A blurry (sorry!) photo of the crystals I found attached to a discarded chandelier. I wanted to paint some of them different colors because there are so many. I originally considered using spray paint for an even finish but when I actually looked at a selection of spray paints, I found I was not in love with the colors and that it would be pretty expensive when I really only need a small amount of each color. My mom suggested using paints so I bought some acrylic paints in a "gloss" finish at Walmart. I was worried the paint would turn out streaky and unpolished looking, which as you can tell from the photos below is true. However, what I also discovered is that the color shows through the back of the clear crystal and looks very nice and polished. It may be hard to see in the photo but it looks good in better lighting!
All of my lovely color options in gloss finish. I may do some mixing to get different shades but that seems like a daunting task when I think of having to make enough of the perfect shade for multiple crystal pieces!
I also bought a pewter/silver chain and a black chain. Although I originally imagined gold for this project and for a possible chain closure to use for my beaded collar, the gold chain looked cheap at Walmart so I will need to look elsewhere first. I also need to find matching jewelry pins and other accessories because I think I only have gold at home. Now all I need to do is divvy up the crystals, decide what colors to paint them and change out the ugly existing "hardware" for some new jewelry hooks and chains and I will have some beautiful new pieces of jewelry!
P.S. A little peak at what inspired this project beforehand: While sorting through my desk I found a box of old musical instruments and this maraca I made in elementary school. I pried off the plastic jewels with a cute screwdriver gifted to me by my mom. Funnily enough I remembered that one of my objectives in choosing craft materials when I was young, was to reuse them at home for other projects. I was considering doing just that and making these into a statement necklace by arranging them into a pattern on a piece of felt and attaching a chain but was afraid it might look cheap. Glad I stumbled upon the chandelier and found new nicer looking materials for free!