I finally had a weekend at home this past weekend and had one of those Sundays where I was in my pajamas until the afternoon, lazing about reading a graphic novel (Bone, and totally enjoying it by the way). Then I tackled some DIY projects I’ve been meaning to do for some time now. Like hemming a pair of rayon shorts from the 90s that have a very fun 40s-ish cowboy novelty print:
And making a necklace from vintage brooches and buttons! Meet the Three Amigas:
The story with this is that I found one of the brooches at an antique store back in March 2013:
And once upon a time I was trolling ebay for wooden brooches (the way other people play candy crush, that’s me on ebay) when lo and behold I saw a listing for two identical sombrero ladies to the one sombrero lady I already had. The idea for a necklace was born!
I then discovered wooden sombrero shaped buttons, and found a listing of those on ebay that happened to come with a few painted Mexican-themed buttons. Now, in addition to finding all the decorative pieces, I had to think about the type of chain. I bought 3 versions of black plastic and metal chains, hoping to find one that mimicked the bakelite and celluloid necklaces we all love from the 40s. But I wasn’t satisfied, and couldn’t find the right chain! Fast forward to Sunday when I had my sewing/craft chest open while I was hemming the shorts, I saw all the parts to this un-made necklace and thought, heck. Let’s just try this with what I got. And actually, it worked out better than I imagined!
While researching how I could do this, I found these brooch converters. They’re pretty ingenious, though kind of expensive. I didn’t end up ordering them, but it’s neat to know they exist.
I ended up using a 7mm chain I got from Delish Beads on Etsy. And although the chain wasn’t as chunky as a 40s celluloid version, the size actually worked in my favor because the links are small enough to hold a brooch pin in place. I simply pinned the brooches onto the chain! It works really well and it’s easy to take off if I ever just want to wear one of the brooches as a brooch. The sombrero buttons got jump ring’d onto the chain, and the smaller buttons I actually sewed onto the chain, which I might change eventually by gluing a loop onto the backs.
Voila! That’s how my Three Amigas necklace was born. I might try setting up a plain chain necklace for sporting other brooches as pendants whenever I feel like it!