Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cardigan Clip

When I’d visit my grandmother, I usually got to stay in the attic bedroom. One entered the mostly unfinished attic by climbing the noisiest staircase in the world. The stairs exited into a storage room, lined with narrow shelves filled with memorabilia. A rickety wooden railing kept one from falling into the stairwell, but it still gave me vertigo to step onto the plywood plank that bridged the gap in order to investigate the oddities stored in the furthest corner. I practiced typing on an oldfashioned typewriter and giggled at old photos of my mother and her sisters. They rollerskated in costume and sported cat-eye glasses. In school portraits, I noted the pretty chains that kept their unbuttoned cardigans on their shoulders and dismissed them as hopelessly old-fashioned.

Years later, I developed an appreciation for granny-chic items, like those cat-eyed glasses, and saw how a cardigan clip could be incorporated into my wardrobe. However, they no longer seem to be widely available. I had to make my own.

Tools and Materials:
1. Chain nose pliers
2. Wire cutter (not pictured)
3. Beading wire
4. Decorative beads
5. Two crimp beads (not pictured)
6. Two clip on earrings (the tighter, the better)

Thread the wire with a crimp bead, the decorative beads, and then one more crimp bead.

Loop the wire around the first earring and insert free end into the crimp bead. Crimp.

Repeat with the second earring, being sure to eliminate most of the slack in the wire.

Ta-dah!



This is my very first foray into beading, so I’m not sure how well crimp beads hold up. If you are a beader and have a better suggestion for securing the loop, leave a comment!

18 comments:

Stacy said...

Did you use a crimper? They typically hold up quite well in my experience. Looks great!

revital said...

You can put a bit of glue on the wire so that the crimp is more secure in place :-)

Audi said...

What a great idea! I'm so going to try this. I'm constantly finding adorable clip-on earrings but hate the way they feel on my ears; this would be a great way to be able to wear them.

Kasmira said...

I just smashed the crimp bead with pliers. I'll try the glue trick for insurance!

Eebs said...

Oh my gosh, I love this!

Kimberly said...

This is a seriously great idea. I am sad I didn't think of it since I am a "beader". If you think you may make more beaded items it would be a good investment to buy a pair of Crimpers, Crimping Pliers, whatever you want to call them. Here is a pic:
http://www.gossamerwingsdesigns.com/images/crimper_crimping_tool_crimping_pliers.jpg
A pair is usually less than $10 and if you can score a pair with a 40% off coupon or the week that Hobby Lobby has 50% off their jewelry making tools it makes them an extra great investment.
Needless to say, I will be thrifting for clip on earrings this week so I can be a big, ole copy cat!

Lauren said...

That turned out really well. My mom collects dental items and someone gave her what they thought was a bib clip they'd found at a thrift store. But it was much too short and my mom figured it was a cardigan clip. In your mom's pictures was it worn with cardigans that were on and unbuttoned or were they draped over the shoulders?

April said...

You are so crafty :)

I love it!

Kasmira said...

lauren - I don't remember! They were probably draped over the shoulder. I like the look on buttoned cardigans better, though. Less preppy and it allows you to wear the cardigan open without it flapping around on top.

Fashion Ivy said...

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KT said...

Oh you just made me miss my grandma. One of my girlfriends got a "care package" from her family and it was one of her grandma's vintage bags and pristing white wrist gloves her grandma kept in her bag. That being said: Great idea! Well done! So cute!

Askew To You said...

I enjoyed the story, along with the "fashion." My daughter and I have been thinking of fun craft ideas to pass the Summer free-time. I'm going to show her this. Thanks for sharing it.

orominuialwen said...

That's such a wonderful idea! The crimps should hold up just fine.

spookyelectric1 said...

I think that's beautiful, classy and retro! I've actually bought several of these online, I've never had trouble finding them. try googling "sweater guard." Just charming. I've spent almost $50 for a vintage pearl sweater guard and now I'm wishing I went the do-it-yourself route! Once again, you've inspired me!

Reedie said...

This is adorable. I noticed a few of these at 4th Street Boutique and at Gayle's in Milford.

Speaking of Gayle, she said that a woman comes in and buys vintage slips to dye ...I was wondering if that was you!

Kasmira said...

reedie - it isn't me! But I'll have to check out Gayle's since I am rehearsing in Batavia now.

bekster said...

Beautiful! I wonder how it would work if you did it so that each end piece worked as a button. On one side one piece could go through the buttonhole, and on the other side the second piece could actually be sewn onto the sweater in place of the top button. The end of the beaded length could loop around that piece.

I love crafty stuff like this. I do some beading of my own, and I'm always thinking about how to try something a different way. Great job on this one!

Regan said...

While this is an ingenious way to make a sweater clip (something I will try myself soon) you can find the originals at Goodwill, antique shops, flea markets and yard sales! I myself have two or three of them. ; ) Happy hunting!