DIY Scrap Fabric Necklace | Video Tutorial

JUN 28, 2016 updated Jun 8, 2021
If you’ve been following Spoonflower for a while, you’ve probably seen the name Becka Rahn pop up once or twice! Becka is esteemed co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook, and most recently the instructor of our Spoonflower Masterclass series. Becka is a talented fiber artist/designer in her own right and we are thrilled to have her show us how to use strips of scrap jersey to make a wrapped cord necklace in this simple tutorial. Or if you’re a visual learner, jump to the end to see how Spoonflower team member Meredith creates one in our new video tutorial.
Becka used the scraps from her Sprout Moneta dress to make this quick and easy necklace
Materials:
  • 8 x 48 inch rectangle of Cotton Spandex Jersey or Modern Jersey
  • Scrap jersey
  • Rotary cutter, mat & ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (or hand sewing needle and thread)
  • Masking tape (optional)

* Important note: This rectangle needs to be cut with the grain of the fabric. That means that you are cutting the 48” length parallel to the selvedge edge of the fabric. I was able to cut two necklaces from the scraps from making a Sprout Patterns Moneta dress. You can make several necklaces from 2 yards of cotton spandex jersey fabric.

This project works great with either cotton spandex jersey or modern jersey fabrics. If you want to try another knit fabric, do a test first and make sure that it will roll up when you stretch a narrow strip.
Instructions
Cut a rectangle of knit fabric that is 8×48 inches. Make sure that the 48 inch side of the rectangle is parallel to the fabric grain or selvedge edge. Fold the fabric in half, matching the short ends and lay it on the cutting mat. Starting at the folded edge, cut a lengthwise strip that is 1/2 inch wide. Stop cutting when you are about 1 inch from the end of the strip. The strips will stay connected at this edge. You can use a piece of masking tape across the top edge to remind yourself to stop cutting.
Continue to cut strips at 1/2 inch increments all the way across the width of the rectangle. When you get to the last 1/2 inch strip, cut that one all the way off and set it aside. We will use this strip later to make a knot.
To connect the short ends of the rectangle, match them up cut edge to cut edge and stitch on the sewing machine using a wide zig zag stitch. Handle it gently so you don’t tangle up your strips or accidentally twist the rectangle before you stitch. You can also stitch it by hand with a running stitch and a narrow seam. Once you have connected these short ends, your necklace should be a loop. This stitching will be hidden later, so you don’t have to worry about matching the thread color.

Pick up the 1/2 inch strip that you set aside. Holding it with both hands, give it a firm tug and the knit fabric should roll up into a tube. Usually the edges roll to the center into a tight “c” shape. The more you tug on the fabric, the better your roll will “set” and want to stay curled up. Work your way down the strip of fabric, tugging and letting it roll. This piece will be used to make the knot that holds the necklace together.
Open your necklace into a loop and then gather the width up into a bundle by pleating or accordion folding it across the width right at the stitching line. (Note: In the next photos, I am showing the the cord for the knot in white, so you can follow along. Your cord will match the fabric of your necklace.) Make a loop at one end of the knot cord and hold it on top of the bundle of strips. In this photo, the tail end is on the left; the loop is on the right.
Leave a tail of about 4 inches sticking out. Start wrapping the long end of the cord around the bundle, with your wraps starting about 1 inch from your stitching line. Wrap fairly tightly. Be sure to start wrapping at the end opposite the loop of yarn you made. In this photo, I started wrapping on the left near the tail end and moved towards the right. Wind around until you have reached the end of your cord and you can thread that loose end through the loop. Your wraps should cover up about 1 inch on either side of your stitching line. To set the knot, grab the short tail end (left) and gently pull it until the loop (right) and the other end of the yarn are buried inside the center of the knot. Trim away the excess.
Finally, finish the necklace by holding the knot and tugging each strip of knit fabric to roll it up like a tube. They will roll up better if you do them one at a time instead of trying to pull on the whole bundle at once. Wear your necklace as one long loop or double it up.
 Still have leftover fabric scraps to use up? Here’s five more fabric jewelry projects to try out.


About Our Guest Author

Becka Rahn is co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook and a gifted teacher/ artist. She spent 11 years as the director of education, working as an arts administrator and surrounded every day with art at Textile Center, a national center for fiber arts.  In 2014, Becka decided to retire from that life in order to spend more time making art, teaching and working as an advocate for fiber art and artists. In 2016, she was appointed to be on the Etsy Sellers Advisory Board for 2016, where she helps advise Etsy about issues that are important to all kinds of Etsy sellers. Becka now lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two black lab mutts, where she is on the board of directors at the Hennepin History Museum. See Becka’s designs in her Spoonflower shop here.

Recommended Posts

Make a Reversible Bucket Hat with Our Free Pattern

5 comments

Toddler sitting on a pink playmat in playroom

How to Make a Round Velvet Playmat

Our Top Sewing Pattern Picks for Handmade Apparel

9 comments

18 comments

Leave a Reply to Marcia Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • So far I find that the fabric wants to roll to the right side of the fabric, exposing the backside. This doesn\’t help much. Can you tell me how to insure a curl to expose the right side of the knit fabric? Thanks.

    • Hi Cathy,
      We’re sorry to hear the fabric isn’t curling as expected! When cutting your fabric, you’ll want to make sure you cut the rectangle with the grain of the fabric. The stretchiest part of the fabric will be running left to right, across the fabric. We hope this helps but if you have any other questions, please let us know!

  • Barbara Curtin

    Love the fabric used for your instructions. Can you tell me where I can get it.

    • Hi Barbara,
      We’re so happy to hear you enjoyed this tutorial! You can find Becka’s design in her shop, located here. To stay updated on the blog, please sign up for our weekly newsletter, located on the right side of the blog home page.

  • Carolyn Jamieson

    Cute, a nice summer accessory. As a 30 year quilter it would be good to instill proper rotary cutting techniques. Better to learn how to do it correctly than to cut yourself and measure incorrectly.

  • I’m confused… please help. The video says to cut from selvage to selvage but the written tutorial says to cut parallel to the selvage. Which one is right? Does it depend on the fabric choice? Thanks for your help!

    • Oops… sorry, I just listened to the video again. They are the same! Sorry! That’s just a lot of fabric to only use 8″. I’ll see what I have in my stash. I love the necklace!.

      • Hi Ellie,

        For this particular project, Becka used the unused printed fabric from her Sprout Patterns project. She discovered she could make 8″ x 48″ necklaces with this fabric that usually went unused!

    • You only need 8 inches (20 cms) from the end of the bolt. I don’t know why 2 yards is suggested in the intro?

    • My first thought when I saw the necklace ……..looks like more than just scraps !!! Very cute though !!!

    • Neither is 8×48″ 😉 It does say that “several” necklaces “could” be made from 2 yards.