The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

Look for Less: 5 DIY Statement Necklaces Under $5

5 DIY statement necklaces under $5
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The current economy has certainly put a damper on our shopping habits, but you know what they say: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. (Or, in this case, the look for less.)

The emphasis in fashion this season is on making a bold statement through timelessness and versatility, and nothing says timeless elegance quite like pearls. Forget the iconic single strands of pearls worn by Jackie O or Lisa Simpson, however: This season’s pearls are at once punky and feminine, layered and tinged with touches with lace, ribbons, and whimsy. Fashion is all about making something your own, and by simply adding ribbons and closures to existing pieces, you’re not only making something tired into something trendy, you’re recycling and reworking necklaces to fit your own unique sense of style.

With just a few bucks and a trip to your favorite charity shop or craft store, you can score the season’s hottest looks for less — like these five inspirations under $5, created by Shoestring staffers:

1. Brooches and Baubles Necklace (see above)

Supplies:

  • Faux pearl or beaded necklace
  • Clip-on earring
  • Ribbon

We found this layered faux pearl and glass bead necklace at Goodwill ($2.99). At the closure, we combined one earring from a set of vintage clip-ons from Salvation Army ($1) and a piece of white ribbon (left over from the holidays) to create this elegant look, which easily dresses up jeans and a T-shirt or a classic little black dress.

2. Not Your Mother’s Pearl Necklace

Supplies:

  • Strands of mother-of-pearl discs
  • Silver chain necklace
  • Organdy ribbon
  • Jump ring
  • Small needle nose pliers

These three strands of mother-of-pearl ($3.99) came from Michael’s craft store. Using a jump ring, we attached the strands to a tiny silver chain, also from Michael’s, then tied it off with a piece of gold organdy spool ribbon (on sale for $0.50).

3. Navy Wife Pearl Necklace

Supplies:

  • Single-strand pearl necklace, any length
  • Velvet ribbon, any color (matching color to chiffon)
  • Sheer chiffon ribbon, any color (matching color to velvet)

Pretty much every major retailer is selling a version of this single-strand pearl necklace, tied at the nape of the neck with a grosgrain ribbon. We created ours with a strand of faux pearls from a new local junk shop ($3.99) and added two pieces of navy blue ribbon ($0.50 each per spool). We paired one strand of velvet ribbon and one strand of sheer chiffon ribbon to add a bit more depth and texture, making the look feel more luxurious and dressy.

4. Sunrise, Sunset Necklace

Supplies:

  • Double strand necklace of colored pearls or beads
  • Coordinating satin ribbons (two colors)
  • Clip-on earring

If spunky and splashes of color are more your thing, pink pearls are a classic choice. We found this double strand at Goodwill ($2.50) and wove two pieces of satin ribbon, one coral and one white, through the strands. We attached the pieces of ribbon together at the closure with the other half of our clip-on earring set ($1) to create this couture look.

 

5. Garden Blooms Necklace

 

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard organza fabric (any color)
  • Silk Ribbon (coordinating color to organza fabric)
  • Sewing scissors
  • Pearl beads
  • Needle & thread
  • Fabric glue (optional)

Pearls don’t have to be the main focus of your necklace, either; they also make great accents. For this look, we bought half a yard of organza fabric in off-white at Jo-Ann Fabric ($1.89), cut out flowers of different sizes, and then layered them for volume. Each flower was then tacked on to a piece of ribbon and topped with a single pearl “bud,” sewn through the flowers to secure them to the silk ribbon necklace.

Story & Photos: Copyright 2009, Shoestring LLC.

  • koko

    Nicely done. I really like these small details.

  • SoFla Sartorialista

    Very creative indeed! I just created a necklace from an old bracelet (using ribbon) and it felt really good to repurpose.

  • Adina

    They have a chic look, and I can’t believe how easy they are to make! You gave me a great idea for how i am going to fill my time the next few days. One of my best friends makes some gorgeous Native American jewelry and i think i will use them as models to create something similar but unique out of my old jewelry.

  • PatriciasPrettys

    Pretty ingenious…great way to recycle.

  • camalya

    Faux pearls would make a great raw material for creative cheaper wedding cufflinks; since they come in different colors the possibilities are virtually infinite.

  • http://ladiesfair.com Rachel51

    Excellent and detailed. Amazed to know that it costs no more than $5 for each of these DIY designs.

    Thanks,
    Rachel

  • Gemma Tubbrit

    Making your own jewelery can be a great way to get the exact piece of jewelery that you want – whether you’re trying to match a particular outfit or want something 100% unique… Some of these works here are really tremendous, I mean, there’s just so much creativity in it, using whatever simple materials to come up with necklaces which can be used for any occasion.

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