With Christmas just around the corner, I am always on the lookout for simple (and cheap) but beautiful handmade gift ideas. At my2angels I saw some very pretty filigrees, have a look at them here! I took a few home to make into necklaces. The best thing is, they are so pretty by themselves, all the hard work is done and I just have to put them together.
For a real quick present I could simply attach a jump ring to a filigree flower and string it on a ribbon and it's done, but we can do better than that!
If you have never tried your hand at beading, this is the tutorial for you! It's not hard, seriously. You just need a few basic tools, available at my2angels:
round nose pliers ($1.50)
wire cutting pliers ($1.99)
Pick a filigree flower, like this one from a set of 6 mixed styles and open up a small jumpring with the pliers:
Slide the open jumpring through the flower and a filigree cross and close it with the pliers:
(Excuse the dirty fingers, I had just finished some gardening)
Repeat that on the other side, so you have 2 crosses attached to the flower:
Now slide another jumpring through the opposite hole of the cross and close it around the first link of a chain. Always bend the jumpring, not the chain links.
Repeat on the other side:
Measure how long you want your chain to be and cut through a chain link with the wire cutting pliers. Attach a small jumpring and a parrot clasp on one side and a larger jumpring on the other side:
Now a tassel! String a brown pearl on a head pin. They have a little stopper at the end so your bead won't fall off. If the bead's hole is too big and it falls off, add a bead cap. (I didn't have a antique bronze head pin, but the silver will do.) Cut it about 1cm above the bead with the wire cutting pliers (don't use your scissors, they will get wrecked!)
With the nose of the round nose pliers bend the wire till it looks like a hook...
... link it around a chain link...
...and close it with the pliers:
Do that 3 times, add a large jump ring and your tassel is complete!
Attach it to the flower and your beautiful necklace is done.
You can of course go all out with the bling and the colours, but I wanted something soft and tone-in-tone with the bronze.
And here I am with a beautiful new necklace:
Now that you have mastered the basics you can make all kinds of wonderful things. In fact, I rarely buy fashion jewelry, most of my stuff is handmade.
I got a little adventurous and decided to make something fancy. I picked a few different filigrees and arranged them in a triangle. Then I attached them all with small jump rings. I made sure I closed them all real well with a bit of an overlap, so they wouldn't come apart.
Find the ones I used here:
I added a chain, just like the first necklace, and a leaf charm:
And here we have it:
It was getting dark, so I stopped here, but if you like you can glue rhinestones, pearls or a resin flower in the centre of each circle. I decided to keep mine plain.
Once you get started the ideas keep flowing. I hope this has give you some inspiration for Christmas gifts.