Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Balloon plastic stick and cup? Don't throw them till you read this.

During promotions, some shops at shopping complexes giveaway balloons to children. The balloon is usually given out with its neck tied and wound around a plastic cup shape receptacle attached to a stick.

I kept some cups and sticks wondering how else these can be used and this is what I have discovered; they are great for making jump rings that I need for my handmade jewellery.

The sticks are usually about 3/16 of an inch in diameter, so if you need one with a bigger diameter, go to a hardware store and see if you can find copper tubing in the diameter you want. Then look for a screw on hook that fits the diameter.

Roll one end of the wire around the cup so that it will not unravel as you twist the wire round the stick to create the jump rings.

Hold the cup in one hand as you roll the wire around the stick with the other. You can stop when you have the number of jump rings you need or twist till the end of the wire.

Unravel the wire from the cup. Remove the cup from the stick and push the rolled up wire out of it. Use a cutter and cut through the wire to create individual rings. Keep the excess for your next creation.

When you use the copper tubing, hold on to the screw as you twist the wire around the tube.

Here is what I have created with some seed beads and 29 pieces of jump rings.

Jump rings purchased at some stores can be a disappointment. They tend to rust if the metal used is of poor quality. Creating my own means that I will not run out of the sizes I need.

Some craft tools for creating handmade jewellery can be very expansive. So, if you are starting it out as a hobby and you are not too sure if it is something that you have a knack for, you may want to save the cost on buying tools by improvising.

For tools for creating polymer clay beads, trying playing with your children's playdoh kit for a start.

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