Believe it or not, Zelda's necklace was more complicated for me to make than her shoulder armor or crown pieces. The reason being was the depth of the layers of the necklace combined with a bottom jewel shape (which is supposed to be level with the tallest layer). Sound confusing? I thought so, too.
After considering many different materials (such as Crayola Model Magic, craft foam, resin, paper clay and wood), I decided it would be easiest to use a double layered craft foam base sandwiched between two pieces of worbla.
Since the top half circle thing appears sliced into equal parts, using craft foam to make individual wedges seemed too tedious. I needed something firm enough to handle the worbla, yet spaced out enough to where I could tuck the worbla in between the small grooves. Fingers crossed, I decided to use a strip of Crayola Model Magic to make the slotted half circle.
After letting the half-circle (with slots cut out) dry for two days, I glued it onto my craft foam cutout of the necklace. I used 2mm craft foam for the bottom layer and 3mm foam for the top layer, although you could use 2mm for both layers.
I made my own paper pattern for this necklace using a desktop app called Inkscape. This is the app that I use to make most of my armor patterns, because you can easily scale it to your unique size. Alternatively, you can just take your own measurements and sketch it out on paper. I'm HORRIBLE at free-hand drawing, though, so design apps work best for me. Specifically, my necklace measures (without end rings) 6 1/4" wide x 5" tall.
After gluing everything in place (I like to use Foamies glue whenever adhering stuff to foam), I set the gemstones down just to make sure they would fit, but removed them before applying the worbla. I also made the small jewel that goes at the bottom using wood and sanded it to shape. The foam shape at the bottom of the picture was just a placeholder. I cut it off before I wrapped the worbla around the foam and wood piece.
This is how it looked after I sandwiched everything between black worbla (well, black on the top and regular worbla on the bottom). I still had some trimming to do at this point, but you get the idea.
Since worbla has a grainy texture, I coated it with 3 layers of wood glue to smooth it out a bit before painting. Once the glue had fully dried, I painted it with gold metallic spray paint, then weathered it using brown oil paint (oil paints blend much better over spray paint than acrylics do - remember that!) Whenever possible, always use brown tones when weathering light colored armor - such as gold. It looks more realistic than black.
I have a tutorial about casting gemstones elsewhere. You can click here to read that. For these gems, I used two different silicone mold brands - to see which came out better. The purple mold (EasyMold Silicone Putty) produced the best cast in this case. For casting, I typically use EasyCast resin...because it really is easy. Castin Craft resin involves too much math for my liking. To color the resin, I used Castin Craft Color Pigment in red. About 5 to 7 drops will do.
If you don't want to mess with resin process, it's possible to just buy these rhinestones in the appropriate sizes and color online. They are not uncommonly shaped, so it shouldn't be hard to find them on eBay or Etsy.
I also used this method for casting the blue crystals that hang from the necklace rings and the one that hangs from the belt armor. Of course, If it's easier to simply buy clear crystals to use as the casting positives and make a mold of those.
I used a two part epoxy glue to attach the large rings to the necklace in the back. Then I slapped on two pieces of worbla over the connections just to make sure they wouldn't budge. I used the same epoxy to attach the gemstones. I can't remember what the 3 part ring holder is called but you can find them at any craft store. I found mine at Joann Fabrics in the jewelry section. I used a small hand-held drill to make the holes in the resin crystals so that I could loop the rings through them. (Not a power drill.) It looks like a miniature screwdriver, but with a fine pointed end.
If you take a hard look above the large rings, you'll find a little secret of mine. I wrapped some clear fishing line around the rings and tied them to small lobster clasps which run beneath my shoulder armor and connect directly to my dress overlay. This gives it the "appearance" of being connected to my shoulder armor, when in actuality, it wasn't functional to do so. If I were to attach it directly to my pauldrons, then I wouldn't be able to freely move my arms without moving the necklace.
Functionality is just one of the many factors that we need to consider when constructing a costume. It's also the most challenging obstacle, in my opinion.
I hope I've explained enough with this tutorial for you to make your very own Zelda necklace. Good luck!