Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vote Now! 2014 Gingerbread House Contest!

The 2014 Annie Howes Gingerbread House voting is open! 

Around this time each year, the employees at the studio are provided with an identical Gingerbread House kit to decorate as they wish. While we're all required to use the basics in that kit, our creativity is unrestricted. 

I bought the kits at Trader Joe's. They came with a family, including a dog, a tree, and some candy pieces. I love how each was decorated! And everyone had a good time making them.

Your vote helps determine the New Year's Day sale. The winning house will reveal the sale which will be announced on New Year's Day.

Be sure to sign up for the VIP Club and follow us on Facebook to get the New Year's Day savings coupon based on the winning Gingerbread House! Thank you for voting!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Make Bottle Cap Wine Charms and FREE Image PDF Download!

I'm kind of on a roll with the holiday themed projects right now, so please bear with me as it works through my system.

Super inexpensive and lightweight wine charms for your next holiday party? How cool is that? And what's even cooler is they're so inexpensive and easy to make!

Here's what you need to make them:
- Flat bottle caps with split rings attached
- Glamour Dots epoxy stickers
- Glamour Stickies, adhesive circles
- Printed images, like this festive and FREE PDF image download from TeterCreek.com
- Colorful ribbon

You may also need the following if you don't already own them:
- 1" circle paper punch
- Paper burnisher/paper creaser/bone folder (it's all the same thing)

These supplies can be found at  www.anniehowes.com

Here's how to make them:

  1. Punch the images you want to use. 
  2. Place a Glamour Dot on top of each image. 
  3. Turn upside-down on a smooth surface, and using the paper creaser, press the paper onto the Glamour Dot. Turn over and if you see any silver spots (trapped air), address those areas with firm pressure.
  4. Next, remove the backing from one of the Glamour Stickies and press that onto the back of the decorative paper you just finished gluing to the Glamour Dots. Press firmly and remove the protective paper from the other side of the Glamour Stickies. I use an X-acto blade to help me do this, but you might have a fingernail that gets the job done.
  5. Press into the bottle cap.
  6. Take a piece of ribbon and trim it to about 3-4 inches and tie to a wine glass stem. BOOM! You're finished!

You can also embellish these further, if you're so inclined. Or sit back, relax, and pour yourself a glass of wine to celebrate your craftiness. That's what I'd do.


New tutorials page and an updated website

It's beginning to look like I take on the task of complete website overhauls on a yearly basis, so would it be correct for me to announce that the First Annual Annie Howes Website Redesign is now complete?


The new and much improved online store now includes a list of all tutorials, a measurement chart, an FAQ, all in one convenient place. Plus, all of the videos are on the tutorial page which means you don't have to go to YouTube to watch them (and possibly be distracted by cute baby animal videos).

Also, I'm pretty excited by the Shop by Tag feature which allows you to browse the store using the descriptive of your choice. Click the button on the left sidebar and just look at all those tags. Be prepared to be overwhelmed as I might need to pare them down a bit. Or not. There's still a search feature, but sometimes you just want to browse words, and I've supplied plenty of words to browse.

VIP Club members heard about it first. And as a bonus for receiving an email from me about it, VIP's received a valuable coupon code. Coupon codes are my way of saying, "Thanks for listening to me ramble on about the things I find interesting that are somehow related to making jewelry." This has been a comfortable arrangement. If you'd like to receive coupon codes on your jewelry making supplies, then you should really be a VIP Member.

I've gotta run. I have a new VIP Coupon code to send.

I'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Which metal do you prefer? Rhodium plating or silver plating?

Please take a moment to give me your opinion. It only take a minute, I promise!

For charms on your charm bracelets, which metal plating do you prefer?

Which metal do you prefer?
pollcode.com free polls 

See? That was quick! Thank you!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Here's a Photo Jewelry Tip That Will Save You Time....Glamour Stickies

Your mother probably warned you, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.".

