Cosplay Update: Vanille’s Necklaces

To be honest, I’ve gone a bit overboard this year in terms of costumes.  For some reason, I have decided to make two costumes rather than just one.  In addition to Super Mario Galaxy’s Rosalina, I am also making a costume for Vanille, my favorite character from Final Fantasy XIII.  I’m also practicing an Aussie accent, which I am still dreadful at.  But, I am pretty good at saying a few words so far, like paper and Charlie.  Pie-puh.  Chah-lie.  Chah-lie had some pie-puh.

And so, today it is time to share with you all my first completed items of Vanille’s clothing, her necklaces.  I had to get some help online to figure out how to make these because they almost look like they’re made of wood, and I don’t carve wood.  Ducks don’t do that kind of stuff.  So, after a quick perusal online, I saw that the Internet said to cover memory wire with model magic and use ribbon for the lines on her necklaces.  Long story short, I did just that.  For the longer story, read on.

First of all, memory wire is really hard to bend with your hands.  Apparently, tools make this process easier, but I don’t have any tools for the job, aside from some needle nose pliers that helped later.  And I’m not buying any, either.  I still use Hillshire Farm Tupperware.  Which originally came with turkey meat inside, mind you.  That’s how cheap I am.  Anyway, it took me a long time to bend these wires into the correct shapes and size (I needed three necklaces, of increasingly smaller sizes).  After that, I used the pliers to bend the ends into hooks, but they were very large hooks that didn’t stay together quite well.

Thanks to a burst of inspiration, I bought some metal clasps to attach to the wires, and I spent a great deal of time trying to super glue them to the ends of the necklaces for some more professional hooks.  Despite saying it was compatible with metal, my super glue would not glue the clasps, but it did glue one shut so that I could no longer open it.  Yippee!  I then realized I could just stick the wire through this hole in the end of the clasp and bend the wire with the pliers so it would stay on.  This was probably the method intended by the people who created the clasps, and it worked much better.  When the wire didn’t snap off from being bent too many times, or the little ring at the end of the clasp didn’t break off.  Oh, yeah, and one clasp just fell to pieces before I even did anything with it.

In short, I’m out three clasps.

These are called lobster clasps. I'm not sure what kind of lobster they come from.
These are called lobster clasps. I’m not sure what kind of lobster they come from.
It's naked....
It’s naked….

I did succeed in the end, however, and my necklaces were finally able to close in a far more secure and professional-looking manner.  After that, I got to work on the largest necklace, the one with the beads.  I wanted the wire to be covered in something brown like her other necklaces, but I needed to be able to string beads onto it, as well, so I covered the wire with some brown hemp string I got to string her other beads on (she wears a lot of beads, which I’ll get to in a future post).  I started wrapping it around the wire, and I’d super glue it every minute or so to keep it in place.  Once this was complete, I strung the beads onto my necklace, some of which were painted because I didn’t have enough of certain colors.  Hooray!  One done, two to go!

The blue and orange beads were painted by hand. It was boring.
The blue and orange beads were painted by hand. It was boring.

The other two were covered in brown model magic, which is this strange clay for kids that “sticks to itself and not to your hands”, as the slogan kind of goes.  The first thing I learned was that this is true.  It does not stick to hands.  Or wings.  After noting this fact, I got to work rolling it out into a thin, long string, which I then arranged in the shape of the wire.  After that, I placed the wire onto the model magic and pressed down until it was inside the model magic.  Afterward, I closed up the model magic using a method I had read about online.  Apparently, to get rid of creases, you pinch the crease, then, smooth it down with your finger.  This didn’t work so well on my first necklace, but it did work pretty well on my second one.  I was also informed that my model magic should be kept thin to prevent cracking.

That is where I learned my second unfortunate truth about this stuff.  It air dries.  And when it does that, it shrinks.  And when it shrinks, it cracks.  A lot.  I tried to make it thin, and I tried turning it over every once in a while as it dried, which is supposed to help, but it cracked anyway.  A lot.  I was sad.  A lot.  My first necklace has a lot of cracks, but my second one, which is actually thicker, cracked less, so perhaps keeping it thin doesn’t really help.  I then wrapped ribbon around my necklaces, using super glue once again to keep them held in place.  I used the ribbon to cover the cracks, so they aren’t too noticeable.  Huzzah!  Duck ingenuity saves the day once again!

The smallest necklace is also the prettiest.
The smallest necklace is also the prettiest.

And there you have it, some homemade jewelry.  I hated every second of it.  But, it’s done now.  Fortunately, I bought her bracelets at the store.  They were close enough.  I’m not making bracelets.  You can’t make me.  (I’m also using my clip-on earrings, the same type I used for Ghirahim and Rosalina.  Vanille gets silver, I believe.)  Jewelry complete!  And happy new ye-uh!  That might be Aussie.  It might also just be me being weird….

All three necklaces. One big, happy family.
All three necklaces. One big, happy family.  Just try and find the cracks.  I dare you.

Duck, Reluctant Jewelry Maker…I Mean, Jewelry Mie-kuh

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