[the DIY Files] make a loud and bright statement – part I

Like many of the 20-something creative women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!

One of the fan-TAS-tic aspects of creating jewelry — whether for m!spunktuation or for my own person collection — is the myriad of materials available to use in making such pieces. From utilizing safety pins comme earrings (I know, so sanitary), to modified belts as wrist cuffs, to even fragmented glass set in necklace form — there are almost no limitations on what can be turned into jewelry.

Lucite — or acrylic, in its less expensive/more popular form — has made quite a few appearances over the past three decades, most notably during the 80’s neon-everything craze. And while I was too young to remember (or participate) in any of brightly hued bangles and geometric-patterned accessorizing, I do remember craving to wear the pliable acrylic ‘jelly’ bracelets which surfaced in middle school. Of course, now the acrylics are back, and bigger than ever, crossing over in clear, colors with translucence, and even incorporating ombre shading into its pieces.

crystal crusted lucite Deco earrings

lucite heel 1

‘brittany’ lucite platform heel. [Jeffrey Campbell/NastyGal]

emerald starburst necklace with acrylic backing [Baublebar]

Things you will need:

  • clear plastic cosmetics travel case (can be easily found at Wal-Mart or local dollar store).
  • scissors
  • pen or pencil
  • a design idea or template (browse statement necklaces online for ideas)
  • graph paper (such as the blank templates here)
  • clear/colorless rhinestones in two-three different sizes
  • nail polish (3 different colors maximum + clearcoat)
  • head pin/toothpick for glue
  • E-6000 clear glue
  • (2-4) medium silver jump rings
  • chain (with clasp) of your desired length

1. Arrange your rhinestones in the chosen pattern on the grid lined graphing paper. Once you’ve decided how you want the stones arranged for the necklace, assign the stones their respective colors.

2. Draw out the design so that you can have an idea of the final look once its completed.

a sketch is a sketch is a sketch.

a sketch is a sketch is a sketch.

2. On the grid paper itself, color in the boxes on the squares that would be covered with the rhinestones.


color, colour, and COLAAR!

3. Paint the rhinestones with the nail polish 1 to 2 coats. I used a mix of clear and black stones, so my color palette included a sunny sherbert yellow and a deep jewel-tone teal.

Quasi On Stilts-013

4. While the nail polish dries, take the clear cosmetic bag and cut out one side of the bag. This will serve as your base, or the “lucite” backing of the necklace. Cut off the stitched sides and any excess plastic.

Quasi On Stilts-012

5. Place a small quantity of the E-6000 glue on a disposable card. Place the plastic side on the graphing paper over the colored in squares. This way, when you’re gluing the rhinestones to the plastic, it’ll be more accurate in terms of keeping lines straight and the image symmetrical.

6. Now that you have the colored rhinestones attached to the base, you can now cut out your pendant design from the acrylic according to the pattern you’ve already sketched. Make sure there’s about 1/8 of an inch border around the edges of the pendant so there’s sufficient room to attach the necklace.

7. Using a needle or sharp fine pointed pin, pierce the top of the pendant approx. 1/8 of an inch from the top edge of the piece. This is where you will insert the jump rings to attach to the necklace chain.


black chain brings a stark and deep contrast to the bright stones.

8. SLOWLY — because this plastic is thin and will tear if you rush it — push the jump ring through the puncture, then push the ends together while leaving a small enough opening for the chain link. Place one on each end of the pendant in order to balance the weight of the pendant.

9. Attach both chains to the pendant, and use two more jump rings as needed for any additional pieces you may have cut for the pendant. Hilariously, mine ended up being two pieces, after I came to the decision that having it attached with jump rings would help weigh the pendant.


details: overlap of acrylic for 2nd set of jump rings. uh, ch-yea.

10. ..wait, what?! You’re DONE, may-ne. Now wear it OUT.


ta-da! its done and FAB-u-lous.

NB: If you live in a particularly humid/balmy/erratic-weather area, a piece like this delivers a punch of color and BAM! without sticking to your skin with the heaviness of a thick lucite or metal. Layered with some thinner necklaces of 2 or 3 different lengths will frame this piece and elevate it to more-than-a-DIY.

If you thought I was done with like-lucite DIY… you would be incorrect, yo.

Another project coming forth from The DIY Files. [dun-dun-dah!]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s