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Fashion - Accessories

Make your own statement necklace

Make a statement this summer with a fabulous chunky necklace. The wonderful and slightly kooky designer Consuela Castiglioni of Marni, filled her Spring / Summer 2009 catwalk show with big, bold jewellery.

The most prominent item was the statement necklace,
like the piece on the left.

I love accessories because they make it easy to look like you are right on trend, without having to spend a small fortune. Handbags are the exception as they do cost a bomb. If you wear a large statement jewellery piece you only need to wear one item. If it’s a big necklace, then you don’t want drop earrings too, as they’d fight each other.

Here’s an outfit from the Marni catwalk…

Image 1When designers want to make it clear that this season is one that focuses on accessories, they load them on. But on us ordinary folks, we’d end up look like we were trying to wear all our jewellery at once. A bit silly.

One of the reasons I adore Marni is that Consuela’s designs always have a homemade, thrift shop, vintage element to them. She mixes textures, shapes and colours in a most interesting way.

From Marni to my way…

Image 4While the Marni necklaces picture here are fantastic, I decided to make myself a statement necklace à la Marni at a fraction of the price. My first port of call was my own jewellery box. I went through the old necklaces that I don’t wear any more and decided to cut them up to recycle. Another great place to find unusual beads or buttons is your local charity shop. Always a good place to hit before the craft shop. Image 5

At my local craft/haberdashery shop I bought 1.5 metres of thin grosgrain ribbon to string the beads on. I don’t like to hang anything heavy on satin ribbon, as it’s slippery. I don’t want to risk the necklace falling off and my lovely beads breaking. I always buy more ribbon than I need because you can always cut it down, whereas you can’t add to it.

Image 6I also bought a square glass bead to form a centrepiece and a couple of resin beads because they were interesting shapes and colours – shown right.

How to make your necklace – top tips

  • Always work from the centre outwards. I use a Chenille needle, which comes in most variety packs of needles. Using a needle makes it easier to get the ribbon through the beads.
  • Make knots between the different bead groups to secure the group of beads in place. Sometimes if the bead has a large hole you will have to make a double knot. Measure each space between bead groups so the necklace is even.

The great thing about beading on ribbon is you can make your necklace any length you desire. It can be long one day and a choker with a big bow the next.

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completed necklance

Here’s my finished product on the left…

My total cost was £6.70 for the ribbon, four resin beads, one square glass bead and two carnival glass beads. The four dark blue beads I took off a necklace I already had.

What next?

Have a go at making your own statement necklacce. Here’s some good online suppliers for your stones

USA >> Beadroom.com

UK >> HandyHippo

We hope Viviana has shown you how cheap and easy it is to make your own jewellery and has given you some inspiration to have a go yourself.

We’d love to see your homemade jewellery. Please share your ideas and your photos…

» Viviana has a blog – The Lean Times



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