This is a straightforward tutorial on how to make an upcycled beaded necklace with a scarf.
I have a confession to make this DIY jewellery craft idea is not my own, but one that my mum showed me. My mum loves to wear bright and colourful clothes; she doesn’t do anything neutral. She has loads of old silky scarves, which she upcycles into gorgeous colourful necklaces to match her outfits.
I did, however, add my own touch to this craft by adding upcycled denim beads. I’m constantly trying to find new uses for old denim. Denim upcycling is one of my crafting obsessions; you should check out my many upcycled denim projects.
The scarf necklace makes a lovely gift and can be personalized by using the recipient’s old scarf or blouse. I’m more of a bracelet person than necklaces. So I use the same technique to make bright colourful bracelets to match my outfits.
I also have a tutorial for a denim bracelet that you might want to check out.
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How To Make A Necklace With Scarf and Denim Beads
What you need for upcycled DIY Jewelry
- Old silk scarf or blouse. You can use synthetic material as long as it has a fine and smooth silky feel to it.
- Old beads, wooden ones, or ones from old necklaces. Don’t worry about how they look some of the less pretty ones will be hidden by the scarf.
- Embroidery thread
- Darning needle
- Jewellery clasp
If making the denim beads you will also need the following.
- Scraps of denim from old jeans
- Rotary Cutter and Board
- Fabric Mod Podge
How to Make Denim Beads
You make denim beads pretty much the same as you make paper beads.
Step 1: First, make a cardboard template so that the denim beads end up the same size and shape. On cardboard, draw a very tall thin triangle.
When making this template, you must remember that the width of the base of the triangle will be the width of your beads, and the length will determine how fat they are. I drew a triangle template about 2 cm wide at the bottom and 30 cm in length.
Step 2: Next, with the triangle template, cut out strips of denim using a rotary cutter and board. Then paste the right side of the denim with fabric Mod Podge.
Step 3: Starting with the fat end of your denim strip, wind it around a pencil. Make sure the glue side is facing up. The denim fabric should stick to itself as you wind around the pencil. When finished, remove the pencil before the glue dries, or you might find it gets stuck.
I used a pencil as I needed a big hole for my beads to thread fabric through. If you make denim beads for other crafts or DIY jewellery and want a smaller hole, then use a wooden skewer instead. But when using the beads to make a necklace with a scarf, you need large holes.
How To Make The Beaded Scarf Necklace
Step 1: Decide what size you would like the beaded scarf necklace and cut the scarf to that length. The strip of scarf will only be about 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) wide. It is best to overestimate the length of scarf fabric needed. The necklace can always be shortened at the end.
Step 2: Next, thread some embroidery onto the darning needle and thread this through the end of your fabric strip. This will make it much easier to thread the fabric through the beads as you can use the needle to pull it through.
Step 3: Then, think about how you want the scarf necklace to look and decide what order to thread your beads. I threaded the fabric through one bead and then wrapped the fabric around the next bead.
The fabric then went through the next bead. Twist and pull the scarf fabric tight as you add each additional bead.
Step4: Wrapping the silk fabric with round beads makes this scarf necklace unique. It shows off your scarf design.
I used a mixture of wooden beads and denim beads. I had the denim beads on show and wrapped the wooden beads in the silk fabric.
Step 5: To finish off your necklace/bracelet, wrap embroidery thread around both ends of the silk fabric and sew on the jewellery clasp.
The denim beads are optional; you may want to make your necklace with a scarf using beads you already have rather than making some more.
It is simple and a great way to upcycle your favourite old silk shirts and scarves and give them a second lease of life.
If you liked this craft, then you will probably like my homemade scallop trinket dishes and these other cool scrap fabric crafts. Plus other handmade denim jewellery such as earrings and bracelets.
For another handmade necklace, check out this world map necklace.
How To Make A Bead Scarf Necklace
Use old silk scarfs and beads to make a gorgeous beaded scarf necklace. You can even make your own beads out of denim to use for this gorgeous piece of unique DIY jewelry.
- Silk or nylon scarf material
- Scraps of denim
- Wooden beads
- Fabric Mod Podge
- Jewelry Clasp
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Darning needle and embroidery thread
- First, make some denim beads for the beaded silk scarf necklace. Make a template out of cardboard of a long triangle approximately 2cm wide and 30 cm long.
- Use this template and a rotary cutter to cut out long triangular denim strips.
- Paste the front of the denim strips with the Fabric Mod Podge
- Then wrap the denim around a pencil to make a bead with a large hole.
- Next, remove the denim bead from the pencil before the glue dries and it sticks to it.
- Then cut the silk scarf into a strip about 10cm wide and 50cm long.
- Attach embroidery thread to one end of the silk scarf and thread it through a denim bead. Move the bead until it reaches the center of the scarf.
- Then wrap the scarf around a wooden bead before threading through another denim bead. Twist and pull the fabric tight as you go.
- Carry on until you have enough beads on your scarf necklace.
- Finish off by stitching the jewelry clasps to the ends of the scarf material.
Gentle and Delicate: 12 DIY Silk Creations - Diy Crafts Projects 2020 |Track Zik
Saturday 25th of July 2020
[…] available for purchase but none of them quite so elegant or special as this silk necklace by Pillar Box Blue that you get to make yourself and so be sure it’s the only one of its […]
Dee | Grammy's Grid
Saturday 11th of April 2020
So pretty! Pinned.
Sunday 12th of April 2020
Thank you and thanks for the share
Thursday 18th of January 2018
A good friend of mine is a Shibori artist and has a lot of silk fabric scraps, I can't wait to try this! How did you twist the silk and hold it in place? Did you have to sew it?
Friday 19th of January 2018
I think they would look gorgeous with Shibori scraps. I didn't stitch the fabric as the beads I threaded them through held the fabric in place after twisting. However, depending on the size of the hole of your bead if you don't feel it will stay in place than a stitch or 2 could be a good idea. If you use the right thread you could make the stitches invisible. Good luck with them ?
Tuesday 2nd of May 2017
This really looks nice. You could make them casual (with denim) or dressy (with dressier fabric scraps). You could really individualize these for gifts, making different colors for different outfits. Your necklace turned out great!
Tuesday 2nd of May 2017
Thank you! My mum has made a few in different colours for different summer outfits.
Sunday 19th of February 2017
Do you have to sew the sides of the strips of scarf to keep from raveling?
Sunday 19th of February 2017
No, I didn't have to sew the sides, I think because you twist the scarf that protects it. If you are worried about them raveling you could always just brush a bit of fabric mod podge on the edge of the fabric.