I’ve had this craft in my to-do list for quite some time, seeing as I had quite a few beads left over from past projects that didn’t go that well together and I wanted to make some jewelry without any metal parts for my mum, who’s allergic to almost all kinds of metal.
So here’s the tutorial for this lovely necklace.
- Beads: any size is fine, depending on the final look you want. The lighter, the better, since you’ll be using quite a lot of them (wood ones are great, as are polymer clay beads.)
- Fabric: three 100cm-long strips of any fabric you have lying around (this is just an estimate; the exact size will depend on how big you want the necklace to be, but it’s always best to have too much than too little – you can always cut it later.)
- Matching or contrasting thread and a needle.
1. Attach some thread/wire/line to a clasp or something that stops the beads from falling (in my case, toothpicks) and add beads until you reach the desired length. Cut the thread 10-15 cm longer than you need and block it again.
In total, you’ll need three different strips, one a little shorter for the back of your neck and a couple longer for the front part.
2. Lay one of the bead strips along your fabric and cut the fabric about twice as long as the strip and one and a half times as wide. Repeat for the two other strips.
3. Wrap the fabric around the first bead, leaving some 5 cm free before it so you can attach it to the other strips, and, with matching – or contrasting, which can be very pretty too – thread, knot the end of the fabric and wind the thread around it really, really tightly. Make a final knot to keep the thread in place.
4. Twist the fabric at the bottom of the bead as tight as you can and bring the thread to that side. You can either leave it visible by crisscrossing the thread over the bead a couple of times or hide it with little stitches as wide apart as you can go with the needle.
5. Once at the bottom of the bead, wrap the thread really tightly and make a knot once again, pulling the fabric as much as you can so it keeps the shape of the bead. Repeat until you reach the end of the strip. You may want to check the length when you’re close to the end, since the knots in between the beads will add some length to the strip and you may want to take out a couple of beads.
6. If you used a fabric which doesn’t fray or, like me, you like the “crafty” look, you can leave the strips as they are. If you want neat borders, now it’s the time to apply some glue or anti-fray product on the visible edges of the fabric.
7. Once you have the three strips nice and pretty, hand stitch the ends together as tight as you can and wrap them with more thread, floss or even a small strip of fabric.
And now you can go out and show off your stylish handmade necklace!