Making a necklace out of hardware store gleanings isn't exactly a brand new idea — in fact, there's a whole book dedicated to hardware store jewelry projects — but it is easy, satisfying, and generally cheaper than making a necklace out of regular old beads. (Or maybe the bead stores in my city are just overpriced.) And best of all, you can finish a necklace in about five minutes flat.
Here's a quick inspiration board for this week's project. My necklace is in the center; the three other examples are from Lanvin's fall 2009 collection. Mine is not intended to be an exact copy — for a pretty direct at-home knock-off, there's a nice DIY tutorial here — but a reinterpretation. I happen to dig the oversized, chunky look of the jewelry.
For this project, all you'll need will be parts from a hardware store in the desired dimensions and quantities, plus ribbon — I used a mixture of velvet and organza ribbons, to vary the texture and transparency — and a set of scissors. Straight pins and a needle and thread are optional; you can either sew or knot your ribbons together. Obviously, the key ingredient here is the hardware store stuff: I used mostly pipe couplings from the plumbing section of my local hardware emporium, but you could go heavier on the nuts, washers, incorporate some chains, or choose to work only in one color metal depending on the look that you want. Go for what inspires you.
This project is dead simple. First, lay out all the hardware store bits in some approximation of how you want your necklace to look.
String 'em up.
Knot or sew your ribbons together at the desired length. (For a Lanvin-inspired touch, you could make little bows out of your ribbon, and stitch them over your knots.)
Bam! Necklace. I'm into how the ends of the copper couplings that are bent tuck inside the pipe couplings that are straight. That gives the necklace a kind of neat articulated look.
For next week, I'll show you how to dye scarves at home for pleasure and profit. In the meantime, to check out past Friday DIYs — including how to paint your nails with stripes, how to make a custom dress form parts I and II, how to make a fascinator, how to alter a thrift-store dress, how to make an at-home version of a Prada bag, and how to make a pair of shorts — click here.