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Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."

Mother's Starlight Bracelet

By: Polly Nobbs-LaRue for Rings & Things

If you are new to beading, this a great beginner's project from Rings & Things. Create the bracelet for yourself or as a touching homemade Mother's Day gift. Different beads on this stunning bracelet represent members of the family.
 

Mother's Starlight Beaded Bracelet
 

Materials (available from Rings &Things):

  • 8mm sterling stardust birthstone beads, one in mother's color, one in father's color.
  • 6mm sterling stardust birthstone beads, one in each child's color.
  • Sterling changeable bead cuff-style bracelet
  • Glass "Ultra-coated" roller beads in -890 crystal/purple
  • 6mm diamond-cut sterling beads

 

Instructions:

This is more a "family" bracelet than just a mother's bracelet, since 2 of the children are my stepchildren. Since they are the oldest kid's, and dad is the oldest parent, it made sense to start with them.

We started at one end with an 8mm (April) bead for dad, and then put his oldest child's 6mm bead (August) next to him, then 3 more 6mm beads (June, April, and November) in birth order, then mom's 8mm bead (September) at the other end to wrap it up.

Two of the 6mm beads needed 2-3 quick twists with a bead reamer (85-395), to get them to fit onto the bracelets. (The holes were just a tiny fraction too small.)

Then, since I didn't like the feel of the beads sliding around the whole bracelet, I needed some additional beads to fill the space to the ends. It was surprisingly hard to find just the right (small, basic) beads with large enough holes to fit onto the bracelet!

In glass, the "ultra" coated roller beads have a subtle finish that worked well with the stardust beads' matte yet shiny finish. The sterling diamond-cut beads were a tiny bit too shiny when right next to the stardust beads, but separated by an ultra-coated roller bead, they worked perfectly.

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This is very pretty and there's not much hard work to making it. The directions are straight forward and very understandable. Thank you for making it so easy. The only problem I have with it is the cist. Sterling silver in my area is far from inexpensive. I will need to do some searching for it.

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