This has been a long-desired DIY project for me, so it was really great to finally get around to it!
Since I've seen pictures of these woven necklaces around the internet I've been dying to make one. They just look so cool, and you can use all kinds of different materials and colours which means they're super customisable to suit anyone's taste.
Last night I had some spare time and so I thought I'd give making one a go. Without further ado, here are the instructions!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Some thick wool / cord / string in three colours (or more or less, depending on what you'd like!)
- A large sewing / embroidery needle
- A length of chain.
- A fastener / clasp for the ends of your necklace.
- Jewellery pliers (not essential but makes things a lot easier!)
- Any other decorations / gems / sequins / whatever else you might put on your necklace.
First step! Lay your chain out straight. The chain should be as long as you want your finished necklace to be.
For two of your colours of wool, cut some strands so that when folded in half they will be the same length as (or slightly longer than) your chain, like this:
This is really important because we want the loops on one side.
If you make your wool strands slightly longer than your chain, it will be very helpful later!
Note: The more strands you cut, the thicker the braid part of your finished necklace will be. If you're already using a thick material like cord, you'll need less strands.
Next, gather your strands of wool together (for your first colour) and tie a double knot at the end that has the loops. Make sure you tie this knot a few centimetres away from the end so that you're left with a little loop like the above picture.
Grab the strands of your second colour now, and thread them through the little loop you just made with your first colour. Thread them through to about half way (of the second colour). Next, tie your second colour in a knot over the knot of your first colour. Make sure the end loop is still a loop!
It sounds complex, but it's as simple as the picture above!
Now you'll have a big strand of four different sections of wool. Time to braid!
Flip your strands vertically so that the little loop is at the top and your loose ends are hanging down.
The next step is a fishtail braid (like braiding hair) with your four sections of wool. The steps for how you can do this are in the above picture. You basically just keep pulling sections of wool from the back. First you criss-cross one colour, pulling it to the front. Then you criss-cross the other colour, pulling it to the front. Easy!
When you reach the end of your strands, knot them together. This is where it helps if you've cut your wool strands slightly longer than your chain - you've got more room to work with in knotting your wool.
If it looks a bit messy (like mine did!) you can take your sewing needle, load it up with one of your wool colours, and sew the loose ends together a bit. I found it helpful to wrap wool around and around the knot to keep it neat.
Next, use your sewing needle and some wool to create another loop at the knotted end (you can see mine in the above picture).
Congrats! You've completed the braiding :) And doesn't it look nice? If you're an expert braider you may want to use many different colours or a different style of braid - I'm sure many things would look good here!
I actually really liked this plain woven look, so I ended up making a few woollen bracelets too! Haha.
Next step! Line up your chain next to your wool. They should be the same length.
If your braided wool seems to 'bend' or 'curve' and not lie straight, that's perfect. It will be a great circle shape as a necklace.
Thread your needle with your third colour and tie a knot at the end of your chain. Then begin stitching the chain to your braided wool, making sure that your stitches appear at even intervals. Stitch all the way around your necklace and...
Voila! Looking good.
The last step is to attach a clasp / fastener. This is where the loops that you created on each end of your woollen braid will be handy! I attached one ring of my original chain to each loop, and then attached the clasp pieces to those rings of chain.
And there you have it! Done! :)
For all the words / descriptions I've written in this entry, it's actually very simple. The only thing is it takes a bit of time, but it's worth it!
You can then add any other embellishments you want. I experimented with the idea of adding some hanging gold sequins but decided I liked the necklace plain.
I'll definitely be repeating this necklace in different styles.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will make many lovely necklaces of your own!
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Until next time, blessings and thanks for reading! :)
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