Play with Clay: Anthropologie-inspired necklace project

Every season Anthropologie presents some of the most beautiful and unique items, window displays and catalogues around.  As lovely as their items are, they are increasingly out of my price range.  I spotted this necklace a few weeks ago but couldn't fathom paying $68 for a fabric necklace so I filed it away for another (richer) day. HOWEVER when Jen showed off her gorgeous Sculpey creation, I was inspired to try my hand at clay and do a little AnthropoloDIYing myself.
Piece de inspiration
For this project you will need:

- Sculpey clay in three colors of your liking
- A thick needle
- Glass filler beads
- Jewelry wire/cord
- A lobster clasp and tag
- Cardboard (optional)
- Embroidery Floss (optional)
- Hot Glue Gun (optional)

1) On a clean surface and with clean hands open your clay and knead it until its soft and easy to work with.  Start rolling beads until you have enough to work with.  For this necklace I made 42 red beads, 40 purple beads and 38 pale pink beads.

2) Using a thick needle poke a hole in each bead.  Place each finished bead in a baking dish.

3) Bake the beads for 15 minutes or until firm (more time for bigger/thicker beads) at 275 degrees.  Cool in the dish for at least 30 minutes.

4) Thread beads on the wire using the same color with one glass filler bead between two colored beads.   I placed two filler beads in the middle of my necklace (see next picture) and threaded each side from there, placing 21 red/20 purple/19 pink beads on each side from the middle. You can finish your necklace here with your closure if you like.

5) If you want to make the fabric pieces, cut out two squares and four squared off triangles from your cardboard (I used a spaghetti box.)  Place one square between the two filler beads and hot glue the square in place making sure to secure all three wires.  Then add more glue and secure the other square on top of the already glued square. Repeat this step at the ends of the strands of beads with the squared off triangles.
Note: This picture was taken during trial and error of the fabric square but it shows the wrapping process.
6) Put a line of hot glue on one end of the square and place the embroidery floss along the glue and then wrap tightly around the square until you reach the end of the square and glue the end of the string down. Make sure to cover the entire square.  Repeat with the squared off triangles.

7) Add the lobster clasp to one end of the necklace and the tag to the other and go out and rock your new accessory.

So what do you think? I am really happy with my end product and I'm even more pleased that it cost me less than $5 to make.  It was more time intensive than planned but nothing a few hours of bad TV couldn't fix.  Now that I know the process, I cannot wait to play with clay some more this coming weekend! I want to know, dear readers have you experimented with Sculpey before?  I hope you had great weekends and are looking forward to the first week of April, wee!


Laura Go said...

I haven't played with clay in forever! I love how your necklace turned out, Cara! It's gorgeous.
♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights
the shop of worldly delights

hello, Friday said...

Beautifully done!! Thanks for the tutorial! xoxo

Samantha said...

Cara!! That is SO COOL!! I love it! I can't believe you even made the beads! I've taken 2 jewelry classes, but they are the same price as an Anthro necklace. At least I felt like I accomplished something at the end! THIS is amazing though (and cost effective)!

xo, sam

Rheannia Harris said...

I love this. It is a great DIY necklace and perfect for saving money!


Bravoe Runway said...

I've never tried to make my own jewelry so I"m always impressed when people like you put your handiwork to the test! Love it, the colours are really pretty :)

chp_dzn said...

Came across your blog and its lovely! Love that DIY! :)


Anonymous said...

Wow, that necklace came out great! I used to make clay beads when I was younger, and you're inspiring me to start experimenting with clay again. Your DIYs are really something special. You should make an ebook of your best DIY projects.

Ashlie Ortega said...

Love this DIY. this necklace is beautiful! You are a huge inspiration....cannot wait to try this! Thanks so much for sharing! Happy Tuesday!

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

awesome job! it's gorgeous :) i love anthropologie stuff but it is SO EXPENSIVE. this is a great DIY.

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