6/3 DIY Or Die: Vintage Brooch Necklace

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I was chatting with my friend from one of my favorite blogs, Amanda from 100 Layer Cake, at the B-list conference last month, and she must have thought I was a perv because I couldn’t stop staring at her chest! She had on the most beautiful Anthropologie-esque creation, and (aside from wanting to prove that I wasn’t obsessed with her bewbs) I couldn’t resist asking where she got it. When she told me she made it, I begged her to do a guest post sharing her secrets with y’all! So hang onto your socks, and get ready for some serious broke-ass brilliance!

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be over here at Broke Ass Bride sharing a little project today. My name is Amanda, and I’m one-third of 100 Layer Cake, an idea resource dedicated to anyone planning a super unique wedding or party.

I want to thank Dana for inviting me to share this quick, simple tutorial on my vintage brooch necklace. It’s super easy to make, and would be such a beautiful gift for your bridesmaids (or anyone for that matter!) Here are some photos and details of how to make your own brooch necklace!

Firstly, gather as many neat brooches as you can. The best places are to scour flea markets, estate sales (costume jewelry jackpot!), or thrift stores. A couple of my brooches were my grandma’s, and the others I found at a thrift store for around $3-$5 each. Not bad!  And of course you can browse Ebay for a ‘lot’ of vintage brooches. I found 30 floral cuties for $30 in a recent search I did.

Then buy some rope, cording, grosgrain ribbon or whatever you like, and get crafty with your enclosure. I used a toggle clasp and wrapped a piece of gold wire tightly around the ends of the rope, then through the one of the toggle loops. It holds like a champ! You can find toggle clasps at your local jewelry store, or on Etsy.

You might want to lay out your brooches along the rope beforehand, so you can determine the cutest position and order for each. Then, all you gotta do is start pinning them to the rope. Voila!  You have a cute and inexpensive gift for your ‘maids (or anyone else) that they will oooo and ahhh over!

Happy necklace making!

The Broke-Ass Bride
Dana is the head woman in charge here, the original Broke-Ass Bride. Learn more about her here. And, follow her on Twitter (@brokeassbride), Pinterest (@brokeassbride), Facebook (/thebrokeassbride) and Instagram (@brokeassbride). Affiliate links, which might be included in the post above, help make her a few dollars here and there to keep her off the streets and in the business of blogging for your ass. So thanks for coming! :)
  • I love this blog. Very cool! Keep up the good work

  • Do you have a photo of what it looks like?! Would love to see.

  • Heather

    I'd also love to see what you made – can you share some pictures??

    • The pictures weren't showing? Oh no! I updated it, they should be showing now 🙂

  • @BrokeAssBride: Thanks! LOVE the photos!

  • Oh this a very simple and clever idea!! Thx for sharing!

  • I simply adore this- def want to try to make one 🙂

  • I both oooed and ahhhed at this necklace. I just bought a bunch of clearance material in an attempt to make my own tee ad tank embellishments for summer. Come on craft gods, don't fail me now!

  • And they can use the brooch individually if they want or add more brooches from their own. So neat!

  • this is adorable!
    and so simple
    love love love this idea

  • Pingback: Art Deco Bakelite » Blog Archive » Vintage Art Deco Bakelite Brooch/pin()

  • Oooh I feel like I'm at the fireworks with all of the oohing and ahhing going over here 🙂
    – Brianna Phelan

  • Jessie

    can you possibly show a close up of how you attached the wires on the end to keep it from fraying? thanks! <3


  • This is so great! Just found a $30 jar of goodies at an antique store that would be perfect for this project! Can't wait to get started

  • I love this idea. I'd like to feature it on my blog, FasterCraft.com. Would it be okay if I used two of your pictures?

  • Pingback: Our New Favorite Use for Grandma’s Brooches « ReadyMade Editors' Notes()

  • Leslie

    Love the idea…genius. Thanks for the great project!

  • We liked your tutorial so much, we shared it on our blog! Thanks for the great DIY project!

    Here's the link: http://blog.bonmoment.com/2010/09/5-diy-tutorials

  • PNW Skeptic

    The tutorial says that she just used a gold wire to wrap the ends up and attach the toggle clasps, but that’s patently untrue, as you can see by the photo. The entire project is pretty self-explanatory aside from how the toggle clasps are attached to the rope, which is glossed over as if we already knew how to make jewelry. I love the necklace, and have tons of big old brooches from my grandma, so I did the research – the photo shows that there are end caps on the rope. On Etsy, query for ‘jewelry end cap’ to locate these things.

  • smithelizabeth

    Hi, very nice blog. I can recommend this to my sister. She likes doing stuff like that. Very cute.

  • Hi, thanks for sharing this! Good work on the necklace, nice and original. We've posted a link to it on our blog over at http://polkadotlighthouseuk.blogspot.com/

    Keep on craftin'! Carla and Olga

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  • leeqiang1990
  • This is cute! Think that you can play around with different kinds of brooches and rope to really create some unique looking pieces.