tutorial: neon crystal necklace

July 24, 2012

I hope you love neon jewelry as much as I do, because here’s that second tutorial I promised you last week.

This one is a little more complex than the last – by which I mean it calls for more than just spray paint and a steady hand – but believe me when I say it’s entirely worth it. It’s got both neon and bling. What’s not to love?

Let’s start with some shopping. I made this necklace almost entirely from bits of costume jewelry I already had, but you may need to buy:

1. A thick chain, any length you want. I used a broken piece of a chain belt that worked out perfectly as I wanted a short necklace, but a longer chain would work just as well.

2. Thin ribbon that’s 4 times the length of your chain. I used double-sided satin ribbon in neon yellow.

3. Beads or crystal drops, and either wire posts or jump rings to attach them with. I used a broken pair of cheap crystal earrings and the original jump rings from each link.

4. Optional: a necklace clasp. I used a toggle, but I’ll explain how to get away without using one.

You’ll also need needle-nosed pliers to attach your bling, a lighter and some super glue. Ready?

First, I tied the ribbon onto one end of the chain. I left about a 4″ tail, but if you want to skip using a clasp you should leave at least 6″.

Then I began knotting the ribbon onto one side of the chain as if I were making a blanket stitch. Here’s a clearer diagram of the technique.

Keep going till you get all the way though the chain, keeping your knots are as even as possible. Also, don’t tie them too tight or the chain will curl on itself. Mine does this a little despite fairly loose knots so a little twisting is inevitable, but tight knots do make it worse.

Using the ribbon tails, I tied on a toggle clasp to the ends of the chain. You could choose to just use the ribbon tails themselves as a tied clasp, or if your chain is long enough to slip over your head in a closed loop, to knot them together at this point.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure you put a drop of superglue onto your finishing knots to keep your necklace from coming undone. Also, if you’re using synthetic ribbon like I am, I recommend singeing your ribbon ends with a lighter to stop them unravelling.

To the still-exposed chain side of the necklace, attach your beads with wire posts or jump rings and make sure they are well secured.

And there you have it: a DIY neon crystal necklace that looks like a boutique find. I wear mine all the time (as you probably already know if you follow me on Instagram), and nobody believes me when I tell them I made this myself – let alone from scraps of broken jewelry. Then again, maybe they’re just shocked that I actually keep scraps of broken jewelry.

Whatever. I may be 50 cats and a meltdown away from ending up on Hoarders, but so help me god, I’ll be the best dressed person on that show!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial – I’ve had way too much fun making these so I’m sure this won’t be my last…