Ten Quick and Easy Homemade Jewelry Gifts

How often do you find that you need a last-minute birthday gift? What about a quick thank-you present? Use very basic jewelry-making skills to create lovely and quick gifts for any occasion. While these projects are quick to put together at the last minute, you can also stock your gift-giving closet ahead of time.

Make-a-wish charm bracelet

Select three 12-inch strands of embroidery floss. Holding them as a bundle, tie a knot leaving a 2-inch tail. Braid them together for 8 inches. Tie another knot, leaving the remaining 2 inches as a tail. String on a simple charm. Chinese tradition says the wearer should make a wish and tie on the bracelet. When the worn bracelet falls off, the wearer's wish comes true.

Hemp and bead bookmark

Bookmarks are a gift anyone can use. Hemp cord is a great material for bookmarks because it's thin and fits easily into a closed book. String beads on either end of a 12-inch strand of hemp cord. Knot the beads into place to keep them out of the pages.

Bangle stacks

String beads of different shapes and sizes, but in the same color family, onto a coil of bracelet-length memory wire (rigid, precoiled wire). Use round-nose pliers to make loops on each end to secure the beads. Give these bracelets as gifts in sets of three or five.

Nail polish pendants

Paint glass pendant tiles with glittery nail polish and allow the polish to dry. Seal the polish with your favorite sealer, dimensional adhesive, or even a nail polish topcoat. Glue on a bail using E-6000 adhesive. Allow the bail to set for a couple of hours, and then string it and prepare to give it away!

Polymer clay charms

Make flat disks from polymer clay. Add a stringing hole to each one, and use stamps to make impressions in them before baking. Bake the charms according to the package directions. Highlight the impressions after baking with paint of contrasting color. If you have extra time, seal them with polymer clay sealer. These charms also make great pendants and earring dangles.

Braided leather bracelet

Use a ribbon cord end to anchor three 8-1/2-inch strands of leather cord. Braid the three strands together, and secure them with a second ribbon cord end. Add the clasp of your choice, such as a bar and toggle clasp, to finish the bracelet. For variety, use contrasting colors of leather.

Hardware and fabric wrap bracelet

Select one or more 36-x-1-inch strips of fabric. String on hex nuts from the hardware store. Wrap the bracelet around your wrist and tie it to secure it. Hex nuts costs a few cents each and come in a variety of finishes (shiny to dull) and metals (brass, stainless steel, and more). Choose whichever type inspires you, or mix them up for an eclectic look.

Leather and chain necklace

Thread leather cord or lacing through a chunky necklace chain. Use a cord end finding or simply tie the leather to the last links of the chain. Finish the chain with a chunky swivel clasp for a modern look.

Mix-and-match chain bracelet

Use 7-inch segments of three chains in the same finish (like shiny gold or silver) but with different shaped or sized links. Connect them with jump rings at both ends. Add a chunky toggle and bar clasp for instant flash.

Cameo hairpins

Cameos are a beautiful accessory you can find in many thrift stores or flea markets. Give them new life by gluing or wire-wrapping them to a hairpin finding. Don't stop at cameos; any fairly lightweight brooch works well.

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