The how to of cufflinks

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Personalised cufflinks was one of the first items of jewellery that a friend asked me to make for her husband.

Here are the steps involved in making these cufflinks.

First you cut out your desired shape.

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Then you file down the edges and corners to make sure you don’t get any sharp edges.

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Next comes the personalisation, when stamping always place on an anvil.  If you stamp on wood or anything else you won’t get a great impression. You need one STRONG hit of the hammer. Practice elsewhere in case the letter / number is the wrong way round.  (I learned this the hard way)

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Next step is soldering!  Some tips to solder.

  1. Set up is key, once you are in the middle of soldering you don’t want to be searching around for tweezers or solder etc.
  2. A clean join will mean a solid join
  3. Keep breathing ☺

20150715_211029IMG_20150716_000741Once the soldering is done you need to pickle each piece to clean it up.

And next is riveting. I rivet my own cufflinks as I don’t risk melting the little spring inside the cufflink.

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Once the cufflinks are one piece it is time to oxidise the top to show up the lovely stamping done earlier.  This is done with liver of sulphur which stinks like Rotorua! This needs to be done outside, unless you don’t mind the smell of rotten eggs of course….

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Then brush back and polish! And there you have it.  Some awesome personalised cufflinks.

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Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it.

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A Study in Green

Green bed annie sloan chalk paint antibes green headboard beforeGreen bed annie sloan chalk paint antibes green headboard

We are in the middle of a home makeover.  As is the way, there are several projects on the go.  But at the moment the focus is the master bedroom.  It sounds so fancy doesn’t it?  It’s just the main bedroom in a two bed flat but it is the MASTER bedroom so that is what I will call it.

Before we moved into our lovely 2 bed flat we sold a lot of our old furniture.  We have been slowly gathering pieces that are more “us”.  One thing we haven’t changed is the bed.  Beds are EXPENSIVE.  Our bed has moved with us for the past 7 years. It is still in perfectly good nick but it is ugly! I LOVED it when we first bought it of course. But now not so much….

So, I spent a long time trawling through pinterest looking for bed makeovers. I found some lovely pics and some tutorials.   I first thought I would cover the headboard with a cream linen fabric. But looking into it there was a lot of work in that so I got lazy and shelved that idea.

I discovered Annie Sloan chalk paint last year. (I am not affiliated with the brand I just LOVE it)  It appeals to me because of two things. One – the colours.  Beautiful rich colours.  I have used antibes green, paris grey, greek blue, henrietta, emperors silk and aubusson blue.  The second reason I love it is the ease of use.   There is no prep required! No stripping of varnish, no sanding, just dust off your pieces and off you go!

Before now I have only painted wood.  I saw a few tutorials on pinterest showing the possibilities of painting on fabric and leather.  I finally decided that I would have a go at the bed.  I went out to my local supplier – http://www.michaelkeehan.co.uk/ – another reason to love the paint.  Annie Sloan ONLY sells to small distributors.  You won’t find the paint in large super stores.  I discussed the project with a lovely lady there who told me that she had previously painted a saddle!!!  Not for use afterwards but as a feature.  That was the nail in the coffin.  I restocked on my clear wax (I ran out after painting my daugthers bed, kitchen table, 4 kitchen chairs, large ikea storage unit, 4 picture frames and a large storage cabinet oh and a small collapsible side table)  A little goes a long way….  I bought another tin of antibes green (previous used on said kitchen table, chairs, side table and 3 of the 4 picture frames) as well as a few testers – old white and english yellow.  I went a little CRAZYYYYYY!!!!  Oh and a tester of the dark wax….. Shhhhhh!

I dusted the bed down and started painting.  I gave it two coats (you need about 2 hours in between to let the coats to dry).  Then I finished it with clear wax to seal it in.  And I LOVE the results

Before painting bed annie sloan chalk paint antibes green aGreen bed annie sloan chalk paint antibes green b

What do you think?????

I must say the photos don’t do it justice.  The lighting isn’t great and I took them on my phone.  But you get the idea.  I also must say my husband was not a party to my painting plans.  I had vaguely mentioned about painting the bed but nothing definite.  He came home and it was half painted.  But he was very enthusiastic about it.  Phew!!

I wonder what I can paint next….