Sunday, 27 September 2015

Online Store

I've re-launched my online store on MISI

In case you were wondering MISI stands for Make It Sell It.  It is the UK's online store for handmade crafts.  Visit their webpage for more info about MISI here

At the moment there are just a few skating, Christmas, and Halloween products in my MISI store.  I aim to add more over the coming months.

In the mean time though you can continue to view CharacterCrafts catalog on this blog.  If you see anything you like that isn't available for sale on MISI yet, please do get in touch.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

New Blog Layout

I'm currently redesigning the Character Crafts blog.  It should all be up and running in the next couple of days, so do check back soon.

Character Crafts Products

Or view full product catalog below (and contact me to place an order):

Tutorials - How to Open Jump Rings

The trick to opening jump ringsis to open the ring sideways, this is easier if you have two pairs of pliers and can grip the ring either side of the opening.

Gently pull one side towards you whilst holding the other side still. Remember not to open the jump ring more than you need, as you don't want to distort the shape.

Tutorials - Air-Dry Clay

This tutorial provides a general introduction to using air-dry clay.  However, it is important to ensure that you follow the directions on the packet of whichever brand of clay you purchase.

Air-dry clay is often available in a variety of colours, which can be used as they are, or blended together.  It is also available in white, often in larger blocks than the other colours, which can be painted using acrylic paint once it has dried.

Air-dry clay can be used to create jewellery, accessories and even to decorate handmade cards.   Several of the earrings, necklaces, key chains and mobile phone charms available on Character Crafts have been made using either Makins or Eberhard Faber air-dry clays.
To make your own clay mobile phone charm
  1. First decide what charm you would like to make, such as a flower, butterfly, Christmas tree or ice skate etc. and draw a picture the size that you want.  However, bear in mind that you will be cutting this design out of the clay, so don't make it too intricate or complicated (at least not on your first attempt)
  2. Trace your picture on to a piece of thin card, which you can cut out and use as a template to cut the clay. 
  3. Cut off a piece of clay from the block and roll it out to your desired thickness.  Whilst it is essential that you cut off a large enough piece of clay for your design, it is also important not to cut off an excessively large piece, as it will start to dry out and may become more difficult to work with if rolled out multiple times (though this varies depending on the brand of clay used).  Slightly dried out clay can usually be softened by kneading with moistened hands.
  4. Once opened ensure that the unused clay is stored in an airtight container to prevent it drying out.
  5. Place the template gently on top of the rolled out clay, being careful not to press down, as this will flatten the clay.
  6. Use a clay cutting tool to cut around the template.
  7. Carefully lift the template off the clay and remove the excess clay.
  8. Gently pierce a small hole near the top of your clay shape (large enough to attach a jump ring later).
  9. Smooth the edges of your clay shape using the clay tool with a little water.
  10. Leave to dry as per the instructions on the packet, usually a couple of days or so.
  11. Once dried, the clay can be sanded or drilled as required.
  12. You can usually paint dry clay using acrylic paint (check the guidelines on the packet first).
  13. Once dry, open a jump ring and slide it though the hole in the clay shape.  Then add the mobile phone charm and close the jump ring.

Tutorials - Simple Dropper Earrings

2 Headpins
2 Earwires
6 Coloured Beads
8 Seed Beads

Wire Cutters
Round nose pliers
Needle Files (optional)


  • Thread the beads onto a headpin in the following order; seed bead, coloured bead, seed bead, coloured bead and then another seed bead.

  • Hold the beads in place with your thumb and forefinger, and bend the headpin 90 degrees at the top of the beads.

  • Leave 8mm of wire after the beads and then cut off the excess using the wire cutters.

  • You can carefully file the rough edge of the wire using a needle file if you have one.

  • Position the round nose pliers at the end of the wire and then, holding the beads in place between your thumb and forefinger, roll the wire away from you to form a loop.

  • Use the round nose pliers to ensure that the loop is even and that the end of the wire is neatly tucked in against the top of the bead, so that there are no rough edges exposed.

  • Use the round nose pliers to open the loop on the earwire.  Always open the loop sideways in order to retain the shape.
  • Thread the dropper you have just created on to the loop of the earwire and then close the loop.

  • Repeat the steps above to make the other earring.

Help & Advice - Cleaning & Care

There are many different theories on how to look after your jewellery, however not all methods are successful.  I therefore decided to share the tips and advice that I have picked up over the years and tell you the methods that I use myself (though I can not guarantee they will work for everyone).

There are two main factors in caring for your jewellery:

  1. My top tip for storing earrings is to always remove the rubber stoppers, otherwise your earring may tarnish rather rapidly.
  2. Anti tarnish strips have been highly recommend to me and I have recently added then to my own jewellery box (though it is too soon to say how successful they will be).  If you do use anti tarnish strips make sure they don’t come into contact with your jewellery and that you change then every 3 to 6 months.
  3. Another tip is to store jewellery in an air tight, low humidity environment.
  4. And finally avoid storing jewellery in paper or cardboard, as apparently this can increase the rate of oxidation.

  1. My top tip is to avoid using silver or gold polish cloths on silver or gold plated items as they tend to be too abrasive and may actually strip off the silver or gold plating.
  2. I have been told that baking soda and toothpaste can also be used to clean jewellery, I have tried baking soda and did find that it gave my jewellery a lovely shine, unfortunately this was short lived however and it ended up duller and more discoloured than ever in a matter of days, therefore I wouldn’t recommend this method and haven’t tried using toothpaste as I am worried this may be too abrasive as well.
  3. Based on my experience it seems that the best way to clean gold and silver plated jewellery is to rub gently with a soft cloth.