Thursday, June 28, 2012

Heirloom Statement Necklace (DIY)

This romantic heirloom necklace was handed down to me by many generations of grandmas and great grandmothers who's necklines it graced at numerous balls and weddings.
Okay, that's not true at all, I just made this necklace this morning, but wouldn't you agree that it has a beautiful, inherited feel to it?

(I'd like to thank today's record breaking heat for giving me that 'dewy'  look and an instant sunburn the moment I walked outside.  I could almost hear my skin sizzle)

I was inspired by this breathtaking necklace from Ruche.  When I stumbled across it in the lookbook, I imagined stringing together a collection of estate sale rings and brooches.  I didn't have any gorgeous estate sale jewelry on hand, but I did have a giant bag of costume jewelry from the outlet center, remember that great find?  My version certainly isn't an exact match to the Ruche necklace, but I am definitely happy with the result.

Costume jewelry is great because its trendy and cheap, (usually made of low quality metal).  Its fun to wear and -since its so inexpensive- there's no guilt in donating the pieces as soon as they go out of style.  I don't buy much of it myself, but I love collecting outdated things from thrift stores to re-purpose.

You will need:
a handful of brooches, earrings or rings
wire clippers
a segment of chain (about 8 inches long)
jump rings
necklace clasp

<------ Find jewelry that is designed with plenty of holes like this earring, the jump rings will go through these holes to connect the pieces.

Use the clippers to remove backings and posts from your jewelry.  If  you are left with a stub that scratches your neck, try sanding it down.  If that doesn't work, cover it with a thick drop of nail polish or two.

Lay the pieces on a flat surface and play with them until you are happy with the arrangement.

Use the jump rings to connect your pieces.
Attach the clasp to your chain segment and connect it.

I picked gold toned pieces and pearls for this project, but silver tones and gemstones would be gorgeous, too.  Next, I want to try this technique to create a few chunky bracelets for myself.  If you are one of those people with a dusty box of giant 1990's earrings hiding in your closet that you just cannot part with, then this project is calling your name!  Come on, give them a new life, and when you get bored with this jewelry, just tuck them away until we figure out a new way to wear them.
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