Friday, December 2, 2011

Thrifty Jewelry Christmas Gifts - Part 2

From my post the other day here, you know part of our Thanksgiving weekend was spent gettin' crafty.  My sisters, sisters-in-law, Mom, daughters and niece have an annual tradition of a big craft day.  We spread out all over my mom's big table and talked, laughed, ate chocolate cinnamon bears and the occasional piece of pie, and just had a great time together.  These are some of what we made:

Today I'm going to show you what else we did.  My sister Kristen (with help from SIL Alana) made this really fun interchangeable necklace.

 You can change the bottom row of beads to match your outfit, and it's adjustable from 18" long to around 30" long.  Cool!  The initial cost was a little more expensive, I think it was about $10 for just the chain, but then each bead strand cost only around $5-$10 depending on the beads used.  Still not bad considering each necklace is totally unique to you.

12” of nicer chain
12” of extender chain
4 jump rings
3 lobster clasps
crimp beads

Let me start by explaining the difference between "nicer chain" and "extender chain".  The "nicer chain" is the chain that you'll see mostly.  Kristen bought some cuter, bigger, twisted looped chain that was more expensive.  The "extender chain" was the cheapest stuff they had, just plain regular chain, but it's mostly in the back, so you don't really see it.

Split the nicer chain into two 6" pieces.  Then attach the extender chain with a jump ring at each end.  Now Alana and Kristen were debating over which way to do this next part.  Either you can split the extender chain also and attach a lobster clasp at one end, this is the professional, store-bought looking way.  OR leave the extender chain in one piece, just attaching the lobster clasp on it so when you shorten the chain, you'll have a loop of chain in back instead of a dangling piece.  Either way is fine, it's all in back anyway so it doesn't really matter.  Both ways look good, not cutting the chain is just easier.  Then add a jump ring at either end of the nice chain.  Now your basic chain is done, you're ready to attach the bead string.

This is the fun part.  Make about a 6" long string of beads.  Cut a piece of stringing wire about 8" long, and string on whatever beads you like.  At the ends, string on your crimp bead and lobster clasp, then loop the wire back down and through the crimp bead.  Crimp it.  Do this for as many different bead strands as you like.  This makes a very fun, unique gift.

Now on to the second necklace.  Mine was much easier. :)  I made this necklace which was inspired by this post:

Christmas bead garland - $5 at Michaels and I made 4 necklaces with few beads leftover
Jersey knit material

First of all, I cut a piece of material 2 yards long, but only about 3/4" wide.  You could probably piece it together, I just happen to have a scrap piece that long.  After it's cut, grab one end and start stretching it.  It'll curl in onto itself and make a sort of rope/chord.  My 2 yards of fabric now stretched to 3 yards.  Cut off on end at about 22" for your second string.  This is made in two parts.
Left side - stretched, Right side - not stretched
Then start stringing.  Wrapping the ends with a little tape makes it so much easier.

Slide a bead on down to the middle of your long string, and tie a knot on either side.  Then string another bead, and tie a knot.  I strung 13 beads on the bottom strand and 11 on the second strand.  End each strand with a knot.  Then you'll attach them together with a little hot glue.  Since the material curls in on itself, I uncurled the bottom string, put just a dab of hot glue in it and put the short strand inside it, letting it curl back around it.

Cut off the extra from the inside/short strand, and slide on another bead over the top of the glued part.  Then tie another knot and you're done.  Word of caution, after you're done, it might look a little crooked in places and not lay just right, just wiggle it around and play with it a minute and you'll getting looking right.  DON'T stretch it more, though, not that we had any experience with that (but it wasn't me).  However, if you do happen to stretch it out, we found out that you can undo the whole thing, untieing each knot and do it over again. :)  This is really quick, maybe 30 min, really cheap, and another great gift idea.

Hope you enjoyed our crafting session as much as we did.  My family is the best! We all get along really well and have a lot of fun together.  Love you all!

Help me reach and exceed my goal of 100 followers! I'm so close!


Blissful & Domestic said...

I love the necklaces. What a fun craft day. This makes me miss crafting with my sisters. Thanks fir linking up and sharing;)

Boden said...

Love the necklace with the red beads! ~Jen

Unknown said...

Fun! I really like the red one. :) Jewelry making is such a great hobby! Thanks for linking at Shine On Fridays!

Jamie @ DIY Home Sweet Home said...

These are all so beautiful. Looks like you guys had so much fun making them.
P.S. I have a giveaway going on. Come over and check it out.

Unknown said...

I love this! This is perfect:) I am seriously loving your post! It is so inspirational and informative. I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable ( I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday!

Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
Here's the link:

marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings said...

I love love love the red beaded one I'd love you to add it to what we wore and made party over at

Jenifer Harrod said...

Natasha Mairs - Serenity You said...

Lovin the necklaces~!

Thanks for linking up to serenity Saturday. Hope you can join us again this week

Natasha xx

Kara @ Mine for the Making said...

Youve been featured!!


Unknown said...

they are so pretty!Thanks for your great comment! I enjoy hearing your views.ladies diamond rings

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