Braided Ribbon and Chain Necklace Tutorial

I’ve been wanting to make this necklace for a long time ever since I saw it on Happy Go Lucky‘s blog. I had to do a few things differently, though, but it came out great. I just like how it can be dressy or fun & casual. Maybe your Mom or sister would like one for Mother’s Day? It’s really very easy to make with the tips I provide so let me show you how to make one!

You will need:
1) At least 40″ of chain, found at craft stores. I chose a silvertone cable link chain. You don’t want something too thin or it will get lost in the ribbon, but it shouldn’t be heavy either.

2) At least 80″ of ribbon. I used black, 1/4″ satin ribbon from the craft store.

3) 2 small circles of felt, about 1 1/2″ in diameter.

4) Fabric for your flower. I picked up a remnant that seemed like it would work well for this – it was a black, silky knit fabric. It wasn’t marked what kind it was, but it was thin and had a little shimmer to it, like the ribbon. You can use anything that won’t fray, but try to get something thinner than a t-shirt knit, maybe with polyester in it.

5) A flower template. You can just make your own, and make sure it has 5 or 6 petals. Mine measured about 2 1/2″ in diameter.

6) Needle nose pliers ~ you will need to cut the chain (or you can use your wire cutters if you have them) but also you need to be able to open up one of the links. It really helps to have 2 pairs of needle nose pliers for this. I have a regular needle nose pliers and I also have extra long needle nose pliers. Don’t worry if you don’t have two, you can still do it. If you plan on making more jewelry, I’d recommend two pairs.

7) Your trusty glue gun.

Optional: Pin and cushion for braiding. (see #5 in the instructions)

1) Start off by cutting a length of ribbon 80″ long. (You can make it longer if you want – it all depends on where you want the necklace to fall. You’ll see in one of the photos below where this falls at this length.

2) Cut your chain to 40″ long.

Your ribbon should be twice as long as your chain.

If you don’t have wire cutters, use that lower part of your pliers.

3) Thread your ribbon through the first chain link.

4) Now pull the ribbon through so that the chain sits halfway down the length of the ribbon.

5) You are ready to start braiding the ribbon and chain together. I found this very difficult to do at first because the ribbon is slippery and the chain is heavier than the ribbon. I had an idea which really helped. I grabbed one of those map pins and one of my couch pillows and stuck the pin through the first link of the chain, and then into the cushion. See photo below. (Make sure you won’t see the hole in your pillow when you are done!) This helped tremendously! If you have a nail in your wall holding a picture, that would work too! Take down the picture temporarily and make that nail useful. I also thought of using a pin and cork board. Whatever works for you…

Braid the ribbon and the chain together.

Go all the way to the end, but leave a little bit of ribbon to be able to tie a couple of knots.

6) Your lengths might be slightly different at this point, so trim off any excess chain with your pliers or wire cutters and make it even with the ribbon. Slip one side of the ribbon through the next to last link on the chain and tie both ends of the ribbon into a knot, and then tie another knot.

Cut off any excess ribbon.

7) Grab your pliers (like I said 2 pairs works better) and open up the last link. Do not open it up sideways/left to right. You want to open it up forward and back. This way it will allow the link to go back to its original shape. If you open it up sideways, you will distort the link and run the risk of it opening up down the road. I wish I had a better photo to show you, and I only have one pair of pliers there because I had to take a pic with the other hand! If you have pliers in both hands, it helps. Otherwise, try to hold the link with one hand, and push the pliers either forward or back to open the link.

8) Connect the last link with the first link of your chain. Close the open link the same way you opened it, forward and back the opposite way. Do not worry about the ribbon knot because the flower will cover that.

9) Now you are ready to make your flower! I thought this post would be too long if I included all the information and photos for the flower, so I posted a tutorial last night.

Refer to my (easy) fabric flower tutorial to make the flower for this necklace…

10) When you have made your flower, heat up your glue gun and glue the back of the flower to your braid necklace — over the part with the knot to hide it. Glue the second circle of felt (the first one is already on the bottom of the flower from when you made it) over the chain and onto the other felt circle on the bottom of the flower. You want to cover the glue spot and the braid and make it look more finished. Sorry it’s so hard to see in the following photo…It was getting late in the day!

11) Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

I have a suggestion for you to avoid the necklace from sliding around. (I can’t stand adjusting things throughout the day!) I tried a little glue from my glue gun on the underside of the flower and up at the top of the neck to keep it from sliding. Just put it on and get an idea of where you want the flower to sit so you know where the top would be. This works a little, but not good enough for me. I plan on grabbing some silicone caulk and putting a little bit on those two spots. So if you’re feeling ambitious…

Here is a photo with the length of ribbon and chain I used. If you want yours longer, increase the length I gave you. Just be sure it’s long enough to go over your head. Remember, I used a lighter fabric for my flower, not a t-shirt like in the flower tutorial.

Happy Braiding!


2 thoughts on “Braided Ribbon and Chain Necklace Tutorial

    • I hope you get a chance to make one…maybe you can post a pic if you do! I’m probably going to try some different colors and ribbon/fabric types.

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