Creating An Original Frida Kahlo Inspired Jewelry Collection – My Journey

My Journey Into Creating A Frida Kahlo Inspired Jewelry Collection

Art begets art. Art begets art. Art begets art.

Introduction

Frida Kahlo has long inspired artists all over the world. And now, me. In this post, I will cover my journey into creating a Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection.

Her love for life. Her loyalty to her family and Diego. Her willingness to showcase her vulnerability. These are all facets of her character that inspire me.

Initially, I thought that designing a collection inspired by Frida would be a fun and somewhat easy endeavor. 

I had an outline and theme of what I was expecting out of this collection. And given how beautifully vivid Frida’s story and style are, I had many ideas relating to which direction to take.

However, it’s proved to be quite a challenge for me.

Everything I’ve created so far hasn’t met my expectations. 

Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised because designing a collection – for me – has always been quite an elaborate process. One where it takes multiple rounds of designs and edits before I finally feel confident enough to finalize a collection. 

Frida Kahlo had an amazing short life. She had many challenges to contend with but persevered nonetheless. This post covers her life & original pieces of handmade jewelry. #fridakahlo #fridakahloinspiration #fridakahlolovers #fridakahlochildhood
Who's Frida Kahlo - Art, Love, Inspiration - Blog | Kaleidoscopes & Polka Dots

Expectations For My Frida Collection

  1. That everything in this collection would be something Frida would LOVE to wear.
  2. The focal piece or pattern would be a rose – a beaded rose. 
  3. That it would be elegant and artistic. 
  4. That it would compliment and embolden any jewelry lover’s collection – especially those who embrace vintage or vintage-inspired style. 

Design Challenges

  1. Me. I am my own worst critic and therefore seem to not be satisfied with any of these designs.
  2. Too much glitz, not enough raw earthiness.
  3. All of my “roses” so far have looked more like flowers than roses.
  4. When to stop adding to a design…when is too much, “Too much!”
Part of the first attempt at creating a Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry line. This necklace, while beautiful, did not make it to the final collection. #fridakahlojewelry #fridakahlo🌹 #fridakahlolovers #rosenecklace
Red Rose Necklace Inspired by Frida Kahlo Designed by Kaleidoscopes And Polka Dots

In the following sections, I will share my designs and provide a few of my initial thoughts on each piece.  

Whether you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these pieces! 

CONTENTS

References

*Please note that all the books in this slide, and links included throughout the blog marked with an asterisks (*) , direct you to affiliate links where I make a small commission if you place an order. 

Frida Kahlo's Childhood And Creating A Frida-Inspired Jewelry Collection (Video)

Not fragile like a flower. Fragile like a bomb.

My Frida Kahlo Inspired Collection - Round 1

Pink Flower Brooch with Bead Embroidery

This was the first piece I created. 

Initially, I considered making this a necklace with the rose as a focal piece. 

As I finished it I thought better of that design decision given that it’s quite a large flower – it’s beautiful – but as a necklace, it wouldn’t be something I’d wear often.

It works a lot better as a brooch because brooches in general tend to be more versatile. They can be worn as brooches, or hair accessories, or as scarf pendants. These are just a few examples. 

A rough sketch of the initial concept behind my Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection. #jewelryart #rosejewelry #handmadejewelry #handmadedesign
Drawings Of Frida Kahlo Inspired Jewelry Designs by Kaleidoscopes And Polka Dots

Elements I LOVE About This Design

  1. The vibrant mix of hot pink beads playfully sings together.
  2. The beaded fringe enhances the design with a new set of shapes and textures.
  3. The beaded edges that finish off this design provide it an elegant halo effect.
  4. The focal bead – Swarovski Crystal Rivoli – blends in with the design without being too overpowering. 

Elements That Could Be Improved Upon

  1. It is not a rose, as I’d originally intended, but rather a beautifully embroidered flower. 
  2. The petals where gold bugle beads are used to create dimension don’t stand out as much as the solid beaded petals. 
A design where I play around with shading using various beads. I ultimately decide that no shading is a better option. #flowerbrooch #bringbackthebrooch #noveltybrooch #flowerlove
First Draft of Pink Flower Brooch Inspired by Frida Kahlo

Do you agree or disagree with my conclusion? 

