I am serving in the Young Women's organization in my church. At the start of each year we have New Beginnings which is kind of like a kick off for the year to come. I get to plan this activity and I wanted to share one of the things I am working on. This year, the theme for all youth of the church is the 13th Article of Faith. The end of the article states, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." I decided to build our night around this statement and we are doing a treasure hunt theme for our invitations and decorations.
I wanted each girl to have something to take away from the night that would help them to remember to seek after all that good stuff when they are out living their lives. My sister posted THIS adorable necklace and I jumped at the chance to copy it. She sent me the file for printing out the cute words to put in the necklace, but I couldn't get it to work on my computer. I also wanted to focus more on the seek than the believe for this night. So, I put on my thinking cap and I am just going to say that I am pretty proud of myself!! :)
I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of stuff, luckily I hit the 50% off sale (I am of course chalking it up to destiny). I have a little bit of experience making jewelry as my previously mentioned sister has helped me make a few things. But I am certainly no pro. I felt a little nervous and hoped I remembered everything as I checked out with my supplies
I began with the cord for the necklace. They had a lot of premade cords you could buy, but they were $1-3 dollars each. Budget busting when you are making 20. I thought of going with leather cord, but found this stuff rubbery stuff at a fantastic price-- $1 for 5 yards (50% off) or $0.10 each!!
The premade necklaces were all 17.5", so just to be safe, I cut my stuff into 18" lengths.
I decided before I went too far that I had better come up with a prototype and see if liked it made up. Well, I liked it! So I go to work on reproducing it 19 more times. I'll tell you how I did it.
Before we start though, I'll suggest that as with any job, good tools are important. I have (l to r) 2 pairs of pliers, a crimper (which I didn't use this time), circular-needle-nose-looking-tool, and wire cutters. I like the 'mini' sized tools and find them easy to grip and manipulate.
I started my project by putting a 'cord crimp' at the end of each cord. I got these nifty pieces that you simply crimp on and it gives you a loop. They are $0.07 for a pair.
I then got my charms and bail plates ready. First the charms. There was a flyer at Hobby Lobby which showed how to make any bead into a 'dangle' type bead, or charm-like. I found these darling 'head pins' that had a little rhinestone on the end. You simply stick the pin through the pearl:
Then you grab the pin with this tool. They look kind of like needle nose pliers, but they are rounded so you can form a loop. You grip it tightly with one hand like this:
Then using needle nose pliers in your other hand, you grab the wire and wrap it around the tool to make the loop, then circle the base of the loop with the wire, creating this:
Snip off the excess wire with wire cutters and be sure the sharp end is tucked in well, leaving this doo-dad. The fancy pin was expensive, so they end up being about $0.62 each.
From here I moved on to the bail plates. These are small, flat metal shapes that you can stamp with words. They come in lots of shapes and sizes. I went with silver cirlcles which were only $0.31 each once you take off the 50%.
Then it was stamping the letters on. It's best to do this on a really hard surface. I use our granite counters (a metal block is recommended, but I don't have one of those in my kitchen). I started with the "E"'s:
I did them first so I could center them. I then moved on to the "S."
Then of course the "K" makes SEEK.
To make the letters show up, you have to color the letters thoroughly with a Sharpie. Then once it is really dry, wipe it off with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
At this point I felt like I was getting close to being done! So of course everyone needed my help right NOW! :) What's up with that anyway? OK, back to the necklace.
This is the point where you string the plate and the charm onto the cord. Easy. OK, pretty easy. You do need to add a 'Jump Ring' to each charm. I used the larger jump ring for the charm so that you can then just string it right on.
Then just slide on the plate. Check.
All that is left now is to put on the clasp. I chose ones that were kinda fancy so they were 5 for $3.50....until you take off that 50%, and now they were only $0.35 each! They are the "O" and the "T" type A.K.A. 'toggle' type. There are some fun magnet clasps, but these were a good price and they had cute little hearts. :)
You attach the toggles with jump rings as well-I used the small ones pictured above. I have to say that attaching those little jump rings would be easier with those magnifying glasses that dentists wear. I'll have to look into those next project.
So when it was all said and done, each necklace was about $1.15 and this is how it turned out:
I put them in these cute little gauzy bags which bumps the cost up to $1.35.
I will put these in a little clear gift bag along with some Hershey's Treasures (chocolate candy shaped like a tiny treasure chest). That brings it up to around $1.50. NOT BAD....If I do say so myself...which I DO!!!
I hope the girls like them enough to wear them once in a while! I think it is a fun way to remind them to SEEK after the good things in life! New Beginnings is this Wednesday, I hope it goes well.