Did you know that chainmail was the earliest form of metal armor and was invented as early as 300BC by the ancient Celts? Used as protective armor for centuries by multiple cultures, it’s still being made today – often in the form of jewelry. It’s a method I was determined to teach myself years ago as a jewelry designer and I’m so excited to share the most simple chainmail necklace tutorial. Don’t let the process intimidate you, it’s actually quite easy! So grab your pliers and let’s get medieval . . .
Start by separating the jump rings into two halves: 175 open and 175 closed.
Thread three closed jump rings onto an open jump ring. Close the ring. Spread the three rings apart, with the rings looking exactly as shown below. The bottom ring will be the end of the necklace and the top two rings, which are spread open over the middle ring, will be where the chain mail begins.
Keeping the rings in place with your forefinger and thumb, take an open jump ring and hook it through the front side of the two rings.
Add 2 closed rings to the open ring and close.
Spread the two rings apart in the same way as the first set of rings. Take another open jump ring and hook it through the front side of the top two closed rings.
Add 2 closed rings and close. Continue the same steps until you’ve reached the desired length.
To add an optional fourth row, lay the necklace flat and hook an open ring through first and second closed rings on the right side. Close the ring. Add another open ring through the second and third ring. Close. Add another through the third and fourth ring and so on. Can you notice a pattern forming?
I stopped at 4 rows but you can continue adding rows for a more bib-like necklace.
Connect the two ends with a single jump ring or clasp.
(top image from here, rest of images by HonestlyWTF)
DIY: Collar Girl.
Oh, the collar necklace. I have to admit... the first time I saw one, I kind of went "whaa!?" I thought they were kitschy and strange - not really my style. Then, (as with nearly every trend,) they grew on me. Big time. Lanvin, Isaac Mizrahi, and countless others have all sent amazing versions down the runway... all equally stunning, all equally expensive. With a few simple materials and a little bit of ingenuity, I was able to get the look... for about $15.00 in materials.
Felt. I made my own because I'm cra-cra and it's way softer than regular old felt (just wash an old sweater in hot water and stick it in the dryer,)
Sequins (I used shiny & matte silver, and gunmetal, but feel free to be more creative. Bright colors would look amazing!)
Start by folding your felt in half and cutting out your collar. You may want to practice with a piece of paper. I took a dress with a peter pan collar and tried to copy it as closely as I can.
There you go... nice little collar! Trim the edges to make it perfect.
Using a glue gun, adhere the rhinestone trim to the top of the collar. Note: I have a general aversion to glue guns. In this case, you have to mold the trim to the collar... the glue gun is the easiest way to do it. Sewing would be tricky, and fabric/gem glue would dry funny. The glue gun is the best option. I recommend reinforcing it later with a few stitches.
Next, glue on your sequins! I wanted a scalloped effect, so I did little circles. (See below.) Aleene's Jewel It is my favorite product for these types of projects. Unlike the glue gun, it is extremely effective. It lasts, even throughout washings, (do not wash this necklace!) dries clear, and remains flexible.
Finish your design and let it dry. Using your needle and thread, sew the sparkly button onto the center. This isn't mandatory, but adds a nice touch.
Voila... so pretty!
To finish your necklace, use the glue gun to attach a long (about 2 feet) piece of satin ribbon. You want a long piece so that you can tie a nice big bow in the back.
And here you have it... the finished product! This ones a statement maker. I tested it out all day yesterday and received so many compliments!
Rose gold is my favorite metal. It's elegant, goes with everything, and it's just a little bit more fun than regular white or yellow gold. I have been obsessed with creating my own minaudiere ever since seeing Honestly WTF's Minaudiere DIY last Spring. Seeing boatloads of glitter all over the runway this year inspired me... I decided to create a glitter covered minaudiere with a crystal ball topper. When I found out that Martha Stewart makes rose gold glitter, I knew what I had to do.
1 and 2. Carefully sand down the sunglass case to roughen up the texture of the case (this step is imperative to ensure that the glitter won't flake off later when it's dried.
