Thursday, January 07, 2010

How To Make a Frayed Ribbon Necklace

We have these lovely new colors of silk dupioni ribbons in right now that are putting me in a very Springy mood. I know, winter is just getting started (unless you are on the other side of the Equator) but somehow these colors make me want to get out a crisp white shirt and slip on a pair of espadrilles. Since the temperature is somewhere around twenty degrees, I may just wear this with a warm sweater dress and some dark tights instead.

This adjustable necklace design features a double-strand section of silk dupioni ribbon that will fray with wear until it is lively and fringed. The assorted shapes and bright colors are happy and cheerful, but the design could also be made with muted ribbon and a less eclectic bead assortment for a more restrained look.

2-16 inch pieces of peacock silk dupioni ribbon, 3/4 inches wide
2 antique brass Basket Weave Ribbon End Bars (Crimp Ends), 1/2 inch
5 inches of antique brass Really Round Cable Chain, 5x6 mm links
11 antique brass Rectangle or Square Jump Rings, 9x12 mm
12 antique brass Headpins, 1 1/2 inch
12 assorted Elaine Ray Ceramic Beads, 6-25mm
24 antique brass Teeny Weeny Posey Caps, 6mm
1 antique brass Spring Clasp, 12 mm

Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers

1. Place the very end of both pieces of ribbon inside one of the ribbon end bars. Using the chain nose pliers flatten the end bar until it is closed securely on the ribbon. Repeat with the remaining end bar on the other end of the ribbons.

2. Thread a head pin through a posey cap and then through one of the ceramic beads. Add a second posey cap and then use your round nose pliers to wrap the head pin and form a wrapped loop. Repeat with all beads and posey caps until you have 12 bead dangles.

3. Using your chain nose pliers to open the links separate a four-link section of chain. Set aside. Open the end link on the longer section and thread it through the loop on one of the ribbon end bars. Close the chain link securely. Open the link on the other end of this section and thread it through the loop on one of the smaller bead dangles. Close securely.

4. Attach the remaining section of chain to the necklace in a similar manner. Attach the spring ring clasp by opening the link at the end of the chain section with your chain nose pliers. Close securely.

5. Use your chain nose pliers to open one of the rectangular jump rings. Thread the ring through one of the bead dangles and then around the ribbon strands. Close securely. Repeat using remaining jump rings and bead dangles until all beads are attached to the necklace.

Need more how-to instructions? Visit our Tutorials page for lessons on Wrapped Loops, Opening and Closing a Jump Ring and lots of free beading project ideas. You can also download a PDF of this project right here.


  1. That is a BRILLIANT design. Colors, texture, shapes...all BRILLIANT! I was just sketching a design out and thought I needed some ombre ribbon, but now I think that some of that SILK is called for. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration...and being honest about receiving goods and services in exchange for blogging about it :-P
    Enjoy the day!

  2. Oh FUNKY! I love it!!

  3. Twenty degrees? That's a heat wave compared to where I live! Actually we might get up to 20 this weekend--I might just break out my flip-flops!

    That's a sweet necklace--lovely colors and textures! Thanks for the tutorial

  4. That ribbon color is beautiful! I went to your store to look at the other colors and I REALLY like the delphinium color as well.

  5. Oh wow, I love that! Really, really gorgeous. Thanks so much for the directions, I'll be linking.

  6. This is gorgeous!! Thanks for letting us in on how to do it ourselves!! Seriously cute stuff. If you are interested, stop on by and link up at my new Thursday linkup called Make it, Wear it!

  7. I am "showing this off" featuring on my blog today!


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