Let me know your thoughts in my Facebook Group. 

Two brooches and one necklace created using embroidery techniques. #beadedembroidery #beadedcreations #beadedbrooches

Blue House Inspired Brooches with Beaded Embroidery

This was my second design and my favorite as well. 

I was both inspired by the vivid colors of the Blue House and by the medallion Frida wears in this picture. 

While her medallion is made of precious metals, mine is made with delicate lively beads that together paint a mystical wearable work of art.  

A detailed book relating to Frida’s fashion, home, paintings and more. #fridakahlostyle #fridakahlofashion #fridakahloinspiration
Frida Kahlo, Making Herself Up

I made three versions of jewelry with this radial brooch design because, again, I initially only considered this piece as a necklace. 

Once finished, I realized that it wouldn’t be as wearable as I’d originally envisioned hence I created 2 brooches with varying degrees of details.

Which is your favorite? 

Elements I LOVE About This Design

  1. I’m in love with the mystical feel of this design. 
  2. The design’s versatility and adaptability across different styles of fashion are quite exciting. 
  3. I love that the seed beads of varying shades of blue delicately complement the focal coin bead. 

Elements That Could Be Improved Upon

  1. Improve upon the consistency in the radial design. 
  2. It’s not pictured here, but the brooch pin should be hidden within the fabric of the backside instead of being placed over top. 
Elegant designs with a lot of detail, this beaded brooch & necklace prove to be quite versatile and reminiscent of Frida Kahlo’s style. #fridakahlojewelry #fridakahloinspried #bringbackthebrooch #handmadejewelry
Blue House Inspired Brooch & Necklace– Part of the first round of designs for the Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection.
Elegant and bold, this Frida Kahlo inspired necklace is a bold and fashionable statement piece for any jewelry lover’s collection. #handmadejewelry #fridakahloinspired #firdakahlojewelry
A necklace inspired by Frida Kahlo’s style and vibrant Blue House.
This dazzling set of accessories is embroidered with seed beads and a Swarovski Crystal coin bead. Their colors and design offer great versatility in wearability. #handmadeaccessories #vintageinspired #beadlove #bringbackthebrooch
A pin and a brooch inspired by Frida Kahlo’s Blue House.
A mix of hot pink seed beads combine to create a uniform rose design. Not providing enough dimension; therefore, this piece does not make it to the final collection of Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry. #handmadejewelry #bringbackthebrooch #fridakahloinspired #foreverfrida
Frida Kahlo inspired pink rose brooch by Kaleidoscopes & Polka Dots

Pink Rose Brooch Made With Beaded Embroidery

I came back to attempting to create a beaded rose brooch after designing the Blue House Brooch. 

This time, I chose to play with seeds, different tones of pink seed beads, as an attempt to create the effect of a voluminous rose. 

As I finished, I didn’t think it was representative of a rose so I added the leaf detail. 

Part of the first round of designs for the Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection. #handmadebrooch #handmadejewelry #fridakahloinspired #rosebrooch #rosejewelry

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this design, but still not in love with this design.

What do you think? Love it? Pass on it? I probably would. 

Elements I LOVE About This Design

  1. I love the color! It’s so vivid and cheerful. This is definitely a color scheme I will continue to use with other designs. 
  2. The leaves are adorable. 
  3. The finishing edges provide dimension to the design which makes the rose pop. 
  4. The center cluster of beads is quite lovely.

Elements That Could Be Improved Upon

  1. The rose lacks a defined shape. The rose petals seem to congeal into a single circle. 

Red Rose Brooch Created With Beaded Emroidery

This set was part of the first set of designs of the Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection. Both are contenders for the final collection but will need a few changes. #handmadejewelry #fridakahloinspired #fridakahlojewelry #redrosejewelry #redrose
Red rose necklace and red rose brooch inspired by Frida Kahlo – Designed by Kaleidoscopes & Polka Dots

Feeling inspired to try it again and thinking that I had a simple solution to fix the lack of definition in my previous design, I gave this brooch a go. 

