Monday, May 17, 2010

Express Necklace Knock Off


One bad thing about successfully knocking off a product that you saw in a catalog or store, is that you start to feel this sort of power over everything, and start looking for other items that you want and can make yourself. I had just such a situation on my hands a few weeks ago when I was strolling through the mall and saw this.


I saw this long necklace and immediately started thinking about how much cuter all of my summery tops would be if accompanied by it. I remembered seeing Vanessa of V&Co spray paint some wooden beads on SYTYC, and I already had the perfect color of spray paint, Mediterranean by Valspar. I had a few wooden beaded necklaces that I took apart, and used Vanessa's method of threading one bead onto a toothpick, with a little tissue paper inside to keep it from falling down.


I sprayed one side and let it dry for a few hours, and then flipped the beads and sprayed again. It took 2 coats on each side to make sure that every last spot was covered, but I did a 3rd coat to cover one round of impatience, and the fingerprint evidence of someone who didn't give the beads enough time to dry before trying to flip them to the other side. :)


I ended up with a handful of gorgeous, shiny, perfect-summer-blue beads.


I didn't want my necklace to be exactly like the Express version, which only used medium sized beads, because I like the look of having a few larger beads in the middle and slightly smaller beads towards the ends, so that is what I did.


I laid out the beads as I wanted them on a towel so that they wouldn't roll away, and then threaded them on some silver beading wire. Luckily I had a pearl necklace that wouldn't miss one of it's large beads, and I liked that aspect of the original Express necklace, so I added it as well.


I got a long gold necklace from a thrift store for $1, cut one of the chain links so that I had a long strand, tied off the end of the silver beading wire and then aligned it with the wire that was holding the beads and twisted it around several times so that it wasn't sticking out.


One of the wooden necklaces originally had these tiny gold beads on it as well, so I threaded the excess wire through that before the wooden beads make the knot "disappear."


I looped the chain and bead strand over my neck until it was the length that I wanted, and then cut the chain at the desired length, and tied up the second end the same way that I did the first end. I then slipped it over my head and burst into song. I chose, Is This Love by Whitesnake, because I think you can’t really beat 80s ballads for a moment like that, but this part is really your call.


What do you think? Wouldn’t you have sung too? Admittedly, it’s not quite as gorgeous as Express’ version, but now I don’t have to try to justify spending $40 on one necklace.


I ended up with a lot of leftover beads because it turns out that when you paint 2 necklaces worth of beads, you have enough to make…you guessed it, 2 necklaces. My second one I put on a silver chain and included a few of the silver beads that were originally on the silver strand just to dress it up a bit.


Also, I have some fun news that I am incredibly excited about...I now am the very proud owner of an etsy shop!! Allow me to introduce you to Blues and Branches!


Over the past few months of participating in the DIY and crafting community, I have had numerous people make comments like, “I really like that, but don’t have the time/patience/energy to make one for myself.” To those people I now can say, “Well, since I’ve already worked out the kinks, I’ll just make one for you.” I’m pretty nice like that. :)

Picnik collage 1.jpg

I filled my shop with a few of my favorite items that I have shared here, a few of the items that people asked me the most about, and also a few other little gems that I’ve been working on, including these necklaces! I would be happy to discuss a custom order with you as well. Please take a look at my tiny little corner in the world of Etsy here, and let me know what you think!

Picnik collage2.jpg

And as always, I’m excited to link my little necklace to some incredible parties this week. Please check out a wealth of ideas at the links listed here, and the CSI Project.



Unknown May 17, 2010 at 6:48 AM  

The necklace looks great. I'll have to try that myself. Congrats on the esty shop too. I'm sure it'll be a smashing success! :-)

Jessica May 17, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

I love the necklace Erin! Your Etsy shop name is adorable! Good luck with that as well!. I'll be sure to check it out!

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise May 17, 2010 at 7:14 AM  

Came over from girl creative. I LOVE this necklace. I will have to mkae one now.

Congrats on the etsy shop. I look forward to going and checking it out.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Meg from Behind the Big Sunglasses May 17, 2010 at 7:55 AM  

Your knock off is prettier than the original! Gorgeous!!

ourthreesons May 17, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

Love it! I especially like the 2nd one and am so impressed by your resourcefullness!

ClassyGal May 17, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

I love your necklace!!Very pretty, girl!

Mama Thompson May 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

Absolutely LOVE the necklace! And great job on opening an etsy shop:)

~L~ May 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

that necklace is cute and frugal! love it.

link party every monday for those that DIY their Style. come join us!

