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Behind the Scenes : Halloween BONE jewelry

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When I heard we were having a bone show for Halloween, I wondered what Martha could wear to go with the theme. She already had her spellbinding sorceress costume, so instead of transforming her, I thought maybe she could wear a few bold pieces of jewelry. Originally I was caught up with making a real bone necklace, so we asked the kitchen to start saving chicken bones. Fortunately for the chickens, the show was light on poultry recipes, and after looking at a few of my sketches, I nixed making Martha look like a Flintstones character—she is much more elegant than that—and I wasn't going to ask Martha Stewart to wear a bunch of chicken bones around her neck anyway. Eww.

After effortless Internet searching and hours of bone research, I discovered bone jewelry has been made for centuries and bone was actually one of the first things early humans used for ornament. People used to believe the spirit of the animal continued to influence whoever wears a part of him, so bones were carved into beads and made into jewelry just as animal hides were made into clothing.

So I purchased almost every style of bone beads that Fire Mountain Gems carries, printed out a few inspiration images (below), and finally figured out what to make.

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the original statement necklace

1 the original statement necklace

Native American jewelry

2 Native American jewelry

3

Native American bone breast plate, found on http://www.powwows.com

4 Native American bone breast plate, found on http://www.powwows.com

5

Gorgeous Givenchy necklace. 
http://www.givenchy.com/

6 Gorgeous Givenchy necklace. http://www.givenchy.com/

Tom Binns zipper fringe necklace. http://www.tombinnsdesign.com/

7 Tom Binns zipper fringe necklace. http://www.tombinnsdesign.com/

Banana Republic carries some nice big necklaces. 
http://bananarepublic.gap.com/

8 Banana Republic carries some nice big necklaces. http://bananarepublic.gap.com/

AK Vintage Jewelry, found on http://www.tobi.com/

9 AK Vintage Jewelry, found on http://www.tobi.com/

J.Crew makes some spectacular pieces. 
http://www.jcrew.com/index.jsp

10 J.Crew makes some spectacular pieces. http://www.jcrew.com/index.jsp

chain fringe necklace from Macy's
http://www1.macys.com/

11 chain fringe necklace from Macy's http://www1.macys.com/

Flip through the below gallery for visual instructions on how I made the bone necklace:

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1

I created my own head pins with a long piece of 22-gauge gold wire and a mini bone bead twisted in the end.

2 I created my own head pins with a long piece of 22-gauge gold wire and a mini bone bead twisted in the end.

After determining the pattern of the beads on each head pin, I laid out the design using gradually shorter pipe beads out from the center.

3 After determining the pattern of the beads on each head pin, I laid out the design using gradually shorter pipe beads out from the center.

I particularly like the bone skull beads! Hand carved!

4 I particularly like the bone skull beads! Hand carved!

Each head pin was then attached to a chain on every other link. Ribbon was looped into the ends, so Martha could determine what length she desired.

5 Each head pin was then attached to a chain on every other link. Ribbon was looped into the ends, so Martha could determine what length she desired.

6

And here's how I put together Martha's bone cuffs:

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Bone cuff.

1 Bone cuff.

I thought a cuff for each wrist was better than just one!

2 I thought a cuff for each wrist was better than just one!

A head pin was used for each bead pattern.

3 A head pin was used for each bead pattern.

I used my round-nose pliers to make another loop on the end of each head pin.

4 I used my round-nose pliers to make another loop on the end of each head pin.

There are 12 head pins on each cuff.

5 There are 12 head pins on each cuff.

The ends of each head pin were attached to a length of chain, with 3 links between each pin.

6 The ends of each head pin were attached to a length of chain, with 3 links between each pin.

The remaining chain on the ends are attached to a jump ring and clasp.

7 The remaining chain on the ends are attached to a jump ring and clasp.

A little bonus bracelet how-to for beginner jewelry makers:

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Mini bone beads and Swarovski crystals were threaded on bead cord.

1 Mini bone beads and Swarovski crystals were threaded on bead cord.

The Swarovski crystals add a little bling the the bracelet.

2 The Swarovski crystals add a little bling the the bracelet.

I cut the cord into 4 lengths that would fit around my wrist and attached 2 strands together with a crimp bead to the clasp.

3 I cut the cord into 4 lengths that would fit around my wrist and attached 2 strands together with a crimp bead to the clasp.

The opposite end is attached to a big jump ring.

4 The opposite end is attached to a big jump ring.

The special crimp bead pliers.

5 The special crimp bead pliers.

I twisted the 2 sets of strands together before I attached the last set to the jump ring.

6 I twisted the 2 sets of strands together before I attached the last set to the jump ring.

done!

7 done!

You can find my daily inspiration and view my side projects on lemmemakeit. Just can't stop making stuff!

Comments (2)

  • My mom likes the bone jewelry is there a pattern so she could makes some

  • is there anywhere to get the bead and bone count for making the cuffs and necklace i would love them

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