Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Save a whale, make a necklace!

Hi, everybody! In my previous post, I showed you these earrings I made from a sewing notion.

Steel boning is the modern equivalent of whalebone, used to construct corsets and make starlets' strapless gowns stand proud. I'm glad we don't use whalebone anymore! I only discovered boning recently, and thought the intricate mesh was so beautiful that it had to become jewelry.

Happily, boning comes in several sizes. For a super easy, elegant choker-length necklace, I slid a fancy silver pendant onto a 15 inch length of boning:

Then I simply added a clasp, with a jump ring on each end.

One tip: some of the boning strips have a really small hole, you may have to use an awl or skewer to widen them enough to admit your jump ring.

Done! See how pretty!

It's convertible, too; just slip different pendants on and off the basic choker. Notice the blue pendant is made with a 3-inch strip of boning, flattened sideways.

I had another fun idea. If you have a brooch with a small vertical pin back, just slide it onto the choker:

And voila! Brooch on a choker.

Of course, not everyone can wear a choker length necklace. (Ahem. Personally, I gave them up a chin and a half ago.) Here's a design for the non-choker-wearers among us, also using the 15 inch boning.

All I did was add a bit of chain to each end, then a toggle clasp with a big pendant attached:

You will absolutely love how this one feels on! It hugs the back of your neck, then twists naturally to drape perfectly in front. In this design, the bigger the pendant, the better.

I will just finish up with a cute bracelet idea.

Using the same clasp idea as the one above (a pendant hanging from a toggle), and an 8 inch strip of boning, here is what you get:

I love them mucho, they're so dangly, feminine and fun to wear.

A tip for these. This material is incredibly strong, and will sproing to attention at the least provocation. I recommend twirling your bracelet into a tight coil several times, squishing it hard, to give it a little natural curve.

It won't cure the sproinging completely - but it will help.

Okay, you guys, I'm hoping everyone now feels a desire to run out and buy some of this cool stuff and make jewels. It would be really fun to see CNN's Anderson Cooper report a boning shortage in the land - and think that I was the cause.


  1. That stuff is so cool, I've got to find me some!

  2. i have only seen this on your blog! i really need to get me some...

  3. Love the bracelets...what fun they must be to wear! :o)

  4. Again, these are fabulous!! As for the black and white painted checks, no, I do not clearcoat or spray any cover over the Sharpie - however none of the things I have done (plates, nobs, cannister lids) are put into the dishwasher - I only wipe them clean.....and if they do wear down, I will just take the Sharpie to them again!! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. these are kinda cool... i'm gonna wait and see if you figure out a way to make some type of flower embelishment with these... maybe too sproingy?? have you seen the ones they make out of zippers?? come on MLINLA.... you can do it!! everybody's making flowers out of stuff... show us your girl power!! wink!! you are just amazing!!

  6. There are some really cool pendants in there...

  7. Love the infinite ways you can customize this! Off to find some boning!!

  8. I've personally seen these. I love the way you see beyond the intended use. Really creative.

  9. Super cute. I've never seen this stuff before. Great idea! Found you on Tatertots and Jello.