Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to use your fingertips. Case in point, when you fall in love with an expensive piece of jewelry while holiday shopping in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, and it happens to be the season to be buying gifts for others not gilding yourself…
This experience happened to me a couple of years ago, again with the Accessory Sisters. We all fell in love with a gorgeous line of baubles from an artist at this shop that used tiny, brightly colored microbeads. It’s a great place to take kids on a treasure hunt too, which you can read more about in this article from Red Tricycle.
Image from CargoImportsPDX.com
Image from KristiDoesPdx…Adventures in Portland, Oregon.
We admired, but the prices were high on those pieces, and I noticed none of us went down for the cha-ching that day. It’s actually not that unusual for us to get in to situations like this, and it’s definitely not the worst thing that has happened. On at least two occasions we have had experiences that resulted in ice packs. One lady came in “too hard and fast” to get a look at a great purse while window shopping, and another cracked her head on a shelf of shoes, while diving in for a pair of deeply discounted boots. Both were justifiable in my opinion, and since I don’t think we need to name names here, let’s just get back to the jewelry. 🙂
Since then, I have wanted to get my hands on some microbeads and see where we could go together for under $10. I recently bumped in to a bright rack of beauties, and the result were these sweet summer necklaces to give to the girls on Mother’s Day. I can tell you they were a big hit with the littlest one too, so it may be a good project to try with a darling peep. Wouldn’t they look great with all the new summer t-shirts on sale now in practically every color?
“Summer Here We Come” Necklaces
What you will need:
- Metal Pendant Frame (I used this one from Fundamental Findings, which I found at Ben Franklin Crafts)
- Glass Seed Beads (Found at any craft store or online. Mine were from the Michael’s dollar bin and the bead wall. I noticed they also have a big selection at Ben Franklin Crafts)
- Judikins Diamond Glaze (Ben Franklin Crafts is the only store that had diamond glaze in stock locally, but I noticed you can order it from Amazon too.)
- A charm (“Bead Landing” pearl starfish from the Oceanside Collection at Michael’s)
- Jump rings (hint, if you tried the DIY Clover bracelets you can use the same jump rings. These are easy to open, even with your fingertips.)
- Necklace (mine were from Ben Franklin Crafts, but you can get them from any craft store that sells jewelry findings. You want to make sure that the clasp is small enough you can pull it through the hole at the top of the metal pendant frame, because mine were too big and I had to remove the tiny jump rings too, which was more difficult.)
Place your large pendant frame on a paper towel, and start to squeeze in some of the Judikins diamond glaze. You need just enough to completely cover the inside of the charm.
Sprinkle your glass micro/seed beads into the glaze until the pendant frame is fully covered. Then fill in the gaps with more diamond glaze until the piece is covered completely. The glaze will look cloudy but it dries clear. I spent very little time trying to “place” the seed beads and thought they looked better when they were “left as they landed” in the glaze. You do want to make sure most of of the area is covered, so that it doesn’t look like there is a lot of gaps. Wait 4-6 hours for the glaze to set.
Attach a jump ring to your starfish charm, and then attach the jump ring to the microbead pendant art you just made.
String the charm set on to your necklace and enjoy your custom work of art!
Plan yourself a shopping trip to visit Cargo Imports PDX in the Pearl District. Then finish your day with a great Italian meal of homemade pasta, with fantastic service from Piazza Italia. Be sure to call for reservations, unless you have time to wait outside with your mouth watering.
Images from PiazzaPortland.com
Summer Here We Come!