I got quite a few compliments and questions about this massive necklace when I first posted these photos and I was super flattered because, believe it or else, I MADE this bad boy! And most of the stuff I make either falls apart or looks like a pile of ass. I feel pretty confident that this necklace looks, instead, like a pile of awesome.
However, the making process was my usual string of slapdash, poorly-planned steps. I’ll give you the lowdown since several people asked, and request that you refrain from giggling at my amateurish ways.
1. Collect a bunch of brooches. I wear silver exclusively, adore pearls, and can’t get enough of rhinestones, so I looked for brooches with at least two of those three attributes. My inspiration was a necklace that Banana Republic was hawking back in December, and using that as my blueprint, I knew that I’d need brooches of several different sizes as well as a couple that were either star- or flower-shaped.
2. Get some chain. My local Michael’s obliged me. Don’t go too flimsy or the chain won’t support the weight of the brooches.
3. Arrange the brooches in the order/configuration that looks best. You’ll want to get a good idea of which pieces work best sitting next to each other, so lay everything out on the table before you start assembling. Make a rough order and assembly plan.
4. Clip off the pin backs. This step is actually optional. So long as the pins stay securely shut, they aren’t likely to bother you. And if you do clip them, you may end up with sharp edges – which can be remedied with a few layers of clear nail polish. So clip or don’t … up to you. If you leave the backs on, consider supergluing the clasp shut so the pin itself doesn’t wiggle out and gouge you.
5. Superglue a couple of the brooches together. If each brooch is a separate, movable piece, you’ll have a seriously floppy necklace on your hands. You want movement, but also a bit of stability. I’d say that regardless of the number of brooches in the mix, you’ll want no less than three and no more than six movable parts total. Post-supergluing, that is.
6. Hook the remaining pieces together with jump rings. You’ll need some needlenose pliers for this step. Most brooches have a few holes in ’em by design, so slipping a jump ring through shouldn’t be too tricky. Buy large rings and deploy two at a time to get everything all chained together.
7. Attach brooch string to the chain using jump rings, tack on a clasp, and wear!
I’d say my necklace set me back a total of about $30 and is among my favorite pieces of jewelry. Not something I can wear every day, but a sparkly, fun piece that makes me giddy with glee. See the gid?