Tag Archives: upcycled

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Belt Bracelet DIY

A great way to nurture creativity is to try something new.  This belt bracelet DIY is a low-cost, fun way to expand your horizons and make something fun that you can show off to your friends.

Leather bracelets are trendy, earthy and so versatile. Leave the leather unadorned or attach a button, an old broach or an item that has special meaning to you to add your own personal touch.  You may even have a belt in your closet that you can use for this project.

Let’s get started!

Materials:

  • Narrow belt (approximately 1/2 inch wide)
  • 2 – 1/2 Inch Ribbon Crimps
  • 7-10 Split Rings
  • Lobster Clasp
  • Headpin
  • Decorative Beads

Tools:

  • Scissors • X-Acto Knife
  • 2 Pairs of Round Nose Pliers
  • Split Ring Pliers
  • Wire Cutters

1. Use your ruler to determine a straight line across the belt, near the belt buckle. Use your X-Acto knife or sharp scissors to make a straight cut to remove the belt buckle.

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2. Loosely wrap the belt around your wrist 3 times to measure length needed. Hold your finger to mark where the end of your belt meets on the third wrap. Lay the belt flat on your cutting mat making sure to keep your finger at the spot where the to ends met. Subtract 1.5 inches from this length to allow for your ribbon crimps and closure and cut belt to length with x-acto knife or scissors. Wrap the belt around your wrist again to make sure you have cut off enough to leave a 1.5 inch space between the two ends on third wrap.

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3. Attach ribbon crimps to each end of the belt. To do this simply slide your belt into the opening and squeeze the entire length of the crimp with pliers tightly.

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4. Connect 2 split rings using the split ring pliers.

5. Attach the lobster clasp to one end of the split rings.

Split Rings on Lobster Clasp

 

6. Attach the other end of the split rings to the ribbon crimp.

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7. Make a chain by attaching at least 5-7 split rings.

Split Rings

8. Attach split ring chain to the other ribbon clasp.

Split Rings to Crimp

 

9. Thread beads onto the headpin.

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10. Form a loop at the top of your beads by wrapping the wire around the nose of your round nose pliers.

Beads

11. Thread the open loop onto the end of your split ring chain. To close the loop simply hold your loop with one set of round nose pliers and use the other set of round nose pliers to grasp the end of the wire and wrap it around the base next to the bead. Once you have done this snip the wire close to the wrap and bend in the end so that it doesn’t catch.

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12. Try on your fabulous new earth friendly triple wrap belt bracelet!

Triple Wrap Belt Cuff

We hope you enjoyed this DIY project.  If you would like to see more of our bracelet designs click here.

We hope you are having a happy and creative summer!

Meet Our Friends Rebecca & Norman: Robot Maker and Presidential Hopeful

Say what? Norman, a current top-runner in the presidential race, and I would like to give you an exclusive, never-before-granted tour of Remnants by RJ: Where the Robot Magic Happens.

For those of you who don’t know, Remnants by RJ is just that—a collection of society’s cast off “remnants” that I (Rebecca Jackson) transform into fun, quirky pieces of art. I tend to see what something could be, instead of what it just is.

Primarily, I make recycled robots. I take discarded bits of life—those things lurking in attic boxes or collecting dust on thrift store shelves—and allow them to find their way to a new reality through trial and error assimilations. Each robot is a transformation of the ordinary into something magical with a name, a story, and a personality.

Just like Norman. As soon as the clock knob came to rest on his little film canister head, I knew I’d found my robot counterpart.

Norman is the odd-bot-out in most situations. He has the innate social skills of an ostrich/warthog hybrid and often feels a bit insecure. You might say, Norman is—and always will be—an underdog. But who doesn’t enjoy rooting for an underdog? Despite his insecurities, he accepts himself as he is and enjoys sharing his journey with the world.

Today, that journey takes you inside The Workshop.

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Finished robots, photo shoots, and packing materials reside in the outer sanctum of the workshop…as does the all-important Drill Press of Awesomeness. (If the house were on fire, I would save the drill press first, then maybe the kids. But seriously, they have legs, they should be able to get out on their own.)

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The inner sanctum is a small square room, located in close proximity to the drill press, that houses the workbench on one side and the robot part shelves on the other. Despite its cluttered, slightly haphazard appearance, the shelves are mostly organized and bins are labeled as necessary: arms, eyes, legs, small feet, etc.

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When a robot begins the reassembly process, it’s a matter of trial-and-error. I usually have the glimmer of an idea and begin looking for potential bodies and heads. Then it’s a matter of trying them out.

Norman is currently overseeing the reassembly of a very special robot for Carolyn. (Since neither of us want to ruin the surprise, this is only a sneak peek. You’ll have to wait for the final reveal.)

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I often try to add something personal or unexpected. It is very important to me that each robot is one-of-a-kind. Despite traditional robots being streamlined, replicated machines, I don’t ever want to mass-produce anything. I love the way my recycled robots find their way to a new life all their own.

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Equally important is my commitment to recycling. As a society, we are often obsessed with the next bigger, better thing. That leaves a whole lot of consumer waste in landfills or sitting on shelves in a thrift store. Incorporating those old-fashioned or outdated materials into my work is not only a commentary on the never-ending race to the future, but it is also a challenge to rethink the familiar, giving it new life as an eco-friendly, sustainable piece of art.

