If you're crafty and are trying to come up with a great bridesmaid gift idea... Have you considered making your own jewelry? You could even make this necklace in white and silver or ivory and gold to use as a bridal choker. While much of the jewelry I make are original designs I also enjoy learning how to replicate the creations of other designers.
This is a necklace that I made using the pattern from the one on the book cover above as a base model. For a Do-it-Yourself project it looks pretty tricky but wasn't that complicated to make.
Mine differs only slightly because I substituted some Swarovski Crystal beads for glass beads and I added the additional "drops" along the bottom to create a bit more drama.
Most beading stores do offer DIY jewelry design books. This is the selection at BEADS n THINGS, one of my favorite bead shops in San Jose, California. You can also order beads from them online if you don't have a local bead shop where you live.
Select a book and a pattern, then decide on a color palette from all of the possible colors to choose from. Swarovski Austrian Crystals always add a bit of sparkle to any project and are perfect to make wedding accessories just a bit fancier.
It just takes the right beads, tools and a bit of patience to create a necklace like this one. Oh and counting. You have to be able to count to make sure each loop is made out of the appropriate number of beads. But look how gorgeous it is when you're done! I'd suspect that anyone who is good at using a cookbook would also be good at utilizing a beading book to create their own custom jewelry pieces.
If making a necklace seems too complicated you can always start with a simple pair of earrings. Just buy a multi-crystal flower shaped bead like the one pictured here and a pair of sterling silver ear wires. It's as simple as slipping the bead onto the ear wires and you've made a gorgeous and economical gift item for your bridesmaids or a gift for any occasion.