5 Feb 2016

DIY Cherry Jewellery

When I started thinking more about how to coordinate my Lolita dresses and how to get the most wear out of them, I had a brilliant idea for the first dress that I ever bought, which is to make it into a red and white cherry themed outfit. Over time I managed to get almost all of the actual clothing pieces, but I'm still lacking some accessories for it. After looking around on eBay, Etsy, AliExpress and whatever else I could think of, I was utterly disappointed in the results: things I found were either too small, not within my budget or totally not the style/look that I was after. This, as well as the DIY gift ideas I wrote about some time ago now, inspired me to take matters into my own hands and make some of those pieces mysef, which I did over the last weekend.

Here you have the jewellery that I made in the form of a bracelet and a pair of earrings. I hope to finish up a cardigan sometime soon, as well as do some hair bows, both of which I'll write about here once I've done it. For now though, here's how to make your own fruity accessories!




Cherry bracelet


Things you will need

  • Elastic
  • Beads (my theme was white and red, but the colour choice is yours)
  • Cherry (or other) charms, remembering to get the size that'd suit the bracelet's style
  • A pair of scissors
  • A ruler (not pictured)
  • A tape measure (not pictured)

 Instructions

Step 1
Measure the cirumference of your wrist and remember/make a note of it. This is to ensure that you don't make the bracelet too big or too small.

Step 2
Line up your beads and charms to see how they'll look. This will save you having to correct any mistakes, should you make any, and gives you an idea of what the finished bracelet will look like. Round beads like to roll off tables, so lining them up against something may be a good idea (I'm using a theatre booklet). It also helps in keeping them in straight line when you're measuring the length. For a bracelet that's a little loose you want the beads to make a slightly longer line than your wrist circumference, and for tighter fitting ones – just right or a tiny bit smaller. But don't make it too small either! It can cut off blood circulation to your hand and cause harm! I went for a little looser fit: for my 17cm wrist 20cm or so was just perfect.

Step 3

Thread these babies!
I did that with the elastic string uncut to save on having to put a stopper on one end, but if you're worried about wasting materials or have something that'd stop the beads from falling down the other end, by all means cut it. Just keep enough extra on both sides to be able to tie it up easily.
When you're done, check if all the charms are alligning themselves the way you like and if they all face the same way (more important for those ones that are unpainted on one side).

Step 4
Cut the elastic, tie the ends as tightly as you can, then trim the excess elastic. I left a teeny tiny bit off, in case I needed to tighten it again in the future, but you don't have to if you feel it's secure enough.

Finished product


I'm very happy with how this turned out. It sits nicely on the wrist and even though the beads make it a little heavy, it's not uncomfortably so. More importantly, it looks exactly like what I had in mind and took no more than 5 minutes to do. Gathering the materials took a while, as I had to order the charms online (and got the wrong size at first), but once everything was in place, assembling it took next to no time. I probably could do with one white bead less for the sake of symmetry and a slightly closer fit, but having that one row of four actually makes all the charms stay visible, so I kept it.

Total cost of making: approximately £4.56. Although if I had ordered the correct size charms the first time round, it would've been less (charms alone were nearly half of that!). And I'm sure if I knew what I was looking for, I could find cheaper beads as well.


Cherry earrings


Things you will need

  • Long ball earring findings
  • Cherry (or other) charms
Note: These are the charms I originally ordered for the bracelet, but they turned out to be way too big. However I do love statement earrings, and these were the perfect size for that. If you're going to go for smaller charms, you may want to consider different kind of earring findings, which in turn may need assembling slightly differently, depends on the your taste and preference.
Also, watch out for what the findings are made of, especially if you can't wear nickel jewellery. Buy some made out of a material that you can use safely.

Instructions

What the finding looks like pried open
(the ball covered some part of it).
Step 1
Sit down comfortably somewhere well lit. With your fingers/nails pry open the loop at the bottom of the finding. Depending on the thickness of your charm's loop, you may need to pull it apart a little or a lot, so adjust accordingly. It does help to have a little bit of a nail going, but if you don't or simply find it difficult to do it using your hands, try tweezers or jewellery pliers if you have a pair.

Step 2
Put the charm in the opened up finding loop, making sure that it faces the correct way.

Step 3
Close the loop back, locking the charm in place.

 

Finished product


All of this took maybe a minute per earring, and most of the time was consumed by prying that finding loop open and then closing it back. I'm sure there are more sophisticated ways of making earrings, but since I'm a DIY newbie and the charms are gorgeous just on their own, the simplest method was the best one here; it's also why it didn't deserve a DIY blog post of its own. Bear in mind that big charms like this will make for heavy earrings, so if you're uncomfortable wearing those, you'll want to stick to smaller ones or some made of lighter materials.

Total cost of making: approximately £0.86, absolute bargain! Plus I have leftover charms, which I hope to use for another project.

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