Color Me Happy Heart Pendants with Air Dry Clay

This post brought to you by ACTIVA Products.
Children's Valentine Craft Idea with ACTIVA Hearty ClayYou’ve probably heard me say this a thousand times, but kids love making jewelry.  Here’s a quick idea you can play with that uses washable markers to make colored clay.Making Jewelry with kids ideas using Hearty Clay and cookie cutters. Good Valentine's craftThis is the crafty ingredient list.  Pretty simple!  Use Hearty Clay because it doesn’t crumble and fall apart when it’s dry.  #NoCraftFails 😉Valentines Craft Idea with Air Dry Hearty Clay. Tint the clay with markersGrab a hunk of Hearty Clay and start coloring it with markers.  It’s a good idea to stay with markers in the same color family (i.e.  red and orange or blue and purple).  It’s fun to twist and smoosh the clay and see how the colors marbelize.  Add more color at any point–even right before you roll out for vivid results.Valentines Craft Idea with Air Dry Hearty Clay that shows how to make colored clayPlace your ball of clay between plastic wrap and roll out to approximately 3/8″ thick.
Valentines Craft Idea with Air DryHearty Clay-making heart pendantsCut your shapes out–you’ll need 2 identical ones.
Valentines Craft Idea with Air Dry Clay. Make heart jewelryPlace a straw across the top center of the shape and dab water around the edge.
How to Make Air Dry Clay JewelryGently press the edges together to seal.
Making air dry clay jewelry with Hearty ClayPlace the piece on top of a cup to dry.
Mod Podge Jewelry idea with air dry Hearty Clay and gemsRemove the straw.  You can embellish dried Hearty Clay with all sorts of things–paints, doodles with a marker, or gems like I am here.  I like using Mod Podge to attach the gems.
How to make clay jewelry heart pendantsPush the yarn or cording through the heart pendant.  If the yarn is extra fluffy, you may need the straw to help push it through.
Children's Valentines craft idea--make a necklace with air dry Hearty ClayReady to wear!  I love the possibilities with these bead-like pendants.

Here’s a link to the Hearty Clay at ACTIVA or you should be able to get it at your local craft store.

Happy Valentine’s!

Whipped Buttercream Frosting Leather Jewelry Idea

Easy Jewelry Making with leathercordUSA leather from Candie CooperThis post is brought to you by color inspiration for January 2016

Leather Cord USA sent a box of goodies recently with all kinds of color palette ideas for the next few months.  Sign up for their newsletter to get inspiration like this delivered right to your inbox (the sign-up box is at the bottom of their home page).

January’s pallet is all about butter and mushroom colors.  I love both.

Hungry yet?  Me too.
Jar of vintage crystals color inspiration

Mixing and matching the leathers, I started seeing this color combination everywhere.  On bananas, when the sun hits the porch walls just right, and in this jar of crystals I’ve had on my shelf for years.Leather Cord for Jewelry Making -all colors from LeatherCordUSA.comThis is my swirl of favorites.  Yum.  Swirl.  This is the moment I saw buttercream frosting.  Paging Cinnabon.  Come in Cinnabon.  Did I mention I’m trying to get off the bread and carbs?  That’s another story for another day.

I’m only using the round leather cords from LeatherCord USA in 1 and 1.5mm diameters for these projects.  This is the simplicity that I love when it comes to using leather in jewelry making.  Pick your favorite colors and go!
DIY leather earringsThe first idea I had was to make some earrings using those funky fold over end findings (get them at Hobby Lobby) and delicate shell bead dangles.How to use fold over end findings for leather in jewelry making tipSimply cut your leather so one piece is 3 and one is 3.5 inches long, string some beads and set the ends inside the finding.  Use chain nose pliers to roll the ends over.  Connect to ear wires and add beaded dangles.  I’ve ironed out the kinks so I think you can knock these out in 30 minutes.DIY Jewelry Making Gold and leather braceletThe second idea I want to share uses the super skinny macaroni-sh shaped beads strung onto the leather to make a bracelet (also from Hobby Lobby).  I really loved how this instantly gave it a chic feel.  Cut ends at an angle so they fit nicely in the end finding from LeatherCord USACut the leather at an angle so it nestles nicely in the LeatherCord USA Glue and Go end finding (see foreground).Use Loctite glue gel for leather jewelry makingUse Loctite gel to glue it in one end.  Check the fit and make adjustments.  Glue the second side.