I'm not going to call your mom a liar, but I do have to call her out on this one. In the case of Glamour Stickies, that statement is simply not true.

Why Glamour Stickies? Because time is money, and why wait around for your liquid adhesive to dry when you can peel and stick and wear right away? You can literally make your pendants on the fly. Like, "Oh no! I'm leaving in 5 minutes and I need jewelry to match my new outfit." Problem solved. It's just like that.

What are Glamour Stickies? Aside from being the best thing since sliced bread, Glamour Stickies are:

  • easy-to- use
  • affordable
  • super strong
  • acid-free / archival / pH neutral
Seriously. If you're still not convinced, check out this short video...

If you've tried them, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what you think!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Swarovski Crystals & Glass Keepsake Locket

 Glass Keepsake Lockets

So maybe you're not the crafty type. Or perhaps you really like crystals, and lockets, and beautiful things.

This is a really easy and incredibly beautiful way to dress up glass lockets. Remove the cap, fill the glass locket with Swarovski crystals, and replace the cap. Easy!

To make it even easier, here's what you need to make these:

  1. Swarovski Crystals (I used 36 crystals in each bottle)
  2. Glass Keepsake Locket (shown in antique silver and antique gold)
How would you decorate these lockets? Would you use birthstone colors, or layer the crystals, or do something entirely different?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Creating Faux Gemstone Cabochons with Glamour FX Glass and Bella Paint.

I've been so excited about this project I couldn't work quickly enough to photograph it and get the tutorial online. Wow! Are these every beautiful and easy to make!

Imagine a project that's practically goof proof, looks as expensive and opulent as these pieces, that doesn't break the bank!

For example, this is your shopping list, some of which I'm sure you already have on hand:


If you want to use the findings shown, then shop the 

There are two absolutely free tutorials that show you step-by-step how to make these.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Photo Jewelry - Why Are My Pendants Turning Blue?

It's a daily frustration for many people, and I should know because I receive the phone calls and emails from frustrated crafters who've learned the hard and expensive way that packing tape, MicroGlaze, and nail polish do not prevent the dreaded blue tint you see in the example above.

What's going on? Why do some pendants turn blue, others green, and some never turn colors? 

The answer is simple: the pendant trays that are copper and bronze are plated with real copper and real bronze, both of which oxidize (change colors) when exposed to water. Chances are pretty good your adhesive is water based. Put the water based adhesive and the bronze or copper plated pendant trays together and you've got trouble.



What is MicroGlaze? It's a beautiful citrusy-smelling wax that is meant to protect inkjet prints and other water based inks from smearing when being handled. Like on the cover of a scrapbook. It's also versatile, and I've used it to protect silver jewelry from tarnishing. I love how it smells. I love how it works and how easy it is to use. I love the stuff.

But it's not the right product to make photo jewelry. 

Desperate and frustrated emails flood into my mailbox that their water based glaze is not sticking to the images that are coated with MicroGlaze. Why is it their glaze is peeling off their images? Because MicroGlaze is a wax. 

Let's break it down. 

What happens when it rains on your freshly waxed car? Does the water bead up on it and allow the rain to effortlessly flow from your car? Does the wax repel the rain water? The answer is yes.

So why would you use wax with your water based glaze if the wax prevents them from sticking to each other? If you knew MicroGlaze was a wax, you'd probably not use it for photo jewelry. But someone probably pinned a tutorial they never really used to Pinterest, and the rest is history.

Additionally, you cannot use wax with epoxy resins. The wax will flake off the image surface and float to the top of the resin. You can use it around the resin, such as on the sides of the image, but not on the surface.

And for those of you inquiring, MicroGlase is not an adhesive. It's a wax.

Packing Tape.

This one is my favorite to debunk because the idea that packing tape is a good idea is funny to me. 

First, the water based glaze is never going to dry sandwiched between plastic and glass because it needs air to dry (water dries with air), so you end up with a cloudy film for days and weeks on end. If you're anything like me, you don't have days and you don't have weeks to sit around and wait.

