10 Easy DIY Fashion Accessories

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A new fashion accessory has the power to instantly perk up an outfit. But running out to buy a new necklace, bracelet, or handbag isn't always in the budget. With a little creativity and a few cheap supplies, you can grow the number of accessories in your wardrobe exponentially without spending more than a few dollars -- if that -- per piece. Here are some stylish suggestions for DIY fashion accessories.

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Revive an old pair of flip-flops or sandals with some ribbon, hot glue, beads, shells, gems, or any other doodad you have on hand. Wrap the "V" of the flip-flops with colored ribbon to create a canvas for sewing or gluing on embellishments. Plan ahead for this project by starting a collection of baubles from jewelry you already own and clothing you no longer wear to keep costs low and the fashion factor high. You can even buy one or two beads here and there as you find them; a bag of thousands might cost less than $5, and you could spend a dollar or two for a specialty bead. The end result will still cost much less than a brand-new pair of beaded flip-flops. (Trinkets in Bloom)

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Use one special button or a variety of shapes and sizes to create a unique necklace. Vintage buttons are often intricate pieces of art that make the perfect finishing touch to any outfit; the best can be found at thrift stores or in Grandma's jewelry box. The base of the necklace can be an existing chain, which keeps costs extra low, or a custom chain to accommodate a one-of-a-kind pendant made from several buttons. Unless you go the sterling silver or gold route, a chain up to 16 or 20 inches can be bought for $3 to $4. (Born in '82)

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Even cheap wire can make a good-looking addition to a jewelry collection. The wire alone can make a statement, but you can also embellish the new ring with beads or stones. You don't need much wire for each ring, so one roll should be plenty to adorn your own fingers and make more to give as gifts. Wrapping the wire can be tricky, especially as the gauge gets thicker, but if you use a ring sizer or even a dowel and a good pair of pliers, you can create a look and shape that will compliment your hand. Fifteen yards of 20- or 22-gauge wire costs about $4. (Fall For DIY)

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Instead of doing away with the nice leather of a belt that no longer fits your body or your style, try making it into a new, trendy accessory for just the price of a snap. A dozen fasteners cost about $3 at the local craft store. Cut the belt to fit around your wrist, attach the snap, and voila -- a cuff bracelet. A store-bought version might cost upward of $40. (The SITS Girls)

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Making a tote out of something in your closet doesn't cost a thing. Even better: You don't have to know how to sew. Grab an old sweater or T-shirt, cut off the sleeves and neckline as evenly as possible, then do the same to the bottom of the shirt or sweater depending how deep you'd like the bag to be. Cut some fringe at the bottom (it doesn't matter how wide) and tie knots across to make a tight closure. Leave the fringe hanging low for a unique look; if you don't want the fringe to show, turn the bag inside out. Add other knots or embellishments on the shoulders, which function as the bag's straps, for a free, one-of-a-kind carryall. (Mommypotamus)

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An elastic band and some old scrap fabric or a cut-up T-shirt can morph into cute and practical headbands. Use hot glue to adhere the ends of three strips of fabric to the elastic band. Braid the fabric, then finish the braid by gluing it to the other end of the elastic. (Yes, it's really that easy.) A similar item bought at the store would cost at least $5 to $10, so splurging on elastic is well worth it. The material costs just under $1 a yard in some places but is often sold in rolls of 20 to 30 yards -- which can make a lot of headbands. (Jessica Barst on HubPages)

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Give life to ho-hum bracelets by breaking out the paint. Do intricate designs by using tape to create geometric shapes; paint them all one color to match an outfit. A quote painted on a bracelet turns something old into something new. To prevent chipping, be sure the paint is meant for the type of material you're working with. (Happiness Is Homemade)

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Believe it or not, you can create an accessory to wear to dinner from hardware found in a toolbox. Any size of round washer, costing pennies at the hardware store, can be your ticket to a fast, easy, and cheap new necklace. Create a unique design by dotting the washer's surface with nail polish. Then thread a piece of leather string or ribbon through the hole in the center. (Artisana Studio)

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Bobby pins are a staple accessory for many women. They traditionally serve a practical purpose, and with a definite lack of flair. But anyone with an old pair of jeans to recycle can cut off the belt loops and hot glue them to bobby pins or alligator clips to add a pop of color to a hairstyle without spending a dime. (Fancy Meeting Ewe)

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An old sweater at the thrift store undoubtedly costs less than a new pair of boot cuffs for the winter; an old sweater from your closet costs nothing. Cut off the sleeves and presto -- a new pair of boot cuffs. The pattern may not be in style to wear as a sweater, but chances are it suits a pair of "boot socks." To get even more out of the old weave, use what's left to make a sweater bag. (Style, Decor and More)