Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a trend for colorful, almost craft-like jewelry. Although it initially reminded me of the jewelry I made at 10 years old, I was drawn to the contrast it brings to more grown-up outfits. And now, as the shelter-in-place order drags on, bright colors and funky styles are a welcome distraction. The more I looked at these trendy jewelry brands, the more I thought I could try to make similar pieces. For this post, I drew inspiration from two brands that have really embraced the whimsical, playful trend— Eliou and Roxanne Assoulin.
Of course, it’s important to support small businesses at this time, and I’ll be the first to admit that my renditions of this jewelry trend are not the sturdiest or most polished. So if you want something more long-lasting and high-quality, definitely invest in some pieces from these companies! I made these as a way to test out the trend at a lower price point, not to mention as a fun quarantine activity.
This picture by one of my favorite fashion girls, Megan Ellaby, was what began the entire jewelry-making idea. I was feeling idle while scrolling through instagram, and this necklace by In Association With really inspired me to dig out my old bead and tool boxes. I spent the next hour making this necklace— a pretty quick process, since the multi-colored seed beads can be randomly strung on.
My favorite necklace I made this past week was inspired by the Eliou Asti necklace ($385) and Roxanne Assoulin pancake imitation pearl necklace ($120). I thought the small colorful seed beads accented the classic pearls in a really fun, unexpected way. To make all of these pieces, I used 0.014 in beading wire, pliers, and beads and clasps from our home collection. For this necklace, I ordered some large (9-10 mm) genuine freshwater pearl beads for about $8 to get a similar look.
This next one was a really simple design, so it was a quick, cute project. Only one minor change from the Eliou Lowell necklace ($140), which was putting two colored seed beads between every clear bead, because mine were pretty small and I wanted the color to show up.
The Eliou Arco bracelet ($76) was possibly the most arts ‘n’ crafts I saw. Since we have a lot of leftover plastic tube beads, I decided to make both a bracelet and an anklet with my own spin on colors.
I was looking for something to make my sister, since technically, all my beading stuff was hers once I moved out and I was now borrowing it for this renewed hobby. I found this Eliou Filis bracelet ($98) and made my version with imitation pearl beads. I also added a small gold bead to transition the pearl sizes.
Out of all of the jewelry I made, this is the one I’m most proud of, since it required actual thought and effort outside of stringing beads on a wire. I saw the adorable Roxanne Assoulin Daisy anklets ($45) and immediately wanted one of my own. I was also craving a more challenging project after having made so many easy pieces.
I didn’t order anything new for this, which is why my “stem” color is white instead of something else, since I had a lot of white seed beads lying around. Making this was also more complicated, so I used this how-to page to learn to make the daisies. However, I encountered a few issues— the beading wire I had used for the previous pieces was not quite flexible enough to make so many small turns for the flower, so I settled on using a double strand of string. The issue with string, though, is that it frays, and it’s incredibly difficult to get two thin frayed strings through a tiny hole not once but twice. The frustration of this nearly made me abandon the idea, but quarantine forced me to persevere. (There was not much else to think about besides how to fix my daisy string problem.) So I got some old nail polish, took the two ends, and painted them together to create a non-frayed, slightly hardened tip, perfect for beading.
One last issue I faced when trying to make this daisy necklace was the amount of “petal” beads to use while forming the flowers. Since the seed beads were so small, I decided the center of the flowers would be a small pearl bead. The problem— the how-to page calls for six “petal” beads around the center, but the size difference between my center and petal beads made the petals look way too spaced apart. I ended up having to use 9 “petal” beads to go around the pearl, 6 on first, then the pearl center, then 3 more. This explains why my white strands in between don’t match up, since the number of “petal” beads is odd instead of even. I’m not too bothered by it, but it’s something to keep in mind if you decide to recreate it.
All in all, I really loved rediscovering this old hobby of jewelry-making, and I feel like I have so many more ideas. There’s something incredibly gratifying about making something with your hands and then being able to use or wear it. It’s a great chance to slow down and focus on a single, non-digital thing. This is the first of many DIYs to come, I can feel it.