Making and Remaking Necklaces

In the summer I find I am more creative.  It is so much easier to get out of bed in the morning when you are greeted by sunshine and beautiful blue skies.  It is the time when I like to work on new projects or just sit back and soak in the loveliness of nature while I think about new creative ideas.  If it is hot I do not want to do anything too energetic, so sitting around making a small item is a great thing to do.  Some of my summer projects have included creating necklaces out of found objects or remaking broken ones.  Then I can wear them when going out to summer gatherings.

The first one that I made was from some old beads and mother of pearl buttons that I had collected.  The necklace is quite chunky and looks equally great on a plain T Shirt or on knitwear in winter.  I just threaded the beads and buttons onto some fishing line to make an interesting pattern.  Not hard at all.

Another necklace was made from shells and coral that I had found on trips to beaches both near and far.  The organisms were all long dead.  These were easy to knot onto black cord because there were holes in the coral and shells.  I like to wear these with a light black or white top and they are particularly appropriate for the seaside.

It is also good to repair old vintage necklaces that are made from interesting or rare beads. I inherited an old carved bone necklace from a relative.  I think that it was originally a single long strand of beads, but it had been converted to a double strand necklace that did not look very attractive.  The flower shaped beads were dirty and I did not want them to deteriorate further, so I cleaned them gently using a weak solution of methylated spirits and water, applied with a soft toothbrush. Once they had dried I threaded them onto strong linen thread.   The necklace looks much cleaner and better as a single strand.  A redesign can make all the difference.

 

I also restrung a broken vintage plastic necklace, possibly from the 1950s, that had been given to me by a family friend.  It simulated orange amber beads and some were missing but this did not matter.  A few looked like Chinese carved bone beads and I was able to reassemble the necklace to make the most of these in the design.  It did not have a clasp and fitted over my head.  It is one of my favorite pieces.

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Vintage buckles and dress clips can be turned into interesting necklaces.  I have a few diamanté ones.  The easiest way to wear these is to attach them to a velvet ribbon to make a choker for some old world elegance.  I cut some black velvet ribbon to fit around my neck and sewed a press-stud in the appropriate place at each end.  I can slip on the buckles or put on a dress clip and wear a different one to suit my mood or outfit.  Thinner, longer velvet ribbon can be used to hang pendants, like lockets, instead of on a chain.  Simple.

It is good to have some black leather cord for making necklaces.  I have a round amber disc with a centre hole that needs to be looped around a cord to wear as a pendant.  This is easy if your want to wear it long because it will fit over your head.  But I like to wear it as a short pendant at the throat.  The solution was to tie some old necklace clasps that I had to the ends of a shorter length of the leather, which was looped through the centre of the amber disc to hold it in place.  I can do this up without any trouble and it is now the length that I prefer.

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None of these necklaces required any special equipment to make, only some basic materials.  Just a matter of using attractive or old items to create a new wearable object.

Kat

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