Thursday, July 21, 2011

Casual Day Designs Shares How to Make the Denim Bead

I just added a layer of Aleene's STOP Fraying to my latest batch of beads and thought while it dries, I would let you all in on the origin and the "how to" of my denim bead making process!!

I first got the idea of making denim beads while sitting at my desk at work one day a few years ago. The mind tends to wander when faced with the blandness of the cubicle walls; and way in the back corners of my mind, I blew off the dust and brushed away the cobwebs to recall a little craft project I had learned as a kid in some summer school class or through a "Y"-Teens art project--the one where you rip a colorful page out of a magazine and cut it into long triangular strips. Then starting with the wide end you roll that strip around a toothpick and glue the end down...VOILA!! A homemade bead!!

Then my mind took the idea one step further and I began doing some research to see if anyone had tried the magazine-page bead idea with fabric or more specifically denim fabric cut from old jeans. Not finding anything at the time, I gave the idea a whirl, strung the finished denim beads with some other various beads, and found it went quite well with anything I wore with jeans, and no one else had anything like it!! That was the birth of Casual Day Designs - jewelry for your jeans. Click on the "MAKING THE DENIM BEADS" link under the heading of my blog to see a couple of early videos I made documenting the idea of the making of the denim beads. The triangular strips I cut are all different sizes and dimensions and cut out of different colors of denim, so no two beads are ever alike making no two pieces of jewelry ever alike. (Remember the rule of opposites when cutting the strip--A longer, narrower strip will produce a shorter, fatter bead).

In the three years I've been making denim beads, I have given finished jewelry designs to friends and family as gifts, opened my home for a couple of cash and carry shows, had my jewelry for sale in a number of venues including outdoor as well as mall craft festivals, had them on consignment at gift boutiques, and most recently available for sale in the popular online marketplace, ArtFire. Over the years and the wearing of the various pieces of denim jewelry, I discovered I wasn't all that fond of the fraying aspect of the denim beads. To alleviate that fraying aspect, I added the two latest steps to my denim bead making of coating the beads with a layer of STOP Fraying and then with a layer of glitter-based clear nail polish. This not only makes the beads more durable but also quite labor intensive. I allow a good 24 hours of drying time after applying the STOP Fraying before painting on the nail polish. I have so much invested in every individual bead, that it makes every piece of jewelry that I create that much more meaningful and one of a kind.

So now you know how I make my exclusive Casual Day Designs denim fabric beads. Everyone has old jeans laying around in their closet just waiting to be recycled and upcycled into something else...handbags, rag rugs, quilts, and now jewelry for your jeans. If you don't have time to make your own denim beads, I would encourage you to take a look at my Casual Day Designs ArtFire Studio selections and choose something to go with your next jeans-wearing-day attire!! If you have something specific in mind with regard to colors or length that you don't see in my studio, message me and I would be happy to work with you on a custom design!!

Copyright 2008-2011 Casual Day Designs. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Custom Butterfly Pendant with Blue and Pink Denim Beads

A custom necklace I recently crafted!! Too bad all my jewelry is OOAK!! I would like this one for myself!!
Copyright 2008-2011 Casual Day Designs. All Rights Reserved.