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DIY Jewelry – Upcycled Beaded Silk Scarf Necklace

This is a really simple tutorial on how to make an upcycled beaded necklace with a scarf.

I have a confession to make this DIY jewelry 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 an old scarf or blouse of the recipient. Personally, I’m more of a bracelet person than necklaces. So I use the same technique to make bright colorful bracelets to match my outfits.

I also have a tutorial for a denim bracelet that you might want to check out.

DIY Jewelry scarf and denim scraps 2 sm

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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
  • Jewelry clasp
beads for upcycled necklaces sm


If making the denim beads you will also need the following.

How to Make Denim Beads

The way you make denim beads is pretty much the same way 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 need to bear in mind 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 draw a triangle template that was about 2 cm wide at the bottom and 30 cm in length.

Cutting out denim strips

Step 2: Next, with the triangle template cut out strips of denim using a rodary cutter and board. Then paste the right side of the denim with fabric Mod Podge.

pasting the denim strips

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 making denim beads for other crafts or DIY jewelry and you want a smaller hole then use a wooden skewer instead. But when using the beads to make a necklace with a scraf you need large holes.

making denim beads for necklace with scraf
upcycled denim beads
handmade upcycled denim beads

How To Make The Beaded Scarf Necklace

Step 1: Decide what size you would like the beaded scarf neckace to be and cut the scraf to that length. The strip of scraf will only be about 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) wide. It is best to overestimate the length of scraf fabric needed. The necklace can always be shortened at the end.

Step 2: Next, thread some embroidery thread 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.

DIY Jewelry from old scarf and beads

Step 3: Then, think about how you want the scraf necklace to look and decide what order to thread your beads. I threaded the fabric though one bead and then wrapped the fabric around the next beed.

The fabric then went through the next bead. Twist and pull the scraf fabric tight as you add each additional bead.

beaded scarf upcycled necklace sm
DIY Jewelry beaded scarf upcycled necklace 4sm

Step4: Wrapping the silk fabric round beads is what 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.

 beaded scarf upcycled necklace

Step 5: Finally, to finish off your necklace/bracelet wrap embroidery thread around both ends of the silk fabric and sew on the jewelry clasp.

beaded scarf upcycled necklace clasp sm
necklace with scarf
upcycled-scarf-necklace-diy-jewelry-pillar-box-blue2

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 really is simple, and a great way to upcycle 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.

For another handmade necklace check out this world map necklace.

DIY beaded scarf necklace
Yield: Denim Beaded Scarf Necklace

How To Make A Bead Scarf Necklace

necklace with scarf and beads

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.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

  • Silk or nylon scarf material
  • Scraps of denim
  • Wooden beads
  • Fabric Mod Podge
  • Cardboard
  • Jewelry Clasp

Tools

  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Pencil
  • Darning needle and embroidery thread

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Use this template and a rotary cutter to cut out long triangular denim strips.
  3. Paste the front of the denim strips with the Fabric Mod Podge
  4. Then wrap the denim around a pencil to make a bead with a large hole. upcycled denim beads
  5. Next, remove the denim bead from the pencil before the glue dries and it sticks to it.
  6. Then cut the silk scarf into a strip about 10cm wide and 50cm long.
  7. 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.
  8. Then wrap the scarf around a wooden bead before threading through another denim bead. Twist and pull the fabric tight as you go. making a beaded scarf necklace
  9. Carry on until you have enough beads on your scarf necklace.
  10. 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.

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Thank you and thanks for the share

Stella

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?

Claire Armstrong

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 ?

Carol ("Mimi")

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!

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

Thank you! My mum has made a few in different colours for different summer outfits.

Deloris

Sunday 19th of February 2017

Do you have to sew the sides of the strips of scarf to keep from raveling?

Claire Armstrong

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.

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