Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recycled Vintage Tin Jewelry - A Look at how it's done!

I thought it might interest some to see how the vintage tin jewelry is made. If you are looking for a DIY Tutorial this is not it. You may get some ideas but I'm not going into as much detail as I would if I were doing a tutorial.  I just wanted to give the owners or owners-to-be of the pieces I have made and those that are curious, an idea of what all is involved in the process of making the piece of jewelry.

I first start with scouring flea markets, thrift shops, antique markets and yard sales for interesting vintage tins. I look for ones with nice color and interesting designs that will work for pieces of jewelry. It's not as easy as you may think to find tins that have designs I can use. Most tins you run across are holiday or food tins which are fine if you are making holiday jewelry. I also have a problem of finding tins with beautiful designs but after I get them home I can not bring myself to cut them up!! Ohhhh the wonderful unique jewelry pieces I could design if I could just make myself do that first cut! Maybe someday! For now I'll enjoy them as their original purpose. :)

After I choose a tin I take it apart at the seams, cutting down the corners, removing the bottom and rims around the top.

 I use templates, store bought and handmade to lay over interesting areas to see what fits best into the template shape & size I have chosen. Sometimes I like a particular area of a design and I have to lay different templates over the design to see which shape works best.

I cut out the shape that I want. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to make but then other times I have no idea of what I'm going to do with a piece until after I have it cut out. I guess its whenever the inspiration strikes! The particular piece pictured above looked best cut in a rectangle shape and I decided I wanted to cut two for a pair of earrings! 

Then each piece has to be filed down to define the shape and smooth out any sharp rough edges
After I get them cut and filed I punched holes in each end of each piece and hammered some rivets in the holes just to give the holes a nice tidy look.

I did this to both pieces then I added beads and other jewelry findings to make this unique pair of recycled vintage tin earrings!
Below is a small gallery of some completed pieces. You will find some in the shop (if not already sold) and some have stayed in my private collection :) I'm also cutting into new tins all the time so check my shop often to see what's new




Unfinished Pieces


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DIY Lampshade Tutorial


Feb, 19th, 2014

DIY Lampshade Tutorial

First of all, Let me welcome you to Whippoorwill Studio! This is where it all happens! :) You won't see the whole studio in these pictures of the lampshade tutorial and that is a good thing because it is a mess! It's always a mess! I've always wondered how long the ladies posting pictures of their perfectly organized and beautiful studios took to get them that way. I don't think they actually work in those showplace studios...hmmm maybe that's why you only see pictures of their studios and not of anything being created in them?? Oh well, it's my mess and nobody has to deal with it but me! Well, the cats have to deal with it, especially if they are going to pester me while I work.
This is Mokie...he thinks he owns the place!
Today I am going to show you how to take a plain boring store bought lampshade and turn it in an exciting work of art!
We are going to turn this............
Into this............


The first thing you will need if you have a cat like mine is one of these......
Full of water!!!
Actually, you will need a lampshade of your choice. Any size, it does not matter. Preferably one that is light in color. You will need to be able to see through the cloth when light is behind it. You want it to be plain with no pattern.
You will need printouts of your subject matter. I chose to do old maps with sea monsters. I also chose compass roses, a whale and an octopus for accents.
You can choose any subject matter you want! I have seen then done with French handwriting and other ephemera. Just whatever goes with your d├ęcor or tickles your fancy. I chose mine because I have an antique picture of an old sail boat nearby the lamp and I love old maps and sea monsters!! 
You will need scissors to trim your printout and masking tape to tape them to the inside of your shade.
I used a regular black sharpie marker, but you could use any color and any size tip depending on your design.
Ok, here we go! this is how I did mine.......
I used my flexible desk lamp as my light source instead of using the lamp that it actually goes to. I found it easier to handle this way
I just laid it down and aimed it upward and kind of toward the front to light up my printout and set the shade over it.

First I took my printout and positioned it where I wanted it then taped it down with masking tape.

It looked like this. I then took my Sharpie and traced my design onto the outside of the lampshade. I'm right handed so I took my left hand and placed it inside the shade to kind of press the printout design against the shade so I could see the tiny details more closely. I found that with the type of fabric my shade was made of my sharpie would bleed a little bit. To remedy that I tried to mark very lightly, and fast. You don't want to do it slow or press hard because it gives it time to absorb the ink and bleed. After I finished I would pull the paper off and compare it to the design I drew. If I missed anything I just drew it on free hand. By then you have the majority of your design on there and if you looked over a line or two here and there it not hard to just whip them in.

My shade was divided into 4 side panels and 4 corner panels, so I put a different design in each panel section. I would suggest using one continuous design if your shade is round or does not have divided sections

Above are the larger side panels and below are the smaller corner panels


                                                          And here it is on it's lamp!
 I hope you enjoyed my little DIY tutorial!

~ Adrianne

Visit Whippoorwill Studio on Etsy!