Pinspiration Monday: DIY Wooden Bead Necklace

In my quest to discontinue buying clothes throughout the entirety of 2013, I’ve been focusing a lot on how to make my existing outfits more versatile. One of the easiest tricks I use to change up the look of my clothes involves jewelry. For example, a simple long gold necklace worn with a white button up blouse and skinny jeans gives off a relaxed casual look, while the same white button up with skinny jeans can be dressed up instantly with nothing but a sparkly statement necklace.

While I haven’t taken accessories and new jewelry off my shopping list for the year, I AM always open to a little DIY to give me something new (albeit handmade) to play with in my wardrobe. So when I noticed this little beauty via Pinterest, I knew that I had to try my hand at it.


Source | Yesterday’s Sweetheart

Most of the supplies for this project I already had on hand, like the paint, brushes and pallet, but I went ahead and picked up the wooden wheels, beads and natural fiber necklace string at our local craft store – All came in under $10.


Because of the amount of beads I ended up with, I was actually able to make not one, but TWO necklaces. For the first one, I mimicked the pretty mint+mustard color scheme of my inspiration image, while the other got a pink and mint combo.

This is where my tedious Color Theory class in college came into play…For the mustard, a little bit of yellow with a lotta bit of white and a TOUCH of blue. For the mint, a little bit of blue with a lotta bit of white and a smidge of the mustard I had mixed. And finally, for the coral, this called for a little bit of red, a lotta bit of white and little bit of the mustard again.

My advice for anyone new to mixing paint is to just play with it, but the number one rule is to use a tiny amount of paint to begin with – I have started off one too many times with huge globules of paint only to watch that grow exponentially until I got the right color. A little goes a long way. And if you make TOO little, a few drops of water helps spread a color’s reach.



The first step was obviously to paint the wooden beads. Following my inspiration image, I painted 5 mustard beads, 5 pink beads and 8 white beads (so that I had 4 for each necklace). I also painted the wooden wheels that light mint color.

My technique was pretty straightforward – I held the first bead in my hand and painted the top half, set that one aside and painted the others to give it a chance to dry and then picked it up and painted the unpainted side. I gave each bead two coats on each half to make sure they were good and covered.



A last minute addition to the supplies was a handful of square washers. These little metallic beauties hail from a collection John’s grandfather passed down to him – I love the sentimental value and the fact that I could use them as beads rather than simply utilitarian hardware.


After giving the beads an entire night to dry completely, I strung them onto my string – 2 white beads with washers in between on each end and alternating colored beads (the pink and the mustard respectively) with mint wheels in between.



Since we were graced with such gorgeous weather over the weekend (26 degrees above average!), John and I decided to head for the hills, trekking up to the mountains for the day. John stole a few hours to do some fishing, while I caught up on my pile of Elle Decor issues. I also decided to take advantage of the pretty scenery and shot my new necklaces in action.





Do you guys DIY anything for your wardrobe? I’m open to ideas!!

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