practically free friday #11 – beaded necklace

Back with more beading from the shiny object collection. This time in the form of a simple but bold necklace. I totally love it! To make this I actually disassembled a boring black beaded necklace (long ago) I rarely wore and added some different beads for more interest.

I like the length of this necklace a lot because it’s great for layering with another shorter pendant.

It was a nice pick-me up today – I’ve been feeling totally blah at the office lately and as of today I’m vowing to amp it up style-wise. I start a new job Monday, sort of. A new company is heading up our contract, and while many of my job duties will remain, it’s a bit of a promotion. More responsibilities, more autonomy, and I’ll work directly for the Program Manager. This doesn’t necessitate dressing better but I love the feeling of a new start, so I’ve been thinking a lot about updating my look a bit in conjunction. More to come on that later, cuz now it’s time to think WEEKEND!


practically free friday #8 – make a fast beaded key chain

I’m a bead hoarder but I rarely make jewelry these days.

I was cleaning out the crafty stuff yesterday for a Stuff Swap I’m hosting Sunday and decided to make something superfast. So I made this fun key chain.

To make this, I just found an old keyring and tied two lengths of stretchy jewelry thread to it, and randomly threaded on some beads, knotting the ends. Love it!

One more picture because I think it looks so cool against my chevron patterned desktop.

Instant gratification AND using what I’ve already got – my two favorite things!

Happy happy Friday!!

make your own bib necklace

You know the ones. They look like this, and cost $168 at Anthropologie:

I attempted making one myself today with some felt, ribbon, beads and buttons. {Stuff I already had, ‘cept the $.37 piece of felt.}

First, I cut a template to the shape I wanted, pinned it to the felt, then cut around the template.

I gathered up all the stuff I wanted to pretty-fy my necklace. Ribbon, beads, buttons in a black/ivory/gray color sheme {it’s what I had}.

I made some flowers from the satin ribbon and put a button in the centers. If you don’t know how to make a ribbon flower, it’s super easy: just cut a piece of ribbon, about 5 inches. Stitch along one edge and pull the threads to make a ruffle. Twist the ruffle into a circle and tack. I placed the flowers and stitched them down where I wanted.

Then I added the little stuff to fill in the space. Beads and a piece of chain from a broken necklace. I sewed ribbons to tie the necklace on.

Viola! Here I am, looking smug because my necklace was only $.37. Take THAT*, Anthropologie.

*Admittedly, mine’s not as insane and beautiful, but since these will be out of style in approximately 4 minutes, I am ok with it.

scrappy instant gratification bracelets

I’m working on a research paper this weekend but needed a break mid-afternoon.I decided to whip up a couple bracelets using some scraps of fabric I had lying around {chopped into strips, above}. Since I had nothing to lose, money-wise, I tried a couple different styles just to see how they would turn out.

For this one, I cut long, skinny strips of fabric scraps and braided them together. Easy peasy. I plan to make some braided headbands out of old tee-shirts at some point.

For this one, I sewed a long tube out of a piece of fabric {does it look familiar?}. Then I put a marble in the tube, knotted the fabric. Repeat a couple times til it’s wrist-length. My mom used to make necklaces like this in the 80s! So awesome.

This one’s sorta insane, but I like it. I took lots of scraps of ribbon, fabric, and tulle, and tied them to a hair elastic. This one seems really Utah-crafty to me. Promise not to use it as a scrunchie.

This isn’t that awesome, but I used a couple more scraps to tie together some beaded bracelets I had. This is, if nothing else, and easy way to make them slightly more interesting.

Not bad for zero dollars and zero cents, and about 25 minutes of my day. Happy Saturday!

magazine bead necklace

I’m needing some inspiration to come up with new {and still interesting} outfits every day. I think I’m losing steam because I’m so tired of  my winter wardrobe.

Sometimes the easiest thing to do when I can’t think of what to wear is plan around accessories. I found these paper beads I made in college, and strung ’em on a string. This tutorial is pretty much the method I used… so easy. I did them while watching crappy chick flicks or something.

I’m so happy I found these! Gotta love a free conversation piece for your outfit.

easy button necklace

I took a break from writing a paper on Sunday to make this quick and easy button necklace. Gotta love almost instant gratification.

Here’s a quick how-to in case you want to try one. I might make a few for friends during the Super Bowl next weekend.

1. Access the button situation. I had a jar of random ones:

2. Choose a few {I used 25 mostly 1/2 inch buttons} and lay them out in a pleasing pattern. I made sure a few were stacked for more layery-textury happiness. I chose capiz shell buttons mixed with yellow because I don’t have much in the way of yellow jewelry.

3. Cut a length of strong thread. Leave about 6-8 inches of a tail from the first button when you start stringing. I cut about 30 inches of string knowing I would end up chopping a lot. Don’t be a cheap ass. It’s just thread. Better to have too much than not enough and have to start over.

4. Start stringing. Like I mentioned, leave several inches of tail on the end you start at. Unless you are going to use hundreds of buttons and go all the way around. Definitely an option! String the first button from the bottom. The second button from the top. Every other button will kind of overlap half of the bottom button, like this:

5. Repeat until you have enough buttons.

6. Determine how long you want the necklace to hang. Attach a jewelry clasp onto each end, securing with a crimp bead. Cut off excess thread, and wear!