My wedding is this Saturday, which is crazy, and all of my bridesmaids are currently staying with me at my house here in Ottawa!
It’s been a blast–definitely my favourite wedding planning part so far! Finally I don’t have to worry about details on my own, but I have all of my wonderful friends around me keeping me sane and having fun!
We’ve been doing hair test runs and Menchies outings this week, and it’s been a pretty good time, I’m not gonna lie.
Don’t I look super hot with those rollers in? Seriously–dang.
Of course, wedding planning can be stressful, so the girls and I went out for fro-yo yesterday to just relax and shake off all of the anxiety from the planning.
One of the few wedding things I was adamant about was that I wanted to make my bridesmaids’ jewelry. I started a jewelry business with my friend Alison when I was 14, and I’ve been hooked ever since she showed me how to bead! So I’ve been excited for this part four months, and I finally finished them today! All in all, it only took me a few hours to make all of the jewelry and they turned out so well!
I want this blog to be full of helpful and useful tips, so I’m going to show you how I did it from start to finish, and how I saved money by making them myself!
1. Pick a Theme for your DIY Jewelry
The worst part about DIY for me is that I go into a craft store and drop over $100 on stuff I’ll never use because I didn’t go in with a plan. So yeah, it might be only $7, but if you get 6, that’s $42 right there!
My theme was crystal and pearl, with entirely silver detailing. The way I figured this out was by browsing Pinterest for jewelry inspiration! Pinterest is the best for everything, I swear.
After you know what the theme is, figure out exactly how much you will need of each material. For me, I’m going to need approximately 16 pearls and 14 faux-Swarovski beads for each bridesmaid on average, and about 8 inches of chain. Because I used to have a jewelry business, I already had the findings like headpins and jump-rings, but here is a complete list that you need for findings (the little things that make the jewelry come together!)
- Headpins and eyepins
- Jump rings
- Round nose pliers
- Flat nose pliers
- Wire cutters
By making a plan, you limit extra spending, so saving money!
2. Find Discounted Supplies
I’m gonna make this simple: WHOLESALE. Places like Michael’s always overprice their supplies and beads. For instance, at a wholesale beadstore, you can get 500 headpins for $5.00, but at Michaels, you can get 216 for $11.99, and they’re not as good quality, too. You can get really affordable supplies, too! For pliers, the Dollar Store actually has great ones. I got a cute pink pair from there when I was 13 and I’m still using it today!
I drove out to a wholesale bead store to get the supplies at a very discounted price. There was a super cute one here in ottawa that I just fell in love with, and I’ll probably go to again if I ever need anything!
Then, after you’re at the wholesale bead store, find the cheap stuff! The pearls that I got were Chinese glass pearls, which are a fraction of the price of real pearls, and glass crystals instead of Swarovski. I calculated how much it would have been if I had gotten “real” materials, and I saved 80% by using glass instead!
3. Reuse Whenever Possible!
Are there any old necklaces that you have that would work perfectly with your theme? For me, I had a couple of old necklaces that had some crystals in them that worked perfectly, so I took them apart and used those, so cutting down how much I had to buy!
I also had a bunch of old clasps and jump rings that I just needed to clean, so I polished them up with some toothpaste and they’re good to go now! (Fun fact: toothpaste is an excellent jewelry cleaner.)
4. Make Your DIY Wedding Jewelry!
If you’re a newbie beader, check out this website for some great tutorials! Maybe later I’ll do a series teaching you how to make your own jewelry, but for now I think they do it very well.
Look at your Pinterest board that you made and get inspired! Put on your favourite Netflix TV show and get going! I got my bridesmaids to all choose their favourite pieces on my board, and then I got started!
One of the great things about DIY wedding jewelry is that you can make it personalized to each girl. No worries about it being too long or too short, bracelets being too large, or anything. This was a huge help since all of the necklines for the dresses were very different, so I couldn’t just do one-size-fits-all for the necklaces especially.
Here are some of the finished products from my DIY jewelry!
I’m especially proud of Hillary’s necklace:
I packaged each girl’s necklace, bracelet, and earrings into a little baggy with their name on it so that it all stayed organized, clean, and together.
I also gave up trying to find my own jewelry at a store and just decided that I should just make it myself since I hadn’t found anything I liked better. So here’s my necklace and bracelet (I still did buy some beautiful earrings):