Best place to make new costume jewelry (2008)

Toho Shoji

As a self-respecting former fine-art major with a grain of fashion sense, I find myself perpetually gawking at jewelry cases and thinking, "I can make that." But nothing is accomplished by sheer will; there must also be a way. Ever since I discovered Toho Shoji, a Japanese mega-mart of bijous, my jewelry box runneth over. Completely affordable and definitely overwhelming, Toho has every finding, bead, and tool you could ever need. Dying to make one of those little baubles that dangle from a cell phone? For $1 you can get two of the phone cords, and for under a dollar each you can take your pick of brass or silver charms to add on—perhaps a pair of headphones, a pineapple, or even the word cutie. Ready-made chains come in all different lengths for $3 to $4 and are just aching to be hung with an oversize heart-shaped locket ($3.50) big enough to fit a picture of your whole family or a small work of art.


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