A lifetime ago (okay just 5 years ago) I closed my handmade bridal jewelry business to focus on a new journey…being a mama to twin girls. I still have lots of supplies left over from my business. One of my most popular items was a necklace that used a ribbon instead of a clasp. Pulled tight around the wrist, it can also be worn as a bracelet. Here’s how you can make an Interchangeable Ribbon Necklace and Bracelet!
- Beads and Ribbon: I used an assortment of faux pearls and crystals, plus I made a rosette from Jennifer @ Always in Wonder’s tutorial on how to make a rosette necklace that she guest posted here (so you’ll also need a 1-inch wide strip of fabric, hot glue gun and a piece of felt). The ribbon is silk satin, 3/16” wide.
- Nylon beading wire: I used Beadalon 19-strand. Plus you need jewelry wire cutters.
- Crimp beads, crimp pliers and jump rings. Also shown are crimp bead covers which are optional (I ended up not using them), and a “bead stopper” which is also optional (you can just tape your wire to your tabletop).
Directions: The rosette is optional but if you’re going to make one, there’s something I did slightly different than Jennifer’s tutorial: I made the rosette, then cut out a round piece of felt to put on the back. But, I only put two lines of hot glue (as shown below) so the middle of the felt circle isn’t sticky…this is where the wire will thread through.
Cut a piece of beading wire by measuring your wrist (if you’re making it for yourself) and adding about 3 inches.
Then either tape down one end to your table top or use a bead stopper and start threading on your beads at about 1.5 inches from the end of the wire.
After about an inch or so of beads, I threaded on the rosette. Note: put a small bead (these are 4mm compared to the others which are 6-8mm) on either side of the rosette; this will make the rosette sit better.
Then keep threading on beads – I did mine semi-randomly – until you reach about 1.5 inches to the end.
Now we’ll finish the ends with a crimp bead and a jump ring. If you don’t know how to use crimp beads, BeadStyle Magazine has a tutorial here as well as at the back of every paper issue. Or you can visit your local bead store…they may be willing to give you a quick lesson for free.
After you’ve added the crimp beads and jump rings to both ends, you should have this:
For the bracelet, you thread the ribbon through both jump rings, pull til the jump rings meet and tie a bow. Um…it’s hard to tie a bow with one hand!
For the necklace, you have a few options. You can tie the bow at the back or on one side, both of which are cute in their own way. For the back tie, thread the ribbon through both jump rings to form a necklace. Don’t cut the ribbon yet. Throw the ribbon part around your neck.
Pull the ribbon until they are even on both ends, and long enough to reach behind your neck and tie a bow.
For a side bow, pull one end longer, long enough to reach all the way to the other jump ring and tie a bow.
My brides liked this necklace because the ribbon could be their “something blue”, and they could easily wear it after their wedding. Also, they ordered some for their bridesmaids too, with ribbons to match their color scheme. With this tutorial, you can make several for your bridal party in no time at all.