I am new to making my own jewelry and, to be honest, when I first started I was incredibly intimidated. And if I’m still being honest, there’s a lot of stuff that I’m too intimidated to try myself. I guess that is a part of the reason why I love Erin’s blog, Thanks, I Made It so very much. She whips up these incredible pieces, always shares sources so that you can make your own JUST like hers, and has easy to follow tutorials that make all of her projects seem doable. I couldn’t be more pleased to introduce you to Erin – Thanks, I Made It.
Your blog features lots of DIY jewelry, how did you get into making your own? I’ve been crafting jewelry since I was in middle school. I often joke about my big clay-bead-making and hemp-necklace-braiding phases, but I still have loads of those kicking around! In high school, I took classes in jewelry making. Since then, I continued to dabble in making jewelry casually, then took it seriously again as I began blogging.
What is the jewelry project you are the most proud of? Which has been the most successful? I’m most proud of this crystal spike necklace. I splurged on real Swarovski crystals, which keeps it from looking cheap. I was inspired by a Fallon necklace, and think I nailed the look without having to solder things together! My crochet necklaces have been my most popular. I think people appreciate seeing a traditional technique used in an atypical way.
What jewelry designers do you keep an eye on, that bring inspiration to you? My top two favorite jewelry designers are Lulu Frost and Lizzie Fortunato. I love how Lulu Frost mixes in vintage and combines metals, while the Lizzie Fortunato pieces are so earthy yet refined.
I know lots of people who want to start making their own jewelry but are wary because of the cost of tools and materials. Any suggestions or tips for someone who wants to start jewelry making on a budget? You can find jewelry pliers for pretty cheap at craft stores and online, and you really only need two pairs: a round-nose and a chain-nose. I’ve seen chain-nose pliers with a cutter built in, eliminating another tool and saving your scissors. If you ask me, those plus a tube of superglue are all you’ll need!
Do you have a project or two on your blog perfect for the beginner? My “just add glue” earring projects are pretty fool-proof! Like I said, sometimes glue is all you need. You can see examples here, here, and here.
Is there any new method of jewelry method you’re dying to check out? I’d love to get back into setting stones and soldering again. While it might be more advanced than my blog’s usual projects, for my own personal creations I’d really love to try that again.
You also restyle clothing. What lead you to to DIY clothing? I love mega-sized thrift stores, but often the challenge with thrifted clothing is the fit isn’t the most flattering or contemporary. Reworking a garment is a great way to make something personal while not having to start from scratch.
What is the clothing project you are the most proud of? I really love the dress I made from a long skirt. Opening up the buttons and adding straps created a sundress I love for summertime!
Where do you most often find inspiration for your projects? Online shopping! I constantly stalking etailers that I can never afford, but absolutely be inspired by.
Is there any one designer or shop that most closely mirrors your personal style? I’m a big fan of designer Ralph Lauren, mainly because I think his line captures American history and style so well. Clicking through images of his runway shows can often feel like a trip back in time.
Besides crafting, what are your other interests? I moved to Washington, DC about a year ago, and since then really enjoy getting out and exploring all the different museums and monuments. I also like going for runs around the city and National Mall. You can also find me sucked into mysteries and crime dramas in book and TV form or making dinner in my tiny kitchen with a record on the stereo.
What do you do when you aren’t crafting (job, homemaker, student)? By day, I teach at a museum-based preschool and am also getting my masters degree in international education. Between those two and the blog, my plate’s pretty full!
Why do you craft blog? How did you choose your blog’s name? Craft blogging was a creative outlet for me during those first years of post-college employment. I saw things others were sharing, and thought, “I can do that too!” Also, as a teacher, I have a natural tendency to want to share knowledge. But, whether for my readers or my students, I’d rather inspire people to have their own original ideas and personal spin on things.
Any advice you can give to aspiring craft bloggers? Be original, give credit, and put in effort. You truly get out what you put in, and it’s a slow process! Find blogs you admire, pinpoint what you think they do well, and set standards you want to achieve. Do they have great photography? Clearly written steps? Let that guide you. Also, there are so many ways to share your content– on community sites like Cut Out and Keep or Instructables, or visual galleries like Craftgawker. The more you’re out there, the better!
Thanks so much, Erin, for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview for the readers here at Dream a Little Bigger! Your blog and DIYs are truly inspirational.
If you haven’t already, click on over and check out Erin’s blog, Thanks, I Made It.Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website