Saturday, April 21, 2012

Charms on the Cheap

Every year when I put the kits together for the Project Grad mini album I try to change something up without totally overhauling the whole design. This year we're doing away with the ribbons tied along the binding. (I never put those on Michael's anyway) In place of the ribbons I thought we'd attach a chain of charms. Very trendy, right? I'm not usually a trend-follower, but these are eighteen year old girls we're talking about.... 

So I was browsing through Michael's and Hobby Lobby the other day looking for ideas, beads, etc., and I was overcome with a craving for an Auntie Annie's pretzel. It must have been my subconscious at work, because as soon as I walked through the doors of the mall, I was pulled by a mysterious and unexplained force into Charming Charlie's. If you have never been in one of these stores and you like things that sparkle (Who doesn't?!), you need to find one. Charming Charlie's is an entire store filled with very reasonably priced jewelry and accessories. "Very reasonably priced" is a nice way of saying cheap, right? Everything is displayed in color families to make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. Kind of like a well-organized scrap room!

I found these necklaces and bought two of the big chunky ones at the top left, three of the red feather necklaces, and one of each of the others.

When I took everything apart, I had enough crystals, beads, feathers, chains, and jump rings to make 32 charms like the one at the top of the page. The best part is that these pieces were all marked down to half price, PLUS they were on a buy-one-get-one-free rack so I only paid twenty five dollars for everything! That means each chain of charms costs just 78 cents! All I have to do is put the pieces together with jump rings. Perfect for television viewing (so I don't fall asleep!) 

I did decide that the chain needed to be black instead of gold, since everything on the cover is black or silver. Guess what you can use to color metal chain.... Alcohol ink. I'm kind of on an alcohol ink kick right now, aren't I? I used the bottom of a Diet Coke with Lime can as a little well. 

I added a few drops of black ink to a drop of blending solution and swirled the chain around a few times. Easy Peasy! I was able to do  five or six pieces of chain at a time so the whole process only took about five minutes. The ink dries really fast if you put a heat gun on it for a few seconds.

This is how it looks on the book. I was afraid it was a little...thin, but with the tassel and the numbers, it's just right. I thought the girls would like the feather since everyone is wearing feathers in their hair or as earrings. And I know they'll like the sparkly stuff! What does it take to get you to cave in to a trend?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week! 

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