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Thursday, August 20, 2015


Hi friends!  Today marks out last session of our DIY Summer School series.  The assignment today from our fearless leader Beth of designPost Interiors was a project with something found in nature.  

We recently went on a quick day trip to one of our favorite spots in Oklahoma.  Through the day while hiking, swimming, and exploring, we picked up a few rocks that caught our eye.  I love using natural elements for accessories in my home, and knew they would be a fun mementos from our day.    

When thinking about today's project, those rocks came to mind.  Long necklaces, especially if they include a tassel, are so hot right now!  I decided to try to use one of our souvenier rocks to make into a piece of jewelry.

Now, I'm the first to admit, I'm no jewelry making pro.  This project involved some trial and error.  And, now that it's done, there are a few things I would do differently next time (I'll share those at the end of the tutorial).  However, overall I think it turned out pretty cute!

Here's what you'll need if you want to make your own necklace with a rock.  ;)  I found all of my supplies at the craft store.

Necklace chain, jump rings, leather cord, gold wire, rock (not pictured- wooden craft stick and E-6000 glue)  A tip on the rock- you'll want to try to find one with at least one side that's semi-smooth that will be the back, and remember, it will be around your neck so make sure it's not too heavy.  Flat and broad works best.

First, I had to figure out a way to attach the chain above and the tassel below the rock.  I came up with the thought of using some sort of backplate that I could drill into to attach the jump rings, then planned to glue the rock on top.  

I planned to try a paint stick, but it was too wide for my rock.  So, a craft stick was just right.  You'll want your piece to be just smaller than your rock so that it doesn't show from the front.  Drill a hole close to each end with a bit large enough for the size of your jump ring.  The sticks do crack and splinter easily, though, when trying to drill through them.  I found wrapping a piece of tape around the stick before drilling helped prevent that.  

Next, open your jump rings and feed them through the holes.  One of my holes was too far from the edge for the ring to fit, so I used a piece of wire through the hole, then attached a jump ring to the wire.  Depending on how long your stick is, you might want 2-3 jump rings connected together so the tassel will hang in the right spot once it's attached.

Use the cording to make a tassel.  I made this one quickly just by wrapping around my fingers.  Click here for my step by step tutorial for making tassels.  I used some of the gold wire to section off the top of the tassel, or you could just tie with with a small piece of your cord.

To assemble it all, I used E-6000 glue to secure the craft stick backplate to the back of the rock, clamping and leaving overnight to dry.  

Lastly, I used the gold wire to wrap the rock several times in a pattern that I liked.  I tucked the ends of the wire between the rock and the craft stick on the back where I could.  I like how this finished it off and made it look a little more chic than just a rock on a chain.  It's not pictured, but I finished off the back with a small piece of felt hot glued on to cover up everything and make the back a bit neater.

Now, about the things I'd do differently- they're minor.  As I wore the necklace, it kept wanting to flip around backwards.  With the shape and weight of my rock, I think the chain needed to be attached in two spots across the top, rather than just in the center.  I think that would deter the twisting.  I might have to tweak that!  Once again, a flatter rock, more disc shaped might have worked better.

Secondly, the craft stick was a bit frustratrating just because it broke several times as I was working with it.  Next time I need to try something a bit more durable that I can still poke or drill a hole through for the hardware.  Maybe a small piece of leather?  Who knows?  There might even be a flat metal piece with the jewelry supplies at the store with holes already drilled in the ends that would be perfect, but I did need a specific size to fit my rock so I'm not sure that would work even if they had one. 

Other than those two things, it came together pretty easily.

I can't wait to see what our other DIY Summer School friends came up with today.  I know you'll want to take a peek, too!

If you missed any of my past DIY Summer School projects this summer, you can check them out here-

Ikea Hack:  Patriotic Banner
Wild Card:  Candy Bar Pie
Craft Store:  Cane Wrapped Vase

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