Hardware Necklace from Banana Republic’s Spring Collection is Just Begging to Be DIY’d

scanned from Lucky Magazine ad, March 2012

This is so reminiscent of all the hardware-inspired necklaces from Fall/Winter 2009…and the hardware necklace I made using plumbing couplings that same year.  Though Banana Republic isn’t that expensive to begin with, getting the look requires only a trip to your local hardware store. 

DIY Tutorial Here!

So glad to see chunky metallic necklaces are in for Spring!!


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Don’t Buy, DIY: Hardware Necklace

A little DIY project for your Sunday!:-)

I wore my version of the hardware necklace in the latest styling challenge for America’s Most Stylish Blogger Competition.

(And if you may remember, in the video intro’ing the look for this week Tibi designer Amy Smilovic said I should have worn tights with my look. Funny thing…

I brought TWO pairs of tights to the studio one the night we shot: one gray, and one brown. For almost 20 minutes I debated the tights, and then finally decided against them, because:

  1. I wanted the shoes to pop. If the legs were almost the same color, the shoes got drowned out.
  2. Bare legs evoke far more sensuality and romance than covered legs…since almost everything else on me is covered.
  3. Wearing tights took away the “glam” factor and downgraded it to a casual day look. Not what I was going for.

And it doesn’t need a pop of color since I was going for monochromatism (I know that’s not a word, just bear with me) and I wanted the gold, silver, and shoe studs to be gleaming out from a sea of textures of brown and gray.

Just sayin.’)

Here’s the whole photo again, just to refresh:
Ah, the fickleness of fashion!

Okay, back to the necklace. Here’s a closeup from my photo:

We all saw last season’s Lanvin runway collection and those chunky, statement necklaces made from what looked like bits and bobs from the hardware store.

(Photos: FirstLook.com)

Queen Michelle over at Kingdom of Style did her own DIY tutorial on the trend for Vogue Girl Korea – so there’s really no reason for me to rehash it in step-by-step detail. It’s pretty straightforward.

(photo: Kingdom of Style)

Basically, in order to make this necklace, I purchased from the Home Depot plumbing section:

*1 pack of 3/4 x 3/4 straight couplings (5 to a pk)
*2 packs of 1/2″ compression nuts (3 to a pk)
*1 pack of 5/8″ compression nuts (3 to a pk)
And strung them on a dark gray satin ribbon. I folded the ends of the ribbon over 2 gold split rings I had banging around in my findings box (D-rings would have been better, but whatever); machine-stitched to reinforce the ends, and attached a heavy-duty lobster claw clasp and jumpring to one side.

Presto! In less time than it’s taken me to write this post, I had a gorgeous, shiny chunky statement necklace – for about $8 from the hardware store. (You may want to wipe your findings with alcohol to clean off any machinery grease/hardware store/raging testosterone smell from them.)

And…funny story…while I was in line at the register to pay for my findings, a sort of a roughneck-looking man with a little Jack terrier in tow lined up behind me. (Though why the dog was allowed inside the Home Depot I’m not quite sure – he definitely was too tiny to be a seeing-eye dog LOL) The guy goggled at all the findings I had plunked on the register conveyer belt and said “I see someone gave you a list” in that condescending ‘what’rya doin’ here, li’l lady?’ sort of tone. (This is my imagined scene from some Dirty Harry movie, none of which, I hate to admit, I’ve ever seen.)

It took me a moment to figure out what he was talking about. “Oh no,” said I. “No list.”

His eyebrows shot up almost into his thinning hairline. “You mean you picked all that out yourself?”

“Yup,” I said.

“Got a job to do, eh?”

I laughed and then said (which I ended up mentally kicking myself for later), “It’s not like I was looking for anything specific.”

He started to chortle. (I’m sure ladies don’t know s*** about plumbing was going through his mind about then.) “What did you need them for then? You making some sort of art piece?”

“No, jewelry,” I said.

