You might have guessed I'm very fond of a statement necklace and for today's jewel and brooch statement necklace tutorial I haven't held back! Finding jewels is one of my main past times, looking for the right colour and setting takes me so many hours. When I was contacted by a wonderful company called The Bead Mixer, it was like my prayers had been answered - they have such an amazing selection of unusual beads, jewels and findings. They kindly offered to send me a selection and I couldn't resist going large and picking some super sized rhinestones. Like all my projects I like to mix old and new, so I decided to use some enamel vintage brooches and chain I picked up in a charity shop a while ago. The rest of the materials are from my basic jewellery making kit and are really easy to pick up from any jewellery shop. Here's how I did it.
You'll need - 7 soft pink rhinestones, 11 flamingo pink rhinestones, 18 x rhinestone holders, chunky curb chain, satin cord (this can be picked up in all haberdasheries), 2 x 6mm cord ends, vintage chain, lobster clasp, connector chain, 6.5 mm jump-rings
Step 1. Decide on your design, I wanted the jewels of this necklace to be slightly off centre so split the design into three parts.
Step 2. Cut a piece of chunky curb chain 14cm long. Prep your jewels, the prongs are really easy to fold over. Place your jewel in the setting and fold each prong over onto the jewel to hold in place. I found it was best to prep the jewels before I started to assemble my necklace.
Step 3. Leave one link 'free' then using a jump ring add a jewel to each link. For a more random look make sure you don't alternate each colour. Continue along the chain, leaving the final link free.
Step 4. Prep your cord. For a statement necklace I work on a finished length of 45cm, I went for a length of 20cm. Add a small piece of tape either end of your tape and cut the tape so there is approx. 0.5cm (no more!) at either end. Add a small dab of silicon glue inside the cord end and insert the cord, repeat on both ends. Leave to dry
Step 5. To determine the length of the chain add your cord length and chain length together and minus from 45. My chain length was 11cm. If you're using vintage chain make sure when you take the chain apart that you leave a link free at either end you'll need this to join the necklace together.
Step 6. Using jump rings ( I recommend using strong/thick jump rings if you can find them) join your chain and cord together. If links allow then use two jump rings per link, these necklaces get heavy so any additional support is always handy!
Step 7. Add a lobster clasp to the right side of the necklace using a jump ring and a connector chain to the to the left hand side. You can use a pre-made connector chain which is totally fine but as I have colour OCD I like to add beads that match my necklace onto a headpin.
Step 8. Add your brooches, I didn't want to cut the backs off these brooches as I think they're really special, instead I fastened them onto the cord and chain.
I'm so happy with how this beauty turned out - it looks far more complicated than it really is you are using basic jewellery making techniques. I have tried to keep the materials accessible, flea markets and second hand shops across the world sell brooches but if you don't want to move from your sofa then try job lots on Ebay, a friend of mine has found some real treasures. I matched the pink in the stones with the pink brooch to create harmony, so make sure you think about the colours you are putting together, if in doubt keep it tonal. I really hope you give this tutorial a try, its a perfect pick-me-up for spring. Happy making! x
A huge thanks to The Bead Mixer for supplying these wonderful jewels.