Nikki May 17, 2010 at 8:48 AM  

That is awesome! I love it! I'd love for you to come link this up to gettin' crafty on hump day...

Maria May 17, 2010 at 10:31 AM  

I think yours is prettier than the express one! And the second one is by far my fav! See, you can come up with better things than those thinkers behind express! :)
Maria (new to the craft blog world)

Elder Esplin May 17, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

SO CUTE! I have to make one! Thansk for sharing!

Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

Kaysi May 17, 2010 at 1:43 PM  

So pretty!! I love the colors of it!

Tiffany May 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Those necklaces are absolutely gorgeous! Fantastic job! I love them. Wow. Impressive. You even make jewelry... : )

Your shop looks great and I am so excited that the word is now officially out! So exciting. I wish I could buy all of your blocks and rosette balls! So awesome.

schtuffblog May 17, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

I am so motivated to start looking for accessories to copy. You really did find the PERFECT blue. And painting the beads . . . why didn't I think of that. I probably would have drop a bunch of dough trying to find the matching beads. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Unknown May 17, 2010 at 11:56 PM  

This is so gorgeous!! You always make the CUTEST stuff!!


Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!

OOAK babies by Mina May 18, 2010 at 1:21 AM  

I'm sorry but your necklace looks ten times nicer!

I know what you mean, I tend to 'knock' things up too after getting inspired by shop tings

Bonnie Weeks May 18, 2010 at 3:21 AM  

WOW. I love both necklaces. Thanks for the idea. (and Vanessa too)

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design May 18, 2010 at 7:18 AM  

Great project Erin! It looks great on you!

Patrice May 18, 2010 at 7:19 AM  

Great necklace! That blue is my favorite. Glad to see you Etsy shop up and rolling! I'll have to go over and check it out again!

Valerie May 18, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

Ooooo love it! This is totally something I would wear. I am filing this at

Thanks for sharing! :)

Sarah @ Hennessey House May 18, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

wow, this is genius! it turned out great. and your etsy shop is adorable!!

Pati @ A Crafty Escape May 18, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

I LOVE IT! Brilliant!

Mad in Crafts May 18, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

Uhm, I am pretty sure that it IS just as beautiful as the Express version. No question!

Also, thanks for the real-life demonstration of what Valspar's Mediterranean looks like. I am thinking of painting a chair that color, but you can never really tell from the cap, right?

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Kari Sweeten May 18, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

Gorgeous and classy!! I'll be sending my readers your way!

Jenn May 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM  

Nice! I spray painted some of those wood beads green and strung them on a brown ribbon as a necklace - I love the look of one pearl though :)

Samantha May 18, 2010 at 5:54 PM  

Great job. I just had a discussion with my professional painter husband about how hard would it be to spray my green beads white. He said it would be very very hard.

* Nancy * May 18, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

I love it - so CLASSY! Thanks for sharing. :)

Lisa May 18, 2010 at 7:00 PM  

Beautiful necklace! I LOVE IT! I'm a spray paint freak, but for some reason, I never thought of spray painting beads. Great idea!

Simply Jessabells May 18, 2010 at 7:16 PM  

Great idea!! Love it.

Wendy May 18, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

It looks so good! LOVE the color!

Laura May 18, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

This is such a pretty necklace. I really love the one with the silver beads.

If you have a chance, feel free to check out my blog!

Anna May 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

congrats on opening your shop! looks great.

Mrs. Priss May 19, 2010 at 12:40 AM  

Ummm, that necklace? ADORABLE. I'm totally trying this out!

And congratulations on opening your Etsy shop! You're going to have a blast with it... it's so much fun. Off to check out your stuff. :)

Jennifer Juniper May 19, 2010 at 6:21 AM  

I laughed when you said you feel like you have power once you figure something out! You're so right, I'm always scouting for projects now :) Great job!

sharon May 19, 2010 at 6:47 AM  

really cute necklace!

Amber May 19, 2010 at 9:06 AM  

What a great idea, I to can't justify the price of some of the jewlry out there but I can make my own! Thanks for brightening my summer!

PS foudn you on Blue Cricut Designs

Sarah Larsen May 19, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

I love this necklace! It looks adorable! I don't know why I haven't followed your blog yet!?

Bec May 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

So cool! I think it looks just as good as the original ;)

Suzanne@Meridian Road May 19, 2010 at 2:26 PM  

I think it's every bit as cute as the original~and the second one is even cuter! Good job.

