Thursday, September 29, 2016

9/29/16- The DIY Bracelet

What weird week-- I had a cold, a follow female engineer on my project retired (by choice; I'm sad to see her go but also really happy for her), spent 1-on-1 time with Jack before school today (which was fun and thus hard to focus on engineering and writing later), found out I'll be a speaker at a conference in February (yay, I'm excited!), and Bobby and I made bracelets.  Yup, you read that right, we made jewelry. And it was lot of fun.

Both Bobby and I enjoy DIY (Do It Yourself, for those who may forget or have not seen that acronym before).  Maybe it's the engineer in us, or maybe we need better hobbies, but we like DIY. My DIY preference is on the craft side, and his is on the home improvement side.  I dream of making really awesome crafts-- sometimes I make pretty stuff, and sometimes it's not so pretty.

So I was really excited when I came across Brit + Co, a site that sells DIY kits and the promise that your DIY projects will come out pretty.  And before I go on to rave about the bracelet kit I bought, I want to make it clear Brit + Co didn't pay me to talk about them or that they gave me a free kit to try (although seriously, I would love a free kit). I stumbled across their website when shopping for a friend's birthday gift. I wanted to get my friend a cat shirt; their website had one that said "purr-rito" with a cat wrapped in a tortilla (because you really needed to know that).

It's taken me 6 months to purchase one of their DIY kits.  I kept saying I didn't have the time or that the kits were too expensive.  Then Brit + Co had a 50% off sale, so I finally purchased a kit. I chose the make your own wire bracelet kit. I thought it looked easy enough for my first kit, and I love bracelets.  I knew the kit/bracelet was something I'd used.  It came in this cool box that you get to color (they send you markers!).  Jack was also really into the box and helped Bobby and I color it:

Opening the box I found almost everything I needed to make a wire bracelet: pliers/wire cutters, brass wires, a bracelet bending tool, and instructions. They suggested a ruler too, which did not come in the box, so you'd have to provide your own (I had one of course).  You can kind of eyeball where you need to make bends and cuts, but for the precise, you can use a ruler.  It came with instructions that had pictures, and you can also find additional instructions/information on the Brit + Co website. They give instructions for 3 different type of wire bracelets: zig-zag, crescent, and letters/words (so it spells out hey or such).

I got to work on the zig-zag design after dinner (of this Tuesday).  It took me about 15 minutes to complete (with an assist from Bobby). I had planned to cut the zig-zag bracelet to fit my wrist, but Jack got super interested in what I was making and took the bracelet and pliers from me before I made the cut.  I took back the pliers and let him play with bracelet.  The next night I made the crescent shape bracelet, and Bobby made a letters one.

This time it was after Jack went to bed, so I got to cut my bracelets and fit them to my wrist.  It was a fun activity to do together as a couple, and we've talked about purchasing another kit for the future date nights in (can't go out? date nights in are a close substitute; I'll list some ideas for you in another blog).   We've made 4 out of the 6 bracelets that the kit has and plan to finish the other 2 sometime later this week, maybe with a bottle of wine.  Should be a good time. :-)

We both also realized how much fun Jack had pretending to make the zig-zag bracelet (when he was playing with the bracelet on Tuesday, he tried to twist it like he had seen mommy do). Bobby and I talked about making pipe cleaner and plastic bead bracelets with him in the next week or so. Piper cleaners are easy to twist and string beads on, so there'd be many variations for him to create a unique piece of jewelry.  I am really excited to be able to craft, build, and DIY together as a family.  Being able to DIY together warms my heart-- we're a DIY loving family, what can I say?

Leave me a comment on your favorite hobby, individually or with family and friends!   And check out the final product below. No "Pinterest Fail" this time, haha!  Happy DIY, or what floats your hobby boat, to all!

Link to Brit + Co DIY Kits

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