This craft originated from an invitation to a huge Halloween costumed charity ball that I donated some artwork to. I wanted to wear an ‘80’s era green velvet frock with princess sleeves and a full skirt, but I just didn’t feel like wearing a crown. So I decided to toughen up the look with black leather boots and a corset belt. Then I ordered a wicked witch hat straight out of “Oz the Great and Powerful”, which I haven’t even seen yet. I even added a beaded black broom, but all of that still couldn’t counteract the sweetness of the dress and my Glinda-the-good-witch curls. What I needed was a wicked witch statement necklace!
Making mixed media jewelry is a fun process that really unleashes the creative spirit because there are really no rules to follow, so there’s no messing it up. One begins with the gathering of any and all material that could possibly coordinate. I used vintage pendants, earrings, and beads alongside newer elements. Craft stores sell many items that have a vintage look if you don’t have any at hand. You can always lay out a design at home and then return anything unused.
I filled a corked glass bottle with fine black glitter to simulate magic potion. Then I placed black and clear seed beads onto eyepins (= short hard wires with a crook at one end) and added shell star beads. (In future articles, I will explain more about beading for those of you who haven’t tried this rewarding activity.) I also added stars to other elements like moon and spider-web pendants with jumprings (= metal circles with single cuts).
Next I cut out 2 spooky pictures from a Spanish bingo game. They would soon become beads.
I placed clear and black crystals on the tiny game cards and squeezed on “Plaid Mod Podge Dimensional Magic”. The liquid dries clear and to the touch in a few hours, and cures by the next day.
Adding crystals and liquid “magic” seemed appropriate for the project, so I continued with other elements that needed further embellishment.
I even used it in lieu of glue to add crystals and seal the top of the glitter vial. I then attached the beaded eyepins and a jumpring to a strand of leather wrapped around the vial. (This alone could have been attached to a chain as a necklace in its own right.)
I glued more crystals onto tiny black doilies with Elmer’s Ultra Stix-all (which dries clear). This symbolizes spiders on their webs. Jumprings then turned them into beads.
Again, I used Stix-all in the hope that it would indeed stick all materials. I added two clear seed beads to each eyepin then coiled the rest of the length of it. The skinny black feathers were glued inside of that. The following day, I was thrilled to find my feather bead idea had worked!
To determine the necklace’s length, I draped chain around my neck, pulled it to the right size, and then cut the length I wanted. There are standard necklace lengths, but this time I winged it because this was my own custom piece. I wove leather cording through every fifth link, and repeated with silk cording in the links preceding those. The ends can then be cut without even having to measure anything.
I slid a jumpring onto each end, folding over the strands, and wrapped it all in metal wire. An eyepin may also be used if you cut off the looped end. Attach any closure you like. I used a “lobster” clasp.
This is perfect place to use any pretty little ribbons from leftover projects. I cut four inch lengths of new velvet and metallic ribbons. I also cut a couple of roses from some black netted fabric trim. I had never tried this before either, but it worked beautifully to slide jumprings through the netting. I also bent the posts (of a pair of vintage black rose earrings) to make loops to slide onto those same jumprings. They made a kind of baby rosette bead for additional decoration. Remember that statement necklaces are supposed to be over-the-top!
I tied ribbons over the wired cord ends to keep them from snagging my hair. This worked so well that I’m considering wrapping ribbon onto some of my old necklaces.
With all of the elements now ready, I laid out my construction scheme. I played with the look, moving items around until they seemed balanced yet still asymmetrical.
I attached my largest and heaviest items toward the bottom first (like a small carved quartz crystal skull). I worked my way down in element size from there.
After that, I closed jumprings into vintage crystal buttons to make fabulous beads. I filled any gaps with shell stars. This helped to maintain continuity throughout the piece.
Lastly, I added the feather beads with the direction of their natural curves following the drape of the necklace.
You can use these ideas to make any genre of mixed media necklace… even a girly pink princess one, but this year, I made mine wicked!