22nd March 2013
I met Sophie, the incredibly talented designer behind Sophie Monet jewelry, last year while in New York and we instantly bonded over a love of all things DIY. Soph handmakes the gorgeous pieces under her label, painstakingly sculpting them out of wood, and adding stone, chain brass and gold leafing, skills she picked up while growing up in her dad’s woodworking shop (fyi, I have a little studio envy right now). The mix of sanded dark wood, precious stones and hints of gold are a nod to her love of art and nature and her experiences living between LA and New York. I was lucky enough to get to browse through her pieces in person when we had some downtime at our hotel and was blown away by her gilded collection, handshaped wood pieces with accents of gold leaf made into the most unique necklaces, rings and bracelets – the sort of jewelry you can imagine wearing everyday.
Gold leafing is a technique I’ve been forever wanting to try and when Soph offered to give me a masterclass, I knew it was something I would be sharing with you guys. What I love most about this project is that once you have the process down you can apply gold leafing to virtually anything – I sooo want to do it to the inside of a white porcelain bowl. Soph recommends that you don’t skimp too much when you buy your gold leaf, she used 22k yellow gold leaf (not the fake stuff) which is essential for the look and feel of the finished product.
- a popsicle stick or wood bead
- gold leaf adhesive
- gold leafing sheet
- clear wood finish
- paint brush
- jump rings
1. Start by cutting both ends of your popsicle stick so you are left with a wooden pendant shape.
2. Sand the edges of the pendant so they are smooth.
3. Place the pendant on a block of wood and drill a hole in one end.
4. Spray the pendant with wood finishing spray as a base coat.
5. Use a paint brush to add a thin coat of gold leaf adhesive. Let adhesive dry for 20 minutes. The wood will become sticky.
6. Carefully lay the gold leaf paper on top of the wood pendant.
7. Press down to make sure the wood is completely covered and there aren’t any air bubbles.
8. Carefully peel back the paper.
use a dry paint brush to remove any excess gold leaf.
9. Spray Gold pendant with at least 3 coats of clear wood finish.Be sure to let each coat fully dry before applying another.
10. Attach your gilded pendant to chain using an open jump ring and pair of pliers.
11. Use two jump rings and pliers to attach your clasp and chain to one another.
And you’re done!
14th March 2013
If you haven’t yet heard of Knots & Knits, then you’re in for a real treat. Megan Todd is the talented designer behind this unique label for which she designs and hand makes the most epic clutches, bags and necklaces – painstakingly knitted out of rope using knitting needles as big as tent poles (seriously!). If I had any idea where to start with knitting, Megan might just inspire me to take up my own tent poles, but sometimes this quality of craftsmanship is best left to the professionals. What I love most is that Megan has taken a traditional craft such as knitting and turned it into something so incredibly fashion forward (a hint of neon anyone?). Check out her website if you don’t believe me (hands off the cobalt clutch – it’s mine!).
Megan is first up in a new series here on A Pair & A Spare where a collective of your favourite designers and artists will give you an insight into their craft with exclusive how-tos for you to replicate. I asked Megan to give us a peek at her enviable roping skills in action and she made this amazing roped macrame necklace – which turns out to be totally do-able! What more could a girl ask for?
- Tape Measure
- Masking Tape
- 6 Pieces of Cording
- 1 x Jump Ring
- 1 x Parrot Hook
1. Start by cutting the chain with pliers to the desired finished necklace length.
2. Cut 6 strands of coloured cording around 1.5m each in length. (I love how Megan went with neutrals with a pop of neon!) Then lay them in the order of colours you would like the necklace to be finished with from top to bottom. Fold the chain in half and then find the centre point of the cordings, laying them over the folded chain.
3. Pull the length of chain through the centre point loop and pull tightly towards the top colours of your necklace.
4. Spread out the cordings in their order of colour either side of centre point. Tape down the right side cordings and chain to hold them in place. Then start your macrame on the left side: take the first cord and lay over the second cord. Pull the first cord under and through as shown below.
4. Pull tightly and then repeat, so that you have two knots on the same row. Repeat using the white cord along each row of cording on the left side.
5. Repeat the same knotting technique on the right side and work your way down.
6. Once both sides are completed, use the same knotting technique, starting with the left cording over the right. Once you have knotted your two knots in place super tightly, you can start the next row!
7. Begin your next row of series of knots the same as the first row.
8. Continue with all the other colours.
9. Once you have finished knotting all the rows of cording, neatly cut the ends to desired length. (You can also slightly unfurl the ends of the cord for a laid back look like Megan’s!)
10. At the open end of your necklace, use your pliers to open the jump ring. Hook one chain end and the parrot clasp onto the jump ring and fasten it closed. Now you can fasten your parrot clasp onto the other chain end to close your necklace!
All done! I hope you enjoy your hand made macrame necklace!
Stay tuned for more tutorials and how-tos from The Collective.
22nd January 2013
3 small zipped pouches. Mine were simple suede ones I picked up for a steal.
6 snap buttons
Thread matching the colour of your bag
A length of flat gold curb chain
A strap of some sort, either off the pouches themselves or handmade out of similar material.
Optional tools include beading plyers and a multi hole punch (I didn’t end up using them).
Not wanting to completely replicate the Celine version, I created a gold chain strap which I think worked quite well, feel free to experiment with the type of strap you use!