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)

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!
~Micha

Fabric Flower Tutorial

There are many different methods of making fabric flowers and I’m going to show you one of them. They come together very easily and you can use them for all kind of accessories and embellishments. After the basic fabric flower tutorial, I will show you how easy it is to add one to a headband! Or glue one to a hair clip if you prefer. You can also glue a pin back to one and have a pretty accessory to pin to a jacket or purse. They can be sewn onto t-shirts or tank tops to dress them up a bit.

You can use all kinds of fabric, but the best ones are the kind that don’t fray. T-shirts work great for this so don’t throw those old ones away – make flowers out of them!

This is all you need: small amount of fabric or t-shirt, small piece of felt that closely matches your fabric, glue gun and a flower template. You can cut one out yourself…just make sure it has 5 or 6 petals.

My flower template was made by tracing the rim of a juice glass and then I just drew some petals and cut it out. My template measures about 2 1/2 inches across, but you can make yours any size. I needed a black flower for a necklace that I was making (post coming!), but from here on I will show you with the pink fabric.

Pin your paper template to your fabric and cut out your flowers. Start by cutting out either 13 flowers (for a looser flower) or 17 flowers (for a tighter flower). This might depend on your fabric or what kind of look you are going for. I’d recommend cutting out all 17 and then deciding as you go. I used the arms of a long-sleeved t-shirt for my pink flower and I folded it so that I could cut 4 at a time.

Cut out a circle of felt that is smaller than your paper flower template.

Now grab that handy glue gun! Take a flower and fold it in half. Then fold it in half again (so it looks like a slice of pizza – can you tell I’m hungry?).

Glue that first flower down onto the felt circle, positioning the folded point of the pizza slice flower petal at the center of the circle. Fold 3 more like that and glue each one down as well.

Now you are going to fold 4 more in the same way and glue them each down over this first layer. But you need to position them differently – over the pizza cuts edges of the previous petals.

When you have this second layer finished, you can see if you want to make another layer or not. I thought with my knit fabric that it needed another layer. We will be adding something to the center so save a little room for that! Whether this is your final row or if you go on and make a third layer, you may want to use your glue gun and glue down the folds of those on top. You will see what I mean. They are floppy and start coming apart.

After you have made your layers, take another cut out flower, fold it in half, and start rolling it into a cone shape, slightly off center.

This is too tall to use as is, so snip off a bit from the bottom. (Check the height with the inside of your flower and snip off more if you need to.) Hot glue this rosette into the middle of your flower. Press down until it’s dry. Fluff up your flower and then glue the top layer of petals to the rosette to fill out your flower. If you see any uneven cuts, just take care of them now.

You are done! I used 13 flower cuts for the black one and 17 flower cuts for the pink one.

If you want to see how to make a headband with one of these cuties, follow along!

Here’s all you need: Completed flower (or a few small ones), felt circle that matches your flower (again, pretend that one is pink – although here it works since it matches the headband), and a glue gun. I bought a 5 pack of fabric covered headbands made by Goody for $4 and they are perfect for these!

Glue the bottom of the flower to the headband, somewhere on the side. You may want to put on your headband and mark where you’d like the flower to go. Take the felt circle and glue that to the underside of the headband, and to the bottom of the flower where the felt is. Make sure it’s secure.

It takes a minute or two to dry and then it’s ready to wear!

I made a black one, too…for me. 🙂

I hope everything was clear. Please ask if you don’t understand something. Easter is right around the corner and Mother’s Day is coming up. I’m sure you can find something that needs one of these flowers! Now, I’m off to see if there’s any pizza around…

~Micha