-0261-4e13-9866-83ff36f6739d_zps43748e9a.jpg




*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*
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