Cheap and easy geometric necklace DIY

After my incredible victory with re-stringing my geometric wood bead necklace (see it in its glory here), I started thinking that maybe I could make my own necklace. I started poking around Etsy for some appropriate things to string together to make a necklace (most commonly referred to as "beads" I guess) but quickly became overwhelmed by the holy-shit-woah number of beads on Etsy.

After seeing a few polymer bead necklaces on Pinterest, and finding out that it's vegan, I started to think that maybe I could be so DIY that I could make my own beads. Ignore, for a moment, that Sculpey conjures images of psychedelic starburst bead adorned bongs and weird miniature fake troll babies made of polymer clay (true story - I secretly love those). It just might work. And how hard could making some shapes be, anyway?

I found myself at an arts & crafts store, staring down their Sculpey rack with "do or die" running through my head. (Fine, it was more like, "Man, Two Boots' vegan pizza is right around the corner. I'm so hungry.") I picked out a bunch of colors because I realized this stuff is pretty cheap. I was tempted to just get like 6 packs of black and black glitter and call it a day but I decided to live a little. 

^ loooook at all my Premo! ^

I laid out a flexi cutting board (that I'd no longer be putting foodstuffs on) and started mushing around one color, with the idea that I'd construct some shapes similar to both the necklace I mentioned above and also other necklackes I've seen around town. 

I rolled some very "organic" shaped round beads by rolling them around on the mat. (Example: wonky blue piece.) After my boyfriend made a few observant comments about the artsy-craftsy nature of my effort with perhaps some concern in his voice, I figured out that if you use just your palm, the beads come out a little smoother. (See: pink marbled bead.) The cylinders came out uneven until I used a flat surface to roll it out (I used the surface area of a full Sculpey pack). I used a small knife to trim the ends off of both cylinders to make them look neater. 

Since I knew I'd want to weight the necklace correctly, I paid attention to how many bars of Sculpey each bead took to make. The blue bead was 2. The gray cylinder was 1. The pink bead was 1.5 -- and the black tube was going to be in the middle so its weight didn't matter. 

^ these are the shapes I made, inspired by other necklaces ^

I needed to create holes to thread the necklace cord through. With the round beads and the small cylinder beads it was not a problem. I used a wooden skewer and made sure to move it around a bunch so the hole would be big enough to thread cord through. The black curved tube was a bit more challenging. I was able to use the skewer to make a pretty big hole through the straight tube and then carefully bent it into the shape I wanted - and just hoped for the best. (Well, I bent it and then carefully unbent it to neurotically check to make sure the hollow was still intact. About 10 times.) Once I trimmed the ends, I needed to reinforce the hole again but the clean edges seemed to stay intact despite the re-holing efforts. These all went in the toaster oven at 275 for 30 minutes. That's right! Not even the real oven. It wasn't as fun as my old Holly Hobby Easy-Bake oven where I essentially used a lightbulb to "cook" cake when I was 7 or Creepy Crawlies where I used some weird plug in cauldron to make the best gummy bugs But still pretty neat. 

^ all baked and ready to thread ^

Thankfully {insert all holes were okay comment without sounding gross} and I was able to thread the cord through with no problems. With the curved tube I was able to thread it by staring it on one side and giving it a jostle until it went all the way through. Basically I'm the best at this stuff, I guess. 

Then I went ahead and finished my necklace by knotting each bead into place with some consideration as to weight. It's not exactly weighted but it's such a small difference that the necklace lays the right way when worn. 

I left that orange speck in the granite cylinder purposely, after noticing it happened accidentally.  I just liked it. Plus, lazy.

So, there you have it. My cheap and easy geometric shape necklace.