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I have two things to share today. A crazy-easy tutorial! And a mini safety lecture for crafters. Let’s start with the crazy easy tutorial, shall we?
So I found some beautiful vintage faucet handles, salvaged from a Miracle Mile boarding house built in 1928….
And I made some necklaces.
They look big and bold, but these handles are aluminum, so they’re actually surprisingly light to wear. After properly preparing the vintage handles, here’s how I created the pendants, using no jewelry-making tools, and nothing but two buttons and a piece of string:
That’s it! Crazy easy, right? Add some cord to hang it, and you’ve made a cool, pretty vintage faucet handle necklace.
Here’s a slightly different style, with a mother-of-pearl flower instead of a button.
The fleur had one center hole, so I tied a french knot in the middle of a piece of string, and fed both ends down through the hole, ending with a 2-hole button in back as before. The knot holds the flower in place, and it’s kind of decorative, too.
Now who wants to hear a mini safety lecture? Whee! Fun! Okay, just read it, it’s good for you. Like broccoli with no butter or cheese sauce.
You guys, I am always reading this kind of thing on craft blogs: “Check out the old chippy/painted/weathered/distressed/shabby chic treasure I found at my local yard sale/flea market/street corner/salvage yard/dumpster. It looks perfect in my kids’ room/kitchen/bathroom/front porch/living room/nursery!“
No, no, no. (Picture me with librarian glasses at the end of my nose, frowning like a disapproving rabbit, swatting those people’s hands with a ruler.) We all know that any painted thing, dating from 1978 or earlier, is likely to have lead paint. It’s important to handle these chippy painted treasures with care.
What to do. First, wash them carefully with soapy water. Let them dry completely. Don’t use sandpaper on them. If you want a freshly painted look, great! A primer and two coats minimum, and you have sealed in the old paint and made your treasures safe for use.
But if you want to retain the chippy look, as I did with my faucet handles, do seal them with at least three coats of a clear sealer!
Acrylic or polyurethane sealers live in the paint department of any craft, art supply or hardware store. I like to use a matte finish, so they still look rusty and weathered and old. Since I am making jewelry which may directly touch the skin, I always treat vintage painted objects with TEN coats of clearcoat, front and back.
Okay, lecture over! (Picture me pushing my glasses back to their normal position, smiling kindly, while using my ruler to measure something strange, that will probably become my next Mystery Thing jewel.)
C’mon, that wasn’t too bad, was it? Love you guys. See ya next time!