All that Glitters is Gold

My original plan for bridesmaids gifts revolved around fantastic jewelry. I also have had a few other things safely nestled up my sleeve for months now, but jewelry was the focal point of what I wanted to give my girls. However, after we all fell in love with incredible bridesmaid dresses that cost a bit more than I had hoped, I decided to take care of the girls’ shoes to help reduce their financial obligations. In doing so, I vastly increased my budget for bridesmaid gifts, which gets pretty expensive times seven bridesmaids. Needless to say, I had to scale back the jewelry portion of their gifts, which seemed to be ok given my love for several incredible Etsy sellers. Specifically, in recent months I have really taken a liking to Mia Beads and this amazing necklace in particular.

mia beads necklace
Golden Shadow Necklace
by Mia Beads, $28.50

Last week I found myself hemming and hawing about this issue of necklaces and really couldn’t find it within myself to drop another $28.50 per girl before shipping. Because of this I decided to stop and spend some time attempting to figure out whether or not it might be possible for me to make a necklace of some kind for my girls. After some trolling about the internet I ended up stumbling upon a series of tutorial videos on YouTube by JewelrySupply.com which proved really helpful. I already knew I wanted to use a Swarovski briolette like in the inspiration necklace so I found this video especially helpful even though I didn’t end up doing any wire wrapping.

After watching a few videos and spending a solid 2 – 3 hours researching supplies and parts, I ended up realizing I could likely produce a fairly accurate replica of the inspiration necklace for just a fraction of the cost.

I ended up ordering everything from Jewelry Supply, enough for 8 necklaces, for just $55.83 including shipping. I would have enough for all of my girls plus one for myself for less than the cost of buying just two. I ordered on Monday evening and everything showed up on Thursday. I had all of the necklaces assembled within an hour and I absolutely love how they turned out.

diy bridesmaids necklace
All of the parts lined up and ready to go. From left to right- jump rings, Swavroski crystal briolettes, pinch bails and 1mm sterling silver cable chain.

diy bridesmaids necklace
Two assembled necklaces, one in Golden Shadow and one in Aquamarine. I couldn’t decide between the colors so I  opted to do half of the necklaces in each color crystal. The colors ended up very saturated in this photo and in reality appear more like the first photo.

diy bridesmaids necklace
A finished necklace as modeled by yours truly. I went with an 18″ length and I think that ended up perfectly pretty, but still simple and versatile. I love them!

In the end the necklaces ended up costing just $6.98 each, including shipping, as opposed to $28.50 each before shipping. While I am a huge lover of Etsy and I think the prices are generally fantastic, this simple project saved me over $170. Typically, I’d have had no qualms with spending less than $30 on necklaces, but having already committed to buying shoes I needed to find room in the budget somewhere and this was a great way of doing just that. Up until now the extent of my jewelry making skills had started and ended with friendship bracelets in junior high school and, while still far from an expert, I definitely feel more confident in giving other projects a whirl.

I happened to have access to the pliers you would need for this project, but you can find a pretty guide to jewelry making pliers here. Again, I bought everything from Jewelry Supply and service was perfect. You can’t beat a less than 72 hour turn around from submitting your order to having 8 fully assembled (and beautiful!) necklaces. I am detailing my full supply list so you can make yourself something pretty or make a great gift for someone else. These would also be great as hostess gifts or as a little something sparkly to give your mother on your big day.

All supplies available at Jewelry Supply:

Item# JR223 Jump Ring 4mm Silver Color ($1.44/100 pcs)
Item# BL119 Vine Pinch Bail 13x13mm AS ($2.59/2 pcs)
Item # CN135 Cable Chain-Flat 1mm 18″ s/s ($3.24/each)
Item# FB4002 Swarovski Briolette Flat 6012 15mm Aqua ($1.59/each)
Item# FB4317 Swarovski Briolette Flat 6012 15mm GldShd ($1.69/each)