Handmade jewelry is all the rage right now, it seems. There are wonderful Etsy shops with dazzling creations on the web and you can't stop at an arts and crafts fair without seeing multiple jewelry vendors.
This is great, because who doesn't love handmade items? But, even the lower-priced handmade items just aren't in my budget right now. Do you know that they actually expect you to buy textbooks when you are in graduate school? Do you know how much a $100 or $150 text cuts into my fashion budget???
So, what's a girl to do? Do without (which is no solution at all) or make her own! And making your own jewelry is so easy! You could have a wardobe full of unique items for the price of one or two individual pieces if you shop carefully.
Almost any craft or hobby store carries findings, beads and pendants in various shapes and sizes. Those half-off coupons for Michaels or Hobby Lobby can really cut your costs. If you don't have a hobby store in your area, you can get supplies online at Rings & Things, and the prices are unbelievable. Don't overlook yard sales and secondhand shops as sources, either - any costume jewelry can be taken apart to yield pieces for custom items.
I don't even have fancy jewelry pliers - I use hemostats. Trust me - if I can do this, any of you can do it, too. Use your imagination and play around with different arrangements of rings, beads and pendants. You'll have fun, and if nothing else you can make your own Christmas gifts this year!
The jewelry shown in this post is my most recent work - I wanted something casual and summery and inspiring. And I thought of all my sources of inspiration over the past year, and all of you came to mind. So, to thank all of you for all of your support this past year, I am having a little giveaway.
I am giving away the custom necklace pictured here. The pendant is base metal and it says, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." It's a quote by Aesop, and I think it is particularly appropriate for the bloggers I know. :)
It is shown below with the matching custom earrings I made - also included in the giveaway. I did not put the earrings on because I knew I would be giving them away, and I didn't want to risk sending any of you any tiny little microbial visitors. I'm considerate like that! :)
The chain is thrifted from some costume jewelry I got at an estate sale - it is white metal but I don't know the composition. The ear wires, however, are new. If you choose to reuse ear wires or ear posts in your jewelry I recommend sanitizing them carefully!
The jewelry (necklace and matching earrings) will be *boxed* in a special surprise for the winner, but that will be for the winner to discover. :) If this jewelry is not your style, perhaps it is better suited for someone you know - I would be delighted to know that it had been given as a gift to a loved daughter, or granddaughter, or niece, or what have you!
To enter, leave a comment on this post. Because I think multiple comments are fun, each extra comment (up to five total) will count as another entry. If you choose to mention this giveaway on your blog, I'll give you five extra entries, but please be sure to mention that in one of your comments so I can credit you.
I'll take comments through 6 p.m. Eastern time on June 14th; I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner and then I'll mail the package out as quickly as I can and hopefully you can wear your summer jewelry on the first day of summer!
Good luck! Enter early and enter often!
******A hint on the box: it's from France, from a region that is famous for porcelain. :) ******