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.


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!

14 Comments on Don’t Buy, DIY: Hardware Necklace

  1. sarahq
    11.09.2009 at 2:26 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi! I just found your blog after googling DIY Fashion and linking from a few other sites.

    I've looked through each and every of your DIY projects and I really love them! Major inspiration for me.

    I'm just surprised there aren't many comments left for this one yummy mummy. But I'm one reader that will definitely come back for more! My daily click.

  2. sarahq
    11.09.2009 at 2:32 pm (6 years ago)

    And btw, any other DIY fashion sites that you would recommend??? I'd like to know wherever you get your inspiration from!!

  3. Ebonni
    11.09.2009 at 4:05 pm (6 years ago)

    Are you aware that you are a genius? I mean, seriously, I can't even get over how much I love your creativity. Bravo, girl!

  4. carlyjcais
    11.09.2009 at 5:24 pm (6 years ago)

    sarahq: I am so glad you found me! Wonderful to have you reading.:-) I only get a handful of comments on each post, but that's okay – I kno there are a lot of people reading given my traffic stats – and the few comments that are left make my day each and every time! I'm so lucky to have such sweet, loyal readers like yourself.:-) DIY fashion sites I frequent are,,,,…and often some of the big fashion blogs like FashionToast, Cocorosa, and childhood flames will post stuff they've made themselves…plus I check out online stores like Forever21, Free People, and to get ideas what to make. Hope that helps!

    Ebonni: You are so funny!:-D I'm so, so not a genius…but I appreciate the comment! It made my day, seriously!

    Thanks for your comments, ladies!

  5. stacy anne
    11.10.2009 at 9:53 pm (6 years ago)

    why wouldn't the dog be allowed in home depot? they don't serve food.

  6. carlyjcais
    11.10.2009 at 9:58 pm (6 years ago)

    stacy anne: hmmm. I'm not sure. I always figured “place of business, animals (except seeing eye dogs) not allowed” you know? I've never seen anyone with a pet in tow there before, so I was surprised. Silly little story.:-)

  7. anna
    12.04.2009 at 1:05 am (6 years ago)

    I must say, I think your's looks a lot better than the original ones. The originals look sort of like something a preschooler would make out of mig plastic beads, but yours was just wow.

  8. carlyjcais
    12.05.2009 at 5:35 am (6 years ago)

    Thank you anna! I was hemming and hawing on doing the DIY for this, b/c the originals were so oversized I knew I would have trouble pairing them into my everyday wardrobe. But thankfully they're not real hardware store parts (I believe), just cast specially for the designs – so what I did find at the store were chunkier pieces…that are smaller and thus go with alot more things. People stop me all the time and ask me about this necklace – it's crazy!

    Thanks for your comment!

  9. Lauren
    1.18.2010 at 10:25 pm (6 years ago)

    I'm probably going to make this after i get some money, but i was just wondering, is it really heavy? it looks like it may be…

  10. carlyjcais
    1.20.2010 at 4:57 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Lauren!
    Yes, it is pretty heavy – so I opted for heavy-duty clasp, split rings instead of jumprings, and machine-stitching to finish the piece off. But it is probably the heaviest piece of jewelry I own!!

    Have fun making your own – and if you can, try copper tubing instead if you're worried about the weight issue!
    Thanks for your comment!

  11. CelticCoyote
    1.24.2010 at 8:55 pm (6 years ago)

    Just for info – Service animals can be any size and they are not just “seeing eye” dogs. Service animals are allowed anywhere their human is allowed regardless of whether there is food served or not. My service dog is a small dachshund who is trained to summon assistance if I fall and she goes everywhere with me, including home depot … please don't disparage people with Service Animals because you don't see an obvious disability. Thank you.

  12. The Beading Gem
    5.15.2010 at 2:04 am (5 years ago)

    What a great post! An eyecatching design, runway inspirations and that conversation with the old fashioned guy at the checkout! Thanks for sharing. I will link in a future blog post!

  13. carlyjcais
    5.15.2010 at 3:39 am (5 years ago)

    Thanks @The Beading Gem!
    I must admit, your comment was a surprise since I posted this so long ago and had completely forgotten about it…Thanks for your input – I will be following on your blog forthwith!


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