Of course, that’s a natural segue into a concluding paragraph with a good dose of campaign propaganda. Norman is currently running for President of the United States on a platform of “Recycling Materials, Not Ideas.”  Among other things, Norman believes that humans, like recycled robots, are endowed with certain unalienable rights, like Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Appendages.

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Together, Norman and I are ready to start infecting the world with imagination and kindness. Won’t you join us? I bet, with your help, we can change the world.

Thank you to Rebecca & Norman for guest-blogging for us in our summer creativity series!  If you’d like to see more of Rebecca’s creations or follow Norman’s Presidential Campaign here’s where you can find them: remnantsbyrj.com, on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and via email at remnantsbyrj@gmail.com.

 

Happy Earth Week from Hang Ups in KC

Earth Day is celebrated around the world every year on April 22nd.  We celebrate the Earth year-around by doing what we can for the environment such as recycling, buying energy efficient appliances, teaching our kids about the environment and repurposing not only at home but in our business.  Did you know that approximately 80% of our handmade jewelry is created from repurposed items?  In case you did not know this we thought we’d share some photos to show you what we can do with vintage and repurposed treasures.

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From left to right: Dream Bracelet, from our Literacy Kansas City Collection, made from a repurposed leather belt and a vintage spoon handle.  Upcycled Guitar String Earrings from our Band of Angels Collection.

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From left to right:  Antique Typewriter Key Earrings, from our Literacy Kansas City Collection.  An upcycled Antique Sugar Spoon Necklace hanging from a long silver chain.

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From left to right:  Live, Love, Read Necklace, from our Literacy Kansas City Collection, made from a vintage silver plated teaspoon.  Upcycled Clarinet Key Bracelet from our Band of Angels Collection.

If you’d like to see more of our creations come and visit us at hangupsinkc.com.  Our friends at Handmade in Kansas City are also featuring several locally handmade eco-friendly creations in their blog this week.  Check them out at handmadeinkc.com – you’ll love what they have to offer.

We can all make a difference!  We’d love to hear how you celebrate Earth, whether it’s on Earth Day or any other day.

West Bottoms Shopping in Kansas City

One of our favorite things to do, aside from making jewelry out of vintage and upcycled materials, is  shopping for vintage and upcycled materials.  We go to yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, antique stores, flea markets and salvage yards to find material and inspiration.

As we mentioned in a previous blog (Hang Ups at Lucky Dog Vintage), Kansas City has a neighborhood called West Bottoms that is made up of antique stores and art galleries housed in historic buildings.  If you love an original artsy and vintage vibe and are in the area, it is definitely worth visiting.  The first weekend of every month is a big deal in this area – it’s called Warehouse Weekend/ First Friday Weekend and all the stores are open.  We thought we’d share our First Friday shopping adventure with you by taking you to the stores that we visited today.

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Hickory Dickory is a great store that has an inside and outside retail area.  I found some typewriter keys and fabulous vintage earrings there.  They are only open on First Friday Weekends but are worth the month long wait to check them out.

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Next stop:  Lucky Dog Vintage!  Of course they are our favorite not only because they carry our jewelry line but also because they have beautiful repurposed furniture, home décor and unusual finds.  Look what else we found there – Junk Mafia’s Junk Journal!  Junk Journal is a great place to learn about great new finds in the world of repurposing.  To learn more about Junk Mafia visit their website at www.junkmafia.com.  Lucky Dog Vintage is open Friday & Saturdays every weekend of the month and extended hours Friday, Saturday & Sunday’s of First Friday Weekends.

Third Stop:  Stuffology.  One word:  Gorgeous!  They are open First Friday Weekends and by appointment.

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Fourth Stop:  Liberty Belle.  We fell in love with the metal art that was located by the door.  They are open First Friday Weekends only.

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Fifth Stop:  Bella Patina.  Three floors of fabulous vintage, antique & repurposed furniture, and decorations.  They are open First Friday Weekends only.

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Sixth Stop:  Restoration Emporium.  Check out these displays!  There is so much to love about this very large store which is full of repurposed home décor items.  They are open First Friday weekends of every month.  On their Facebook page they note that they have Boutique hours on Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday 10-3pm.

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Seventh Stop:  Nook & Cranny.   Nook & Cranny has typewriters, vintage jewelry, silverware and antique books so of course we fell in love with this store!  They have so much diverse and interesting stock that you need some time to properly go through this store.  They are open every Saturday of the month and Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday on First Friday Weekends.

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Eighth Stop:  Good Ju Ju. Good Ju Ju is a store made up of more than 20 antique dealers so there is an excellent variety available.  Our favorite find today was the pink antique Maytag washing machine.  Good Ju Ju is open First Friday Weekends.

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Ninth Stop:  Rag and Bone.  This was our first visit to Rag and Bone and we loved it!  They have a great selection of re-purposed furnishings, original art and unique vintage treasures. Check out their record department.  How cool is that display?  Rag and Bone is open every weekend.

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Whew, nine large stores in one day!  We didn’t even come close to visiting all the amazing stores in the West Bottoms and are excited about our next trip down there.  If you’d like to learn more about Kansas City’s historical West Bottoms you can visit their website at www.westbottoms.com.

Have a great week!