DIY “Lacquer” Bobble Necklaces

Happy Columbus Day, everyone! I hope you all have enjoyed (or are enjoying!) a nice three day weekend. I’ve spent the weekend away from the computer and craft table, re-charging a bit. We’ve been to a Fall festival and a dinner party with friends, and are hunkering in for a nice day of relaxing today. While I catch up on photographing a few new projects for here on the blog today, I thought I’d post this fun and simple project I featured over at Positively Splendid a few months ago!  In case you missed it or need a quick project for a rainy day (which we seem to have a lot of here lately!)…here you go!

I am not a huge jewelry wearer (you can more often find me in workout clothes and headbands ;); but when I do, I like my necklaces to be bold, simple and colorful. When I spotted some simple lacquer bobble necklaces in a boutique for upwards of $20, I knew I could DIY my own version for much cheaper! Not only are these a fun project to fill an afternoon, but you can likely make them using supplies you have on hand (if you don’t have them in your stash, they’re super inexpensive!), AND you can make them to match every outfit in your wardrobe!

These are super quick and simple to pull together! Here’s what you need:

  1. Wooden beads in a variety of sizes (I used two sizes in my necklaces)
  2. A safety pin (for stringing your beads)
  3. Two 1″ wide x 30″ long (you can always make them shorter at the end!) strips of knit fabric in your preferred color or pattern (this is a perfect project to use up those scraps!) Knit is my choice here because it doesn’t fray, it’s soft and simple, comes in a variety of colors, and can stretch as needed.
  4. Playdough (optional) – for painting
  5. Toothpicks (optional) – for painting
  6. Acrylic paint (in a matching/coordinating color) and a paint brush

When I first set out to do this project, I had a tough time finding wooden beads. Sure enough, I found them in Hobby Lobby for just a few dollars. Here are the ones I used – I got two necklaces out of these 20 beads.

I wanted to paint my beads all in one shot, so I used play dough and toothpicks to help me out!

  • Roll your play dough into tiny balls that can fit into your beads.
  • Stuff the play dough into the hole of the beads.
  • Insert a toothpick into the play dough.

Now, holding onto the toothpick, paint your beads with the acrylic paint and paint brush.

 To allow your beads to dry without having to place them down onto a flat surface, insert the toothpicks into some Styrofoam (I used a wreath form I picked up from the Dollar Store ages ago). Once your paint is dry, give your beads a few light coats of clear gloss spray. This makes the paint finish harder and more durable, and gives your beads that “lacquered” look!

 Once your beads are dry, remove the play dough and toothpicks. Now it’s time to string them up and make a necklace!

  • I used two knit strips for my necklaces to make them a little more durable and to make my knots a little bigger on each end of the bobbles.
  • First, stack the knit strips on top of each other and pin them together with a safety pin.
  • Then, string the beads onto the knit using the safety pin as a needle. My “pattern” was 3 small beads > 5 big beads > 3 small beads. I knotted off the ends of the beads by tying my two knit strips together into knots.

Now your necklace is done! Such a simple project and fun fashion statement!

For the navy blue necklace, I wanted to try a different paint method. I placed my leftover beads onto a slab of wood and gave them several light coats of blue spray paint. Once they were fully dry, I flipped the beads over and repeated on the other side.

Once the beads were fully dried and cured, I repeated the same process to make the necklace. This time I tied a knot > one small bead > another knot > 5 large beads > knot > small bead > knot.

Two very simple necklaces that cost just a few dollars to make using supplies I mostly had on hand!

I like keeping the strings long so I can customize the length of my necklace based on my outfit. To wear the necklace, just knot it off at the length you like!

Have a great rest of the long weekend. See you back here Wednesday with a fun sewing surprise!

 Megan

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4 Responses to DIY “Lacquer” Bobble Necklaces

  1. Dear Megan,
    I found your blog through the Best Of The Weekend Link Up and I am super duper glad that I did! I am a DIY beginner and I am constantly on the look out for interesting, cheapish, not too complicated DIY projects. I love these bobble necklaces, they look super great and actually achievable for me!
    I am certainly going to give them a go.
    Thanks for the great tutorial.
    Love Gi
    xx

  2. So clever! I think I will paint a bunch of these beads in different colors and have my nieces make necklaces during a weekend family reunion we have coming up. I will bring extra supplies (like paint pens) so they can maybe embellish the beads a bit more before they make the necklaces.

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