3. Mix up a mixture of 2 parts Modge Podge to 1 part glitter in your bowl.
4. Begin painting thin layers of glitter mixture onto your case. Allow to dry thoroughly in between coats.
5. Continue to paint thin layers of the glitter mixture onto the clutch (I used about 5 thin layers.)
6. From there, drill a hole in your sunglass case, where the crystal knob will fit through. I measured to find the center. Pop the crystal knob through the hole, trim the knob with your bolt cutter, and you're done! (Refer toHonestly WTF's post for more details on how this works.) I also opted to add a drop of Gorilla Glue to the base of the knob to further secure it.
And you're done!!! Take your clutch out on the town. It's big enough for all the essentials... cell phone, lip gloss, keys, cash and cards... etc.
And there you have it... the perfect little evening bag without a whole lot of time, effort, or cash!
Tassels - they're everywhere! (If you haven't already, check out my tassel earring DIY, here.) And let's talk about rose gold - my personal metal of the moment, which I wrote about here and here.)
I've been coveting a longer-length tassel necklace (inspiration below...) the sort of thing that you could just throw on with anything. Ann Taylor & Stella and Dot have great versions... but they're all over $60... which made me decide to make my own.
So today, I am going to simultaneously incorporate my two favorite trends: tassels and rose gold, while teaching you (promise) the easiest thing I'll ever show you how to make that will (again, promise!) become a staple in your wardrobe... at least for the next couple seasons.
What you'll need: A large rose gold-tone tassel. I bought this one, a copper jump ring, and rose gold tonechain (about 58".)
Start by attaching your jump ring to the tassel and cutting the chain into two, 29" long pieces. (I played around and while 29" is a random number, I found that it just looked best.)
Then, attach all four ends of the chain to the jump ring. (Two ends should go on each side of the tassel to keep things symmetric.)
And voila! You're done! (Seriously.)
The final result.
Honestly, this one was so easy (takes about 5 min and you can buy all the supplies from one place for under $20,) that I feel like I cheated you guys a bit! But it's such a simple project with such beautiful results, that I don't feel all that bad. I'll be wearing mine constantly.
Saturday Crafts... DIY Necklace, inspired by the DANNIJO Gia
Those who read this blog regularly know that my love of DANNIJO is border-line excessive. I am obsessed. Their stuff is just so fabulous. I've been coveting the Gia necklace for quite some time now. I wrote about ithere and here. It's a tangled mess of brass chains attached to antiqued silver cables, and absolutely to die for. It's the sort of necklace that would go with absolutely everything - dressy or casual.
(The real deal... I die.)
That said, it retails for $370, and as much as I love it, I don't have $370 sitting around right now. So, as you may have guessed, I headed to the trusty bead store and set out to make it myself. I spent about $40 on materials and half an hour to make it.
What you'll need: about a foot of silver cable chain, 6 feet of gold-tone rope chain, 5 feet of a lighter weight gold-tone chain, a silver clasp, and gold & silver tone jump rings. Pliers, wire-cutters, and silver wire will also make your life easier.
Start by dividing the rope chain into 5 sections. (No cutting, just fold it.) Attach a jump ring to each end of the chain.
Then, surround each of the folds with a jump ring (so that the chain can move freely through the jump ring.) You'll have two folds on each side. Attach each jump ring to the first jump ring.
Then, attach the main jump ring to your silver cord. Cut the silver cord in half and repeat the whole process on the other side of the necklace.
Your necklace will now look like this.
Then, attach one end of your lighter-weight chain to the main jump ring. This gets a little tricky as there is now quite a few chains & rings attached to the main jump ring.
Take hold of both ends, and begin to wrap the light weight chain around the heavier weight chains.
Keep wrapping. Wrap loosely, and keep it haphazard to attain a more messy look.
When you only have a bit of chain left, stop wrapping.
Attach the end of your chain to the main jump ring on the other side of the necklace.
You're almost done. Now, just attach a clasp & jump ring to the other ends of the silver cable.
Voila... the finished product.
Throw on a striped t-shirt and make your boyfriend take a picture.
Congrats. You just made something you'll wear constantly... (and saved about $330!) You thrifty, thrifty thing, you! Go shopping with your savings. (Kidding!)