Friday, December 19, 2014

diy: Bullet Shell & Crystal Ornaments

I'm such a sucker for anything unconventional and edgy. This is even true for my Christmas ornaments; no plain jane decor for this lady! In addition to the Pearl Snowflakes, I whipped up these ornaments using spent bullet shells and crystals from a vintage chandelier. I love the way the two elements compliment each other.  See I how I made them, below:

- 3-in-1 Jewelry Pliers
- Craft Wire (16 Gauge)
- Strong Craft Glue (I used E6000)
- .40 Caliber Spent Bullet Shells (I bought mine on Etsy)
- Crystal Chandelier Pieces
- Earring Stud Backings

It's important to note that not all crystal chandelier pieces will be the same size (in terms of the width of the top portion), so you might end up bigger or smaller bullet shells. Don't be afraid to message the seller to ask for width measurements! I have also found many, many chandelier pieces at flea markets for very cheap.

1) Add a healthy amount of glue to the inside of the bullet shell.

2) Insert the crystals into the shells. Leave them to dry, standing up.

3) Glue an earring backing to the top of each shell. Let dry completely.

4) Cut a strand of wire measuring about 6 inches (15.24 centimeters).

5) Insert through one side of the earring backing.

6) Take one end and bring it around and through the second hole, coming in at the opposite end that you started. You should now have the ends of the wire facing each side.

7) Gently pull the ends so that the wire loop becomes smaller. 

8) Bring the ends together and twist. This will create another loop, adjacent to the first. 

9) With the cutting portion of the pliers, trim the twisted wire, leaving about 3/4 inch (1.9 centimeters).

10) Bend the tip of the wire to secure. 

11) Repeat Steps 4-10 with the remaining ornaments.

Pretty badass, huh?

Have a GREAT weekend!

Xo, Kirsten

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

diy: Pearl Snowflake

Can you believe the first day of winter is right around the corner? While I'm more of a summer/autumn lady, I love the whimsical elements of this season. I recently whipped up a few pearl snowflakes using materials I already had on hand. The supplies are quite standard; it's all about the technique and placement. I actually started to make this project last year, but didn't get a chance to perfect the method. This year, I finally finished it off! Keep reading to see how I made it: 


- Small/5mm Pearls (150) & Large/8mm Pearls (12)*
- Jewelry Wire (20 Gauge)
- 3-in-1 Jewelry Pliers
- Rhinestone Flat Back or Old Earring Stud
- Strong Craft Glue (such as E6000)
- Measuring Tape

* If you decide to use different sized pearls, keep in mind that the wire measurements may change. As always, I'd recommend using more than you think you need just to be safe. It's always easier to take away than add back, after all.

1) Measure and cut 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) of wire.

2) Using the flat portion of the jewelry pliers, twist the end into a spiral.

3) Add 9 small pearls and 2 large pearls. Each stem of the snowflake will consist of this sequence, and the center of the snowflake will be right under those 2 large pearls. But for now, just keep adding pearls.

4) Add 2 large pearls and 9 small pearls.

5) Cut the wire, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeters). Twist the end as you did in the beginning.

6) Take another 8-inch strand of wire and twist it around the middle, twice. The "middle" would be the spot in between the 2 center large pearls, the spot that I mentioned in Step 3.

7) Add one stem's worth of pearls: 2 large pearls first, followed by 9 small pearls.

8) Trim and twist off accordingly.

9) Repeat on the other side.

10) Add another 8-inch strand of wire around the center, placing it diagonally. The stems might seem uneven right now, but you will be able to adjust everything else later on.

11) Repeat Steps 7-9.

12) Cut a 4-inch (10.16 centimeter) strand of wire.

13) Choose a stem to start with. Twist around twice, 3 pearls down.

14) Add 4 small pearls. Trim the wire if needed, and twist the end.

15) Repeat on the other side.

16) Repeat Steps 12-15 another 3 pearls down.

17) Repeat and repeat (and repeat) until every stem is completed. You can then adjust the stems so that they fit comfortably next to each other.

18) If you'd like, glue an embellishment to the center for extra sparkle. I used an old gem earring stud; I had removed the backing with heavy duty pliers beforehand.

You can use your pearl snowflake as a large ornament by adding a strand of thread or wire. Or, you can use it as simple table decor, or maybe even as a gift box embellishment.

Worn here with a Short Sleeved Chiffon Dress in Navy Blue (c/o and the cozy Carter Loop Scarf in Black (c/o; sold out but similar here and here).

Tutorial Photos: Kirsten Nunez for Studs & Pearls
Street Style Photos: Haruka Sakaguchi (The Denizen Co.) for Studs & Pearls

Xo, Kirsten

Sunday, December 14, 2014

news: Get 35% Off at

Use the code LKPFRIENDS at checkout to get 35% off my book, Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion, and many other great titles! The code expires tomorrow, December 15 - so act quick! Shop at

Xo, Kirsten

Friday, December 12, 2014

eHow diy: Marbled Candy Cane Bracelets

Take a festive spin on the marbling trend with red and white oven-bake clay! Paired with strands of chunky curb chain, you'll have an accessory that will coordinate with your favorite holiday ensembles. Click here for my full tutorial on eHow Style's blog.

Xo, Kirsten 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

in a new york minute: Lace Tealight Holders by Claireabellemakes

This week's "New York minute" feature is from the lovely Claire at! She is a craft blogger based in the UK. For this feature, she whipped up some super easy Lace Tealight Holders; I love that they use re-purposed jam jars! Handmade holiday gifts, anyone?

These pretty tealight holders are perfect for winter and making your home look cosy! They are super simple, require no crafting skills and can be made very quickly.

You will need jam jars, lace trim, tea lights and a glue gun.

Cut 4 lengths of lace trim. The length should be the circumference of the top of the jar. Use the glue fun to fix the lace around the jar, just under the ridge for the lid.

Repeat this process, gluing the second piece of lace trim just above the first (on the top of the jar rim).

Add your candles to the jars and you are done! Perfect for the mantel or bedside table.

For all things crafts, cats and bicycles, follow Claire on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest. Visit her website at Claireabellemakes.comYou can also see what she thought of my book, right here.

Xo, Kirsten

AAbout "in a new york minute":
 This feature invites fellow DIY bloggers to contribute a guest post & create a simple and quick project. The only rule? It must be made in 5 steps or less, and it must have to do with a specific theme that I provide. I always love seeing what they come up with! To check out past projects under this feature, click here