Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Helping Little Hands

Hi, I'm Polly from Helping Little Hands, where I blog about my crafts and activities with my kiddos, and a few tidbits about life in general.  If you're not familiar with my Helping Little Hands, then you might want to take a look at my Favorite posts from 2011 to see what types of projects I create.

Today, I'm excited to share how to make a Peas in a Pod Pendant... (and I'll be giving one away at the end of the post.)  My oldest two kids (ages 6 and 4) are adopted in open adoptions, so I'm always on the lookout for simple, but meaningful gifts for their birth parents.  My daughter's birth mom was married this year and is pregnant with a little girl, so I made her a "Three Peas in a Pod" necklace, which can symbolize herself, my daughter, and her new baby or can symbolize herself, her husband, and new baby.

I made a "Two Peas in a Pod" necklace for my son's birth mom to symbolize the two of them. 

A "Four Peas in a Pod" somehow showed up in my own stocking to symbolize my three kids and our baby on the way.

And I made several other necklaces as well...once you've made one, it's super easy to make more.  You can make them with any number of beads, but the ones I made with two or three turned out the best.  (My first one also didn't turn out nearly as well as the if one doesn't turn out as well as you were've really got to try a second.

I saw some Peas in a Pod necklaces floating around Pinterest and went looking for some tutorials.  My favorites were this Sweet Pea Pendant from Positively Splendid and this Pea Pod Charm from  Heidi's Hubbub.  You can also find a lot of different Peas in a Pod necklaces on Etsy for inspiration and other ideas.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Some craft wire...I used 24 gauge, but any gauge close to that will work. 
  • Some beads...I chose green.  They came with about 20+ beads on a string for about 3 dollars.  I've seen these made with white or lots of other colors too.
  • Wire cutters, or old scissors to cut the wire with
  • Needle nose pliers can be helpful, but are not necessary.
  • A chain for the necklace, if you don't already have one.  I bought mine for $2 each at the craft store.

Here's what you do...
I used the directions from Amy at Positively Splendid for the first half, and then changed the second half a bit, so you might want to refer to her tutorial too, if something doesn't make sense here. 

You'll want to start with a LOT of wire...24-36 inches.  If you find that's too long for you to be able to work with, though, you can work with shorter segments and just twist the ends into the back and start a new wire.

Start by making a loop with your wire, that's just a little bigger than what you need to go around your beads.  Wrap the wire around several times.

Twist your short tail back down around the stem and loop.

With the long wire you have left, fashion a small look that can be used to hang your pendant from your necklace.  Twist the wire around the stem a couple more times.

Now we're going to weave the wire in and out through our big loop to make the back of our pod.

Keep weaving the wire, until you've loosely filled in your large loop.

Next, I wrapped the wire around the end, to make a small loop for threading wire through, in the next phase.

Now we're going to string our beads on.

Wrap the wire around your stem a couple times.

Now we're going to make several larger loops by running wire through the small loop at the bottom and twisting it back up around the stem.

You'll want to make 3-5 of these larger loops which will be the basis of the sides of our pea pod.

Wrap the wire around the top stem a couple times.  Now we're going to start wrapping those larger loops to bundle them all together with little loops.

Continue wrapping with the little loops until you've gotten all the way around your pea pod.

 Pull your wire through the back.

Trim and work the wire back through the pod.

Pull tight and cut the wire close to the pod and make sure the end, isn't sticking out where it could catch on clothing or scratch the wearer.

String it on a necklace, and you're done!

And if you're looking for a cute way to give one of these as a gift, you can see my tutorial here for using the same beads and wire to make bows or ties around your gift.

And finally a little giveaway...I'm giving away one "Two Peas in a Pod Pendant" to one lucky reader.  There are two easy ways to'll need to leave a separate comment for each entry.:
  • Be a follower of Keeping it Simple and leave a comment saying you are.
  • Check out my blog (Helping Little Hands) and become a follower (via blogger, Facebook, etc...however you like to follow blogs) and leave a comment.
Please leave a separate entry for every each entry.  Giveaway closes on Tuesday, January 17th at 12:00pm.


Di said...

That is such a sweet necklace, i am sure everyone loved them!! Di @ Cottage-wishes

Terrie said...

Such a pretty DIY necklace. Owning it is wonderful. Your tutorial is great and clear.

Cranberry Morning said...

That is absolutely darling! Thank you for posting the tutorial. Sweet.

Heidi V said...

I'm a Helping Little Hands follower!

Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

I follow Keeping It Simple!

gill said...

Great tutorial - thanks!
I follow Keeping it Simple!

Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder said...

I follow Keeping it Simple.

Lacey said...

I follow Kaysi here at Keeping it Simple.

Lacey said...

I follow Helping Little Hands with GFC.

Kathy Haynie said...

What a meaningful, treasured gift. Thanks for sharing how to make these.

Tamara said...

I'm a follower of Keeping it Simple! Would love to have one of those pendants!

Tamara said...

I am now a follower of Polly at Helping Little Hands via GFC.

Ashlyn said...

I follow Helping Little Hands on Facebook

Ashlyn said...

I am subscribed to Keeping it Simple via email

Lee said...

I follow KIS

Beth said...

I'm a Helping Little Hands follower already! Great tutorial. I'd love to win a necklace to symbolize my twins :-)

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