Tip:  Leave one or two strands out and use a toothpick to pry open a spot or two so you can put them right where you want them.DIY Leather and gold jewelry making idea using leatherThat’s really all there is to it.  Shout out to my vintage picnic basket for making the perfect surface to shoot this on.
Easy Jewelry Making with leathercordUSA leather from Candie CooperThis set is going to get me through winter.  Sunny days ahead people!

Check out for more beautiful leathers and ideas.

Eden: Gemstone Necklace with Round Braided Leather

This post brought to you by LeatherCordUSA.comDIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with thick braided leather elementIt’s raining here today.  This doesn’t bother me in the slightest when I have the joy of staying inside and making jewelry.

Yesterday was gorgeous.  Today it’s overcast and drizzly.  Yin and Yang.

So with this gray day, I’m presenting a piece that is lush in gems and texture.Round braided leather comes in a ton of finishes and sizes from LeatherCordUSA.comIt started with a pile of this unique round braided bolo leather from  I can’t tell you how much I’m intrigued with this stuff.  It comes in different finishes and diameters.  Really really amazing quality.Round braided leather from LeatherCordUSA.comI opted for the natural finish for this piece.  It’s thick and perfect to support the weight of the gem section in the front.  Speaking of gems…DIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with unique braided leather element--Beadalon 15 strand beading wireI’ve had these hanks of gemstones hanging in my studio for two years.  They were inexpensive so I bought a lot.  The time had come to use them and as is because the odd bead shapes together made my eyes happy. The only thing was I felt it needed a tiny bit of contrast yet something to unify the group so I added tiny copper colored rondelles to each strand.Beading tip from CandieCooper.comI used Beadalon gold 15 strand beading wire so it blended with the stone colors, then crimped them to a wrapped wire loop with #1 crimp beads.DIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with unique braided leather element, good for layeringThen I strung the large bead cone onto the wire with a few beads and finished with a wrapped loop.  Nice and tidy.DIY Jewelry Making Gemstone necklace with leather elementNothing but colorful goodness.DIY Jewelry Making--use a toggle clasp ring for a connection.Once you have the gemstone section secured, cut the leather to the desired size and glue end caps to the Glue and Go findings.  I removed the clasp that came with the end findings and connected it to toggle rings which were then connected to the bead cones to create a decorative element.Eden necklace with gemstones and LeatheCordUSA round braid tutorial from Candie CooperDIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with unique braided leatherDIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with thick braided leather elementMy plan is to wear this as a layering necklace.  I will create some shorter chain and pendant pieces to go with it.

Visit LeatherCord USA for more inspiring leather jewelry ideas.

Teen DIY Jewelry Making

File Jan 05, 2 50 33 PMOver winter break, I had an opportunity to work with kids and teach them jewelry making.  It was a great experience.  Fourteen girls, but I learned that boys wanted to make jewelry too so in the future we will maybe do a metalworking class.  I love that.

We made necklaces, bracelets and earrings over two days.  They learned all the basics.  I’m so proud of the results–you can see them in the slideshow below.  But real quick–I wanted to give you the link to a tutorial I did well over a year ago–

But real quick–I wanted to give you the link to a tutorial I did on the above necklace well over a year ago–you can see it here.  All the components are from and the findings are by Beadalon.

Make your own Boho Pottery Dishes

This post brought to you by ACTIVA Products–makers of the best air dry clays!ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Dishes with black Plus clay17In college, I took a few courses in ceramics.  I had the best instructor–Dana.  She got me hooked on “hand-building” which simply means using your hands to construct a piece from clay instead of the pottery wheel. This is a really easy project that you can do at home.
ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus Clay--airdry clayI’m using ACTIVA Plus clay in jet black.  You can buy it at your local craft store or online and it comes in other colors; white and terra cotta.
Air Dry clay Idea - ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clay4This is my craft-only rolling pin.  I roll the clay out to about 1/8-1/4″ thick.  It may take a couple tries to get it just right.
ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clay-texture with @plaidcrafts wood block stampsFor texture and design, you can stamp it with these wood block stamps.  The black ones are the real deal from India.  The white ones are from Plaid Enterprises–I saw them in Hobby Lobby or you can get them online. Stamped-ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clayStamp your piece so you get an all over pattern.
Making bowls with ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clayYou can use an extra large circle cookie cutter to cut out a circle or use a knife with round template (like a plate).ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clay--stamp the edges to add textureStamp the edge a little more if you like…
ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clay--smooth out the clay with a little water and your fingerthen dip your finger in water and run it along the edge of the clay to smooth out.
ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clay--pat the clay into the bowl form (pie plate)Drop your piece into a plastic lined mini pie plate (or other bowl form) and set in the sun to dry.
ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery with black Plus clay-dry the bowls in the sunshineOnce the front is set up, you can pull them from the pie plate, flip over and leave to dry completely.  You could also put them by a heater.
ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Pottery jewelry dishesTo finish, I sprayed them with clear Krylon gloss spray paint.  Then, I dipped a paper towel in water and Apple Barrel white acrylic paint and rubbed over the surface of the bowl.  Use a dry paper towel to wipe up excess paint.  Optionally, you can seal them again with the Krylon gloss paint.