Second, you know the packing tape ends where the edge of the paper is and you know while it sits around for the next 3 weeks drying, the moisture is going to seep into the paper on those edges.

Third, it looks less than professional.

Fourth, packing tape is sticky and picks up fingerprints as you handle it. You will see these (ie. your) fingerprints in your finished work. Lovely.

These points 4 aside, the concept makes sense, but as you may already know, it simply doesn't work, and gives inferior results.

Nail Polish.

Without going into too much detail, here are some basic facts about nail polish:

1. It will yellow
2. It doesn't work
3. It will yellow


 Glamour Seal for Photo Pendants
I've been helping people make photo jewelry for many years now. My first kit launched in May 2008, and I've written and revised many tutorials and kits since then. Because my company is founded on helping people and solving problems, having issues like smearing inkjet prints and images turning blue have really bothered me. The status quo was not OK for me, and it's not OK for you. As a result, I've spent the past few years researching adhesives and working with manufacturers to develop the ideal adhesive for inkjet prints, while avoiding discoloration due to metals on some pendant trays.

And I have the answer. A lovely, fantastic, affordable answer.

The answer is Glamour Seal which can be used with both laser prints and inkjet prints. It will not cause your pendant trays to turn funky colors. Since January 2013, we've been successfully helping photo jewelry businesses and hobbyists alike make the most beautiful jewelry using Glamour Seal.

Some facts about Glamour Seal.
Glamour Seal will not cause inkjet prints to smear
Glamour Seal will not cause your pendant trays to turn blue or green
Glamour Seal is a strong adhesive
Glamour Seal is a sealant
Glamour Seal can be used with inkjet prints and laser prints and scrapbook paper and Chiyogami paper, etc.
Glamour Seal dries faster than water based glazes
Glamour Seal is very affordable
Glamour Seal is shipped internationally
Glamour Seal is odorless and safe to handle
Glamour Seal is the definitive answer!

Below are 2 example pendants made with Glamour Seal. Images compliments of Piddix.com

And here are just a few actual customer testimonials Glamour Seal has received:

Glamour Seal Customer Testimonials:

Finally!! Something that works on Inkjet printers YAY!!”

“Finally, I found a product that works with my pendants! Speedy delivery and wonderful customer service. Thank you!”

“Great product!”

“AMAZING PRODUCT!!! Just what I needed!”

“This stuff is GREAT!!”

“Exactly as described, excellent product and price. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!”

“Great product!! It works wonderfully on my inkjet prints for my glass pendants. I would definitely recommend Annie Howes Glamour Seal.”

“I used it ....and....BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clear beautiful image under glass! THANK YOU SO MUCH!”

“I know you’re a very busy lady but I just wanted to let you know how wonderful
your glamour seal is! It has solved all my problems regarding color bleeding.
I don't get nervous anymore when I get a glass tile order.
Thanks you so much for taking the time to help me solve this major issue I WAS having!”

“This stuff really works well! The more you add, the less bubbles on the glass and it dries crystal clear. Great product.”

“I am obsessed with this product! Tried everything and this is BEST!! I will repurchase soon :)”

“Finally a product that works! Will definitely buy from seller again!”

“The Glamour Seal is great! It isn't hard to use & works well :-)”

“Great product. I use it religiously.”

“Love this product. It's a reorder.”

“Finally! A product that seals the pictures for my glass jewelry, but doesn't make the colors bleed. I've tried countless different ways, but this is the first product that does exactly what it said it would. It works like a charm and only a small amount is needed so it will last a really long time!”

“This product is amazing! It truly is the best for glass pendants! I have struggled for so long with many, many different products. Air bubbles were a constant issue, sometimes processing the same project 10 times just to get a clear bubble free result. I wish I would have tried this product sooner! Now my pendants come out clear the very first time! 5 star product!”

“Really really quick shipping and product works perfectly (the only product I have found that works perfectly...and I've tried quite a few!!!)”