I have two rules for a do-it-yourself project: Rule #1: It has to be simple enough that I can competently pull it off so that it truly looks good.
Rule #2: It has to be far cooler than anything I could buy with the kind of money mortals realistically have to shop with.
In other words, I won’t waste my time with making something from scratch that I could pick up finished for ten bucks. And I won’t bring something into my life that looks junky. Jewelry is one of the trickiest types do-it-yourself projects. Unless you’re seven years old, you probably aren’t going to pass off a Shrinky Dink strung on fishing line* for a fresh new accessory. Even if the focal point of your adornment is a wabi-sabi-chic piece of sand-polished driftwood, your perfectly imperfect piece needs to be secured, well, perfectly.
No matter how much I value a rustic or lovingly handmade piece, a few standards are non-negotiable. For example, connections need to be secure and materials must be chosen carefully so that the piece drapes naturally. With spring on the horizon, I turned to some of my favorite DIY bloggers to satisfy my sudden craving for a few new statement necklace. With their tips, I’ll be able to have a ready-to-wear statement piece in no time without spending a ton of cash at Anthropologie or Madewell. Finding DIY options that meet all my criteria was challenging, but I think I scored. Here are my five favorite DIY statement necklaces for spring!
1. New-Age Hardware
image via Honestly…WTF
I love how this necklace is equal parts New-Age bohemian and urban tough-girl. The softness of the faux suede is a perfect foil for the hardware. And when I say hardware, I mean actual washers you find in a bin at your local hardware store. Honestly…WTF gives step-by-step instructions on how to create a box-braid necklace out of microsuede cord that’s interspersed with small, medium, and large washers for a graduated effect.
image via OlgaJazzy
There’s something so appealing about taking a traditional craft and making it feel totally modern. This knit necklace from OlgaJazzy is the perfect example of an age-old craft making the leap from functionally beautiful to beautifully decorative. Plus, it not only knits up fast and easy—it’s actually warm and comfortable to wear.
image via The Etsy Blog
Thanks to Seed Savers Exchange, it’s now possible to find an enormous array of beautiful heirloom beans. They’re delicious and nutritious to cook with, but once they’re boiled, sadly, their graphic detail fades. That’s why the heirloom bean necklace featured on The Etsy Blog is so cool. It’s simple to string up a naturally beautiful necklace—as long as you have a drill with a tiny bit—while your soup simmers away.
image via Shannon Makes Stuff
Pearls are just too prissy without a little something to curb the coy. In her blog Shannon Makes Stuff, Shannon Staker demonstrates how to make a versatile pearl necklace using fresh water pearls and a jet-black grosgrain ribbon. The result is an accessory that’s just as cute with a gray T-shirt and jeans as it is with an LBD.
image via Martha Stewart
With a little dye and some inexpensive unfinished wooden beads, Martha Stewart demonstrates how to create a beautiful monochromatic necklace with lots of beachy, weathered character. For a simple spring-appropriate statement, layer on a couple strands and set them off with a crisp white shirt and jeans.
*Note: I should really come clean—my favorite jewelry item in the world is a shrinky-dink necklace that my 5-year-old son made from a cutout traced from his hand. In all honesty I don’t actually wear it, but it’s draped front and center on a starburst mirror in my bathroom and it brings a smile to my face every day.
How about you—do you have any beloved jewelry items made by the kids in your life? Have you ever made a DIY necklace? Please share!