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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."

Blue Skies Necklace

This Blue Skies Necklace makes a great statement piece for almost any outfit.  With 2 different shades of blue beads, this DIY necklace is simple and quick to make and can easily dress up everything from a tee shirt and jeans to a dainty summer dress.

Blue Skies Necklace

Materials:

  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools - Round Nose Pliers
  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools - Chain Nose Pliers
  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Beads - Sky Blue 8mm Faceted Round
  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Chains - Fat Oval Silver
  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Findings - Jump Rings Twist Silver
  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Findings - Lobster Shell
  • Shiny silver crimps with hooks
  • Strong beading floss/string
  • Scissors to cut string

 

Instructions:
Beading floss/string is recommended for this project. You can even use a fun color that will show through the light-colored glass beads. If you use beading wire instead of string, make sure to allow for a little extra space before attaching the last crimp so the strand can still bend in half.

  1. Remove beads from backer card and divide them by color.
     
  2. Using one of the crimps with a hook, attach the crimp to the end of beading floss and tie a strong knot. Measure out enough beading floss to hold beads and another crimp with hook. Cut the floss.
     
  3. Beginning with the one shade of blue, string desired number of beads. Finish the end with another crimp with a hook and tie a strong knot. Be careful to not make the strand too tight because it needs to be able to bend.
     
  4. Repeat Steps 2-3 until all of your beads have been strung.
     
  5. Add a small jump ring to each of the crimp hooks.
     
  6. Using the four strands of the darkest shades of blue, slide a large jump ring though the four small jump rings at one end of the strand as per photo. Slide one end of the silver chain onto this large jump ring. Then take the loose ends of the dark blue bead strands and attach the small jump rings back up to the large jump ring as per photo. Your four strands of dark blues should form one large loop. This is the left half of the necklace.
     
  7. Slide a large jump ring though each of the small jump rings on one end of remaining two shades of light blue as per photo. With the loose light blue ends, pull them through the bottom of all of the strands that form the big loop of dark blue strands. Bring the remaining four loose ends up and attach the small jump rings back to the large jump ring of light blue strands as per photo. This finishes the bottom right part of the necklace.
     
  8. Determine desired length of necklace and cut off excess chain using the cutter on the chain nose pliers. Keep in mind that you will be cutting the center loop later to add a lobster clasp. Attach end of chain to the large jump ring on the right side of the necklace.
     
  9. Find the middle of the chain and cut the center loop. Attach the shell lobster clasp to the chain using small jump rings.
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