Harry Potter Nail Varnish [Amortentia – Franken]

Harry potter month

Today, I have something completely different to share as part of Harry Potter month, a bit of an experiment if you like! Feel free to let me know whether you love it, hate it, like it or couldn’t care less! Also, fair warning, I am absolutely NOT a nail blogger, so apologies for the photo quality!

Here’s a thing you probably don’t know about me – I’m nail varnish obsessed. Like, I have over 100 bottles…BUT, I’m so lazy and impatient I rarely use them!  I happily get lost in blogs like The Nailasaurus, but I actually attempt nail art maybe three or four times a year, and I only paint them once a month or so.  I get fed up when it takes more than 2 coats, or when a nail varnish comes out streaky, or when I attempt nail art and get a mess…

But the one thing I do love – finding a new colour.  Coming home with that new exciting colour and testing it out.  So, that led to my experiments with making my own colours.  There’s two main methods – frankening (mixing polishes you already own) or making polishes from scratch.  I play around with both methods, and I’ve made a Harry Potter inspired varnish both ways this month!

I figured Harry Potter Month was a perfect excuse to share my first Harry Potter inspired franken polish!


Now, I usually don’t wear pink … well, anything to be honest, but Amortentia was just such a fun inspiration I couldn’t resist! Things I was aiming for with my polish:

  • Pink or purple colour – I didn’t want anything too ‘in your face’ because hey, the person you’re dosing with Amortentia shouldn’t be suspicious 😉
  • Mother of pearl sheen – I knew this would be hard but I wanted to try anyway!
  • GLITTER – Fun fact, in nail varnish (though virtually nothing else) I’m a sucker for glitter. I wanted lots of tiny glitter with a few larger pieces, just to make it slightly complex, but only at second glance (back to that not too in your face thing)
  • Scent

Here are the polishes I pulled out as potentials:

IMG_0656[1] IMG_0655[1]IMG_0658[1]

I know this is a huge number of polishes, but I wanted them all laid out so I could see my inspiration before I started!  To get an estimate of how much I used – these photos were taken after I made the polish, and each of these bottles was full before I started.

The mixture is made up of:
  • Pretty much equal amounts (to about 2/3 of the bottle)
    • Barry M – A limited edition pink glitter my sister bought me for Christmas one year, (5th from the left)
    • Maybelline – Love Lilac (far right)
    • Rimmel Metal Rush – Pearly Queen (3rd from right)
  • A generous helping of Maybelline – Sugar Crystals (4th from right)
  • A small part of the three polishes on the far left,
    • George glitter Champagne,
    • Rimmel Space dust – Aurora
    • Unnamed Claire’s glitter polish which is dark red and black.
  • A tiny bit of essential oil (vanilla)

The final result:


The finished bottle | Blurry photo to show the glitter/colour flashes more clearly

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  It didn’t really end up with that pearly sheen I wanted (no matter how much of the Rimmel Pearly Queen I added) but I like the effect.  It’s a discreet enough colour that I can wear it at work, but up close the glitter really gives it that extra layer, and the colour changes in different lights really give it that complex ‘hidden things’ look I was going for! The scent is pretty much lost in the polish, but I didn’t want to add too much and run the risk of screwing up the mixture, so something for future experimentation I think.

All in all, not bad for my first Harry Potter inspired franken!

As I said before, this is the first time I’ve posted a bookish inspired polish, and I’d love to know whether you’d like more of these posts/would rather watch paint dry/couldn’t care less either way, so please let me know!

Harry Potter bookmarks [Hufflepuff & Gryffindor]

Harry potter month

Here’s a book crime I’m guilty of: never having a bookmark.  And when I do, they’re usually something strange like an empty chocolate bar wrapper (honestly) or a receipt.  For example, my current bookmark of choice is a Pokemon card (Pikachu if you’re curious).

So this weekend I thought I’d spend a little bit of time and design some bookmarks, mostly just for something fun to do.  Then I thought, hey, I could show some Slytherin love with my bookmark.  Once I thought abolut it a little longer, I decided to make a few for each house so I could share them as part of Harry Potter month too!  So, that’s exactly what I did.hufflepuff bookmark 3

They’re very simple (I’m definitely not an artistic or photoshop talented person), but I like them anyways 😉 They’re all the same design – house coloured with the Pottermore logo – and for each house I’ve got one blank, and three with quotes or traits related to the House. (Partial logic for only using one design is that you could print them back to back if you wanted, which appeals to me more than having a white or mismatched reverse side)

Today I’m sharing the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff bookmarks.  I’d print them out and take a photo of them in use only my printer has decided it wants to print in black or white only, so that doesn’t work so well!  You should be able to download them from the link below and print them straight out.  Obviously if you want them to be a bit more durable you could print them onto card rather than paper, which is what I’d recommend.

