31 Days · DIY · Jewelry

31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 8: Pebble Necklace

OK, I’m pretty excited about today’s project. I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. See, making jewelry is a passion of mine, but it can be challenging because you can envision a piece one way, but in reality it’s completely different. That happened with this project, but I was able to take it apart and rework it until it became something even better than my original plan.

This thrifted necklace has come a long way.

It started as a chunky, white necklace made of knotted plastic beads. I was drawn to the necklace because of the size of the beads. The beads were dirty, and the cord holding them together was worse. I knew it would have to come apart and be rebuilt.

I sketched out some ideas of what I wanted the necklace to look like. My original ideas required 11 large beads and some smaller beads. I searched several thrift stores, looking for another old white necklace for the smaller beads, but there wasn’t one to be found.

I settled for buying new beads to mix with the old ones. While at the bead store, I also got some head pins, eye pins, jump rings, a lobster clasp, and some chain. I chose silver plated metal instead of my usual sterling silver to keep costs low.

I started by snipping the cord. Next I looked through the beads, determining which 11 looked the best. (Even after cleaning, a few of the beads still looked dingy.)

I created wrapped wire loops using eye pins on the “pebble” beads so that I could connect the smaller round beads to them with head pins. (If you have no idea what this means, you can find some jewelry making tutorials on YouTube or take a class like I did.)

Next, I started playing around with the layout.

I attached the round beads to the pebble beads using wrapped wire loops, and then attached these to chain with jump rings. On some, I added only one small bead, but other others I added two or three. This looked pretty on a flat surface, but when I held it up around my neck, it wasn’t quite right. I took some extra small beads off. Still not it. I took all the pebble beads off and spaced them out a little more on the chain. MUCH better.

I used two 8-inch lengths of silver chain to extend the length of the necklace, then I attached a lobster clasp and large jump ring to the chain for a closure.



I love it! It turned out so well, I want to find some other vintage beads to try this in different colors. Ah, the possibilities!

And what am I doing in this photo? I convinced Husband to take pictures of the necklace today. When I downloaded all the images, there were many taken at strange moments (adjusting the necklace, brushing hair out of my face) and more than one shot of blurry feet. This was the best “after” photo.


This post is part of a 31 Day series. Find all the posts in this series here.


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9 thoughts on “31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 8: Pebble Necklace

  1. Very cute! I love that the necklace is long so that it fits around a shirt collar. Would be perfect for me since I can’t wear necklaces against my skin.

  2. That is neat. I love that you had this idea of hope from an old dirty thrift store necklace. It is really pretty.


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