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DIY Jewelry – Upcycled Silk Scarf Necklace

DIY Jewelry – Make an Upcycled Denim and Silk Scarf Necklace

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 upcycled denim Pinterest board.

The necklaces make a lovely gift and can be personalized by using an old scarf or blouse of the recipient. Personally I more of a bracelet person than necklaces, so I use the same technique to make bright colorful bracelets to match my outfits.

DIY Jewelry by upcycling old scarves and making denim beads.  Makes a great gift.

DIY Jewelry by upcycling old scarfs and making denim beads.  Makes a great gift.

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What you need for your 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

DIY Jewelry scarf and denim scraps 2 sm

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 as you make paper beads.

Make upcycled denim beads out of your old jeans.  Great for DIY Jewelry and crafts.

    1. Firstly you need to make a cardboard template to ensure that your denim strips are all the same shape and colour. This cardboard template is a very tall 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.
    1. Secondly with your template cut out strips of denim using a rotary cutter and board.
      Paste the right side of the strip of denim with fabric mod podge.
  1. 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.

DIY Jewelry make your own denim beads from your old jeans

DIY Jewelry: how to make your upcycled necklace/bracelet

    1. Decide whether you’re making a necklace or a bracelet and cut your fabric to the appropriate length. You want a strip approximately 3-4 inches wide. It’s best to overestimate the length of fabric you need, as you can always shorten it later.
    1. 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

    1. Think about how you want your DIY jewelry design, I threaded the fabric through one bead and then wrapped the fabric around the next bead. The fabric than when through the following bead, twisting and pulling the fabric tight as I went.

beaded scarf upcycled necklace sm

DIY Jewelry beaded scarf upcycled necklace 4sm

    1. Wrapping the silk fabric round beads is what makes this DIY jewelry unique, and 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.

DIY Jewelry beaded scarf upcycled necklace 5sm

  1. 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

DIY Jewelry upcycling old scarfs, also making your own denim beads. Full tutorial

upcycled-scarf-necklace-diy-jewelry-pillar-box-blue2

The denim beads are of course optional, you may want to make your DIY Jewelry with 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.

For another handmade necklace check out this world map necklace.


Upcycled picture into a chalkboard photo frame. A fantastic way to display your photo's. Not only can you move them around easily but you can also write your own tags on the board.
DIY Chalkboard Frame, a Fun Easy Way To Display Photos
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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.