December 10, 2009

$$Frugal Friday Tips$$

Custom Colored Gems and Pearls by Megan
Why spend money on a bunch of colored gems when you can make your own custom colored gem
s and pearls with permanent markers?

I always end up with too many or not enough of a certain color and this has been a great way to always have the color I need easily available.

The solution: cut the individual gems off the backing sheet or just cut them away from the rest of the strand and then color them with a marker. "Sharpies" and "Bic Mark It" are the two main brands, and the sets come in lots of colors.

Once your gems are colored, you can cut them away from the strand with an exacto knife and then use the knife to place the gem onto your project. When you have the gem set into place, then you can press it down onto your project with your finger. The possibilities are endless!

Here are several projects that use this technique—some use clear gemstones that have been custom colored and others use white pearls.

Megan has a full step by step photo tutorial posted on her blog: Made by Design . If you use this or any of our other "Frugal Friday Tips - please send a picture and a brief description to and we will share it here on the blog.

If you have a frugal tip you'd like to share please send it along with pictures - your tip could be featured as our next $$Frugal Friday Tip$$.

Don't forget our "December Scrap Challenge". You could be our first Guest Design Team Member. See all the details below.


  1. Great tip Megan. I'm going to have to try this. Is this safe for scrapbook pages?

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. The gems and pearls are made for scrapbooking, so the adhesive is already acid free. The sharpie markers are not labeled as acid free, but the Bic Mark Its are. Honestly, I've used both in my own scrapbooks and haven't had any problems. The colored part of the gem is on top, so it's not the part that would be touching your photos, etc. Hope that helps! :)

  3. Love this idea Megan! I have to try it soon, I always have gems that are too long or not the right shade, especially red. Red never looks right. TFS

  4. Good idea, thanks for sharing :)

  5. Great idea, Megan! I usually do this with alcohol inks, but the markers seem like it would be quicker. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Such a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great tip! This is going to save me a ton of money! Thanks for sharing your secret! :)