How to Make Costume Jewelry - unconventional places for beads
At the same time, I was working at Pier 1 Imports, of all places. They had such pretty napkin rings. Rings that used very nice glass beads for material.
When I started to purchase beads at bead store, I realized that if I took apart the napkin rings, ones on clearance, etc. I could get the same high quality beads for much cheaper.
So, now, I search the clearance section of home goods stores for napkin rings made with beads, buy a few, take them apart and remake them into necklaces.
Thus your first tip in making pretty costume necklaces--look for beads in unconventional places.