Lori May 19, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

Saw this on Ucreate and had to check it out. I like both versions of yours better than the original!

Andrea @ May 19, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

That looks great! Love it!

I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans May 20, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

Fabulous necklaces! I like how yours turned out better than the one at express! :)

The Single Nester May 20, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

This really looks terrific! I am impressed.

janimal May 21, 2010 at 8:30 AM  

Wow that looks great. (I giggled a bit when I recognized your spray paint box as a VS box!) I think I like your version better than the original.
Congrats on the new shop. Will check it out!

the thrifty ba May 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

coming from remodleaholics (I think) and love this! and the 2nd necklace is even better!

Helena May 21, 2010 at 9:55 AM  

Whoa, that looks so good! Even better than the Express version.

Thank you for participating in the Creative Therapy session at Life in the Pitts!

rachel (curly and crafty) May 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

lovely! great job!! :)

HoosierHomemade May 21, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

Super cute! My son's girlfriend would love a necklace like that! would I!
Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

Becca Ross May 21, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

I love the color you chose! It's such a beachy blue. Thanks for linking up to Home is Where My Story begins. I love having you come by every week!


Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking May 21, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

LOVE ~ LOVE ~ LOVE IT! I am TOTALLY making one of these... so perfect for summer. I'm featuring your necklace tomorrow at the POPP Spotlight.
Hope you have a fab weekend!

Santa's Gift Shoppe and Ideas May 21, 2010 at 2:24 PM  

Hi..I’m Barb….I am from Finding Fabulous... I love your necklace & your blog!! Way to go girl!!
I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @
& get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well. Nice to meet ya new friend!!!

Jess May 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM  

Wow. That is awesome. I am quite sure yours is better than the original. I may have to try to make my own, thanks for the instructions!

Anonymous May 21, 2010 at 4:57 PM  

This is so pretty! I like yours better than the Express version! Such a great summer project!

Diane at Perfectly Imperfect Life May 21, 2010 at 5:09 PM  

I saw this necklace a few days ago and I've been trying to figure out how to get the stuff to make it myself ever since!

Very cool!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} May 21, 2010 at 7:06 PM  

oh I love it! I especially love that second one with the extra chain. That turned out so great! Thanks for sharing!

Megandvd@Beauty in the Attempt May 22, 2010 at 11:31 PM  

You already know this...but you are my hero!!! Once again....breathtaking. :)


Kate May 24, 2010 at 2:26 PM  

Really like this! Found you thru Make it to Wear it - I know, I'm a little late this week :)

Mad in Crafts May 24, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

I am going to be featuring this project on my blog tomorrow morning!

anne maskell May 25, 2010 at 2:55 PM  

congratulations on your new shop! I love the necklaces, I'll have to try that myself!

HB, The Impulsive Minimalist May 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM  

Too cute! I love that color :)

Thanks for linking at Lucky Star Lane!

Tara May 30, 2010 at 12:37 PM  

WOW! Great project. Last year we made gifts for Christmas. Jewelry was a big hit. I think my mom would love this for her birthday this year. She has a jewelry rack in her room the size of a person. LOL She bought a metal bodice at TJ Maxx and turned it into a jewelry holder. Adorable. Thanks for the idea!

Aurora June 1, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

This always happens to me-I find blogs like yours that I HAVE to follow and want to make everything on it! Thank you so much!

brlracincwgrl June 23, 2010 at 7:43 AM  

I love this necklace! And now, I must try and make it for myself. Thanks for sharing! :).

Love your blog, it's my first time here :)

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape June 28, 2010 at 9:25 AM  

I just love your necklace, and your blog. I'm your newest follower. Now I'm going to check out your shop.

Restorative Living August 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

So stinkin' cute!

Kate August 17, 2010 at 12:53 PM  

Now I need to go out and pick up some wooden beads! I am a huge fan of saving photos of jewelry I liked and figuring out a way to do it myself. It saves so much money, and I can generally add twists that make me love the piece even more than the one in store!

Anonymous August 17, 2010 at 5:12 PM  

Great idea the necklace is charming! I do love that ruffle blouse too!

Simply Created by Cole August 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM  

I love this necklace and so would my sister! Hmm...Christmas ideas!

Nicole visiting from The CSI Project!

Beth Ann August 14, 2011 at 6:01 PM  

What an awesome idea! I never thought about painting beads the color I would want them. Very clever! I love your necklaces!

Related Posts with Thumbnails