I decided on two simple projects: chunky chain and something neon. A few weeks ago, I had fallen in love with this DIY Statement Necklace on 2 Girls, 2 Cities (my new favorite blog, by the way), and was planning to basically recreate Amanda's necklace.
After a trip to Home Depot, where I picked up some lightweight but chunky gold chain at $0.98 per foot, and Michael's, where I scored some silver and bronze chain and two colors of polymer clay, I had at least four projects ready to go.
I already had some basic wire, crimping beads, clasps and pliers at home from other jewelry projects in the past, but these are supplies you'll probably need if you're going to try your own DIY at home.
DIY #1: Chunky Gold Chain Tiered Necklace
This first necklace was by far the easiest of the four. I started by holding it up to me to measure where I'd need to cut it, and then used pliers to pull apart the links. Then, I draped the ends and "tied" them together using gold wire. After I felt they were secure enough -- the chain is a tad heavy even though it's lightweight -- I added the clasps.
I think the whole project took me about 15 minutes, tops, and I'm pretty happy with the result!
DIY #2: Mixed Media Silvery Chain Necklace
For the second project, I wanted to use the silver chain I had found at Michael's in a three-strand long necklace. I started again by laying them against me and determining the best length for each. Once I snipped each chain to the length I thought would work, I started joining all three strands on one end with silver wire. Then I did the same on the other side and added the clasps.
Again, pretty simple! And when I finished up, I had enough of the two smaller chains leftover to make a simple, complementary bracelet.
DIY #3 and #4: Neon Statement Necklaces
Using Amanda's instructions on 2 Girls, 2 Cities as a guide, I started by cutting out patterns for the shapes I wanted to use from lightweight cardboard. Then I used a glass to roll out the clay and a sharp knife to cut the shapes out of the clay, along the edges of the pattern. I will warn that this isn't as easy as it looks, but this was my first time using polymer clay. If I were doing it over again, I'd work a little harder to be sure that I was rolling out perfectly even pieces of clay AND cutting with very precise and straight lines. I mistakenly thought the oven-baking process would cure these minor imperfections, but the clay really holds every fingerprint and uneven edge.
After cutting out the pieces, I lined them up in the shape I wanted for each necklace and made the holes I'd later use to string them together -- it's important to make these holes prior to baking. Then I popped the pieces in my preheated oven according to the instructions on the packet. It's good to ventilate your kitchen while these are baking, because the fumes it lets off aren't that healthy.
|This is about the time I needed a break|
for a beer.
Once they came out of the oven, I started working to string them together, using gold and silver wire. I later attached the chain to each side, using wire and crimping beads. I think Amanda's use of jump hooks is much neater and I'd recommend that. (I didn't have any at home and didn't feel like making another trip to Michael's.) And finally, I attached the clasps to each chain and used hot glue to tack down the wire on the back of each piece so it won't scratch while wearing.
I'm pretty pleased with the finished products, though they aren't as neat as Amanda's statement necklace. Still, I'm looking forward to wearing them this spring and summer, to add a fun pop of trendy neon to my outfits!
Hope this post gives you a few ideas for trying some DIY of your own.