fabric and bead necklaces

It’s become clear to me that I don’t do things in a hurry.  I discover a great idea, think about it, maybe even collect the supplies for it, then it sits.  I think about it some more, and I get distracted by something else.  Various winter coats, pairs of bathers, sewing lingerie, and Clare’s wool-eater blanket immediately come to mind as examples of this.  Well, on the weekend I finally made something that I’ve been thinking about for years – and it took me about fifteen minutes maximum to do each one.

fabric tube and wooden bead necklace

For the Melbournites among you, you probably know of the Flemington Craft Market. Many years ago there was a small stand there selling t-shirts embellished with Liberty motifs, and selling necklaces made from Liberty fabrics. (As a side note, the designer was Nic MacIsaac, who now runs the Magnolia Square markets). I was lucky enough to be given one of the (relatively expensive) necklaces one Christmas. Every time I wear it I receive compliments on it, and I am often asked if I made it. Now I can answer yes!

fabric tube and wooden bead necklace

These are simply a tube of fabric, with wooden beads pushed inside and knotted between each one. Easy peasy! Then the necklace is tied in a bow. The one in the first photo used twelve 2.5cm / 1 inch beads, with an Anna Maria Horner voile fabric. I cut the strip across the full width of the fabric. In terms of how wide to make the strip of fabric, wrap a scrap around a bead and add about half an inch for the seam allowance. Sew the tube of fabric, turn it right side out, push in a bead and make a knot as close and tight as you can, then do the next bead. The necklace in the second photo used twenty 5/8 inch beads, with two widths across the fabric to make a much longer tube. This is also a voile.  I prefer the longer length, but variety is the spice of life! You need to make sure that you use a soft flexible fabric like a voile or tana lawn or else the knots will be too bulky and the proportions look wrong.

There are plenty of tutorials for these if you google “fabric bead necklaces”. I’ve just placed a bulk order of the 1 inch beads. Guess what I’m making for teacher presents (and every other female I know) this year?


11 thoughts on “fabric and bead necklaces

  1. Hello! Long long long time reader- first time commenter (at least I don’t think ive commented before?) firstly I’d like to say that I love your blog and am simply amazed at the amount of items you manage to make!! Secondly, and I mean this in the nicest, uncreepy way, but can you show us your knickers?? I’ve always wanted to make my own underwear ( being a larger bra size it is very hard to find bras that aren’t beige!) and I’m keen to see the results 🙂

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