About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rainbow Bling

One of the side-effects of being in a burlesque troupe is having buckets and buckets of rhinestones laying about. I had wanted to have this necklace finished in time to give to Jewels before the Pride Parade, but sadly life got in the way and I'm only finishing it now. As you can see in my inspiration picture above, the necklace that inspired this one is also rainbow-themed, but I wanted to take it in an over-the-top direction more suited to Jewels' style.

[Edited 6/23 to add] Of course, if you'd prefer to just buy a pretty necklace like the inspiration necklace, you can find them at SparkleBeastDesigns on Etsy!(thanks to the Offbeat Home community for locating the source of the inspiration necklace!)

For this project, you will need:

Sheer fabric(I used .77/yard tulle from Hobby Lobby)
Rhinestones(also from Hobby Lobby)
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

I also used a quilting hoop to stretch the tulle out on, but this isn't strictly necessary.
First, lay out your design. I began with the outline in large clear stones, and then filled it in with rainbow gems.

I began gluing my design by beginning with the center-line. I glued the bottom center jewels first, and worked my way up.

Then I began branching out on the upper edge.

If you accidentally glue something in the wrong spot, don't freak out! Just hold the hot tip of the glue gun against the back. This will reheat the glue and the jewel can be lifted and repositioned.

I completed the outline by adding the lower edge and the drop jewels on the bottom.

I then took my large rainbow jewels and placed them first, trying to space them more or less evenly.

I began filling in the smaller rainbow jewels. It's okay if they don't fit exactly like they did when you planned it out, just fill in where ever you can.

Add any accent jewels you like. Voila! Our design is now backed by sheer fabric.

Carefully cut the design out, giving it a wide margin on the fabric. Here you can just barely make out the outline of the tulle, like a halo around the rhinestones.

Go back and carefully trim close to the edge of the upper outline, leaving a tab of tulle on each corner, but just skim the bottom edge of the lower accent jewels since they're sort of floating.

Here is what the back of the piece looks like. You might think that looks awfully scratchy to wear. You'd be right. So we're going to cut out some small bits of felt to glue to the backs of the larger jewels.

Here's what it'll look like backed with felt. I have sensitive skin and found it to still be somewhat itchy. Next time I would use a sheer organza instead of tulle and back it with soft flannel instead of felt. But if you don't have sensitive skin, this may not be an issue for you.

The last step is to cut your ribbon and sew it to the ends of your necklace, where we left those tulle "tabs" when we were trimming.

It is now ready to wear. When worn on the skin, the tulle disappears into the background, making the necklace appear as though it is hovering on your skin, like an "illusion" necklace without the wire.

It can also be worn lower, as a decorative neckline on a tank or blouse, though light tulle will show up against darker fabric.

Some other things you can do with your new accessory:
Be the world's most bedazzled stage-coach robber!

Attend a costume party as a blingin' garden gnome!

Have the shiniest headscarf ever!

Give your pooch a Lady Gaga cape!


  1. You crack me up, Darlin! I can't wait to try the bank robber version on my own!

    1. We'd be the prettiest band of bandits ever!!

  2. I loved the tutorial, and your sense of humor. And in the robber pic, your eyes look like two big jewels!!!

    1. Thank you! I do have freakishly huge eyes...you should see my baby pictures!


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