Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don't just wish for a gift; make it your own

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! Hope you are enjoying your day with those you love. I know I am. Jacob is off from school, Hayden's here, as always, and Matthew will be home sometime this afternoon.

As you know, Matthew already gave me my Valentine's Day gifts (he got me these earrings, a new beauty subscription and then, surprised me with a huge bunch of long-stemmed roses yesterday; oh, and he gave me the sweetest card this morning). I plan on giving him a special card, too, and fixing him a meal of his choice (or perhaps picking him up something from a favorite restaurant nearby). Then, it will be nice to spend some time together.

Speaking of Valentine's Day gifts, I recently saw a wish list on the Refinery29 website. I was just thinking of how easy it could be to make some of those items instead of just wishing for them.

For example, the very first item on the list caught my eye immediately. It's a Bauble Bar Tribal Chroma Strand Necklace, which is priced at $96. I found a way to make a frugal version with just a few simple items.

Although the original necklace is made with thicker strands, I opted to use some finer embroidery floss, as I had purchased a pack of multiple colors (it was a 36-pack to be exact) for only about $4. Lucky for me, it contained all four colors I needed, including a pale peach, tomato red, sky blue and a light purple.

Since I took a more delicate approach to recreating this necklace, I also downsized the other elements, starting with the tubular metallic beads. I could have used two packs of Goody Doublewear headwraps with the metallic decoration on them (they come in 2-packs and can be worn as both a headband and a necklace), but instead, bought only one of the 3-packs of similar hair ties that double as bracelets (they cost much less in the store; that online price is steep).

So, what would I put on the fourth strand to really put my personal spin on it?

Well, I caught a sale on inexpensive jewelry at Target, where I found a cute love birds on a branch necklace with a similar curve. I also took advantage of the buy one get one 50% off by purchasing this charm necklace to add some more personality to the back (both were originally $5, so I end up getting the two of them for a total of $7.50; BTW, they also came with earrings that I can either wear as is, or use to make something else).

To assemble the necklace, I cut one strand of each shade of embroidery floss, making sure they're long enough to make adjustments to the length (the original necklace is 17.5 inches in length, according to the website; I made my first cuts much longer, just in case). I put one long metallic tubular bead (from the hair ties; I just cut the bands, saving them for a future project) on the blue, purple and red strands, and adjusted them to hang in the middle of the threads.

Then, I cut the coral strand in half, tying the love birds on a branch charm in the center (I used a jewelry making tool to remove the charm from the original chain).

Next, I positioned the strands to hang at different lengths, and determined where to attach the clasp (I used the one from the chain I had deconstructed to get the birds on a branch charm). Once the clasp was attached, I added the other charms, dangling them from the adjustable chain (which was part of the clasp) and two excess pieces of embroidery floss, as seen in this photo.

How am I liking the final product? Love it <3 Let me know if you make something similar, too, and/or what your plans are for today :-)