ECT TV Episode 23: How to Make a Stretch Ring and Dealing with Creative Fears

ECT TV Episode 23
This week on Emerging Creatively Tutorials we’ll talk about creative fears and I’ll teach you how to make a stretch ring that you can even make with kids!  (No special tools required!)

Here’s the video for ECT Episode 23:

Trigger alert:  I talk a lot about snakes in this video and my fears surrounding them that I am working on.  I just wanted to let you know because a few months ago even the word snake would make me fixate on snakes for the rest of the day and have major anxiety and probably nightmares.  (There are no photos of snakes, I promise!)

To skip to the tutorial, go to 13:21 in the video.

Fear and Creativity

I know that fears are such a big factor in keeping people from being creative.  It has affected me, too.

You may have one of these fears (or all of them…or different ones) surrounding creativity:

  • Not being perfect
  • Looking stupid
  • Spending too much money on supplies
  • Messing up the supplies that you have
  • Not knowing how to do something

I myself have had all these fears, especially not being perfect, looking stupid and being laughed at.

The thing of it is that fear is here to protect us – that’s it’s main job.  In this instance, however, we are not actually in danger.  There are no wild bears chasing us!

In fact, when it comes to creative fears it’s even more counterproductive because those fears keep you from creating and then you end up not expressing yourself and feeling like there’s something missing in your life.

In fact, had I listened to my fears I would never have even started this video series!  Now videos are one of my favorite things and I spent years avoiding them.

I still fear they’re not perfect (they’re not!), but I have let go of looking stupid and being laughed at by now, though my first several videos I was definitely still worried about all of those things.

A Creative Fear Story:

When I was a kid (like most kids!) I was really creative.  I loved to draw, paint, make cards, mold things with clay and make jewelry, among other things.  When I got into high school I took an art class.  I don’t remember exactly what the teacher said to me, but I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be in his class.

So I dropped the class.

I didn’t try to draw or paint for years.

A few years ago I started getting interested in trying painting.  I started out with really simple things.  For example, I wanted a specific look for my wedding invitations and some of the things for my wedding – a specific branch.  So I tried (and succeeded) painting the branches I wanted.

I showed the first painting I made in the video.  Actually it’s a mixed media piece.  I love that piece and I don’t really care about what anyone else things.

I slowly lost my fear of painting and making art.

Flower Mixed Media Painting

If I had continued to listen to my fears a piece of my creativity, part of my self-expression, would be missing.  There would be a hole in my life.

I’ve even had creative blocks when it comes to jewelry making.

I would be so afraid to use sterling silver because I didn’t have confidence in myself.  Sterling silver is expensive and I didn’t want to mess it up.

That’s why I often teach to use less expensive materials until you feel more confident and comfortable.  The more you practice, the less afraid you become.

Whatever your creative fear is, you can face it one very tiny step at a time.

What can your first tiny step be?

In today’s episode, I’m teaching a simple, inexpensive ring so you can start feeling creative right away!

Stretch Ring Tutorial:

Stretchy Button Ring Tutorial

This is a great quick and easy tutorial that you could even have the kids make!  It takes very little materials and no tools.  It’s super cute.

You can make a bunch and stack them.  Try making some without the buttons to go with the button rings as well.  Or use a focal bead instead of a button.  Use your creativity and express yourself.

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialMaterials:

  • Stretchy Bead Cord
  • Buttons (one or more per ring)
  • Small beads (you could use seed beads or other tiny beads
  • Scissors

Step #1

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialCut off some elastic cord.  Measure the amount you need to go around your finger and add a few inches on each side.

You can get the stretch cord at craft supply stores or jewelry stores.

Step #2

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialI used 2 beads for my ring and stacked them.  The first one was a shank button, so I just slid the cord through and centered the button.

Step #3

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialThen slide the other button so it will actually be under the shank button.  You can also stack flat buttons or just use one button.

Step #4

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialStart adding beads to the cord.  Just add as many as you need to go around your finger.

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialStep #5

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialNext you’ll tie a knot in your ring.  It is close to impossible to see how to do this on invisible stretchy cord, so I’ll show you with yarn instead.

I believe this is a surgeon’s knot.

First make a tie, like you are starting to tie your shoe.

Step #6

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialTie another knot like the first, but DON’T pull it tight yet.

Step #7

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialTake the loose cord on the right and wrap around and through the hole again.

Step #8

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialNow do the same on the left side, too.  Your basically just wrapping the end in and around the knot.

Step #9

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialPull the knot tight.

Step #10

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialTest the knot by pulling it and putting the ring on your finger before cutting off the ends.  When you’re satisfied that your knot will hold, then trim the ends close to the knot.

Note:  Some people like to place a bit of glue on the knot.  I have never done this and never had any issues with this kind of knot.

Step #11

Stretchy Button Ring TutorialEnjoy your new ring and make tons of them!!


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