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Monday, February 7, 2011

Craft Time: J Crew Bubble Necklace

...or as Child calls it, "Crap Time."
(hey, he's 4. What can I say?)


I think I've mentioned before I love to craft! Making jewelry and mineral-makeup are my favorites, but I also like to make things for Child's room. Occasionally I might veer from fashion to have a "Craft Time," post. You see, I need to keep myself busy to prevent overshopping. I can't stand watching TV. I love to read, but if I let myself, I would read about 3 books a week, and I really need to pace myself because my book rental service (our local library isn't the greatest) takes forever to ship.
So I craft! It's productive! Useful! I can enjoy the fruits of my labor! Craft-tacular!

So I've been obsessed with the J Crew Bubble necklace forever. But when it first came out I was like, '$150? No thanks.'  It better come in a little teal blue box if it costs anything more than $100. So I let it pass me by. Now I see them on e-bay all the time and the pricetag is still pretty hefty (plus I don't know if they are authentic). I still had a case of the gimmes, so I decided, I can make that myself! Cheap! And even though it's not the real thing at least I wasn't taken for a sucker on ebay.
And so craft I did. And when one turned out pretty good I decided, why not more! One in every color, please! (Hey, at least I'm not shopping for clothes!)

The J Crew Bubble Necklace

I took a few pictures to document the process. Supplies were all bought from Etsy.com sellers or Fusion Beads. In total, depending of the material of the cabochons, supplies were about $15-20 for each necklace and I've gotten so quick about 1 1/2 hours to construct.

I started by gluing the cabochons to brass lace edge bezel settings, and taking a knife and bending back certain loops to later link with jump rings. I use E6000 craft glue which you can find in almost any craft or hardware store. Its waterproof, and you can just peel it back and rub it off if you make a mistake.

In case anyone cares the cabs and setting I used are 20mm in size, which I believe is smaller than the J Crew version (The real thing just looked so darn overwhelming!).



Wax paper over a dishtowel is a must to protect the work surface.


Then I linked the settings together with brass jump rings. I used a double link, as I noticed that linking each setting at only one point made the necklace too "floppy," and it wouldn't lay as nicely.



All I used for guidance was a photo of the actual J Crew Bubble necklace, and tweaked the look where I thought it was necessary. It's obviously smaller in size than the J Crew one, and I took out one of the cab settings so it wouldn't overwhelm my frame.
(J Crew's version has 7 setting across the top, and I only did 6.)




Next came adding the beads. Because the cabochons and beads are from 2 different suppliers they aren't an exact color match, but I actually like the contrast. Adding the beads is a simple wire loop technique. Fusionbeads.com  has some great tutorials on these methods.


I decided to eliminate the 3rd bead on two of the settings to keep in the theme with the smaller scale.


I went with brass chain to finish, as I think the develops a beautiful patina over time, and obviously a lot more cost effective than gold.

And the finished product:



And in Black:

The black one has a beautiful rainbow effect that looks amazing when it hits the light. I think I'll be creating an outfit around this one for Tuesday.

And in Light Blue:


And Bright Yellow:


And Light Pink:



And these were the first ones I made earlier in January:



See I wasn't kidding when I said one in every color! I am also working on one in a cloud gray color, but need to re-order some more supplies. I'm on the lookout for more cabochons because I'd love to make one in any shade of green, light or dark purple, or bright orange. A touch overboard? Perhaps, but they were really fun to make! And maybe I can create a "signature look" with these or something.
Needless to say, you'll probably be seeing a lot of OOTD's featuring these!

Oh, and if anyone would like to try their hand at this craft-tacular necklace and is interested in the actual sellers I used or what specifically to buy, I'd be more than happy to share!


---Edit to add: Because I bought many of the supplies for this necklace from Etsy sellers over a year ago, it's likely that the exact colors for the cabs and supplies are no longer available. But, if you read thru the comments section, in response to other readers' questions I've listed where/from whom I've purchased individual items and if they are still available.
Thanks!

52 comments:

  1. So pretty!! I love the brown one.

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  2. Those are beautiful! Great job.

