A lot of stores sell gorgeous beaded jewelries. The prices for beaded necklaces range from $20 up to a thousand dollars. The cheap ones are commonly made using plastic or glass. However, did you know that you can make your own vegetable necklace? This is considerably cheap than buying a new one.
In this do-it-yourself project, you will learn how to make a beaded necklace using carrots and potatoes. People around you will not even notice you are wearing vegetable beads. Once you wear these beautiful pieces, you will surely create a statement about going green and all-natural!
In this process, you will learn how to make a vegetable necklace using only sun dried potatoes, carrots and some necklace materials. This process will take up to 3 weeks to finish. Even though it may sound like a long time for a necklace, do not worry because the steps are fairly easy.
The finished products will look like genuine stone beads that you can color so you can customize the design of your jewelry. Let us begin!
9 Easy Steps in Making a Vegetable Necklace
Step 1: Lay-out Your Necklace
Plan the design of your necklace. Because this method gives you the option to paint your vegetable beads, do not hesitate to be imaginative. You can definitely play around with different colors and patterns to put on your necklace. You should also have a theme in mind so that your finished product would look harmonized even with different colors and shapes.
Step 2: Prepare the Materials
Gather the needed materials. Refer to the list below for the materials you must have for your vegetable necklace.
- Potatoes and Carrots (as many as you want, depending on the amount that you need for the design of your necklace)
- bamboo skewers
- embroidery floss or elastic threads
- other decorative beads (optional)
- embroidery needles for beading
- wax paper
- old baking sheets
- acrylic paints
- acrylic spray sealer
- small paint brushes
- baking tray/tray
Step 3: Make the Vegetable Beads
Steps in Making Vegetable Beads
Step 1: Prepare your Vegetables
Wash and peel both the potatoes and carrots. Next, cut them into square or rectangular chunks. Bear in mind that these will shrink and will become 1/3 of its original size so it is better to cut them in bigger pieces. If you cut them into chunks that are too small, they will just break during the sun drying process.
Step 2: Skew Vegetable Pieces
Put them into the bamboo skewers. Pierce the square-shaped cuts in the middle and the rectangular ones on one edge. Next, place them on a baking tray covered with wax paper. Give the vegetables enough space in between so that they will not stick with each other. Cover them with additional baking sheets.
Step 3: Drying
Place them in an area that is hit directly by the sun particularly during the hottest parts of the day. Let the skewed vegetables dry for 10 days up to 2 weeks. During the drying period, flip them daily so that all the surfaces will be equally dehydrated.
Step 4: Color your Beads
After 2 weeks, check if the vegetables are hard enough. You want to achieve a stone-like feel so that you can use them as beads for your necklace.
Once completely dry, do not remove them from the skewers. Start painting them using acrylic paint while still on a stick to prevent unnecessary mess. This is your first coating so just paint them thinly. Ensure that the entire surfaces of your vegetable beads are covered.
Step 5: Second Coating
Let the first acrylic paint coating dry overnight. Then, without removing the painted vegetables from the bamboo skewers, paint the beads again for the second coating. Let this second coating dry overnight.
Step 6: Seal the Color of your Beads
Afterwards, take your painted potato and carrot beads on a well-ventilated area for sealing. It is better to go outside for this step. Also, be careful not to inhale too much of the sealant as this can harm your health. Proceed to use the acrylic sealer to seal the color of your beads. Then, allow your finished beads to dry overnight.
Take your final products off the skewers. You can now use your colorful potato and carrot beads to lay-out your planned vegetable necklace!
Step 8: Assemble Your Necklace
This step is where you will assemble the necklace. Using a large embroidery needle, thread the embroidery floss. You can now start beading your necklace. Ensure that its length is enough to fit your head. Include other decorative beads to improve the appearance of your jewelry.
Step 9:Securely Tie the Necklace
After you are done, remove the needle from the thread and tie at least 3 knots to secure your product. Slip your vegetable necklace on and wear it as a part of your outfit for the day!
Additional Option: Make a Sliced Fruit Pendant
If you want a more organic looking accessory, do this do-it-yourself project instead! In this method, you will need thinly sliced lemons and kiwi, a food dehydrator, cornstarch, brush, clear sealant spray, silicone mold, resin, hardener and of course jewelry wire.
Step 1: Slice Fruits
First, thinly slice the fruits at about 2 to 3 cm thick. Ensure that you will not slice them any thicker than this because they will be harder to dehydrate. Next, put the sliced fruits on a towel to help suck up extra juices.
Step 2: Cornstarch Treatment
Second, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 100 ml water. Dissolve the powder completely and heat in moderate heat. Then, continue stirring until the mixture starts to boil. This may take you up to 5 minutes.
After boiling, take out the dense liquid from the stove and brush your sliced fruits with it. This step will help preserve the color of your fruits. Moreover, ensure that all the surfaces of the sliced fruits are completely covered with the cornstarch treatment.
Step 3: Dehydrate Fruit Slices
Furthermore, lay your cornstarch-treated slices in to your dehydrator. Keep them apart so that they will not stick with each other. Next, set the heat to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Situate your dehydrator in a dry place so facilitate the drying process. In addition, if you put it in a damp area, your slices will not dry completely. Drying can take 24 to 72 hours to finish.
Check your dehydrating fruits every 12 hours and make sure that their texture will not have any hint of moisture in them. Also, you will know your fruits are completely dried if even their fleshy part already feels crunchy.
Step 4: Seal Fruits
Spray sealant on your fruits. Let them completely dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Resin Treatment
Ready your resin and hardener. This dries pretty quickly so make sure to work fast. After mixing your resin, pour a little amount on the silicone mold. Then, put the sliced fruit in there and cover with additional resin. You can insert the jewelry wire while the resin has not completely hardened yet.
Just wait for the resin to dry and you are all set. You can now use your preserved fruit pendant!
This DIY vegetable necklace looks like the real deal! By only using potatoes and carrots, you can make stone-looking beads of different colors. You only need to completely dehydrate your vegetables and customize their color according to your preference. Moreover, you can also make your own sliced fruit pendant by dehydrating and putting resin to seal it.
These projects are not only fun to make; they can make your daily outfits more colorful and fashionable!