If you follow me over on Instagram, chances are you’ll know that I’m currently OBSESSED with making my own jewellery! I am constantly searching for new items to turn into earrings, collar clips, necklaces, or charm bracelets. I am having so much fun with this new hobby of mine that I knew I had to share my tips and tricks with you all on here ☺️
Whilst MY personal style (which can be accurately summed up with the words “sweet”, “cute”, and “novelty”) may not align with yours, you can still take the methods I use and apply it to your own homemade jewellery.
In this post, I will share with you the kind of items I usually use for my accessories, ideas on how to make your own items/pendants if you can’t find the design you want, AND the actual tools and equipment that help me make those ideas real.
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As long-time readers will know, I pride myself on being #thrifty, so this hobby – including the equipment required – is not expensive at all, which means anyone can start making their own accessories NOW 😊
ITEMS YOU CAN TURN INTO ACCESSORIES:
The majority of my accessories are made from fun-shaped erasers, and there’s a few reasons for this. One being that they are really easy to find as almost everyone is a proud stationery lover these days. They’re also really cheap, and often come in packs of different designs for only a few dollars.
Due to their small size, they’re relatively light in weight, which means they won’t be too heavy on your ear lobes if you choose to turn them into earrings. Plus, since they’re so soft, it’s easy to insert an eye pin into them with minimal effort!
If you’re wondering where I bought the erasers that I used, the macaron ones are from Kmart, the NON-waffle cone ice cream ones are from The Reject Shop, and the rest – including the waffle cone ice cream, biscuits, fast food, sushi, and donut designs – are from Daiso Australia.
One of the first things I turned into accessories were the Coles Little Shop Mini Figurines, and that really helped spark my love of making my own accessories. I had all these tiny, adorable items that had no real purpose, so I decided to give them one and make them into accessories!
For those who aren’t from Australia and don’t know what I’m talking about, any of the items on this board that look like miniature versions of actual products – such as the pasta sauce, drinks, cereal, etc – are Coles Little Shop Mini figurines.
The chocolate chip cookie charms and mini Oreo-looking charms are also just small, random items that I found in shops and on eBay, but I’m sure you could find plenty of small toys and figurines in a range of stores!
(ALMOST) ANY OTHER SMALL ITEM.
I have a habit of using things in ways other than that they’re actually intended for, especially when it comes to jewellery-making. I’ve turned paper clips, chopstick rests, magnets, keychains, and even small spools of sewing thread into accessories.
Once you know how to turn one thing into an accessory, it’s not hard to figure out how to turn nearly everything else into one as well. Just keep in mind how heavy the item is (and if they’re too heavy to use as earrings, turn them into something else instead!) and the sky is the limit!
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WAYS TO MAKE YOUR OWN JEWELLERY PENDANTS:
Whilst it’s super fun, quick, and cheap to find random items and turn them into accessories, it can also be limiting.
Using this method, you’re stuck with using whatever items you can find in other shops, and that might not suit your personal style, or the style of the person who you’re making accessories for.
This is where the wonderful world of crafting comes in, as they are a LOT of ways to make your own pendants to use for earrings, necklace, bracelets, and more!
As intimidating as it seems (at least, it was for me – that incredible chemical smell really freaked me out!), resin is such a fun craft medium to play around with. Granted, I’ve only used it once to make my gummy bear charm bracelet, but I instantly fell in love with it! It was so easy to colour, and filled up even the smallest crevices of my mould perfectly.
One thing to keep in mind with resin though, is that if you intend to put something inside your resin charm – such as eye pins, in order to make earrings – is that you’ll need to place that item in BEFORE the resin has set.
This post on Home Talk has some helpful instructions and photos on how to stand those items up whilst the resin sets, and I’ll be sure to share my own tips once I give this kind of project a go!
Another fun thing about resin is that you can cast other things inside of it, as Oh Joy! shows you in this fun resin glitter pin DIY project. I have quite a few ideas of what I’d like to cast in resin, and I’ll be sure to share them on here if they work out 🙊
Felt and foam sheets are two of my all-time favourite craft items! They are SUPER cheap, available in lots of stores, and really easy to use. I’ve already shared how I used foam sheets to make super fun earrings, charm bracelet, AND a necklace – all of which can be easily tweaked to suit any design that you wish to make!
Felt can used in a very similar way, although it doesn’t hold it’s shape as well as craft foam, since it’s a lot softer. My posts on felt luggage tags and button covers can be altered to make felt earrings instead; all you need to do is poke a hole through the top of your design so you can put a jump ring through!
I’ve only used clay once before, so I am STILL super intimidated by it, but I am determined to become a master at it someday 🙌 Clay is an awesome creation that you can do so much with, as the rest of the DIY blogging world seems to have already figured out. Studio DIY shared this super fun licorice allsorts DIY using clay, which I think would look AMAZING as accessories!
For a less novelty look, Lovely Indeed also shared a gorgeous clay ring DIY on PoppyTalk a few years ago that I think are really unique. Kara from A Kailo Chic Life also made these insanely adorable Thanksgiving-inspired clay flair pieces for her letter board that would make super cute accessories as well! The possibilities really are endless.
EASY CAST POLYURETHANE:
This is not an item that I’ve seen anyone use, honestly. I’m not even sure how *I* discovered it, but I did, and made one of my favourite DIY projects of all time with it: my donut wall hanging! After making that project, I actually had a few donuts left over, which I later turned into collar clips.
