Monday, July 25, 2011

Diamond Jubilee

Who knew forgotten earrings and mismatched buttons could make such a glamorous opera necklace?

Flea Market Finds
Pearls, 8 mm, 21.
Vintage rhinestone and crystal clip-on earrings, 18.
Gold and silver metal shank buttons, 18.

Silver-plated filigree findings, round, 15 mm, 9.
Silver-plated filigree findings, round, 22 mm, 9.
Silver-plated wire, 24 gauge, 84".
Clear crystal bicone beads, 4 mm, 42.
Crystazzi crystal floral clasp, silver, 12 mm, 1.

Tools & Supplies
Wire cutters.
Round-nosed pliers.
Chain-nosed pliers or wire straightener.
Beacon Adhesives Quick Grip glue.

1. If your filigree findings have a curved surface, flatten them with the wire straightener or chain-nosed pliers. Using the wire cutters, snip the shanks and clips off the backs of the buttons and earrings.

2. Cut a 4" piece of silver-plated wire and feed it through one end of the clasp. Secure with a wrapped loop. Slide one crystal bicone, a pearl, and another crystal bicone onto the wire. Feed the end of the wire through a hole in a small filigree finding and secure with a wrapped loop.

3. Use the same technique to make a bicone and pearl component to connect the small filigree finding to a large one. Continue in this fashion alternating between large and small filigree findings until you have 9 large and 9 small connected by bicone and pearl components.

4. After the last filigree finding, use a bicone and pearl component to connect the necklace to the other end of the clasp.

5. Cover your work surface with newspaper and stretch the necklace out on the paper. Before you start gluing, lay out the earrings and buttons in the order you want them on your necklace. Keep in mind you will use two for each finding, one for the front and one for the back. Use the larger findings for the larger earrings and buttons.

6. Glue the earrings and buttons to the findings using Quick Grip. It is helpful to glue both sides of the filigree finding at the same time, sandwiching the finding between an earring and a button. Let dry. Now put on your little black dress and take your glitzy revamp out for a night on the town!

Bijou Bonanza: Look for grab bags of broken jewelry at the flea market. For just a few dollars you can get all the earrings for this project and some inspiration for your next!

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