It’s Autumn and time to admire beautiful leaves, so why not find beauty in another leaf I had sitting in my beading and jewellery craft caddy and give it a chance to be worn and enjoyed. Because I love new shiny sparkly things to wear!
But it all started two years ago… I was shopping the 2015 Monsoon Sale and found a bag of messy silver leaves. Yes, I’m talking about something I bought in 2015. Don’t worry, we return to present-day in the next paragraph. Each necklace retailed for €13.90 new, but in the tangled state they were in, they were being sold in a plastic bag for €0.10 per necklace – four necklaces were in the bag. I decided to buy it and see what I could create from it. The bag of four silver necklaces was such a mess, it took me two years to approach the disaster, then there I was making a necklace from a mess of leaves. This is what the tangle looked like fresh out the bag. I avoided it for two years. Really, I would get the tangle out with great hopes then look at it sideways and tuck it back in the bag until I felt brave enough. There was NO way to untangle it without dismantling at least some of the necklace elements. It was a similar issue with the glass necklace I reworked. The combination of larger solid pieces between smaller chain sections seems like the perfect storm. See, even crafty folks like me get intimidated.
But it was time to tackle the tangle, so I started with one leaf and decided to jump in and add to it, one-by-one. My bent-nose pliers were essential. It would have been easier on my fingers working with two pair, in hindsight.
I kept going, one leaf at a time. It was tedious. It would NOT have been possible without the right pliers, good lighting, and some space to work. This was not a lap project with all its itty bitty pieces.
After an hour or two, it started to take shape and there were two strands of the leaves and a third in the works.
The final result.
Between each pair of leaves are two little silver loops so it moves easily, putting less stress on the metal leaves.
Each strand was designed with a different pattern. The shortest strand has small leaf back-to-back with small leaf then big leaf back-to-back with big leaf, starting and ending with a pair of smalls. The middle length strand alternates big leaf and small leaf, starting and ending with a small. The longest strand is alternating big and small leaves, facing the opposite direction from the middle strand and starting and ending with a big leaf. This was an intentional combination of patterns so when the necklace is worn it is not just three small leaves stacked in one place. The variation of leaf sizes and where they land in the necklace brings the layers alive.
Each of the three strands has a silver chain on either end which connects to a strong silver loop which connects to the clasp. They are each slightly different lengths, creating a lovely cascade appearance when worn.
Cascading leaves! Not messy.
The openwork design means that whatever I wear peeks through so my top can be part of the leaves’ beauty.
One final photo of the necklace.
I still have enough to make another necklace, though not with three strands. Considering the original bag of four necklaces cost me €0.40, I think it is safe to say I got my money’s worth on this. The materials are sturdy (not one break or bend when I was working with the pieces), the leaves have lustre (in spite of being in a plastic bag for the last two years), and the clasp itself will last (a bad clasp is just loss waiting to happen).
You can read about the other jewellery creations I’ve made from parts bought at the 2015 Monsoon Sale. That shopping trip has gone down in family lore because I bought €296.60 worth of broken and tangled jewellery for €11.10. With all the items I bought, I’ve made four pairs of earrings, eight necklaces, and still have more bits leftover to make more.
Project Supply Summary:
- Materials: Four tangled necklaces from Accessorize which included small chain lengths and zinc alloy leaves (total cost €0.40)
- Tools: Bent nose pliers