I really like this product as I am ALL FOR something that you just pour into a mould and let it do it’s thing (after you’ve correctly mixed the ingredients together, of course) as that is MUCH easier than having to mould things yourself 😂
It’s also super easy to paint on, and isn’t sticky to touch once it’s set, as resin can be at times. I bought mine from Bunnings here in Australia a while ago, but if you have a similar item wherever you’re from and feel like doing a bit of experimenting, I definitely recommend giving this a try! Just make sure you have some fun silicon moulds – NOT used for food – ready to pour this stuff into 😊
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HOW TO TURN YOUR ITEMS INTO ACCESSORIES:
With the right tools, you can turn any one of the many, many, many items that I’ve talked about in this post into a fun accessory in minutes. I was honestly blown away when I realised just how easy it was, and now every time I go shopping at ANY store I think: “Hey, I could turn that into an accessory!” 😂
Most of the items I’ve linked below are from Spotlight in Australia, but as they are very basic craft items you should be able to find them at any craft shop where you live. If not, check eBay! I get my extension and clasp chains from there as every ring on them can be easily opened with pliers, making it super simple to extend and shorten any accessory that you wish!
♡ Mini hand drill (I got mine from Daiso)
♡ Small pliers and/or tweezers (I use both)
♡ Hot glue gun + sticks (you could use super glue instead, but I don’t because it’s scary 😂)
♡ Screw eyes/eye pins
♡ Chain with clasp
♡ Jump rings
♡ Extension chains (I really recommend these particular chains as you can open up each individual hoop!)
♡ Earring hooks (if you wish to make earrings)
♡ Blank rings (if you wish to make rings)
♡ Small pegs (if you wish to make collar clips)
HOW TO TURN ANY ITEM INTO AN ACCESSORY:
First figure out HOW you’re going to attach your eye pin to your items. I use one of three methods: (1): For something soft such as an eraser, you can push the eye pin straight into the earring at your desired spot (I suggest the top for most designs, but it’s up to you).
(2): For items that are a bit harder or thicker – such as the cookie charms or small spools of thread – I use my hand drill to create a small hole in the item, then I twist the eye pin using my hands, tweezers, or pliers into the hole that I just made.
(3): For items that are too hard to put something into – such as resin that’s already set, or small porcelain/ceramic figurines – I just forgo the eye pin, and break out the trusty hot glue gun instead. Flip the item you’re using onto it’s back, place a small chain so that at least two or three rings are resting on the back, and place a layer of hot glue over the chain and the back of your item so the two stick together.
WHEN MAKING EARRINGS:
Once you’ve added your eye pin or short chain to your chosen earring charm, open up a jump ring or one of the rings on an extension chain using your pliers/tweezers, thread the eye pin onto the jump ring, then close it again. Go to the ring at the end of the chain, open it, thread the earring hook on, and close it again. You’ve now got a brand new earring!
If you’re using an item that DOESN’T look the same on the back – such as the donut erasers, as the “icing” is only on the front – make sure you use a short chain; I recommend three loops at most.
I am usually all for super long, dangly earrings, but the longer the chain is, the more the earring will move and twirl around. If the item you’re using doesn’t look the same on the back, it will show when you move around and the earring spins.
Also, if you find that once you put your earring on, that the front of your item isn’t facing the right again, just open up the ring that’s attached your earring hook again, take the hook off, flip it over, and put it back on again. Problem solved!
WHEN MAKING NECKLACES/CHARM BRACELETS:
Since necklaces don’t move around very much, you can easily get away with the hot glue gun method if you wish. I’ve actually shared a DIY project a while ago where I made chokers by hot gluing an item onto a piece of ribbon, which is one way to do it.
You can also just get a small chain and glue that to the back of your item, then attach the other end of that same small chain to an actual necklace chain, just like how the smaller chains on my cookie charm bracelet are connected to the large bracelet chain.
WHEN MAKING COLLAR CLIPS:
For those who don’t wear collar clips and might be unaware of this fact: the chain is entire useless on collar clips. It is merely there for show. All you need to make collar clips is your chosen item/charm, and some small pegs or clips.
Add a line of hot glue to one side of your peg, hold that on the back of your item until the hot glue is set, then you can pin that item onto your collar! Do keep in mind that hot glue isn’t magic – nor is it that strong at all, really – so be gentle with opening and closing your pegs. I am yet to have any of mine come off though!
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As for the chain, you really don’t need to add it if you don’t want to, but I like the look of them. To measure how long your chain should be, get out your chosen collared shirt and place the item with the peg attached onto the ends of your collars.
Get a small chain and see if it reaches from one of your clips to the other. If it doesn’t, add more small chains using the same method as the rest of the accessories (this is why I recommend using chains that you can open up all the rings on!) until it is long enough to reach from one collar point to the other.
Once you’ve got the right length, flip your collar clips over, place the last 2-3 rings one on end of the chain on the back of your item – make sure it’s not touching the peg – and add a layer of hot glue to attach the rings to your item, then do the same with the other item and end of the chain.
Re-attach your clips to the collar on your shirt to make sure the chain is long enough to reach both sides comfortably. I would actually recommend making it a little too long rather than too short in this case. If it’s too long, it will just dangle there which is fine, but if it’s too short, it will tug at the glue and possibly come undone. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but just in case!
WHEN MAKING RINGS:
This barely even needs its own step. Just get your chosen item/charm, add a small dollop of hot glue or super glue to the back, then hold it onto your ring blank until the glue dries. It’s that simple!
Whew, I did NOT expect this post to turn out so long! 😅 It really is super simple to make your own accessories though, you’ve got just to play around with your tools a little bit. Once you figure out how to make one accessory, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to turn the same item into a difference accessory the next time around.
I was also going to share how I made my huge earring/collar clip board in this post, but as I’ve already talked way too much, I think I’ll save that for a future post! Now, before you go, tell me: what is YOUR favourite accessory of all time?
I’ve always LOVED earrings, but now I think collar clips might be my favourite thing to wear AND make! Let me know what yours is in the comments below 👇
Until next time,