I’ve been feeling very crafty lately. I determined about a month ago that I am going to make all my own outfits for Coachella this year, and since then most of my free time has been spent at fabric stores and on Etsy searching for the perfect materials. And of course, I’ve been using Pinterest like crazy for outfit inspiration. As I was scrolling through pins, I came across this STUNNING Swarovski crystal bralette for like $300. I’m not rollin’ in dough, so I searched for some affordable versions, but then thought “why don’t I try to make this myself?” So I did just that.
I have to give credit to the amazing Amber Scholl. To have an idea of where to start, I searched Youtube for a “How To” video and came across her channel. I made my bralette differently than hers, but her instructional video made me feel confident that I could actually make this on my own. This project took me an entire Sunday, but the finished product came out so beautifully it was worth the time spent.
SO let’s get started. Things you will need:
- Rhinestone trim I used an iridescent variety from Etsy. You’ll need about 3-4 yards, depending on how detailed you want your bra to be. With shipping, 4 yards cost me $25. I had a little leftover, which I used to make a separate choker necklace. IMPORTANT NOTE: for easiest construction, get trim that is 2+ rows thick. I made the mistake of getting mostly 1 row, and it was much harder to attach the pieces together.
- Jewelry closures & lobster clasps I bought this handy pack off Amazon for $8. You can also get these at Michael’s or JoAnn Fabric, really any craft store will have them.
- Hand sewing needle and thread You could also use sewing wire, but I forgot to purchase some and found regular thread works just fine.
- Measuring tape
- Super glue (optional)
- Mannequin or just use your body. I found a mannequin to be really helpful but it’s just as easy to use your body to try on while creating. But warning: the rhinestones are SO cold on your body, BE PREPARED!
After you’ve gathered all your supplies, time to start measuring. Determine where you want your bottom bra band to sit and measure the circumference of your body. Lay out your rhinestone trim (I used 3-row for this) and cut the length of that measurement. You’ll be adding a few jewelry closures and a lobster clasp to the ends of this piece, so you may want to subtract 1/2 in – 1 in from your rhinestone measurement to account for these. Next you’ll attach several closures on each side of your trim using your tweezers and pliers. This is a monotonous step, but make sure your closures are nice and secure so they won’t come apart with wear. Then attach a lobster clasp to one side, and you’ve made your bottom band! Fit it on your body to make sure it’s the right size and add/subtract closures as needed. Repeat these exact same steps to create your neck band/choker.
Next, measure on your body where you want your straps to sit. Mine are angled in the front, straight in the back, but use your creativity to design these however you’d like. It may help to be wearing your bottom band for this. Toss the measuring tape over your shoulder and measure from the top of your band from front to the back. Add an inch to your measurement to be safe – it’s MUCH easier to cut length later than to work with a piece that’s too short. Then cut two separate pieces of your trim and these will be your straps. Next step is to attach your strap pieces to your bottom band, using either jewelry closures OR thread/wire. As mentioned, because my straps are only 1 row thick, I had to get creative and use thread and super glue to keep mine secure. For placement, lay your bottom band out and measure to find the center front. I placed my straps in the front 1 inch out from the center front on each side. Secure straps on front as you see fit. Do the same to place straps on the back (mine are 2.5 inches from center back). You should now have your bottom band and straps connected! Try on to make sure you’re happy with the fit.
Next you’ll make the center detail strap that connects from the neck band to the bottom band. If they aren’t already, put all pieces on your body and measure from the center of your neck band to the top center of your bottom band. Make sure you’re not looking down when you take this measurement or the piece could be too short. You’ll want a little bit of slack here to account for neck movement during wear. Take everything off, cut your trim (I used 2 row for this) and secure to neck and bottom band.
If you want more of a harness look than a bralette, your project is complete! I wanted mine to be like a bra, so I added another detail strap connecting from the center neck band to the side bottom band just underneath the armpit. If you do this, make sure the triangular opening is large enough for your boobs. You can also just go crazy and start adding other strap details however you would like. Once completely finished, try it on over or under your desired outfit and snap some pictures. You’ll be so proud of what you created. And please share with me on social media! Here’s my finished bralette with a few examples of how it might be worn. HOW GORGEOUS does it look when you flash light on it in this video!? I’m so obsessed. I am going to Vegas in a few weeks and you can bet I will be rocking this.
Now it’s your turn! Tag me in your creations if you use this tutorial as inspiration!!
As always, thank you for reading! XOXO