“Ah. Jewelry.” Everything clicked in Mr. Females Don’t Know Hardware’s brain, and all was right with the world.:-)

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Happy DIY’ing!


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Don’t Buy DIY: Anni Albers Washer Ribbon Necklace

(My DIY version, left) I fell in love with this necklace (found on SixSixSick, right photo), originally by artist Anni Albers. They sell the DIY necklace kit on Urban Outfitters for $14.

(A little bit about Anni Albers and the necklace kit from the UrbanOutfitters website: “This German-born American textile artist was always creating, even during WWII when fine materials were in short supply. Back then, she’d use unlikely objects from hardware and stationery stores to constantly make new and exciting pieces. A pioneer of 20th century Modernism, Anni, along with her husband Josef, revamped and challenged the purpose and aesthetics of modern art. Based on an original 1941 piece that was featured in Anni’s exhibition of “common object jewelry”, this Washers and Ribbon kit lets you easily create an eye-catching piece. A simple, easy project, the kit includes all the components needed to create the necklace shown plus a photo of the finished product as a guide.”)

Now I was all ready to plonk down my $14 for the kit at my local Urban Outfitters, but the store didn’t have it, and the salespeople were so unbelievably rude when I asked about it (admittedly I was holding an upset-looking toddler and looked somewhat sweaty and disheveled myself) that I decided no way, no how was I buying it from Urban. So I just put together the parts – one trip to Home Depot, and one trip to Michael’s later, I was set. Figuring out how the ribbon was woven through took a few false starts, but here is the DIY anyway, just in case anyone’s interested:

You will need:
-2 M of 5/8″ double-sided ribbon (I chose satin-the UO version is grosgrain. Whatever you like, just make sure both sides are the same! I also grabbed a 3 M remnant spool out of Michaels’ $1 bucket near the cash registers.)
-4 small (5/16″ dia) zinc cut washers (loose washers in the drawers below the washer/screw section)
-2 packs (of 6) 1/2″ dia SAE washers (they come in little orange plastic packs hanging on the wall at Home Depot, item#19861)
-7 x zinc cut washers1/2″ (again, loose from the drawer below)*

*I know it looks like we just bought a whole bunch of 1/2″ washers, but for some reason the loose 1/2″ dia washers actually ARE 1/2″, whereas the loose, in the drawer “cutwashers1/2″ are larger (like 7/8” if truth must be told). Not sure why. Anyway, those are what I used; choose whatever sizes you like!

Total cost of washers? $3.74.

How to: Thread one of the smallest washers onto your length of ribbon, about 8″ or so from one end. Follow lacing instructions below, adding washers on in this order:
(S= small washer, M=medium washer, L=large washer)


Make sure you underlap the washers as you add each new one; the new one goes underneath the previous one. And they’re single-sided (a shiny side, and a matter side), so make sure you’re keeping the same side out for each one as you add it on!

Leave 6-8″ on the end once you’re done , and tie the end of the ribbon. You can also treat the ends with Fray-Stop, or fold them over twice and stitch a narrow hem to encase the edges (neither of which I’ve done in the photo cuz I’m just too lazy). I think I’ll just leave the ends tied – am not sure I like the bow I made. Anyhow.

Project Cost: $4.74.

Time to Make: 40 min since I had to rethread it 3 times before I figured out the tying method. Should take you less!

The necklace (though heavy) sits beautifully on the body, almost like a flat snake. Very nice, Anni Albers!

I’m wearing it with my DIY cut-off Hanes shirt that I got from the Dollar Tree for…yup, you guessed it…ONE WHOLE DOLLAR. I was thrilled to find blank white and colored M and L sized Hanes tees at Dollar Tree. The bottom half of this shirt went to my DIY necklush, which I’ll probably post a photo of to bore you all with later. I kept the top half, then realized it looks more than slightly like that little Loose Crop Tee that American Apparel is selling for $17 (which I’ve had my eye on for awhile)…so ka-ching! I feel $16 richer. Funny how DIY works that way!

Happy DIY’ing!



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