Hufflepuff & Gryffindor bookmarks

The Gryffindor ones are a bit dark on my screen, but they’re clear when I print them out, even in greyscale, so I’m hoping they should work.  If not let me know and I’ll see if I can adapt them.

How to: Harry Potter (or other fandom) glass pendants

Harry potter month

Occasionally, I like to pretend I’m a creative person, and I find something on Etsy (usually in somewhere far away like Canada!) and I think “I wonder if I could make that instead”.  That’s basically what started this project – I found a few I liked online, but none that were absolutely perfect, and I wanted to make my own!

They were surprisingly easy – after I found my images it took me less than twenty minutes to make all three – so I’m telling you how I did it in case you want to give it a go (you know you do!)


The finished pendants (bear in mind photos were taken before they were dry/I’d cleaned them up a bit, because I was too excited to share!)

You will need:

  • Glass cabochons
    (I used 19mm ones bought on ebay)
  • Images the same size as your cabochons
  • Bezels for your cabochons
  • Glue
    (I used glue from the jewellery section of a craft shop, but others report good results from standard PVA)
  • Paintbrush
  • Jump rings & pliars
    (may or may not be required depending on your bezel)


What to do:

Step 1: Find your images

This is the fun, but also tricky, bit! I had so many ideas, it took me a long time to pinpoint my first few images (and I can definitely see how this could be addictive!)

I chose to make mine in Photoshop, but you could also try using magazine images or (if you’re brave!) pages from an old book .

Cut them out to the same size and shape as your cabochons and you’re ready for step 2!


Step 2: Check your images & cabochons fit


Check your cut out image, and your cabochon, fit into your bezel well!  As you can see above, my bezel was a tiny bit too big (perhaps 20mm), but I naively thought I’d stick the cabochon central and you wouldn’t be able to tell…

See the Harry Potter quote at the top? I should have measured better!


Step 3: Stick it all together!

This bit is really really easy! Use your paintbrush to coat the inside of the bezel with a little bit of the glue, and stick your cut out image in.  Then coat the back of the cabochon with some more glue and stick it on top of the image!

You could stick the image to the glass first but I found it hard to get the glass centrally over the image and to make sure the image was at the right angle within the frame.


Step 4: Leave it to dry

I gave mine around 24 hours to be sure they were dry.  Any glue I’d managed to get in the wrong place came off easily with my finger nails, but if you’re struggling I suspect a little nail varnish remover and a cotton bud would do the job.


Step 5: Add a jump ring (optional), thread it on a chain & wear!

If your bezel doesn’t have one, add a jump ring to the top so that you can thread it onto a chain.

Thread it onto a chain (or cord, or choker, or whatever else suits your style).

Wear and show your fandom pride!

What do you think? Would you give these a go? And what shall I put on my next one?! (Though I have a few ideas…)

250 Word Review: Junk-Box Jewelry, Sarah Drew

250 Word Review: Junk Box Jewelry, Sarah Drew

Summary (From Goodreads.com)
This beautifully illustrated guide shows teens how to create eye-catching jewelry out of found or recycled objects—at very little cost. Some fun projects include making pendants out of pebbles; sewing a stylish cuff using scraps of fabric; and fashioning a funky charm bracelet out of extra screws, washers, and other toolbox trinkets. The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions are suitable for both beginner- and intermediate-level crafsters. This book also provides bonus tips on the tools you need to get started, where to find materials, and how to make money from your jewelry.

Title: Junk Box Jewelry
Author: Sarah Drew
Length: 112 Pages

Photographs: ★★★★
Techniques: ★★★
Writing/Projects: ★★★
Overall: ★★★

My opinion:
The writing in this book is good: clear, easy to follow instructions, with just enough of the author’s personality shining through to prevent the book becoming dry or dull.  The photographs are great: clear & crisp.  Interesting angles and close ups make the chapter title pages intriguing, which makes you want to read on.

An impressive variety of projects is included, especially when you consider there’s only 25 in total.  Earrings, rings, bracelets, cuffs, chokers, necklaces and hair bands are all featured.

In terms of jewellery making techniques, the book focused rather heavily on wire-wrapping.  However, this is a cheap way to upcycle old or broken jewellery, and so although it isn’t my favourite method, it does fit well with the theme of the book.

Materials-wise, everything from sea glass, old beads, washers, broken jewellery, twigs and charms are included, which means readers almost certainly will have items lying around appropriate.

I found the actual jewellery featured to be a little too gaudy for my tastes – but the techniques were useful and adaptable – simply include more or less beads or colours to fit your individual style.  My pre-teen sister also LOVED most of the projects, so I think it’d be a great book for a teenage girl.  For younger teens (like my sister, 10-14 or so), I think a gift of the book, some pliers, maybe some extras like cheap jewellery or shrink plastic, and an afternoon to work together would be an EXCELLENT gift.

Buy it? As a gift certainly, for myself it’s more of a library book
In a nutshell: Good techniques, ideal gift for a youngish girl.