Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mini Moo Necklaces, Upcycled From A Light String

Hi again!  Meet my new favorite necklaces.

You know those funky strings of novelty lights?  The ones with plastic bulb covers shaped like animals, chili peppers, flamingos, lanterns or anything kitsch-worthy?  That's where I got my little moo cows.

My light string was a yard sale find.   If you go looking, you can find the cutest iterations, both new and vintage.

I know this necklace is not for everybody, but it is most definitely for me.  And perhaps, if you find a light string with something that catches your personality, it could be for you, too.

Want to try?  It's easy!  The trick is finding one bead that's just the right size to fill the opening where the light bulb used to go.   Once you've located such a bead, here's the DIY.

Poke a tiny hole opposite the pre-existing opening.  Try pointy scissors or a pushpin.  (If your plastic is really tough, you could use a Dremel tool or melt a hole with a hot poker.)

Add a headpin.

If you don't have a headpin long enough to go all the way through your critter, use craft wire to make a faux headpin, like this:

Add a bead to fill in the opening.  Fold the wire over and trim to about 3/4 inch.

Make a loop.

Heavens to Besty - that right there is your finished pendant!!!

String it just as you would any pendant.

I liked the look of pearls with my mini moo.  On this casual one, I used some vintage pearl trim.

Going a little more schmancy, I strung another li'l cow with big freshwater pearls and a sterling silver clasp.

Hee hee.   I love them!

From here on out, I'm going to keep these light strings on my shopping list when I go thrifting.  What about you?


  1. I love them too. I'll put cows on my shopping list for sure. Happy New Year...looking forward to your posts!

  2. Adorable! I know some "cowgirls" who would love these!

  3. Cute! I might do it with some brass-ish starflower charms on a thick cord.

  4. I love the fancy, schmancy black and white one - a fun statement piece.

  5. Cute necklace Mich! I've never seen cow lights before, quite like that idea!! :)

  6. I feel the cow's pain. But it's an utterly amazing up cycle. You could even paint the cow in gold or silver.

  7. I'll never look at cows or funky light strings the same way again. Just too darn cute!

  8. You're ingenious, Mich! This is the first time I've seen cow lights, and they look pretty :-)

  9. Love them! I have a string of flamingo lights! Hmmm....

  10. Pearls are perfect with cows! Why not? These would be wildly popular here in the midwest. (Especially when it time for the Cattlemen's Ball.....which is like a prom for farmers!)

  11. wow...would make great mother's day present for quirky moms as cows are symbolic of mother hood

  12. Those are too cute!