The change I made was in the stitching of the beads. I added a bit of texture by beading around the center beads. 

Using them as a jumping-off point, I thought that as I added beads around the rose, the definition would naturally arise. Not so. 

I have the reference material to look up techniques that have been tried and true, but in this case, I was just so eager to give this design my OWN spin that I rebelled and ended up with a very similar design as before…argh.

This design, while incredibly bold, will likely not make it to the final collection. Again, it lacks definition and from afar looks more like a red medallion than a red rose, so a few tweaks are required before making a final decision. #handmadejewelry #redrosejewelry #redrose #bringbackthebrooch
Red Rose Brooch – Part of the first round of designs for the Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection by Kaleidoscopes And Polka Dots

This is a lovely piece. 

I think that the color and the fringe give it such a classic look but I think that you have to look too closely to notice that it’s attempting to be a rose. 

Am I right?

Elements I LOVE About This Design

  1. Again, that color. Those red beads are stunning. 
  2. The fringe detail. I love the mix of earthy tones.  
  3. This is something I could see Frida wearing. 

Elements That Could Be Improved Upon

  1. The definition of rose petals. It looks more like a red medallion than a red rose. 

Red Rose Necklace Created with Beaded Embroidery

After 2 failed attempts at creating dimension purely with color and subtle beading patterns, I drew up this design.

To create this design, I drew the outline of the rose and filled it in with beads alternating between 2 types of beads for the rose petals.

While the final effect is pretty, it is not the design I had in mind. 

This bead embroidered red rose necklace is charming and bold in color and design. #redrosenecklace #rosenecklace #handmadejewelry #fridainspired #fridakahloinspiredjewelry
Red Rose Necklace – Part of the first round of designs for the Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection by Kaleidoscopes And Polka Dots

Honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting at the time. 

As I look at this design, I can’t help but think, “Yeah. The overall effect and design make sense. It’s not a rose, but a very pretty flower. Maybe draw a different rose?”

Would you agree? 

Elements I LOVE About This Design

  1. The colors. 
  2. The magnetic heart-shaped clasp. 
  3. The beads that make up the length of the necklace – so pretty!

Elements That Could Be Improved Upon

  1. The shape of the rose…I know…I’m a broken record…
When in doubt, consult reference books because they are sure to spark your imagination. This set of beaded roses was inspired by a pattern found in the book Beading with Cabochons - Simple Techniques for Beautiful Jewelry. #handmadejewelry #beading #beadedjewelry #rosejewelry #designerjewelry
Delicate Beaded Roses with Pearl Beads & A Photo of Young Frida Kahlo from the book: Frida Kahlo. Making Herself Up.

Delicate Beaded Roses With A Pearl Detail

By design, these little roses look like roses and are perfect for my Frida Kahlo inspired jewelry collection. 

How did I come up with this design you may ask? 

The wonderfully detailed book on cabochons titled Beading with Cabochons: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Jewelry by Jamie Cloud Eakin

These are so charming and have inspired me to give hair accessories a try for this next collection. 

Elements I LOVE About This Design

  1. They look like roses.
  2. They are so cute and delicate.
  3. They definitely spark joy and inspiration. 

Elements That Could Be Improved Upon

  1. I’m not sure that they speak to Frida’s aesthetic or sense of style…What do you think? 

Conclusion

This is only round one of my design process. 

Next, I’m planning on trying a few hair accessories, just to see how they turn out. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to follow my design journey, sign up the Kaleidoscope Chronicle by clicking here

* If you have any questions about this post, please reach me via email: lovealways@kaleidoscopesandpolkadots.com or via a direct message on Facebook or Instagram.

About The Author

Jessica Gibson
Jessica Gibson

Leading Lady of Kaleidoscopes & Polka Dots.

If you have any questions about this article, or anything at all, please reach out to me at lovealways@kaleidoscopesandpolkadots.com

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