homemade name necklaces for girls and boys

Amy Mascott
Dec 21, 2012
For months and months and months and months, Cora has asked for three things: her name on a cup, her name on a shirt, and her name on a necklace. Not just a ‘C’, she’d beg me. Not ‘I love you’. I just want my name: Cora. My name is so unusual. It’s not common, and it’s nowhere to be found. Why did you give me this naaaaaame? We love Cora’s name. We chose it—and all of our children’s names so carefully, with so much thought, with so much discussion, with so much research and time. Names are the very first gifts you get from your parents, Cora. Your name is so special and so beautiful—just like you. One day she’ll realize how perfect it is, but until then, I’m hoping she finds her name more lovely when she sees it on a homemade name necklace. Made especially for Cora, by her mama who loves her like whut. Of course I added Maddy and Owen to the homemade name necklace mix, and I was amazed at how easy–and fabulous–they all turned out. If I can do it, anyone can. Here’s the skinny . . . Homemade Name Necklaces for Girls and Boys: It’s no secret how much we focus on names over here, so it seems natural that we would have put names on necklaces at this point—but we haven’t. When I started searching the world for name necklaces I realized that unless I was going to pay a small fortune for what I wanted, I had to stick with a ‘C’ or go really cheap-o. Another great reason to have extra greeting cards around. . . So I decided to build my own perfect necklace for my tinies, and I started by hitting the craft store. Be forewarned, I made mine as simply as I could, using what few jewelry-making items I had on hand, which wasn’t very much. I did have to pick up a few things, though. And I’m certainly no jewelry-makin’ pro. I purchased: Two 24” 1.5mm open link silver chain necklaces A combo pack of silver jump rings Two packs of round, flat silver circle discs A mixed pack of flat-sided jewels A pack of silver, jeweled embellishments (on discount) A black leather rope necklace A flat, rust-colored rectangle tag A pack of rust-colored jump rings An inexpensive pair of jewelry pliers I used these items that I already had on hand: Super heavy-duty glue Rub off transfer letters Two holiday cards Mod Podge, dimensional magic with sparkle Mod Podge, original finish I started with the main name charm for Maddy and Cora’s necklaces. I used the letters I liked from the Mod Podge rub on words and phrases I picked out a part of each greeting card that I liked—one for each girl: very light blue swirl for Cora and a pretty teal color for Maddy. I traced the biggest disc, about 1” diameter, on each paper, and I searched for the letters I wanted for each name charm. I knew I wanted to put Cora’s whole name on hers (of course!) but I wanted an ‘M’ for Maddy’s. She has a ‘Madeline’ necklace, so I thought she’d be happy with her letter—simple and totally tweenish. Then I rubbed the letters onto the disc, paying close attention to where I planned for the hole to be and where I planned to place the jewels on each. For some reason this part made me nervous—probably because I didn’t have sheets and sheets of alphabet letters; I had only a few sheets of words and phrases. So I was literally cutting, rubbing, and hoping it would work. To begin with Owen’s name tag (not a charm for boys, silly!), very simply I rubbed his initials on one side of the tag, then I added the word ‘proud’ on the other side. I used my thumb to press the letters onto the tag—they didn’t seem to be taking to the metal like they did to the paper for the girls’ charms. I felt that ‘proud’ was the perfect word for him: my husband and I are so very proud of all that he does in school and at home, and he should be proud of his hard work, kindness toward others, and compassion toward his family. I glued the card to the metal disc using super heavy-duty glue–then made sure the hole would land where I wanted it to. When the names were how I wanted them, I cut out the circles and glued them to the metal discs. I used the super-heavy duty glue, and with the help of the pliers I managed to not permanently connect my fingers to the charm. I pressed the paper to the disc firmly and let them dry for about two hours. I knew I wanted to use the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic because I wanted the name charm to have a 3-D feel, and I wanted to have the jewels sit inside the dome. I squeezed a small amount of the Mod Podge and watched it grow, adding a bit more and pushing it to the outer edges. My first time ever working with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. Cool stuff. Then I quickly embedded the jewels on each. I wanted one big hot pink one for Cora and four ones for Maddy: dark purple, blue, light purple, and clear. I made sure the gems were exactly how I wanted them, and then I set them out to dry. This Mod Podge takes three or more hours to properly dry. In the mean time, I worked on the smaller discs for each necklace. I knew I wanted one that was just gems and the other that included one of the embellishments from the pack I purchased. (But really, you could use anything—and the possibilities are excitingly endless!) Smaller discs would be jeweled and Owen’s tag just needed one coat of regular Mod Podge to seal. I squeezed a little bubble of Mod Podge on each disc and on one I placed gems and the other a flower with a gem in the center. I set them out to dry. It was hard for me to find a place where the discs could dry without getting permanently stuck to something. What I finally found but wish I would have used the whole time were teeny, tiny cookie cutters. The discs could sit above the level working space without being flush—so they could dry on both sides. The pliers? Totally came in handy when working with this tiny stuff–and the best ever drying racks? Teeny cookie cutters. When each piece was totally and completely dried, I used a pushpin to poke through the hole at the top. I knew I had to seal the back, but I wanted to make sure that the hole was open so the circle connector could get through. The Sparkle Mod Podge worked as a sealer for the backs of all of the silver discs. Finally I was ready to put the pieces together! By now I’m feeling like a jewelry-making rockstar. (Even though I’m not.) I removed about six inches from each of the 24” necklace chains. They were too long at 24” for my little girls, but I didn’t want them to fit tightly. I used the trusty pushpin again to make sure the hole was open, and I placed the largest of the circle connectors on the name charm and the gem charm. I wanted both of these charms to move freely on the necklace. Cora–I’m hoping!–will totally heart her homemade name necklace because it is blinged out like she always wants to be. I used the smallest circle connector on the flower charm because I planned to connect it to one link of the necklace. I wanted it to lie lower- to mid-way between the bottom of the necklace and the top, kind of off-centered so the other two charms would fall to the bottom. I have a necklace similar in style to this, and I thought the girls would like to have one that mirrored mine. Hoping that my Owen likes his manly, manly name tag. . . but if he doesn’t also cool with me. For Owen’s, all I needed to do was use one of the antiqued jump rings and he was done. I wanted his simple and manly-manly. I. Love. Them. Each one. I love them all. Maddy’s necklace is in blues and greens–her favorites. I mean, I really, really love how they turned out. These are going to be special for Maddy, Owen, and Cora on Christmas, from their dad and me, and I can’t wait for them to see them. I secretly cannot wait to make my next one. As an educator and mom, I firmly believe that our kiddos should know, love, and celebrate their names–any and every day of the week. So name necklaces? Bring. Them. On! These homemade name necklaces were way more fun than I ever anticipated, and the great thing is that as long as you have a secret spot where they can hang out to dry–anyone can make them. If you have any questions or need some more information, hit me–and I’ll do my best to answer! Happy name-necklace making! 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