I’ve always been a huge fan of statement jewelry. The bigger and brighter, the better! Lately, I’m drawn to more cloth and handmade pieces. I often find my favorites at our local flea market for a pretty buck, and then, soon after purchase, I want to change it up with a new piece. I love nothing more than supporting local makers, but I think it’s easy to reach a point of meaningless, and bad-habit forming shopping.
Recently, when I happened upon a necklace that I liked, my husband suggested that I try my hand at making something similar in my free time. The suggestion sounded interesting, but also a bit scary. This is the thing…making jewelry kind of freaks me out a bit. Mostly because I am far from a perfectionist when creating, and at times it seems as if you need to be to undertake these sorts of crafts. But you don’t. I decided to try my hand at a woven knot necklace. It actually turned out pretty great, perfectionist or not. It was also really, really relaxing!
3. Stretch each piece of your fabric from the beginning to the end.
4. Gather your pieces of fabric in your hand, leaving a little bit of the strings out on one end, and most of the fabric out on the other.
Using a scrap piece of fabric, tie it around the short end of the gathered fabric to secure them in place. After you knot the fabric and make sure it’s secured, pull the outer scrap fabric over the short strings of fabric (like a turtleneck), hiding most of the loose strings. (You can cut off of any excess that the scrap fabric doesn’t cover.)
Now you’re ready to weave! Getting it started is hard, I won’t lie. But once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy! There is no special way to start it off, you just follow the steps below slowly and continuously.
5. Take a string of fabric from your left side and loop over to your right side, creating an upside U. Hold the tail-end of your U down with your index finger and the base of your U (the side you started it with) with your thumb.
Now, take another piece of fabric string from the opposite side. This fabric will be located on the side where you have your index finger holding down your tail end of your first piece. Grab that piece of fabric and loop it over to the other end where your thumb is located. Creating yet another U. The fabric tail ends should be on opposite sides. Both upside down U’s should create a little tunnel, that you see above.
While holding your tunnel with one hand, use your other to grab the third piece of fabric. This piece of fabric should be on the left or right hand side of your tunnel. I used a fabric on my right side as the third piece for weaving. Take that third piece of fabric and put it above the first upside U directly in front of it, and through the second upside U. Pull it through completely.
After you’ve finished pulling your third piece through, grab your fourth and final piece and weave that through as well. The fourth piece should be on the left side of your tunnel fabric since you previously weaved your third piece of fabric on your right. Pull the fourth piece above the upside down U fabric directly in front of it. And pull it through the second upside down U.
Now take all four pieces of fabric and pull to tighten the weave.
7. Pull your pieces of fabric to secure them in place. You can see that one of my pieces is a bit larger than the rest, so just be careful when doing step two. It didn’t make much of a difference at all, but if you’re going for greatness, you’ll want to redo it all.
You can see more of a clear woven path in this step if you’re having trouble.
8. Once you get started and into a groove, it goes by so fast. The pattern starts to form, and your hands start doing the work themselves without much thought process. Once you’ve done a fair amount and feel as though your necklace is done and there isn’t much fabric left, leave about 3″ of loose fabric on the end. Gather that fabric, just like you did on the other end, and use a piece of scrap fabric to secure it together.
Wrap the excess scrap fabric around the loose, secured ends. Cut off what you do see, only leaving a tight, secured and neat end.
9. Using another piece of well-cut scrap fabric, you’re going to make a simple “chain” to connect the two ends. Some people use an actual chain, but since I’m not a huge fan of metals on my neck too much these days, I went for a fabric chain. The fabric chain is durable and easy.
To make the chain portion, all you need to do is make sure the length of fabric is long enough to drape your neck and pull over your head. Take that scrap piece and pull it through a layered piece of your tightly wrapped and secured ends. This will be tough, but you want it to be. (I did it with scissors.) After you get the fabric through, knot it to secure it. You’re going to do this on both ends.
Then taking another small piece of scrap fabric and glue, wrap it around the chain portion and wrapped ends so you don’t see the wrapping and knotted chain. You don’t have to put the extra fabric on the outside if you like the way it looks without it. I liked the clean look of a piece of fabric covering all the wrapping and knotting.
I’m not sure how much of a disclaimer I can put up to say that I am not in the least bit patient during projects like these. But besides one little blip, this necklace came out perfect! It’s also super comfortable, and pulls over my fro with ease. I can also hand wash it, which is a bonus with a teething baby.
This only took me 20 minutes during nap time! There’s something about the weaving that sort of caught me up. I’m probably going to do a few more and possibly interlock some other colors in it to make it a little more funky. Next time you’re thinking of purchasing a statement necklace, just save yourself some money, find an old t-shirt or buy some fabric, and you’ve got yourself one! – LaTonya