January 29, 2012


Posted by Ethne~

My co-worker KA ran across this awesome cork necklace at a store in big city, MN, a while back and, naturally, she clued me in STAT.  You know from here and here and here how much Shaun and I like to do stuff with our massive collection of wine corks.  I might not wear it to work every day, but it is totally worthy of my ‘going out’ collection (clothes and jewelry I only wear when Shaun and I go out – who wants to wear work clothes or weekend duds when you are out to dinner, clubbing or having cocktails?  Not moi.)

I made my way over to the store (Good Things) and took a couple of pictures.  I knew instantly that I would be able to re-create it.  The Good Things necklace cost $29.95.  Not too bad, but I set out to make myself a necklace for far less than that.

There is a GREAT bead store near my house called ‘Garden of Beads’.  Their selection is huge and fairly economical on the whole.  There is an exception to this: good metals, specialty items or if you make things on a large scale and need spendy products and tools, it adds up – like just about any craft.  (JoAnn has a smaller selection but is probably less expensive for some of the beads.)

The key is to shop around.  Buy from JoAnn if you can – they often have lots of sales on jewelry-making supplies and all of their bead stuff is fairly economical.  You’ll need a rounded tip pliers, a regular, fine-tip pliers, a metal nipper and accessories such as headpins and jumprings – this is for general jewelry-making.
Jump ring - opening at top
jump ring open

For this project, you’ll also need two washers with a small center opening (go to the hardware store) and two small eye screws (hardware store).  Take a cork with you so you can make sure the washers aren’t too big.  I used gorilla super glue to adhere the washer to the cork and to put on the screw threads before screwing it into the cork.  Total cost: less than $1 not including the super glue which I already had.

eye screws
The washer has a small opening

For the beads, I chose a ceramic bead from Garden of Beads that reminded me a lot of what the sample necklace looked like.  Cost: $3.50.  I wanted a bead/charm that had a word on it, and I settled on ‘laugh’ since it’s my favorite thing to do.  Cost: $1.50 at JoAnn.  I added a third dangle of sparkly bluish beads for some glam.  I already had the headpin and beads, but they would cost a buck or two to purchase.

I had to buy the round jumprings to hold on the ceramic bead to the eye screw.  The Garden of Bead lady sold them in packages for about $2 and she recommended I use two for extra strength.  And lots leftover.

Lastly, I wanted the metal ‘dogchain’ type of chain, like the sample necklace.  The shiny silver I bought was $6 per foot and I bought 2 feet.  Gulp.  I like the shiny silver, so I am fine with the purchase, but I think any more necklaces I make will use the 2’ stainless steel version at JoAnn for $1.50.


My necklace cost about $15 to make (I factored in that some of my supplies will be usable for other things and some of my beads I already had), but if you get the more economical (and virtually identical) chain from JoAnn, the price is dramatically less than the original $29 necklace.

Here are some pictures of how I assembled it all:

Isn’t it cute?  And THRIFTY?  It would make a great gift and you could totally specialize it by using a cork from a special bottle of wine (like the bottle you drank the night you got engaged or, if a gift, from a bottle of wine or champagne which was used for toasting at a friend’s wedding).


Anonymous said...

I saw the same kind of necklace at a gift shop while I was wine tasting, and I immediately thought, "I could make this!" I set out to try to find the materials, but was coming up short--this post really helped me out. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
June said...

I am looking for a "make & take" jewelry project for a Girls Night Out @ my home, celebrating my youngest daughter's upcoming wedding...there will be about 20 woman from 27-67 years....I think this will be a fun item for all of us to design & make! Thank you for the detailed instructions & photos!

Anonymous said...

Your article I read it. I will forward it to others to read it.