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.
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.
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).