Arts and craft projects

Silver key ring turned necklace

9:00 AM

I turned an old vintage looking saree key ring into a boho/ethnic necklace
Believe it or not, this wonderfully boho/ethnic necklace started it's life as an ornate silver key ring. or rather a saree clip key chain.
I got it as a gift from my MIL for Dhanteras when we headed to Lucknow to celebrate Diwali in 2014. Dhanteras is the first day of the 5 days celebration that is Diwali in India (no it is not just one day, and no it is not all about diyas and fire crakers).
On Dhanteras it is custom to buy and gift something made of metal to bring prosperity home. Most people buy and gift silver coins, or gold for those with a bigger budget. It is also common to replace all the old pots and pans and buy new one on that day.

After years of recieving coins on Dhanteras, my MIL decided to do something different that day and gifted all of us DILs a "saree key ring" made of silver.

The flat hook allows it to be clipped at the waist near the folds in a saree.
Those particular key rings are meant to be worn clipped to the saree, at the waist and double as an ornament. When we recieved it, one of my SIL and I both realised immediately that they would make for a great necklace. Those saree clips, as pretty as they are, belong to era of housewives wearing sarees daily and needing to keep the household keys handy. The more utilitarian versions of this key ring are rather plain. The silver version above is probably more of a special occasion wear thing.

Since neither me, nor my SILs really wear saree that often (for me that borders on almost never) and when we actually do wear one it is to go to a fancy wedding or party where displaying our household keys would make little sense, it made sense to convert this beautiful silver piece into something I would actually wear.

I took my time to put that plan into reality, and I finally did so last December. First I wanted to find the right beads to do so, and I had a vision of a necklace made with chunky glass beads.
I found a store that sold exactly what I needed in May 2016, but by then I was still not sure if I wanted to go with my signature blue, or go for more earthen tones, or greens, or reds...or....you get the idea! I had to pick a color.
I then realised that I would have way more of a chance to wear it if I stuck to blue tones, as my wardrobe is packed with the hue.
The essentials to pull a boho jewellery piece lies in the eclectic mix of chunky beads.
When I finally got the the colour part figured out, and the time to go shopping, the shop had closed down for renovation.
For the record, said shop is Itsy Bitsy in Phoenix Market City Kurla, in Mumbai. And yes I KNOW, oh dear god I KNOW that they do have an online store, but hear me out before lecturing me about it.

The brick and mortar shop in the mall has something that the online store doesn't have: a "Bead Bar". Basically you just pick whatever beads you want, in whatever quantity you want and in whatever combination of colour you want and you pay per weight. The price is very reasonable at about 50 paisa per gram. They sell some of those beads in pre-packed little pouch of one type each at a much more inflated price, both in the store and online.
So yeah, I needed the store to re-open to stock up on those beads, hence the delay.


Once I had my beads, and the time to devote to this project I got to work. The first step was to remove the silver clip, and the key ring from the ornate silver pendant. That was quite easy to do as the silver was pretty soft and the loop of the clip holding everything together came open buy just twisting a pair of scissors in the opening.

I decided to string the beads in a symmetrical pattern. This means that the sequence of beads before the pendant went in is the same as the sequence after the pendant was stringed. Since the beads don't all have the exact same size, it still makes for a funky, homemade look.
To insert the pendant, I tied it to a loop of silvery metal first, as you can probably notice on the picture above.

This type of necklace is what I wear all the time I am not wearing sweat pants or sports wear, which means pretty much every time I am going outside for a meet up, events or fun outing. I don't like gold jewellery, or precious stones or any of that stuff. I've always been the chunky, boho necklace type of gal and once upon a time on the blog, I half joked that I was any husband's dream when it comes to jewellery : I hate the costly stuff. Or rather, I could not care less about it. 

3 comments

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  2. Anonymous11:03 AM

    The contrast of the blue beads with the silver key ring is beautiful. You have fantastic imagination.

    I have seen such ornate key chains only in movies/serials. I don't know but for some strange reason, the silver key chain reminded me of an often cliched scene from old bollywood movies. The newly wed DIL enters the household with much fanfare. The MIL blesses her, and then pulls the keys attached to the silver key chain on her waist and lovingly hands over the keys to the DIL saying "Now, I am free, you take care of the household responsibilities", and this was followed by loud dramatic emotional music.

    I hope I have not offended you, just a thought came to my mind.

    Apple

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    Replies
    1. Haha I heard the same thing about handing the DIL the keys and putting the household burden on her shoulder.
      I have seen old aunties with a much simpler of these key ring clipped on their saree, the ornate ones make for a great gift, especially for Dhanteras, but let's face it they aren't really practical even for a regular saree wearer. In my in-law's house the household keys are one a key hook in the kitchen, whoever needs them knows where to find them :-)

      That key ring was begging to be turned into a necklace. It would have been a shame for it to spend an eternity and then some more in a wardrobe without seeing the light of day. That way I get to actually wear it and enjoy my MIL's gift.

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