So I decided to make my own version. I modified the design somewhat, but it still has the same overall feel. I decided to add a brooch to the center and use fabric covered beads instead of a ribbon. This is what I came up with.
It really wasn’t too difficult. A little time consuming, due to all the bead work (I probably spent a total of 4 hours working on it), but anyone with a little time and patience can do it. Here’s how.
Supplies (I use mostly vintage supplies when I make jewelry, but you could use new and still get the same effect):
- Jump rings (2 plain and 2 large decorative)
- Different sizes and styles of beads (I used pearls, glass, and faceted crystal)
- Different sizes and styles of bead caps
- 5″ to 6″ length of heavy chain for attaching beads, split into two equally sized pieces (this gets mostly covered up, so don’t worry if it’s not that pretty)
- Brooch and felt for backing (optional)
- Jewelry/bead glue (optional)
- Two 2″x10″ strips of chiffon (or other lightweight) fabric
- Large inexpensive beads (these will be covered by the chiffon; I used 20mm faux pearls from the craft store)
- Needle nose pliers
- Barrel nose pliers
- Wire cutter
- Sewing machine (there’s not much sewing involved, so you could also sew by hand)
I started with my brooch (if you’re not using a brooch, you can skip this step and move on to the beading). I found a fun vintage brooch while antiquing in Savannah, GA, and decided to use it for this. It originally had a faux turquoise cabochon in the center, which I was not crazy about, so I popped it out and replaced it with a vintage crystal aurora borealis cabochon instead. I wanted to keep the pin of the brooch intact, so I decided to cover the back with a piece of felt to prevent the pin from accidentally popping out during wear. I traced the outline of the brooch onto my piece of felt, cut it out, and attached it to the brooch. This brooch has tiny loops all around the edges, so I decided to use thread to attach the felt, sewing in and out of the loops all the way around. You could also use glue in lieu of sewing it, if preferred.
Now to attach the beads. Take one of your beads, insert a head pin, and curl the pin around using your barrel nose pliers to make a small loop. Attach the loop to the chain. Then you can either trim the extra length of the pin, pinching the loop closed with a needle nose pliers, or wrap the pin around itself a few times at the base of the loop (most secure) and snip what is left over.
The hardest part is over! Now take your strips of chiffon and fold them in half lengthwise. Sew along the long edge to make a tube. Turn it right-side out, so that the seam is on the inside. Place a drop of glue on one end of the chiffon tube. Then take one of the large decorative jump rings and tie the end of the chiffon tube into a tight knot around the ring (the glue will help keep it secure). Now drop in one of your large inexpensive beads, tie a knot, and repeat. Stop when you have about 3 inches of tube left. Do the same with the other strip of chiffon. Then fold the ends of each tube inside about 1/4″ and sew shut. Now simply attach to the beaded part of the necklace, hooking the large decorative jump ring through the end of the heavy chain. And voila! You are finished! Just tie at the back and it is ready to wear.