Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mixed Media Pearl Necklace DIY Tutorial

My current obsession revolves around dramatic necklaces.  I have been collecting jewelry odds and ends for several months now and I wanted to put them to good use :) so I decided to make a mixed media necklace.  This one uses 2 types of bronze chain, pearls, various charms, and crystal tube beads.

Here's how I would wear it:

Top: Black T-shirt Turtleneck, Old Navy, Sm (they make the softest tee material!)
Jacket: LOFT Twill Cropped Military Jacket, Olive Green, 0P
Jeans: Gap Always Skinny Cropped Jeans, Dark Wash, Sz 4 Tall 
Leather Boots: Born (so comfy)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff Nikki

I soooo love these Gap jeans and have been wearing them all the time (washed between each wear of course LOL).  They stay slim all day and don't at all develop the unsightly bagginess that other jeans tend to succumb to at the end of the day.

 And a close-up of the necklace:

Check out the tutorial after the jump!
  • Basic jewelry tools
  • Pearls
  • Misc. charms
  • 12" of large-link chain
  • 12" of matching small-link chain
  • Matching headpins and jump rings
  • Grosgrain ribbon in complementary color
  • Crystal tube beads or complementary seed beads

Here are most of the materials you'll need.

My beads had rather wide openings, so I wound up putting small crystal tubes on each headpin prior to adding the pearl.  Snip off the excess of the headpin, loop the end (instructional video here), and attach it to a jump ring.  Repeat this for all your pearls and dangles (but not your charms).

To assemble the center cascading cluster, I attached the smaller pearls at various places on a "chain" of interconnected jump rings.

Attach your cluster to the center of the large link chain and attach some of the larger pearls and dangles surrounding the center cluster.  At this point, I felt like the necklace needed some oomph so I added the bird charm, flower charm, and small-link chain.  

To create the small-link chain loops, secure the chain at varying intervals with jump rings to necklace.

Lastly tie a knot with the ribbon directly on each end of the chain.  

Voila!  You're finished!

Close-ups of the charms:


  1. I love this necklace!! I swear I've seen something similar being sold for a pretty penny. The colored pearls you chose are gorgeous. They go so well with the bronze colored chain. Ahh! Have you thought about opening up an Etsy shop? =P

    I also like how you paired the necklace with the outfit. So chic!

  2. You are so talented! I really love this piece and aren't the Gap jeans just so great!! I put on my old pair of old navy ones the other day and felt so uncomfortable in them!

  3. How much does something like this cost in raw materials? I'm just curious because I see these necklaces go for quite a bit in stores! Great job as always, and I like the nice outfit pics with natural lighting! :)

  4. cute necklace! i really like the cluster of pearls and the little bird dangling on the side. your jeans look great and also really like how you styled the outfit!

  5. wow, this necklace is very gorgeous and looks wonderful in your outfit! you are indeed very talented!

  6. Wow- you are seriously one talented girl! How do you come up with this? And where do you find your inspiration?

    Love this necklace! Looks like something from LOFT or AT!!! :)

  7. Cee - Aww thank you! I'm thinking of creating another one as a blog giveaway. Still pondering the logistics of Etsy (this is partially me being a little lazy on how to set up shop) ;)

    C&P - Thank you! I'm sooooo glad that I saw your Gap jean reviews because I never would have thought of them as a good place for denim.

    PXXS - On cost, there's 2 ways to think about it. If you went to the store specifically to buy these types of materials, it would probably cost about $20 mostly because you can't buy the exact quantity for use in the project. If you think about it as an ongoing jewelry hobbyist who will use every bit of extra material for other projects, then your cost per piece would probably be around $12. That was probably much more complicated of an answer than you expected :)

    On the natural lighting, I made hubby take pictures of me on the deck. I think I must have been a bit demanding because he wasn't too pleased about it :D

    Ping - Thanks Ping! I questioned the bird a tiny bit but I like the touch of kitsch it adds :)

    Kileen - Thank you so much for the kind words!

    Really Petite - Thank you! I usually get inspiration from both magazines and stores like LOFT. I am not a spontaneously creative person but I do like to mix and match inspirations :)

  8. Just a wonderful one of a kind necklace! Thanks for sharing. I linked on my Facebook page -

  9. The Beading Gem - Thank you for linking! You have a lovely FB page and blog :)


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