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  3. Wow, so beautiful and creative!! My oldest makes jewelry (she is 14), I am going to show her this. I love crafts but, don't have the time right now. I love how your son say's crafts, one of my 3 used to say panpakes and syuupe, I love them when their little. :0)

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  4. addicted- Ha! I think my husbad calls it that too behind my back. Or at least when I drag him to the "crap" store for hours.:) Maybe its a guy thing!

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  5. You did a fabulous job on the necklaces!! I'm crafty, too, but have been away from it for awhile. I used to make ATC's and did a little bit of jewelry. I like how you modified yours...I'd need a smaller scale than JC's, too. I might just give this a try sometime! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I haven't done jewelry before, so the instructions and pictures are so helpful :) My favorite is the turquoise and coral - LOVE those colors!

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  7. I enjoy making jewelry and would love to try this! Can you share what materials you used and where you got them? Thanks!

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  8. Kate- Sure! I got most of the cabs and lace settings from etsy sellers.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/yummytreasures had the best selections. Just do a search in the sellers store for either '22mm' or '20mm' and it should come up. You can do a custom order with them for the exact number of cabs/setting you need. Very easy to work with!

    The headpins,jumprings, beads, glue, and chain I got from Fusionsbeads.com. They have a lot of chain options depending on what look you're going for. I used brass materials, but I'll bet silver would look really great! Let me know if I can help with anything else!

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  9. Thanks so much for posting this and sharing your sellers! I am going to dust off my jewelry supplies and try my hand at it too. I love the colors you chose but I think the brown one is my favorite...I think...

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  10. Those necklaces are beautiful! My daughter, who's taking a jewelry class, would like to make one similar to the yellow. Would you mind listing the supplies you used, including where you got the chain part? I ordered yellow cabs & beads from the seller in etsy you recommended but wasn't sure about the other items needed. Thank you so much!

    Love your style & your blog, by the way... I just discovered it recently.

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  11. Connor- No problem! The chain I bought from http://www.etsy.com/shop/JemsGems. I don't see that specific style up anymore, but I know there is similar listed. Jumprings, head pins,glue and the like I ordered from www.fusionbeads.com, and the lace edge bezel settings were also from YummyTreasures on Etsy. I think that should about all you need to make it.

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  12. Just found this site and I can't get enough!! Been searching for the cab beads but have not found a variety of colors. Does the website list them under a certain name?! Thanks!!

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  13. Meghan - Hi! I think when I initially made my search on etsy.com I just searched for "round cab 20mm." and that's how I cam across the seller "Yummy Treasures". You have to filter through a lot but that turned up the best options. I'll bet you can find something that way. Or maybe a search for"domed round cab 20mm" would work too?

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  14. Great..thanks! Also, how did you connect the chain?

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  15. Meghan- Actually for the chain I used the links weren't soldiered together, so I just opened the end link and attached it to one of the pulled down lace edges, but jump rings would have worked fine too.

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  16. Just want to thank you, Egyptomaniac, for your very detailed responses when I was looking for parts/findings to re-create this necklace. Thanks to that, and your detailed pics, she was able to do so! I used the same etsy dealers you mentioned; made it so much easier to find stuff!

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  17. Connor- That's great! What color did you end up making?

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  18. Bright yellow like yours (even got the cabochons from same place-Yummy Treasures -- they are so nice!). Thought w/all the bright & citrusy shades this spring, I'll get a lot of wear out of it. Enjoyed seeing how you wore that same necklace in a couple outfits recently too!

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  19. This is so wonderful! I was contemplating getting a necklace from ebay also but then thought I could probably make it, so I googled it.. and found you! I have ordered the cabs and settings but was wondering what size beads and jumprings you used. Thanks so much for posting this! :)

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  20. Ansley-
    Sorry for not responding sooner-- it's been a busy week! The jump rings I used were 21 gauge, and 6mm in diameter, and the beads I used were either 8mm or 10mm depending on the color. Have fun making your necklaces!

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  21. Wow, those are gorgeous! I especially love the teal!

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  22. Cassi- Thanks! I keep wanting to make more colors so I can have one to go with everything! :)

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  23. Wow, you did an awesome job recreating the bubble necklace! The J. Crew version has been on my wish list, but after seeing your post I am now considering making my own!

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  24. kimbercrafts- Thanks! J Crew's version was on my list forever, but just couldn't justify the price tag either.Plus making your own is so much more fun!

