DIY Friendship Necklaces with Gretchen Jones as Camp Counselor

Sleep-away camp crafts get a stylish Gretchen Jones DIY makeover.

I’m a collector of the natural kind. Rarely do I go on a hike, to the beach or park without scavenging up some relic from nature to take home with me to my apartment in Brooklyn. Being environmentally disconnected from grass and trees has made me want to integrate it into my life in new ways, even as accessories.

Today’s DIY was quite literally inspired from the overflowing bounty of driftwood that sprinkles my household’s corners, baskets and shelves. When I bring such findings home with me, I sometimes think to myself- “self, what on earth are you going to do with this once it’s home?”
So today is the day I put some sweet natural scores to good use.  

Being stylish to me has very little to do with how much money you have in your checkbook, and far more to do with the resourcefulness and imaginative ideals one can come up with on their own.
I asked myself how I could translate all these treasures into an earthy, hand crafted and playful version that spoke to my memories of my craft store scores decades ago.< With only a few hours, a few supplies and a very easy to follow set of instructions, you too can create a DIY necklace that makes you yearn for sleepover camp craft rooms and hazy summer days where what might be stuck in your braces had more precedence than how your lipstick clashed with your shoes.

I might not wear friendship bracelets anymore, but trade me something like this and I’ll be your best friend forever!


  • Fimo Dough in the Colors of your Choice [Available at most Craft Stores]
  • Acrylic Paint to Mix/Match Fimo Selection
  • Paint Brush
  • Driftwood or a Twig/Branch of your liking
  • Yarn, String or Fishing Line for Stringing Beads
  • Tape
  • Scissors


  • Mix & Match Custom Fimo colors by Needing colors together.
  • Roll into balls of varying sizes to your liking
  • With a toothpick create holes in each bead approx 1/8″ wide for easy threading
  • Lay beads on cookie sheet lined with tin foil/wax paper
  • Bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Let cool

Driftwood Art

  • Pour out colors for mixing onto plate
  • Use paintbrush to mix/match custom color palette to match beads
  • With pencil, etch out design onto wood for tracing lines
  • Carefully paint in design to your liking (There are no rules. Do what you want.)
  • Let air dry


  • After letting beads cool [while paint on driftwood is drying] start stringing beads
  • Choose amount of beaded sway below the piece of driftwood you want and mark
  • Mark driftwood back and tape/tack string in place so beads are fixed below.
  • Finish beading to desired length
  • Tie knot to fix sides for clean finish [**Measure head to make sure necklace can fit over without breaking]
  • Voila! One custom summer brights Nature vs. Urban Yoked necklace!

Designer Gretchen Jones is a New York City designer creating under her own eponymous label. Jones was also the winner of Project Runway Season 8.