Why spray them with gloss first?  Because this seals up the clay surface so the paint doesn’t get too settled into the porous surface.ACTIVA PRODUCTS Boho Dishes with black Plus clay17You know I love jewelry–and these bowls are just the thing to keep on my dresser to hold it all.  Now I only need about seventy-five more.

**These are not food-safe.  For pretties only.

New Kids Jewelry Craft Videos Available Now!

kids jewelry craft ideaYou guys know I have a passion for teaching children how to make things–jewelry especially because I started making it in sixth grade!  That was practically yesterday (cough-cough, eye roll).

I’m excited to announce one of my new videos with Interweave called Rainy Day Projects:  Bead Crafts with Kids.  These videos take you step by step how to make three projects as well as give you ideas for choosing materials and avoiding craft fails. kids jewelry craft ideaEven though the projects are geared towards kids, I think you might want to make a couple of the projects yourself!  Macrame bracelets with buttons, hammered pendants, and rubber band and bead bracelets.

We all know the pressures that kids are under these days and I always think it’s a good idea to encourage making things with their hands.  Allowing children to be creative, make their own color choices in a positive environment also helps boost their self-esteem.  It’s good for everyone.  I could go on, but I’ll get off my soap box jewelry craft ideaI hope you’ll check it out at the Interweave Store here.  Thanks in advance 😉

DIY Bolo Leather Layering Necklace

This post brought to you by Leather Bolo Necklace from LeatherCordUSA.comFall leaf inspirationThe leaves are turning fast around here.  We’ve had some amazing weather too.  70s and sunny?!

Be jealous, California.

The weather guy said there was 8″ of snow on the ground back in 64′!

I’ve been painting our floors with oil based paint and it’s been a blessing to be able to work outside at our picnic table.  Not to mention inspiring!  Fresh air is good on so many levels.  Why do I forget that so easily?  Oh I know, because there are piles of things to do inside. bolo cordThis is a necklace I’ve had on my mind for a long time.  It uses beautiful bolo braided cord from  The cord comes in all different finishes from metallic to matte and natural.  Another bonus is that you’ll find it in many diameters–from 3.0 to 13.0mm!Leather Jewelry Making DIY bolo necklaceYou know I love layering bits and pieces together and the leather is no different.  Bolo cord bundles with two strands of metallic kansa 1.0mm round leather does my heart good.

Looking at this photo, I think the next paint job needs to be on our cellar doors!Leather jewelry making assistantMy dog, Rock likes the round kansa leather cord too!  I was working it through the beads and wondered why it wasn’t moving.  It was caught up on Rocky’s paw.   The funny thing is that he didn’t move.  I pulled his paw went up and then down, up and down.  This is just another day in Rocker’s world.   He does what he can around here.  Thanks, good dog.Large hole beads keep multi-strand leather pieces togetherThe large holed silver beads are from Tierra Cast.  I got the baby tassels in Tucson–I think they are made in Taiwan.  They are so sweet on anything! The crystals have been a bit of an obsession the past year or so.  I have a little stash of them.  Needless to say, mixing and matching all these surfaces makes me happy.  I think I’ll wear this necklace today.
Leather findings from LeatherCordUSA.comI finished the ends with these stunning Glue and Go findings also from  They matched the beads perfectly, so it was a no-brainer.  These findings were actually a touch too big for the bolo cord so it worked out well to add the extra kansa green cords to fill up the space.

Use this glue to adhere leather and metal together.LeatherCord USA necklaceFollow me on Instagram @candiecooper to see behind the scenes action when making pieces like this!

Happy day!