So I wanted to make an affordable one for myself, and yet not skip on the luxury of gemstones... I bought this string of semi-precious yellow gemstones, I think they're yellow aventurines; and a string of them cost me only SGD$7. Then I got these bronze coloured chords, and I used a vintage button from my mother's collection for the clasp.
I think it works out nicely! And cost me less than $10 to make! So instead of using normal beads, use semi-precious gemstones that are affordable and glamorous. Just note that when using gemstones, be careful and gentle with them as they do break easily.
If you can't get nicely shaped gemstones I think it can be just as pretty to use those faceted ones, like these randomly cut ones:
Here is the tutorial I used to make it. Check out the owner's blog.