As one of the world’s fashion capitals, Tokyo can make a cheapo feel under-dressed. Fear not – we’ll help you look good for less.

We all know that Tokyo is an amazing city… but it’s also very expensive. I mean, there’s a reason you’re on a site dedicated to finding the bargains here! I myself can easily be swept away by all of the adorable accessories I find in the boutiques in Harajuku. I have to be careful though, because I am a student and sometimes (OK, all of the time), food and shelter comes before shiny new baubles. Not to worry, though- you can have fashionable and fun accessories  without sacrificing a meal or running water. How, you may ask? Three words: 100 yen shop.

With a little craftiness and know-how, you can get everything you need from a good 100 yen shop (like Daiso or Seria) to make your very own, one-of-a-kind treasures. At least twice a month I make a trip and stock up on supplies (I never spend more than 1000 yen), and then I’m set to have a new accessory to sport every week. It’s way cheaper than buying expensive boutique stuff. Plus, you get major bragging rights for making your own jewelry.

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Here I’ll show you how to make a bracelet with just a few things I found at Seria in Shibuya. It cost less than 500 yen on what I needed to make it, and I still have leftovers of everything.


– 1 pack of pearl beads
– 1 spool of ribbon
– 1 sewing needle
– Thread (a color that blends in with the ribbon)
– Scissors

Photo by mackenzie used under CC

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is thread your needle. I used the thinnest needle that came in the pack I bought so that it would go through the beads. Thread about 20 inches of thread through the needle (but don’t cut it from the spool yet). When you have the 20 inches of thread through the needle, double it over and cut the thread. You should now have 20 inches of thread on both sides of the needle. Tie the ends together.

Photo by mackenzie used under CC

Step 2

Now that you have your needle and thread ready, you can move on to the ribbon. Measure out about 8-10 inches of ribbon (don’t cut yet!) and pull the needle and thread though the center of it (width-wise).

Photo by mackenzie used under CC

Step 3

Now take one of the beads and thread it using the needle, bringing it all the way to the ribbon.

Photo by mackenzie used under CC

Step 4

Bring the ribbon (working with the side that is still attached to the spool) half way around the pearl so that it meets the side that is not already against the ribbon. Push the needle through the ribbon so that it is on the thread.

Photo by mackenzie used under CC

Step 5

Add another bead to the string and wrap and thread the ribbon as you did before, except now on the opposite side so that it alternates. Continue threading the beads and ribbon until you get the desired length for you wrist. I ended up using 16 beads in total.

Photo by mackenzie used under CC

Step 6

Finish your bracelet by tying off the thread and trimming it. Now tie a knot in each end of the ribbon, getting as close to the beads as possible. Fit the bracelet around your wrist and tie in a bow. Trim off any excess ribbon.

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See? It’s so easy to make your own, customized jewelry for no more than the cost of three vending machine drinks.

For more DIY cheapo accessory, home decor and clothing ideas, look for Style Bento.

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Filed under: Fashion | Shopping
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