crafty girl: my etten eller jewelry hack

Every so often, I get a wild hair about a DIY project. I see something ( it’s usually jewelry), and I say to myself, “Self, you have to have that! But it’s $200/$400/$1,000,000!” Then comes the scary part. You know what’s coming…say it along with me. “You know, I could totally make that!”

We’ve all said it at some point, no? And then it goes into our mental DIY file, the place we put all those projects we plan to do, never to be seen or heard from again.

But, for once in my life, I actually finished one of these little DIY dreams. Can you imagine? And so, blatantly plagarized for your enjoyment, the Etten Eller necklace I couldn’t live without:

And my version:

What do you think, friends? Not quite as wonderful as the original, but it’s not bad for $50 in beads, I think. I do have some residual guilt about knocking off a designer piece, but the I-did-it-myself pride is doing a good job of mitigating that for me. Of course, if you factor in the 15 hours I spent hemming and hawing, finding suppliers, actually deciding to order the goods, and the relatively minor 45 minutes it took me to make the necklace once I had everything, I’m not sure I actually saved any money. But if you’re more decisive than I am, it’s definitely worth the effort!

On the off chance you get a wild hair about doing the same thing, I’ll give you a list of materials and tips after the jump.

I ordered everything from Shipwreck Beads, and they were excellent – got everything right, quality seemed good, and you get free shipping if you sign up for their newsletter. You do have to order some pretty large quantities of a few pieces, but when they’re $2 for a gross, it’s not a huge loss. My shopping list:

SKU Description Quantity Price
08CX854 Chain Beading Bright Gold .7mm 6 6.95
14SS524 Toggle Clasp Sterling 14mm Hoop 1 9.50
68ME854 Metal Tube Smooth Brass 5×5.5mm 72 2.40
6FI895-SF Jump Ring Solid Sterling Silver Filled 20 Gauge 6mm 10 3.00
6MR812 Round Smooth Silver Plating 6mm 100 7.38
8MR812 Round Smooth Silver Plating 8mm 75 14.06
ME917-NS In Metal Disc 2mm Hole Nickel Silver 6mm 144 2.65
ME917-RB In Metal Disc 2mm Hole Brass 6mm 144 2.85
FI161-G Crimp Tube With Eye Gold 3.5mm .048 In Id 12 3.45
FI201-1SS Jump Ring Sterling Silver 3mm 21 Gauge 20 4.35

I happened to have a couple of inches of leftover gold chain from another project, so I didn’t need to order the chain to connect the toggle to the beads.

From this point, I’m guessing you can work out how to make this, but the short version: Attach a crimp tube to one end of the beading chain to keep the beads on while you work. Thread the beads however you like them, measure to the length you want (mine was 19.5 inches before attaching the chain and toggle clasp). After you’ve threaded the beads, grasp the chain tightly at the end of the last bead, cut the chain about 1/8 inch from your pliers, and attach a crimp tube. Repeat for the second strand.

Use a large (6mm) jump ring to connect the two strands. Cut a 1-inch piece of gold chain, thread through the 6mm jump ring, then attach both ends to a second, smaller jump ring (3mm), along with one end of the toggle clasp. Do the same thing on the other side, and presto!

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7 comments on “crafty girl: my etten eller jewelry hack

  1. Arrs

    Lookie you! It looks fabulous my crafty friend! We should plan another jewelry-making (ie gossip and tea)session. There’s a set of pliers here pining for you. 🙂

  2. Heather Bell

    You know, that “Hey, I can totally do that” attitude got me into making jewelry. Spending $300+ on a custom Emily Jane pearl lariat to go with a similarly priced BCBG gown just wasn’t feasible at the time. But this is one that has stuck, unlike sewing floor pillows, staining mirror frames, regrouting my shower… Well done, Becki!

  3. Elizabeth

    I’ve made jewelery w/vintage watch parts for about 30 years – also jewelry utilizing parts from my dad’s shop & hardware stores, vintage beads, sequins, etc. I have been taking apart & reworking vintage pieces since jr. high, too. Don’t feel guilty – no one has a truly “new” idea anymore. They have all been done – your little twist makes it all your own – even copyright laws allow for MOST “copies” if you have made a slight change from the original. I am always shocked by the prices these stores dare to charge (and people PAY IT, too) for such simple pieces. It’s such a rip!!!

  4. Elizabeth

    Hi Again:

    I esp. love that you freely say where you got your idea from – it is a beautiful piece & so great that you got something you love within the parameters of your own budget!! Go girl!!

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