It's only "almost" free because I had to buy the toggle clasp and some jump rings and eye pins, but all in all, it came to less than $10, and everything else I had on hand. A friend on flickr suggests I start an etsy store, but I've little faith in my ability to promote myself and run a business. Plus, where on earth would I find the time?
So if you'd like to steal the idea, here's how it's done: I cut this leather motif by hand, stiffened it with a good application of resin (both sides), and then punched holes through it with a hammer and nail (and an old wood cutting board that I keep for just this kind of abuse). the loops are a kind of bullion made from wrapping fine gauge silver wire around a thicker piece brass wire (that's the tricky part). From there on out, it's just putting pearls on eye pins and linking jump rings together and whatnot.
I used all silver metal/findings/chain/wire/etc., as the most expensive parts (yards of wire and the moderately thick chain) were in my stash already and I wanted to use them up, in a properly nice-looking piece. If you had to buy it all yourself and decided to use silver, I'd estimate material costs at $50+, just to warn you. This is also why I suspect it wouldn't be a good etsy product - you'd have to charge through the nose to get any kind of compensation at all (the bullion took me hours to do), and then you're up against supply and demand: who would pay so much for such a simple thing?
(this photo taken in a mirror) the bf says it's weird, though he's tempering his statement today by sayind that "weird" doesn't mean "bad." Anyhow, regardless, I think I like it. Just the thing for fall, and just the cheap thrill to inject a little insta-joy into my life. In fact, I bought more head- and eyepins than I needed, just so that I might have a go at using up some of my other raw materials tonight, but we'll see if inspiration strikes.
Now I need to go finish that second fern cushion - I am SO close to being done, it's ridiculous that I haven't just finished the thing.