50 Shades of Grey: A DIY Gunmetal Diamond Choker
So one trend that I am happily celebrating is....chokers. These will never go out of style for me, heck; they never went out of style in my world. Putting a choker on makes you look different in the face, almost like a new eyebrow shape. How? It accentuates some of your facial features a bit more. It's like adding a frame to a photo. Chokers can also add a little extra spice to a basic outfit. In this case, I was going for a dash of spice. Something that was a bit more on the dark side, but I still wanted some shine to it.
Low and behold, one color I've been gravitating to quite a bit lately (next to royal blue) is gray. 50 Shades of Grey. Gray diamonds - rhinestones, crystals, or fairy poop...whatever you want to call them. Gunmetal chain border. Gunmetal closures to match. Gray ribbon. With a dash of black magic for a 49 Shades of Grey version.
What is also pleasant about this color, is that in the midst of this project I noticed that the trim I selected for this choker matches my Rebecca Minkoff bag. An oversized investment piece with black leather and an out of this world exotic black handle with a plated gunmetal shoulder handle finished with gunmetal hardware to complete the piece of work. It's a bag that has lasted me over 4 years now, well worth the money. Enough about that though.
This diamond choker is a nice touch for a monochromatic outfit. It's one of those statement pieces that quietly whisper, "look at me". Gray is that subtly attractive color, even gray cloudy skies can demand your attention on the low. Ever so easy going.
Not to mention, making a choker is much easier than you'd think, so is coming up with a design for one. The possibilities are truly endless; shape... color... length... you name it. If you need some inspiration, you can find a ton of chokers on Pinterest with a simple search. You can tell that is one of my go to places to collect anything that sparks an idea for me. Sometimes, I'll create a board before starting on a new project to help get a clearer idea of what I'm going for in a design. Despite there being a ton of designs you can go for with your choker, not every style will be flattering for your body type.
SELECTING THE RIGHT CHOKER FOR YOU:
Although chokers come in different sizes, one thing to be mindful of is your neck, face shape, and what outfit you decide to wear with your choker. Do you have a long neck? Short neck? For instance, a choker that has a large width may not be as flattering on someone who has a shorter neck. What shape is your face? An oval shaped face can practically rock any kind of choker. What about your top? Is it shoulders top leaving your neckline open for the world to view? How about a crew neck t-shirt? If you want to put an emphasis on your choker, then maybe a top that shows a little more skin around the neckline. Although there are guidelines for chokers, and practically anything else when it comes to how you sport something; like make-up or shoes. These don't have to be followed, just be conscious of them so you can be better equipped to create the look you're going for or to flatter a feature you take pride in.
Now that we've got that out the way, let's get into it.
- Diamond Trim: you can find trim sold by the yard or in a large spool. I got mine from here. This will be the design of your choker.
- Ribbon: the supporting base behind your trim, depending on the trim you decide to use. You may or may not need it.
- Crimp End Closures: a color to match the trim, although this is a preferential option.
- E6000 Glue: this glue is my go to glue, very reliable yet has a strong smell. So be sure to use this in a well ventilated area.
- Measuring Tape: I personally like this one since it has alternating colors on the back, making it visually easier to make my mark when measuring myself. But, you can always get resourceful with other items around the house to measure yourself.
- Sharp Scissors: dull ones make the ribbon fray at the ends, you want a clean cut.
- Cut Nose Pliers: you'll be using this to cut your diamond trim, so be sure you have some sharp ones to make the job easier.
- Flat Nose w/o Teeth Pliers (not pictured): this will clamp down the closures into the ribbon, quite easy to use.
Step 1: Select what kind of ribbon and trim you'd like to use. Get crazy, there's all sorts of color options and sizes to pick from when making a choker. Then make sure you get a matching sized closure to go with it so it can hold up the trim without slouching, the idea here is to have a fitted choker. Once you've figured out what kind choker you're going for get all of your supplies, music, snacks, and all the stuff you need to get comfy in your workspace.
Step 2: Next, lets get to measuring and figuring out the sizing. To make it easier, if you already have a choker that fits nicely, just go ahead and compare your measurements to that. If not, grab the measuring tape and lets get to work. You'll want to measure your neck and the closure at the last link (for those who want a tight fit). Be mindful that you will still need to be able to breath, so leave an inch or two extra. Take note of the measurements, you'll need them to cut your trim and ribbon. You
Step 3: If you have a closure like the above pictured with an extended closure, you don't have to worry about this step as much since it gives you some wiggle room with sizing. In order to figure out how much ribbon you need to cut, take your neck measurement subtracted by the closure length to get the amount of trim you need to cut. I leave a couple of centimeters out since the closure will eat up some of that ribbon. Once you've got the number figured out, cut the ribbon and put it to the side for now.
Step 4: Next, grab your closures and test them to make sure they open and close with ease. For extra security, continue this step. If not, move on to Step 5. Once you have a closure you feel confident with put it to the side nearby along with the flat nose pliers (you'll need them immediately after this step). Then grab your ribbon that you just cut and E6000 glue. At the end of the ribbon, you'll want to line the edge that will be secured in the closure with a thin layer of glue and blow on it for a few seconds to give it a tacky consistency before putting on the closure.
Step 5: Attach the closures to the ends of the ribbon and then use your flat nose pliers to clamp the closure together securing it into place. You want it nice and snug, but don't clamp down too hard to where it leaves indentions and begins to lose shape. You want the comb indentions to dig into the ribbon. Repeat this step with the other end.
Step 6: Now that you have the base of your choker, it's time to measure out the crystal trim. Just lay you completed choker base down flat by your measuring tape to figure out how much trim you need to complete your choker. Once you have your measurements for the trim, grab your cut nose pliers and gradually cut your trim piece off. Be careful, if your pliers aren't sharp enough you're going to have to put some strength into it which can cause some pieces to go flying. Close your eyes and warn anyone else around you to take cover!
Step 7: Almost there! This last step is pretty simple, but don't get too careless. Grab your E6000 glue and your freshly cut trim, analyze your trim to see where the sweet spots are for glueing. With this trim, there were certain parts that were already welded together so that was the sweet spot so the trim could retain that free flowing shape (remember that E6000 can really stiffen up things). Glue sparingly on the sweet spots, then blow on it for a few seconds to allow the glue to get a bit tacky. Then grab your choker base and line it up carefully with the trim and place it on top. Gently press on the areas where you placed the glue, make sure it's aligned nicely then let it sit.
Step 8: Once that is complete, allow the choker to for 24 - 48 hours....72 tops. Once dry, proceed to floss on everyone you see or tag me on Instagram so I can see what #BenitaTaughtU
Now that we've got that out the way, tell me what color you ended up going with! Did you find a better way to do this or did you find yourself thinking "ain't nobody got time fo' that"!? I want to know.