One of the projects that I'm working on involves several pieces that can be mixed and matched, and I wanted to make something to neatly display them. Yet another project that I'm working on is related to clouds, and that inspired the cloud design. I also thought that it'd look nice if pendants hanging from the cloud looked like raindrops so that jewelry would not only be decorations for a neck or hand, but also a decoration for a room. This project was pretty quick and simple, and I'm excited to reveal the project that needed this soon. In due time, my friends... In due time...
Step 1: Materials
- wire clothes hanger or heavy gauge wire
- paper + pencils
- yarn or string or fabric scraps (If you're using fabric scraps, you'll need a needle and thread.)
- OPTIONAL: wooden skewer
Step 2: Designing the Cloud
First you have to determine the dimensions of your cloud. How much jewelry do you want hanging from it? If you have tons of necklaces and whatnot, you'll probably want a cloud that's longer horizontally. Keep in mind the amount of wire at your disposal--you only have a clothes hanger or the amount of thick wire that you own. Also, the longer it is horizontally, the weaker the hanger will be (go to the ninth step to see how you can reinforce it if this applies to you).
Draw your cloud shape on a piece of paper for shaping in the next step. Mine was about 7" horizontally and 3.5" vertically.
Step 3: Shaping the Wire
Prepare your fingers for some bending, folding, and coaxing! Take out your wire supply, whether it be a spool of 20 gauge wire or a clothes hanger, and begin using your sketch from the first step to guide your shaping.
If you're using a wire clothes hanger, cut off the top hook unless you want to keep it for hanging. I cut mine off and followed my picture, using pliers and fingers to bend where necessary. Then I cut off my excess wire, making sure that the two cut ends overlapped a little.
Step 4: Color Changes and Fluffiness
The pliers should leave lots of little marks on the clothes hanger, and if you want to hide them and make the cloud fluffy, wrap the cloud shape with yarn. Just tie one end of the yarn to the clothes hanger (where the two cut ends overlap) and start wrapping all around the cloud. I wrapped two layers to make the cloud thicker and add support. When you've gone all the way around, tie the tail from the first knot to the end of your yarn, OR just tie the yarn to wherever you left off (wrap the yarn around the wire before pulling the yarn through the loop that the wrap creates). Dab the knots with glue before cutting off excess yarn.
If you don't have yarn but do have fabric scraps, see the next step.
Step 5: Another Color Change
I realized that my white yarn would blend in with the white walls too well, but I didn't have any dark grey yarn to turn it into a storm cloud. Luckily, my mom had some charcoal fleece, so I cut a long strip of it and wrapped that around the white yarn. Follow these steps if you have fabric scraps to use too.
Start by slanting the strip so that the strip is not perpendicular to the cloud. Then begin wrapping, making sure the cloth is tightly pulled along the clothes hanger. For the pointy bends, see the pictures above on how to tackle them.
If your strips aren't long enough for one go, that's okay. Just make sure to either sew together the strips or wrap the new strip on top of the old one tightly.
Step 6: Ending the Strip
To end the wrapping, you need to sew down the end. Insert your needle and thread (don't forget the knot) into the fabric BEHIND the tail end, then sew through the end, and insert your needle back to the fabric BEHIND the tail end. See the pictures for clarification. Continue sewing along until you are sure of its security before cutting off the excess fabric.
Step 7: String for Hanging
Balance the cloud on your finger to find the center of balance, making sure that the bottom horizontal wire is parallel to the ground. The center of balance is where you want to attach the loop for hanging.
To make said loop, cut out a piece of string and tie a knot to make it a circle. Then make a lark's head knot (see pictures) to secure the loop to the cloud. Add tape and hang up the cloud to check that the bottom wire of the cloud is parallel to the ground.
Step 8: Weaving a Skewer
If you want to provide extra support for additional stability, weave a skewer to the bottom of the cloud. I didn't weave a skewer because my cloud was really stable due to the multiple wraps. But to do this, cut the skewer so that its length is the same as the length of the bottom part of the cloud. Then, to prevent the ends from splintering, put some glue on both ends of the skewer and wait for it to dry. To weave the cloud and skewer together with string:
- Get your string and tie a knot around both the skewer and the bottom wire of the cloud. Dab the knot with glue to seal it before cutting off the excess.
- Wrap the string around both skewer and wire two more times.
- Wrap the string twice around only one of them (wire or skewer, depending on whichever side your string is on).
- Wrap the string twice around the other one.
- Wrap the string twice around the first one again, and continue alternating until you've woven the string all the way down the lengths of the skewer and wire.
- Wrap the string two times around both skewer and wire before tying a knot. Dab some glue on the knot to seal it and wait for that to dry before cutting off excess string.
Step 9: Attaching Jewelry
To attach necklaces and bracelets to the cloud, you can use the lark's head knot (See above for the knot again.) for jewelry without a clasp, or use the clasp to loop necklaces onto the cloud. You can even balance some earrings on it, provided that the cloud isn't super thick. Just be sure to evenly space the jewelry; the cloud can tip over and become slanted.
Now you're finished! Quick and simple, eh? Hang your jewelry on the cloud so that your necklaces can decorate your room in addition to your neck. ^^