DIY: Stone pendant necklace

In my Thrifty Tuesday post yesterday, I included a photo of some stones I found at a vintage store in Dallas. I couldn’t wait to do something with them, so I came up with a way to make them into pendants. You could do this with any stone you find.

Supplies:

  • Stone
  • Chain
  • Glue (preferably clear glue–I used a hot glue gun and it turned out messy)
  • 1 head pin
  • 3 jump rings
  • Lobster or other clasp

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Making the pendant

  1. Wrap a scrap of chain around the top of your stone.
  2. Slip head pin through chain on the back and twist ends into a wrapped (or simple) loop at the top.
  3. Secure chain and loop with glue.

Attach pendant to chain and complete with the lobster clasp and jump rings. I also fastened a circular charm with my initial that I found in a vintage store. I only had hot glue, so the back of mine looks a little rough.

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A clear glue like Gorilla Glue or Super Glue would probably work better. I used about 18″ of chain, so mine hangs about mid-chest. This pendant would also work on a 20-30″ chain.

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Thrifty Tuesday: Dallas

Dallas is chock full of truly awesome vintage and thrift stores. However, there is an important distinction between the two:

  • Thrift–Your typical dingy stores where you have to dig a bit to find the good stuff. Prices on clothing will be lower because items are donated and their quality and condition are not tediously inspected.
  • Vintage–Vintage stores are more curated than thrift stores. Items are usually not donated, but rather purchased by the store to be resold. Therefore, prices will be higher. Many vintage shops will even repair and alter clothing.

If you don’t know the difference (or sometimes even if you do), vintage stores can give you sticker shock. But when looking for jewelry, vintage stores can actually be a better bet. Thrift stores tend to hike up jewelry prices, especially if their selection is limited. Most of my favorite and least expensive pieces were from vintage stores. They are more likely to sell “by the bag,” and also more likely to carry trinkets and interesting knick knacks.

On Saturday, I took to the streets of Dallas and visited my favorite of both. Here are the highlights:

First up, I went to Genesis Benefit Thrift Store. If you live in the DFW area and haven’t been there, go. You can find quality suits, like-new designer (actual designer, not just “designer by thrift standards”) wear and jeans that haven’t faded yet. The prices are fantastic as well. I bought three belts–one Ann Taylor, one Express and one vintage–for $1 each. As for jewelry, the prices weren’t so great. A simple tiered chain necklace was marked to $20, and when I questioned the price, the lowest negotiation got me to $12. Most places won’t negotiate though, so I will give them that.

Another of my favorites is Dolly Python. I am completely, hopelessly obsessed with this place. Upon entering, it seems like a crazy, unorganized mess. Look a little closer though, and it starts to make sense. The clothes are wacky and unique, and when you find something that fits it’s magic. This is also my go-to place for bags of jewelry and vintage buttons. This is a vintage store–not a thrift store–so prices will be higher.

Finally, I ventured into a new place. The side of Lula B’s Antique Mall in Deep Ellum labels it as having “cool stuff and cool people.” I would agree. With two floors of clothes, antiques, jewelry, records, rusty collectible beer cans, and pretty much anything else you could imagine, I was hooked. And this is what I dug up:

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Total cost: $3.

More to come soon–happy thrifting!

Thrifty Tuesday

I live in Arlington, Texas–home of many things, but not home to many decent thrift stores. If you are familiar with sub-par thrift stores, as I am, you probably know the struggle of finding something in good condition that has been priced way too high. You know the sort: Forever 21 dresses for a whopping $20, shoes from Target marked $10, or even worse, an entire section of items labeled “better clothing” and priced close to their original value.  

I went thrifting in Arlington today and found this to be my luck. But I am in need of chain and beads and I was determined to find them at a good price.

First up, I visited Thrift Town. They have one of those infamous “better clothing” sections and can be inconsistent with pricing. I found a few good options in the housewares aisle and the toys department:

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Housewares departments of thrift stores are full of knick-knacks. This could easily be taken apart for the seed beads

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A knick-knack with beads and reusable wire

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Bags of small toys like this would be perfect for crafting. They can be painted and used for magnets, necklace pendants, etc., and this bag was only $1.99.

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$8 for a necklace I’m going to take apart? No thank you!

I ultimately passed on buying anything here today. I guess I was too frustrated after visiting the jewelry section. Each item was priced between $5 and $15. Crazy, right? I don’t even pay that much for new jewelry unless it’s real silver or precious stone.

Next I visited Salvation Army, and here’s what I came away with:

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All of these were on sale. Total cost : $5.50

I can’t wait to tear them apart and experiment with the different pieces! Typically you can come away with a better deal than I got on these, but like I said, Arlington thrifting isn’t the best.

Spring Break seashells

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I get so happy every time Spring Break rolls around. I’m graduating in May so this was my last year to have that glorious week away from campus and feel reinvigorated by sunshine after spending weeks under fluorescent lighting in the library. I admit, that’s a little dramatic and I really don’t spend that much time in the library.

Regardless, I spent last week in Galveston collecting seashells, sipping drinks with cheesy tropical names and freezing my limbs off in the cold March water. I came back with an angry sunburn, a sack full of shells and an itching to make something.

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I posted yesterday about using atypical materials, with things found in nature being one of them. The thing about natural items is that they sometimes smell or contain still-living organisms. Especially seashells. This was my first time crafting with shells, so there might be better ways of cleaning them. This method worked just fine for me:

Supplies:

  • Shells
  • Saucepan or stockpot, depending on amount of shells
  • Spoon or utensil to stir (don’t use anything wooden, as you will definitely want to put this in a dishwasher)
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Bleach (I used a bleach-based kitchen cleaner)
  • Sponge
  • Clear nail polish (colored if desired)

Sanitize your shells:

  1. Put the shells in the saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in a strainer. This might smell really, really bad depending on where you collected the shells.
  2. Move them to a bowl and fill with equal parts water and bleach. Leave overnight.
  3. Pour back through the strainer. Scrub the shells to remove the bleach. I used a little dish soap to help with the smell, and scrubbed over a plastic bag to catch any broken pieces.

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4. If there are still barnacles or thin layers on your shells, you’re going to want to get rid of them. I used a pair of jewelry pliers to pick them off (make sure to sanitize after).

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5. Lay out to dry, then paint with clear nail polish. My shells lost a lot of color in the washing process, so I painted some with colored nail polish before adding a clear topcoat.

6. Some might contain natural holes (convenient!). For those that don’t, you will probably need a drill. I used a hammer and small nail, but I would not recommend this if you’re attached to any of the shells (a few broke).

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And here’s what I made…

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