DIY Necklaces shouldn’t be boring and shouldn’t all look the same! You’ll want to make these necklace ideas right away… because they rock. This post contains affiliate links.
There’s something about the way a little neck bling can totally transform an outfit – which is why today is the perfect day for me to share with you some of my favorite necklace ideas! I hope you love these as much as I do.
In this post, I first introduce you to the basics of making necklaces and then share with you a cool list of specific necklace ideas.
So scroll through, enjoy, and get crafty!
Necklace Making Supplies you’ll need:
If you’re a true beginner you’ll want to stock up your stash first. Which supplies you’ll need will obviously depend on which type of necklace you’re making. You may want to check out my full list of jewelry making supplies for beginners, but here are a few basis for necklaces:
- Clasps and connectors: Some clasps come with the thing you connect them to. Popular clasps, such as spring ring clasps and lobster jaw clasps typically don’t. You’ll want either a thin twisted cable chain or jump rings to connect them to. You may need jump rings anyway to connect the parts.
- Chain – finished or by the foot.
- Stringing wire – I love Tigertail wire for strung designs. It’s durable and will make your necklace feel like a quality piece. It is like a metal string: it has natural slack and flexibility.
- If you’ll be stringing necklaces, you’ll want crimp beads or tubes to finish them off.
- And finally, get a stash of pliers: chain nose, round nose, and cutters. You can add more specialty pliers to your stash later down the line.
- I also highly recommend having a starting stash of wire in 24 and 20 gauge thicknesses. You can use this to make jump rings, wrap pieces, and more.
Add more necklace making supplies to your stash later down the line, as you need them for individual projects.
You definitely will need more supplies for some of these projects. The list above is really just a starting point for supplies you’ll need for most projects.
Not sure where to get your necklace supplies?
I put together a dedicated list to help you find the best places to buy beads online – and yes, it includes findings too!
Necklace Making Basics:
How to attach clasps and jump rings:
Attaching a clasp is so simple, you just need to try it once and you’ll have mastered it.
Some clasps come with a loop attached that opens. Others don’t and require a separate jump ring. Either way, you may prefer to add the jumpring or you may choose not to.
To open clasps and jump rings, you want to work with a backward/forward motion, twisting the ring. You don’t want to pull it apart right-left because it weakens it.
Loop it through your end piece (either a bead attached to an eyepin, or possibly some sort of link) and close the same way.
Your connector – either a chain of jump rings or a bit of chain – is connected the same way. Your cable chain may or may not have links that open. I’d actually encourage you to use a good, thick jump ring instead to keep it strong.
How to finish off a strung necklace:
To finish a necklace that’s strung on beading wire, you’ll want to START your piece with one half of your clasp. String on a crimp bead or tube, your clasp, and then back through the crimp tube in the opposite direction as pictured.
Use your pliers to crimp it flat and then fold it in half to complete your crimp.
Your first few beads secure the closure by going over the “tail” of your beading wire.
When you finish off your piece you pretty much repeat this process with the other half of your clasp.
Wire wrapped Necklace and Pendant Ideas:
There are so many ways to create pendants using just a stone or a few beads, andinexpensive wire! I created a dedicated post for how to wire wrap a pendant, with over 14 specific ideas for you to try!
There are a few different ways to make wire wrap necklaces
- Since wire wrap necklaces are very stiff, you’ll probably prefer to only wire wrap a portion of it as I did with this wire wrap necklace. For the rest, you’ll finish off with something more flexible to make it more wearable.
- There are many tutorials in my wire wrap pendant post for pendants only (as in, a piece of jewelry that hangs from a standalone chain.) Some of them are quite elaborate but you don’t need to go crazy! Go simple as I did with this Wire wrap stone.
- You can also wire wrap all different shapes – hearts, and more. You can create your own elements from scratch to wire wrap – and in my book How to make jewelry out of anything I even wire wrapped a nail-polish drizzled twig. And it’s my favorite piece!
Want to learn how to make jewelry out of anything? Get the book!
Necklace Ideas Using Unique Materials
If you love the How to Make Jewelry Out of Anything concept, these ideas are special for you. I don’t yet have a dedicated list for this category, so I rounded them up for you here.
One way to make your necklaces look modern, to add texture, and to move away from the expected is to explore materials beyond beads and basics.
These necklace ideas all do that!
Make a DIY Felt Necklace with beautiful hand-stitched details like this stunning layered pendant.
You can get creative with your color combinations and practice different hand stitches for beautiful layered looks.
Paper quilling is its own craft forms, but fusing your different crafting skills will take your DIY jewelry to the next level! Try this paper quilling flower pendant when you’re ready to expand your horizons.
Then, try quilling different shapes and turning those into pendants!
I created this Mosaic bib necklace so many years ago and today I might do a few things differently – such as using plastic mosaic tiles instead of the beads I happened to have handy. I’d also double back the base so it’s sturdier.
But the idea is the same: turn a work of art into a wearable necklace. And have fun getting creative!
Justify that nightly glass of wine – you need those corks to make stuff! Or just ask your buddies to hold onto theirs.
Recyclables are a hit with jewelry making and this cork necklace is absolutely not an exception! Again, you can make it more polished or more funky, add metallic elements or keep it raw – you can even burn in a name!
If you can make jewelry from corks, why not rocks?
This rock necklace has all the bling and is modeled to sort of look like a gold nugget but not quite. It has matching earrings which yes, I wore to death, and got LOADS of compliments on, so don’t underestimate this one!! It’s cool!
Oh, and I forgot to mention it’s also wire wrapped.
Bring out your inner geek (if you have an inner geek) and make some Tetris jewelry. 90’s you will think you’re the raddest thing that ever existed.
The coolest part of this DIY necklace is that it teaches you how to make something unique by thinking of a new purpose for something you’d typically use differently.
I’m not sure what qualifies one thing as a “regular necklace” and the next as a statement piece. Where does it cross that line?
Most necklace ideas that you’ll find online are NOT minimalist (although I have plans…) but some take over your outfit more than others.
I did gather a few of these into a compilation of DIY statement necklace ideas, so for very specific necklace ideas, do hit that up.
Meanwhile, here are some tips for making your own statement necklaces:
- Pay attention to weight. You don’t want something that will literally wear you out. For very large pieces, work with lighter materials (such as aluminum vs. other metals or wood beads vs. glass).
- On that note, make sure to use an appropriate clasp. Your garden variety spring ring might break with too much weight on it. I love using jumbo lobster claw clasps for these. They’re not only easy to handle, but they’re also so cool!
- Work your colors! The cool thing about statement necklaces is that they’re supposed to stand out. Get color inspiration from sites like Adobe Color. Use your own favorite photos to extract color tones. The color wheel is a great tool as well – and don’t forget how bold (and practical) neutrals can be!
- Once again, play with texture, not just color. Think felt, wood, leather. There are so many textures you can get within leather alone! Even metal has so many opportunities for texture play: hammered, brushed, patina finished…
Cool Necklace ideas using clay:
this seashell necklace made from found shells pressed into air dry clay. It’s so fabulous! I also shared a few cool hacks for coloring and decorating your clay to add interest.
And finally, whether you’re a kid, or a kid-at-heart, there’s nothing quite like friendship necklaces to set your friendship apart!
I hope these necklace ideas were helpful and that you found the perfect idea to create and then to make your own!
If you loved these you’ll absolutely love How to Make Jewelry Out of Anything.
Not only does it have unique, quirky ideas using unusual materials and techniques, but it also teaches the basics of jewelry making so that you can start from scratch and own this craft!