This past summer, J.Crew had an explosion of exciting necklaces. The colours vibrant, the prices intimidating for a poor publishing professional like myself. I took this challenge to the streets of Toronto.
I hit pay dirt at Chaton Beads at Queen and Bathurst. They had the exact beads from the J.Crew necklace. Same size, shape, detailing… Would have preferred them in blue but I can't complain :D
Edit: I recently learned Chaton Beads has closed. Thus taking my heart with them.
Finding appropriate beads is by far the most challenging part of this DIY. As long as they are a similar tubular shape and length, you're golden. Otherwise the design might not form the way it should. Just be aware you're using lightweight beads because this necklace is heavy. I wore it to work once and whenever I bent over and then straightened up, I got smacked in the chest and temporarily winded. All in the name of fashion!
|The original necklace. (Photo from J.Crew's website.)|
BEADS (55 total), thick chain (like I said, this necklace is heavy!), eye pins, 1 head pin, larger jump rings (small ones just won't support all of your beads), clasp, pliers, round-nosed pliers and wire cutters.
String your first bead onto an eye pin. Using your pliers, bend the wire at a 90 degree angle.
Using your wire cutters, clip the wire so you are left with just under 1 cm.
Using your round-nosed pliers, carefully bend the wire into a loop.
Do this for all of your beads. (One bead goes onto the headpin instead. More about that later!) Using the image of the finished necklace as your guide, start placing the beads in the pattern.
I found it easiest to connect them as I went to avoid the beads going all over the place. I also found it useful to use the pliers to hold and guide the jump rings through each of the loops. Keeping your fingers out of the way allows the beads to remain unjumbled. Take your time. :)
Keep going until you have formed the pattern, connecting the beads with the jump rings.
You're almost done! Now cut the length of chain you want. I cut two pieces of chain at 11 cm (4.5 inches) long each. Use more jump rings to connect both your clasp and your beads to your chain.