Make your necklaces

It’s too warm for scarves, but that doesn’t mean our necks should be naked.

by Sarah Harper

You’ve seen those women at craft fairs. They stand behind folding tables laden with necklaces they’ve made peering at you from under their visors. I’ve got nothing but respect for these ladies, but I am about to slam their entire livelihood into the ground.

Sorry ladies, but I’m about to spill the tricks of your trade. That’s right. I’m teaching the good folks of the University of Minnesota how to make their own necklaces so next time they’re at a block party/county fair/crafts festival, they can skip over your giant table and keep anywhere from $6 to $64 in their pockets.

Making your own necklaces is easy, y’all — the hardest part, actually, is admitting that the only kinds you’re interested in making are the candy necklace and the BFF necklace. Craft scissors at the ready, my Pinteresting pals.


Forget what you know about the candy necklace. Forget the elastic; forget the chalky little O’s. You’re (kind of) a grown-up, so you’re not about to waste your time with that stuff. It’s just you and your desire to have candy around your neck. To you, I present gumballs.

That’s right, folks. Forget about using your quarters for laundry because you’re going to need at least six gumballs for this updated candy necklace.

You’ll also need a long ribbon — the longer the better, because you’ll have to tie a bunch of little knots with it. Let’s go crazy and demand 45 inches of ribbon. You can always cut it down.

The hardest part of this will be poking holes through your gumballs. Be careful. They’re likely to crack if you apply too much pressure — you can’t just go stabbing them. Use a sewing needle to make a small tunnel; then slowly, partially widen it with a skewer or a knitting needle or whatever you got.

I think you’re starting to understand where this is going: You’ll thread the ribbon through each gumball, tying knots on each side of each gumball. Once you’ve got enough, you’ll tie it all up with a fancy bow.

Your friends will want to know — is that some super chic big pearl necklace you’re wearing? No? It’s candy? Awesome!


You and your main buddy need to tell the world that you’re best friends, and you don’t care who knows it. If you’ve got the type of BFF who’s into making stuff, you guys can make necklaces together! Yay for BFFs!

But if you’ve got the type of BFF who’d laugh at you for reading this column in the first place, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you need a new BFF.

Let’s go to work. Find two puzzle pieces, because that’s what you and your BFF are — pieces of a puzzle. You can paint them while they’re stuck together if you want to stay true to the nature of puzzles/the standard fixings of BFF necklaces. But if you and your BFF have different taste in acrylic paint colors, do it separately. As the great Drake reminds us, “you only live once, that’s the motto.” So paint your necklace however you please. Just make sure that when you put them together, they have to form “Best Friends Forever.” That’s also the motto.

Once you’re done painting the mess out of your little puzzle piece, you’ve got to put it on some type of string or chain. The ribbon you used to make your candy necklace can work overtime, but you can buy a cord or chain, along with hooks and clasps and a little ring to glue to the top of your puzzle piece, at a craft supply store.