Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday sparkle

I know I should be focusing on Thanksgiving right now, but I've had the itch to make jewelry recently so Saturday night I decided to throw together a really simple ribbon necklace that I could share with all of you. And I'm guessing most of you have at least one holiday party to attend this year, and I think a ribbon necklace would be a great way to add a little sparkle to your outfit.

Making jewelry is something that Jenn and I both love to do and we were both super surprised at how easy it really is. I guess I should amend that statement. Putting the jewelry together is easy, coming up with one idea can sometimes take me days. I was lucky that this one only took me a few hours. I kind of cheated though because Jenn made a necklace similar to this one time, I just simplified the idea so anyone can make it even if you don't have tools for making jewelry.

The hardest part about making a ribbon necklace is getting the beads onto the ribbon. Unless your using tiny ribbon and beads that have huge holes, the beads aren't going to just slide on. This is the method that I came up with, but if you have a better way of doing it I would love to hear from you. I start by cutting the end of my ribbon into a point like this.

Next, take a lighter and lightly run the flame along the edges of the ribbon to melt it just a little. This helps make the ribbon more stiff and prevents it from fraying all over.

After that just hold the ribbon where it starts to get wide and then use your other thumb and pointer finger to twist the skinny part into a point. Think creepy villain twirling his mustache. It should end up looking like this.

Now you have a make shift needle to thread your beads. You may have to re twist it from time to time while your stringing the beads.

A special note about ribbon. DO NOT use the cheapest ribbon you can find. Unfortunately that's all I had at 10:00 on Saturday night so I used it anyway and now my edges look like this.

OK, on to putting the necklace together. You want two strips of ribbon. Strip A is the main ribbon and will be what ties around your neck. I think I started out with a piece about 40 inches long for this one. Strip B can be quite a bit shorter, because it will have less beads on it and it won't be going around your neck.

As far as the beads go, you can pick any two colors you want or even use two of the same colors. I liked the gold and white combo for Christmas. How many beads you need will depend on the size of the beads and how long you want your necklace to hang. I used 30 gold beads and 24 of the pearls.

Once you have your beads on the ribbon, line up the two strands so the beads on the end are slightly off from each other and tie the two pieces of ribbon in a knot. I know that was kind of confusing so here is a picture of what I mean.

Do the same thing on the other end of the necklace and then trim off the excess ribbon from strand B. Take your lighter again and melt the end that you cut off close to the knot. Be careful not to burn yourself or the ribbon. You should now have two strands of beads, but only one strand of ribbon coming off of each end.

All you have to do next is wrap it around your neck, tie a pretty bow, and trim off the excess ribbon. Just be careful to leave yourself enough ribbon that you can easily re tie it the next time. I didn't do that, which is why my bow looks so funny. I would also melt the ends a little or put some fray check on them.

Pretty, no?


Amy said...

Sally do you still post things on the LovelyYou blog?

Jenn said...

I love it! I'm so excited to try it.

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