DIY $2,000 Runway Look For Only $32 BUCKS!

So what if I almost glued my pinky-finger to my forehead in the process -- It all worked out rather smashingly.
Publish date:
January 26, 2012
DIY, bedazzling, bejewling, collars

Bejeweling is the new bedazzling, and it's here in a big, huge, gigantic, humungous way. Whereas in the past when everyone was studding everything (ripped T-shirts, converses, jeans, sweatshirts, even baby clothes) -- it was predominantly with the metal spikes, pyramid-studs, grommets and even safety pins reminiscent of the Punk look created by Vivienne Westwood's and Malcolm Mclaren for the SEX PISTOLS. The slashed, torn and studded designs were decidedly tough, hard and aggressive.

For several seasons now, the overall vibe in fashion has swung far more towards girlie than punk. Repeat: Less Viscous -- More Vixen. For Spring 2012 we saw designers embellishing again, and this mini trend appeared especially on collars.


So, if you've just got to get this look onto your body before anyone else, here's the (fairly) easy way to DIY your very own glittering runway worthy look. Or -- go on a shopping spree but be prepared to cough up some megabucks! What can I say, skilled labor, gorgeous materials and impeccable craftsmanship comes at a price. Your call.


Find a shirt with a cute collar. We found this adorable top on the sale rack at ZARA for $19.99. Score. Not only is the Peter-Pan collar reminiscent of the stupendous Miu Miu dress above, the fabric is hearty, sturdy and thick, no flimsiness here -- so it's able to support the weight of the jewels.

Tip: Find your shirt first -- then hunt for the jewels


For this size of a project you'll need a .5 oz. tube of adhesive. Of course I made the mistake of getting the largest tube and only used about 1/10 of it. And unless I'm missing something (which I probably am), once that sucker's open you're not closing it up all nice and tidy-like and storing it for your next project.


You'll want the flat-backed ones, as opposed to the ones with a hole in the center -- leave those for people who actually know how to sew. The collar of our shirt is black, so the color scheme of our jewels sort of matches. This visually looks best and, quite honestly was a smart move because things did get a little messy along the way. Having the jewels blend with the background definetly was more forgiving than if we'd tried to glue white pearls. For the jewels, we spent about $12 and haggled with the shop owner for free packs!


* Large Round Faceted, 6

* Medium Oval Faceted, 10

* Small Oval Faceted, 18


* Medium Round Faceted, 16


* Large Round Pearl, 2

* Medium Round Pearl, 8

* Exta-Small Round Pearl, 50

Tip: Buy more jewels than you think you need -- you'll have to eyeball it anyway, and it will save youself a trip back to the store if you're short, 'cause that's a buzzkill.


Get to work! Start with your largest jewel first, and then go down in size. A big mistake (which I made) was putting the glue on the jewels and then placing them down. The better way is to spread a thin layer of glue on the shirt and place the beads down. So things did get sticky, I won't lie -- but it was still manageable. It took a good 30-40 minutes to finish the left side, but the other went much faster.

Tip: Have wooden toothpicks on hand; they're great for manuevering the small jewels.


The funny thing is, DIY-ing isn't exactly my "thing." I'm the sucker who -- in most cases -- would find a way to buy the real thing. But, this wasn't too, too hard, and it came out sort of cute, right?!! At least I think so.

Eric is best dressed on Twitter@xoEricNicholson