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  25. These are so gorgeous! I absolutely love the yellow one!
    -Meagan
    www.spunkychateau.com

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  26. Meagan - Thanks! The yellow is one of my favorites too!

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  28. Thanks so much for this! I've been dying for one but the price tag is way toooooo much for me! Would you mind providing the exact list of supplies you need? I really want to try this out! Thanks!

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  29. marissa- I think if you read up thru the comments, all the supplies and where the were bought should be there. You can always improvise with different size cabs or jump rings too. I think my version is smaller overall than the J Crew one.

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  30. Ummm are you going to sell any of these, or would you be willing to make one to sell?

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  31. Candace- No, I hadn't really planned on manking any more any time soon. Teaching and taking care of child seems to take up all my time these days. I might consider making a few to sell on etsy during the summer though, when I'm off work, if I knew people would be interested.

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  32. Wow, You have inspired me to make my own piece of jewelry now. I've been searching for a bright yellow chunky necklace to wear to a Wedding in the next few weeks and can't find one anywhere. I didn't even think of designing and making my own until I saw this, Thank you. xx

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  33. This is inspiring!!! Do you mind if i ask how much it cost to make one necklace? Like, how much did all the items for one end up coming out to?

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  34. lizzie- I can't remember for certain, because I was buying supplies in bulk to make more than one necklace at a time, but I want to say it came to around $20-30 per necklace.

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  35. Thank you so much for posting this! I was looking at buying the real version, then the ebay versions, but I will definitely be making these myself! I posted the tutorial on Pinterest, I hope you don't mind!

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  36. love this! i hoping its as easy as you make it look!

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  37. I love this! I'm ordering the supplies myself right now to try it - can't decide which color to start off with! :) What size, if any, are the small round beads? I'm guessing 6mm or 8mm, didn't see it in the tutorial or comments, unless I missed it! Thanks so much!

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  40. Love love love! Great job :) I purchased a replica off eBay a few months ago, but I'm definitely going to be making a few myself.

    Thank you so much for the tutorial!

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  41. Is there anyway you can post a pic of the necklase on you? I'm wondering if it is alittle to big and maybe I should make mine smaller.

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    1. I should have tons of OOTD posts where I'm wearing the varrious colors I've made if you look at some of the more recent posts, but here is the latest: http://egyptomaniac57.blogspot.com/2012/04/ootd-32112.html

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  42. Hi! I'm super-late to this post, but I think our knock-off is just fab! I'm looking to make one of my own and have been trolling etsy and several other bead sites all afternoon looking for the best prices/options, but I'm not finding anything nearly as great in terms of color selection or pricing for the cabs in the 20mm size you mentioned. Would you mind messaging me with more specifics of where you got your stuff so I can see if I'm even on the right track?

    Thanks!

    ~Abbie blogabbie{at}gmail{dot}com

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  43. Hi!! Like Abbie,I've also searched Etsy and Yummy Treasures, but I can't seem to find cabs that have the great depth of colors like the ones in your pictures. Can you email me the specifics as well? I particulary LOVE the yellow and red ones, but I have an itch to make them all!

    Thanks so much!

    -Ashley
    ashleydbaker83{at}gmail{dot}com

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    1. Hi! I made my necklace over a year ago, so it may be that Yummy treasures doesn't cary the same stock they did a year ago. I could give you a list of who I bought from, but with etsy, things change so rapidly, it probably wouldn't help much :( My best advice is to just do and etsy search for for the size cabs you need to see what will pop up. Good luck!

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  44. What size/length of chain did you order for this project?

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    1. Hi! I ordered my chain in bulk so I cut each chain to suit when I made the different colors, but I think each necklace is about 20" long. As to the size-- I honestly can't remember it was so long ago. It was a mid-weight link. Maybe 7mm, I want to say?

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  45. Hi there, I know you said you made your necklaces a long time ago, but i have been desperately searching for those turquoise beads you used in the red and turquoise necklace. I have the bubble necklace and lost a bead and have been trying to replace it! Any help would be great!! Thanks!

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    1. I bought the colored beads on the ends from Fusionbeads.com from their pressed glass section. But, I would imagine it would be tough to match the exact size/color of J Crew version because of dye lots on the beads. What might be best is not to replace just the one, but all the dangling beads so that they all match in size/color.

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