Festival season is upon us and I’ve definitely been noticing the influx of new accessory trends. Leather is big, and edgy is taking over the bohemian vibe. Harnesses, Bolo’s, Chained Belts, and of course, fringe. It’s biker chic and I dig it. I was inspired by all of the concho’s and fringe that I’ve been seeing and decided to crate a hybrid purse bolo. Once you have the supplies, this guy takes about 15 minutes to make…tops. It adds jingle and flair to any handbag. Tips for this project: Match your piece of leather as closely to your bag as possible (grain/color). You also must have a bag that had detachable/adjustable straps unless you want to build your bolo around the strap…convertible crossbody’s are perfect for this!
Leather of your choice (I used buckskin, you can opt for a vegan leather though)
Jewelry pliers with smooth finish (no crimps) for clamping cones
Smooth out your leather and measure the piece to whatever length you want, making sure the width of the cut will fit when threaded through the concho. Cut the piece making sure you completely close the scissors when cutting, meaning the end of the scissors come together completely (this will prevent the leather from fraying). Once you have your ribbon of leather, fold it in half on itself making sure the ends line up, and thread through the concho. Once you have the concho in place, cut the fringe from the bottom of the ribbon, using the same technique with the scissors. Make sure the fringe is the correct width for insertion in the metal cones, no too thin, not too thick. Once all fringe is cut, thread the cones onto each piece of fringe rolling the leather in between your fingers of one hand, and twisting the cone onto said fringe with your other hand. Thread all cones before crimping, so you can line up the cones evenly. Make sure the edge of the fringe is not sticking out of the bottom of the cone, if so just slightly pull cones down so they are even again. Using the pliers, gently crimp the top of the cone where the leather meets the cone. Do this on all pieces and voila!
Get studded. A set of symbolic studs to mix and match to suit your fancy. I’ve never been much of a dangly earring girl, preferring simple wear-everyday ear candy. These all range in price from $2.99 to $885-for the awesome gold and diamond snake studs from eco-conscious designer Julia Failey. A DIY from a while back to organize them all here.
Scattered cartridges are often a symbol of great suffering, casualties, hatred, and war. Crystals, being quite the opposite, have been used for centuries as a tool with extensive healing powers, symbolic in bringing harmony and balance. I intentionally brought these two iconic pieces together to create a wearable dichotomy. In this recycled necklace, natural elements and man-made creations are united, bringing congruity to discrepancy. Depending on the crystal you use, this D.I.Y. is almost free. I gathered discarded bullet shells at a local shooting spot (free), and the most expensive crystal (green tourmaline) was $7. Similar necklaces retail for upwards up $330 here.
Crystal Points (fitted to each bullet shell)
Dremel Drill w/ 1-2 mm Drill Bit
Round Nose Pliers
Hot Glue Gun
Collect recycled shells, and take them to a mineral store where you can fit each crystal to its respective shell. Make sure it is a tight fit, to where you almost wouldn’t need to glue it (Tip: if there is a rough or fat edge, use a metal file to shape it to your liking). I ended up purchasing, clear quartz, Tibetan quartz, and green tourmaline. There are two methods for attaching a chain 1)Two holes through the top of the shell or 2)One hole through the primer of the bullet, with attached and looped head pin. They both take the same amount of time, so it just depends on how you want it to look/hang on a chain… I did a few of both. Using a cloth to wrap around the shell before clamping with a wrench is important, so you dont scratch the shells in the drilling process. Drill two holes through opposite sides of the top of the shell (shown in picture #1). Drill one hole directly through the top of the primer for looped attachments. For looped attachments; thread head pin through the casing of the bullet up through the hole in the primer. Using round nose pliers, grasp the end of the head pin, and roll down tightening into a circular loop (shown in picture #4). Heat the glue gun. ***For double drilled attachment, make sure to roll a small piece of paper and install through both holes before gluing, this will insure the glue doesnt block where the chain will run through. Have the crystal ready, and dispense a small amount of glue up into the casing (make sure there wont be excess when the crystal is pushed in). Immediately insert crystal, wipe any extra glue. The hot glue not only secures the crystal, but also the loop attachment. Hang on a chain or even charm bracelet of your liking…would also be cool layered with other charms/feathers etc.
Forage: To wander in search of provisions
Recycle: To recondition and adapt to a new use or function
Every year I set out to create a theme for my holiday wrapping. Sadly, the holidays now seem surrounded by so much consumerism and waste, I decided to try and make everything as sustainable as possible this season. We save our cardboard boxes and brown paper bags, so I used those instead of buying gift boxes/bags. I found some great 100% recycled brown wrapping paper from Crate and Barrel, and at $15.95 for a generous 300 feet of paper, knew it would be more than enough for all of our family’s gifts. The rustic wood gift tags are re-purposed scraps from timber processing factories, and are so much more beautiful than those tacky santa stickers. For the moss, we took our dog for a walk in the woods and gathered different shades of green from the trees, stopping to pick up some fallen pine branches that we added to the mix. Even a small amount of consciousness about what we buy, and try not to buy, helps this beautiful planet that we are lucky to live on.