Who needs expensive jewelry (save for that dazzling diamond ring from Mr Right) when you can DIY? Here are our top 10 ideas on how to create amazing pieces for next to nothing.
Whether you have the DIY gene or not, some fashion jewelry trends beg to be recreated on a minimal budget. If you’re always looking for new ways to accessorize and enhance your look with new jewelry pieces but don’t want to spend your savings on expensive jewelry, you can always explore the vast realm of handmade jewelry.
1. Hand Painted Bangles
Bangles are great summer accessories because they can be worn individually or stacked together by combining several items with different patterns. Hand painted bangles allow you to experiment with designs and colors, achieving unique results. For this project, you’ll need inexpensive wood or plastic bangles from any crafts store (or from your discarded jewellery box), masking tape and paint. Acrylic colours are best because they are water resistant, but in a bind, you can use nail polish. Use the tape to delineate your design, then apply the paint between the tape borders. Let it dry and remove the tape stripes. That’s it!
2. Beaded Earrings
You can create all types of statement earrings using small or large beads, including fancy dangles, elegant teardrops, exquisite chandeliers or even chic hoops. There are countless designs for beaded earrings, so if you don’t have a particular design in mind, you can look for inspiration here. When you choose your beads, see if the color matches your complexion, and think about what you’d like to accessorize them with. Note, any earring project begins with a small initial investment in basic supplies such as earring hooks, fishing wire and pliers.
3. Beaded Bracelet
Creating an eye-catching beaded bracelet to go with those earrings is an excellent idea. When it comes to beaded bracelets, the sky is the limit – look for free online tutorials on beading and weaving techniques, and experiment with color, bead sizes and length. For a more unusual beaded bracelet, you could try making a trendy Shamballa bracelet. Depending on color, these have a spiritual meaning–standing for love, peace and enlightenment–and were inspired by Buddhism.
4. Multiple Strand Necklace
If you’re comfortable with small beading projects such as earrings and bracelets, consider moving on to multi strand necklaces. These necklaces are elegant and can add a touch of sophistication to any look. They can be long or short, depending on your preference and the effect you’re after. Statement necklace are here to stay, so consider using gemstones, fabrics and other unexpected materials in your creation to elevate an otherwise simple outfit. For a very detailed tutorial, click here.
5. Woven Bracelets
With everything ethnic inspired dominating the runways and the streets, it’s no wonder woven bracelets – often called friendship bracelets – are hotter than ever. And yes, we mean those multi colored yarn bracelets you made at camp and sported all throughout the school year. Those of you who were particularly popular may remember wearing a number of these bracelets simultaneously. Once you get the hang of the weaving technique you’re after, your hands will act automatically – meaning you can complete this project while watching TV or listening to music. Soon you’ll have enough bracelets to hand out to your friends…
6. Wire Wrapped Pendants
Beautiful stones deserve their day in the sun, and nothing showcases them front and center like a pendant. To create the pendants you’ve been dreaming of, you’ll need to learn how to use wire wrap your stone, but for the most part it’s an intuitive process. Here’s a simple and clear tutorial that will inspire you to create special pendants you’ll wear repeatedly. As for materials, other than your stone of choice (make sure it has a flat back), you’ll need metal wire, pliers and patience.
7. Wire Wrapped Rings
Unlike wire wrapped necklaces, these rings require prior measuring of the finger and careful work to ensure that the final result is wearable. Once mastered, wire wrapping is a simple freehand technique for gemstone setting that delivers an impressive high-end look for a small budget. Though typically wire wrapped rings feature large gemstones, you can select a stone size and color that complements your finger shape, style and skin tone. For a fun keepsake, try using your birthstone with your metal wire of choice. Teach yourself all you need to know by going to this comprehensive resource.
8. Braided Leather Bracelets
Leather is timeless, but in the warmer months it can be unbearable to wear. Leather bracelets are a great way to sport the fabric without breaking a sweat, or the bank. Use scrap leather from an unwanted garment, or purchase leather rope at any crafts or fabrics store, in addition to metal clasps for closure. If you’re opposed to using leather, imitation leather will work just as well and is even more durable to wetness. Once you have your supplies, go wild with your imagination: create a long brain you can wrap around your wrist several times with a tie closure for a bohemian look, or go for a polished leather cuff in a bright trendy color like yellow, embellished with rhinestones or embroidery.
9. Hand Stamped Jewelry
Stamping jewelry with letters and messages is a great way to create a personalized and affordable gift or a piece with a special meaning for you. Surprisingly, stamping can be done on any metal, not just silver, gold and platinum. You can surprise your loved one or friends by offering them hand stamped jewelry made just for them, with special messages that’ll ensure they cherish the piece for years to come.
10. Charm Bracelets
Some people use charms to record memorable events in their lives, others to express themselves symbolically through the small charms they select carefully. Initial letters, hearts, flowers and animals to pieces with more personal meanings, charm bracelets should never be generic.
Once you feel comfortable using supplies and applying the techniques introduced above, dream up ways to challenge yourself and aim to make jewelry that expresses who you are. You may not develop a career in jewelry design, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t personalize your pieces and leave your unmistakable ‘signature.’ It’ll all be worth it the first time someone asks you where you got your must-have accessory, and you proudly proclaim “actually… I made it”.
Feature photo: unsplash.com