Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quick Beauties - Perfect Gifts! Full Tutorial

Have you seen the cool new button in my side bar? Yes, I will hopefully be contributing a couple ideas to the Crafty Christmas Club next week! I'm also posting my projects here, but you really should go check it out for all the other great ideas. It is not too late to hand-make some really special gifts.

My first contribution are these fabric necklaces. Yes I know, they aren't exactly a new idea... I made my first one of these about two years ago, and almost simultaneously similar ones kept popping up everywhere, so I didn't feel like sharing my obviously not very unique idea - yes, I was sulking! ;-)

However, I decided to show you my version anyway, since it is really quick and even has an upcycling factor to it.

List of supplies:
  • ties (actually only one per necklace)
  • thread (metallic, embroidery, quilting or regular yarn...)
  • scissor, pins (not in the picture), a pointed needle big enough for the thread you are using
  • (wood) beads, preferably of different sizes
  • optional: jewelry clasp
Ask the men in your life for ties they don't wear anymore, or go thrift some. They are usually really cheap and come in such great silks!
Dig out your thread collection - anything metallic is fabulous, embroidery and quilting threads are great, and just regular crocheting yarn works as well.

Cut off the narrow end of the tie, about at the point where it starts getting wider. This is the part you'll be using. Pull out the thread that it is sewn shut with (usually you can just pull it out, as it is handstitched very loosely) and remove the padding strip:

Fold the strip right sides together an sew along the edge to close it. Make sure it will be wide enough for the biggest beads you want to use:

Turn the tube outside out, use a safety pin to temporarily close off one end, and fill in the beads in the order of the necklace.  In my case, I filled in three small, three medium, five big, three medium and again three small ones:

Now close off the second end also with a safety pin and start sewing/wrapping. It is best to start in the center. You wrap until you think it is enough, go through some threads of the wrapping and into the tube...:

...and through the hole in your bead, and out at the other side:

Repeat this and work your way to one end, and then do the same for the other side.
There are lots of options for the closure. Leave enough fabric without beads in it - I prefer it around the neck like that - and the necklace will most likely be large enough to fit over your head, so you can just sew together and wrap the endings like I did here:

 ...or you can be fancy and add a real clasp. In the version below, I continued the wrapping after the last bead as if there still were even smaller ones inside, all the way to the end:

In yet another one, I sewed the remaining tube together more narrowly and added a screw-clasp:


 These are made so quickly that you can actually keep some for yourself ;-)

 Have a brilliant time making these, sitting in front of a fireplace, listening to a Christmas CD and eating cookies in-between!


PS: Don't worry, I haven't forgotten: The 30's dress IS coming up next! ;-)


  1. Love it, thanks for the tute!

  2. Hello my dear friend!!!! how wonderfull to see your blog and this tutorial!!! you are wonderfull!!! your explanations are perfect and easy to follow, thank you so much!!! I am going to start doing some of this for presents!!! Warm regards, all the way from....the rainforest!!!

  3. Saw these over at Refashion Co-op. They are beautiful--thanks for the tutorial! Will have to give these a try!

  4. These are wonderful and a great way for woman to wear men's ties!!

    Xo Steph

  5. So geniale Idee und Umsetzung!! Danke Katja!!!
    Lg, Sabine