Making jewelry more versatile has been a trend for a few years now. Remember those watches with the beaded bands on stretchy cord? The bands clipped onto the watch face and you could change the watchband to match your wardrobe choices. It was a great idea, but people jumped on the bandwagon as the fad swept through. There were people who made some awesome pieces with very artistic arrangements of beads and stones. They took the time to find unique and better quality materials for their pieces. Then there were the sellers who came late to the party and rushed to make watchbands from beads we've all seen at Michaels, Jo-Ann's, and Hobby Lobby. Every craft fair or boutique seemed to have at least 10% of the booths selling these watches and bands.
Why don't crafters take the time to put their own twist on an idea? They need to think like artisans instead of just trying to copy what they've seen. What can I do with this idea that will be different from what others are doing? Style, uniqueness, and quality of materials can make all the difference.
The latest interchangeable jewelry item is necklaces that have a magnet on the pendant. These have been played with for awhile and now they are taking off using pinback buttons as the removable design element. I hadn't seen people wearing buttons much since my jr. high school years, but now they're making a comeback. JC Penney did a promotion during the Christmas shopping season where they gave out 1-inch buttons with a code on the back. Some of the codes were linked to prizes. People were wearing clusters of buttons now on their shirts and jackets.
We purchased a machine to make the one-inch buttons. This is no cheap investment! You also have to research the options since a machine with plastic parts will break sooner and some machines have parts that are slightly different from the more common sizes, leading to difficulties purchasing new supplies. You can get a variety of different backs for these buttons - zipper pulls, pins, tie tacks, earrings, magnets, and flat backs.
Our twist on these versatile necklaces is to keep with the theme of our Etsy shop. We have buttons done in some cool Native American designs. I also made some with tatted motifs. That was a challenge since I had to use the smallest threads. It's cool to see the tatting under the Mylar cover of the button. That's one way to keep your tatting clean! We created a new section for the shop where people can buy the necklace base and different sets of buttons.