I fell head over heels for a Gemma Redux drip chain marble necklace (check it out here), but I didn’t have heart to spend nearly $400 on it. So, like any frugal fashionista, I made my own version. I bought my materials from Joann Fabric Store and with coupons the total cost of my necklace was around $25…plus I had extra materials leftover. This DIY necklace makes for a fun project that is simple to make!
White Polymer Clay (4 oz, total)
Translucent, White Pearl and Black Polymer Clay (2 oz, each color)
Cable Chain in Silver (for the neck closure)
Small Chain in Rose Gold, Yellow Gold and Silver
2mm Spacer Beads
Jump Rings (you can always use some of the of the rings from leftover chain)
Lobster Claw Closure
.45mm Flexible Beading Wire
Jewelry Pliers/Wire Cutter
Start by mixing your clay to create a variety of colors for the veining of the marble beads. Combine the colors in any way you like and make the marble lighter or darker depending on your preference. Check out the chart below if you need a guide, but you really can’t go wrong! I had some of the clay I mixed leftover after I was finished with all the the beads, it works great to store the extra in a plastic bag.
Roll different colors of the clay into thin snakes, create the largest (about 4-6 times larger) snake from plain white clay. Press the snakes together and twist each end in opposite directions. Twist some segments of the clay more for added variety. Fold in half and keep twisting until you feel content with the look of the clay.
Roll the twisted clay into a ball. Pick a side that has the best marbling and gently press down to flatten the shape. Use a rolling pin to smooth the surface of the clay. Roll to approximately 1/4″. Cut the edges of the clay to create an angular shape.
Dip your finger into a little cornstarch and smooth the edges and the top of the beads to remove any bumps or fingerprints. Lay down each clay piece creating the general shape of the necklace. Using this shape you can figure out where you will need to create the holes in the clay for the necklace to lay the way you want. Carefully poke an unfolded (& straightened) paperclip through each clay piece. I found it helpful to dust some cornstarch on the paperclip so it glides through the clay easier. Be cautious on how much pressure you are applying to the clay while poking through the paperclip…too much pressure will likely puncture through the front of your bead. Take your time on this step.
Next, bake the beads in an oven according to the instructions provided on the package of your clay. Be sure to pay attention to the cooking temperature…even though the clay does not bake for a long time, baking at the wrong temperature can lead to disaster…unfortunately I am speaking from experience here. Ohh no!!
For round two I used the scraps leftover from trimming the shapes as my added color for the veins. I made equal sized snakes of the scrap marble and plain white, and twisted them together. This creates a more subtle marble look.
After remaking my beads and properly baking them (yay!) I was ready to assemble the necklace. Using a crimp bead, clamp a loop in one end of the beading wire. I used two crimp beads to ensure it would stay secure. Trim off the excess wire.
String on the marble beads with a spacer bead placed in-between each. Leaving 1/3″ of extra wire slack on the beaded part of the necklace, add a lobster clip and secure the end by creating the same closure you began with. Fold the wire, crimp it closed and trim the excess wire.
Open the ring and slide the small chain links into the ring and secure it between the marble beads. Close the ring firmly, insuring there is no gap which the chains or wire can slide out of. Attach the chain in loops to create the hanging chains, then snip off the end ring so they are individual chains left hanging. String some chain loosely along in front of the marble beads and attach in place with a jump ring. Vary your colors of the small detail chains any way you like. Attaching the chains all together at the same spot will naturally create a knotted look.
Once you attach the chains you are done!! This necklace is a great statement piece to pair with a black dress or a chic button down. Store this necklace flat or on a necklace stand to keep it from tangling.
Create your own and let us know! Tag your photos with #styleandspice on social media, we’d love to see it!