August 4, 2014

A Paleo Necklace... (or How to Use Up Leftover Odds and Ends)


I mentioned a couple of posts back about how I decided to pack up my jewelry-making tools and supplies, but before I did so I had been working to use up lots of my leftover beads, bits, and odds and ends...and so this necklace was born. 

I call it my 'Paleo' necklace because it kind of reminds me of Wilma Flintstone's necklace!


(In case you're not familiar with The Flintstones it was a popular American cartoon in the 1960s about a paleolithic stone age family and their neighbors...I'm not sure if it was popular outside of the US?)


I always have loads of leftover bits of chain from my various jewelry projects but they're usually too short to use as the foundation for a whole new necklace. So what do you do with those stubby little three- and four-inch bits? Why not make them a featured part of the design rather than the foundation of a whole piece?


I gathered several scraps of chain in various metals and decided I had enough for two sections of  several inches on each side of the necklace. I linked them all together at each end with a large, heavy gauge jump ring.


I then chose a few large, faceted and drilled pieces of rock crystal for their neutral color and artistic shape to act as the focal beads. I strung them on beading wire with small silver-plated beads in between each stone and simply crimped them to the jump rings connecting the various chains. I also added crimp covers over the exposed crimps to keep things looking neat and tidy.


To finish things off I added a single strand of chain at the top of each group of chain (again with a large, heavy-gauge jump ring) to give the necklace a little length and to keep it from being too bulky around the back of the neck. I added a simple but sturdy lobster clasp to complete it. Using a single length of chain around the back also allows me to adjust the length of the necklace whenever I want--if I want it to be shorter, I can just hook the lobster clasp farther down the chain.


I really love the look of this piece. I am a big fan of mixing metals in jewelry, and with the simple (yet bold) rock crystal focal pieces, this necklace could be worn with just about any color or outfit you can think of!


I think it really makes a simple, lovely and classy statement! 

Do you like the look of mixed metals in your jewelry? How do you use up old beads and jewelry scraps? I'd love to know.

Sarah

Linking up with:

10 comments:

  1. This is fabulous! doesn't even look like you were trying to use up scraps :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was so easy to put together, and it's the perfect 'neutral' yet bling-y necklace to go with everything!

      Delete
  2. I have always been envious of women who can make their own jewelry! It is completely unknown territory for me, but I have to admit, often a lot of the pieces start to look the same. You've managed with these scraps to create a totally original look, that doesn't AL ALL look like you've made it.

    I would have thought this was designer.

    And I'm sorry. Paleo necklace....that is just hilarious! The perfect accessory to go with the Paleo diet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Angela, you are too kind! The 'making' part of it was easy...but making it look designer? That was just a happy accident lol. I agree, a lot of homemade jewelry can start to look the same, so it was really fun to create something totally different than my usual style.

      And since the paleo diet craze is EVERYWHERE these days, why not in accessories as well? (although maybe that's where the tribal fashion craze comes in...?)

      Delete
  3. Simple, Elegant. One of my faves you've made. Where do you get your materials? I've tried, and failed, with Joanne Fabrics and Michael's. Please advise :-) You're sooo talented!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I get most of my basic findings and supplies (chain, jump rings, crimp beads, etc.) at Michael's--Michael's is about an hour away from where I live, but they have a fairly decent selection and I just make due with what they have when I can't find exactly what I'm looking for. Many of my beads I've been collecting for years from all sorts of sources, and while Michael's has a so-so assortment of beads, my favorite beads usually come from dedicated bead stores. When I lived in Seattle I LOVED Fusion Beads, and they do a pretty good mail order business for folks outside of WA. The large faceted rock crystal beads in this piece came from a trunk show I visited in Longmont, CO a couple of years back when I lived in Boulder. My suggestion is to check out local bead stores whenever you travel or make it to a big city (if you don't live near one currently)--I've collected beads from multiple countries and cities and it makes for a great supply when I'm trying to create something unique!

      Delete
  4. Stopping by from Think Pink Sunday.
    I love the look of this. It's very much a statement piece yet it looks very easy to make. Nice job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks! It was quite easy to make and really adds that certain something to any outfit it's paired with. I appreciate you stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful necklace! I looove all about it! Visiting from Toes Flamingo link party! Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have an awesome week!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ana, I'm so glad you like it! It was fun to make AND fun to wear!

      Delete

Got a question or comment? My ear is yours.