Guest ReFab: Postage Stamp Earrings... {Foxglove Accessories} | the ReFab Diaries

Foxglove Accessories is the brainchild of photographer and artist Betsy Treacy Siber. If you're a regular at Renegade (Chicago), you've seen her beautiful work ... that's where I first encountered her a couple of years ago.  Talk about giving things a second life! Vintage postage stamps become true works of art in Betsy's hands.  I am constantly struck by her attention to detail and the GREAT color combinations in her work. All her items are lovingly handmade in her Chicago studio using found materials. Her fabulous postage collection features jewelry made with vintage postage stamps from around the world (keep reading to find out how to save 15% on her jewelry!) 

Today I get to publish a mini interview with Betsy and a tutorial for her layered teardrop earrings. Yup - she's sharing some of her secrets so you can make them yourself!  First, a little Q 'n A: 

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?  Did you always know you'd have a creative career?
A: I have known since 2nd grade that I would have a creative career. I don't think anything in particular really sparked it, but it was definitely encouraged and nurtured by my family (many kids are not so lucky). I went to school for photography, which I find incredibly useful for documenting my work and our life, but I now enjoy other mediums as a creative outlet. At the moment, I see the most potential in metals and sculpture.

Q: Why postage stamps?
A: My dad collects coins and at some point a fellow collector handed off a box of stamps to him. He didn't have much use for them, and I thought they would be a nice addition to collages (I was in high school at the time). Fast forward 8 or 9 years to 2006. I was moving and organizing my crafting supplies, including my old stamp box. I often employ the "use it or lose it" method with cleaning (I collect, not hoard), and I decided that if these stamps were going to be useful they needed a project, like right now. That afternoon I made my first pair of teardrop earrings, using the quick and dirty packing tape method mentioned in the tutorial. I loved the way they turned out and ended up basing the entire business on it. Using stamps makes every piece unique, so I find it easy to create the same type of earrings 100 times in a row. I really do take a moment to admire each stamp I'm using!

 Betsy has a great offer for my readers!  
Get 15% off everything at Foxglove Accessories and Foxglove @ Etsy 
through March 31, 2012. Scroll down for the coupon code!  
(excludes custom items)

Layered Teardrop Earring Tutorial
{Link with Love! This tutorial is for personal use (not personal profit) and should not be distributed/republished* }

What you will need:
printable teardrop template (download here)
decorative paper (I’ll be using vintage postage stamps)
seed beads
xyron sticker machine and permanent adhesive OR stick glue
xyron double-sided laminate OR packing tape
pen or pencil
1/16” hole punch
needle nose pliers

  1. Pick out your decorative paper selections. I’ll be using 8 different postage stamps.
  2. Run your paper through the xyron machine with a permanent adhesive cartridge OR back your selections with stick glue. 

3. Adhere your sticky selections to cardstock.
4. Trace all 8 teardrop shapes. You will use 2 of each from the printable template.

5. Look at that! Perfectly traced teardrops!
6. Run your cardstock through the xyron machine with a double-sided laminate cartridge OR “laminate” both sides with packing tape.

7. Cut out each teardrop shape.
8. You should have 2 nice little stacks with 4 teardrops each.

9. Punch a small hole near the top of each teardrop shape.
10. Put a single seed bead onto your beading hoop and follow with your largest teardrop. Repeat with each teardrop, adding a bead at the end. Make sure that your decorative paper is facing forward (the loop part of the hoop is the back).

11. Use your needle nose pliers to bend the end of your wire 90°. This will prevent the beads from slipping off and hook into the loop at the other end and act as a closure for the earring.
12. This is how everything will look from the side.  Neat right?

Do your earrings look like this? If so, high five! Put them on and enjoy.

Follow Betsy on Pinterest and Facebook

 Get 15% off everything at Foxglove Accessories and Foxglove @ Etsy 
through March 31, 2012 (excludes custom items) 

Use the coupon code CANDOODLES at checkout

*This tutorial is free for personal use (not personal profit or gain) and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Betsy Siber or Candice Caldwell. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. Do not copy this post, publish more than 2 photos or outright steal this idea for commercial publications. If you have any questions, please email me. Thanks!
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  1. What a wonderful blog you have here.
    Kind regards


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