Leaf Statement Necklace
I love wearing all my DIYs but there are a few of them that go from “Oh that would be cool to try to make” to “I am obsessed with that!”. Previously, these obsession-worthy items included my Burberry Gem Embellished Trench (found HERE), my Alexander McQueen Knucklebox Clutch (found HERE) and my Rhinestone Encrusted Pumps (found HERE) because these were the thing that got the most use. This project kind of came up by accident as I had seen THIS necklace on pinterest and wanted to make my own leaf necklace but didn’t want the leaves to be so large. I remember seeing THESE Martha Stewart silicone molds in Joann Fabrics and thought maybe it would be cool to make my own leaves out of clay, paint them and then design it into whatever shape I wanted. Though the leaves were almost at the point of being too small, they actually worked out perfectly because after making a much smaller necklace first, I tripled the amount of leaves and came up with this one. It’s only been a couple of weeks since I finished it but I already know this is one of those DIYs that I will wear into the ground! What makes this even more amazing is that I used a super lightweight air dry clay so this is by far the lightest statement necklace I’ve ever owned, weighing in at just 1/2 an ounce! I painted mine in a 18Kt Gold Spray Paint but the other beautiful thing about this is you can make it any color you like! Here’s what it looks like on:
The first time you use these molds and try to figure out the layout can be a little tricky but after you get the hang of things, this necklace is really easy to make! Start off with the leaf mold from THIS pack of silicone molds, you’ll be using the biggest one. Take a tiny pinch of FIMO Air Light Air Dry Clay (find it HERE but I got mine at Joann’s) and place it in the mold (1). Gently Press Down with your fingers to fill the mold (2), but don’t press too hard or you won’t be able to get the clay out. I found the easiest way to get rid of the excess clay was to run a bead reamer across the mold, holding it level with the top of the mold (3). I started at the stem end, which did cause that to roll up but since I didn’t want the stems anyways this wasn’t an issue for me… you can also use a toothpick if you don’t have a reamer. Bend the mold all around the leaf to release it and then press in the stem (4) (they’re too delicate for this type of necklace and would have just gotten in the way/broken off). Continue until you have all the leaves you need, if you’re following along with mine then you’ll need 21 of them. Next you’ll lay out the layout you want for your necklace keeping in mind that each leaf not only has to hook to the leaf next to it but also to the row above it. Cut the tip of a toothpick off to widen your point and poke holes in the leaves where they’re going to be connected (5). Be careful not to get too close to the edge (otherwise the clay will break when you go to put the jumprings in) but close enough that a jump ring will fit in both leaves. The clay needs to air dry for 24 hours to be totally harden and I suppose you could wait for it to dry then paint it but I say why not kill two birds with one stone. I spray painted my leaves right after punching the holes using Krylon’s 18KT Gold Paint, keeping them all in the same order so they didn’t get mixed up (otherwise it’s like a big puzzle trying to get them back where they were). I also found it easier to paint them while the clay was still wet because the leaves were just slightly heavier… if you waited until they were dry, the force from the can of paint might blow them all over. Remove the leaves from the paper you painted them on, again keeping them in order, so that they don’t stick once the paint dries and allow the clay and paint to dry for 24 hours. Connect the leaves with large jump rings and attach a chain and clasp (6)!
** UPDATE: I got THIS set of molds and mixed some of the new leaves with some of the ones from the molds shown in the above tutorial to make this necklace: