(Above: J. Crew Crystal Symphony Necklace; Tiered Crystal Libretto Necklace, both $98.)
So I fell in love with the image above from the J. Crew August 2009 catalog. I already wrote that, I know.
hinestones??? Swarovski I can understand. But that's more expensive than quartz gemstone would be, honestly. Buy these from FireMountainGems.com for $4.27 and string 'em yasself and have a gemstone necklace.
But I digress. I wanted rhinestone, I wanted similar styles - and so I headed to my old standby for cheap jewelry finds that I can rip apart: Forever21. (I know, some poor Chinese laborer likely working long hours crafted these pieces, by hand, in a factory somewhere in mainland Chaina [according to the label]. I'm very sorry, unknown Chinese craftsperson, to be destroying your handiwork. I wish there was a place here in the U.S. that wholesaled components like these, I truly do. But until there is, I will have to rip apart the work you slaved over. :-( ) Anyway, apologies to the Chinese factoryperson aside, I bought these styles:
You can buy the necklaces here but the bracelet is no longer available online. You basically need a stretch bracelet with large rhinestones on it to do the trick.
The two necklaces were simple; here's the how-to:
DOUBLE RHINESTONE NECKLACE WITH RIBBON
1. Open up the jumprings on either end (before the clasp and large ring on the end), pull off the clasp and ring, and reattach both jumprings onto larger 12 mm silvertone jumprings . (Both necklace ends share the same ring.)
2. Then tie some black grosgrain ribbon (should have been 3/8", but I could only find 1/4" at the store urrr) around the large rings.
3. Tuck the ends of your ties into the knots themselves to conceal them. Secure with some fabric glue, and voila! Your own version of the J. Crew Tiered Crystal Libretto Necklace, for about $11.60 for the two necklaces + $1.99 for the ribbon. (on the left, below)
LARGE RHINESTONE CHAIN NECKLACE
1. Cut the large rhinestones off the bracelet by cutting through the stretchy elestic and pulling them off. (Oversized jewels used in stretch bracelets usually have two holes on each side of the jewel to allow two rows of stretch elastic through.)
2. Thread a goldtone eye pin through the rhinestone holes side-to-side [through the top set of holes on each rhinestone only].
3. Cut off the eyepin to the correct length, bend and curl the length to create a loop (for each rhinestone eyepin).
4. Add goldtone jumprings to each loop, and link the rhinestones together.
5. Add some goldtone chain and a necklace clasp set to the ends (I had decided to make my necklace more like J. Crew's Majesty Stone Necklace ($115) than the Crystal Symphony Necklace simply because the F21 bracelet rhinestones were pretty big - but of course you can attach the black grosgrain ribbon instead of a gold chain to be more like the J. Crew version.)
Anyway, the bracelet from F21 was I think $3.80, and I already had all the findings, so I felt pretty satisfied with the job. I love wearing both necklaces layered, like in the catalog, but they are each pretty on their own.
Happy DIY'ing! Hope all of you are having a fabulous Labor Day!