By Jessica Wilson
If you’re like me when it comes to crafting, you cannot bear to throw away any itty-bit of scrap. You probably have (like me) a bag (or two) stuffed fuller than full of the smallest of delightfully happy fabric scraps. You may also happen upon said bag any number of times throughout the week and scold yourself for holding onto it, before quickly stuffing it back where you discovered it. Here is a slightly addicting necklace craft you can make that uses up as many of those itty-bitty scraps as you want. So go grab that bag, plug in your iron, and get ready!
Flat wooden discs
Iron-on adhesive, I used Heat’n Bond
Invisible thread, fishing line, beading thread, mono-filament, or embroidery thread
Super strong glue like E-6000 or Aleene’s Platinum Bond
Wax paper optional
Step 1: Gather up a handful of flat wooden discs. These can be purchased online or at your local craft & hobby shop. The bag I purchased contained numerous little discs in three sizes and cost about $3. Plug in your iron and place discs onto a scrap piece of paper. I use pretty much anything I have on hand; most often a page or two from a catalog destined for the rubbish bin. Next up, cut out a piece of your Heat’n Bond material and lay it atop your discs, bonding material side down.
Step 2: Once iron is hot, apply a gentle pressure over the top of the bond material. Go slow, do not use steam, and press. When satisfied (after about 2 minutes of pressing), place iron upright and bring the stuck-together mess to your work area and gently peel off backing paper. Be careful not to grab the bonding material as well. Trim excess from your circles.
Step 3: Gather up your small fabric scraps and iron them out flat. Place discs, bonding-material-side up on top of a new clean sheet of scrap paper, and lay your scrap pieces atop the discs. Gently place another clean sheet of scrap paper (this is when I use blank white paper) on top of the whole shebang and press gently with your iron. Using the paper will protect your iron from any sticky residue that seeps through your fabric. In the picture I did not use the paper and I wish I did! Operating word here is press, do not push on iron or you may dislodge fabric pieces from their places.
Step 4: Using your scissors, trim excess fabric from discs. Find that you love the way they look so you make oodles more wonder what else you can do with them. (When you do, please tell me as I now have a cigar box full of happy pretty!)
Step 5: Now it is time to play. Take some time to arrange your discs in a happy pattern for your necklace. These flat discs are perfect for layering, so get creative and play with color, print, pattern, and size. You can do something as simple as stacking three circles atop one another, or get all fancy-like and spread your shapes out. Make sure to work atop a mess- and glue-friendly work zone. Wax or parchment paper works well.
Step 6: Once satisfied, use a toothpick to apply tiny smudges of glue to the sides and edges of your discs where they touch. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area, as this kind of glue is very stinky and heady. Set aside to dry about thirty minutes.
Step 7: Once dry, flip your formation over and apply thicker dabs of glue to the back seams of your discs. Place one of your tiny discs on top of each dab and set aside to cure for another thirty minutes or so. These discs will help anchor your pieces together and keep them sturdy. Please note that this necklace, even though it is made from wood, is still very delicate. So handle with care.
Step 8: Time to add your thread. For your floating necklace, this part is a bit of a guessing game. As we are not using any clasps, you will need to estimate how much thread to use. You want to use enough to be able to pull over your head without snapping; but not so much that your necklace hangs too low past your neckline. If you wish to make a pendant necklace, go for some cord that will add to the piece or if you want to get extra fancy, go ahead and get clasp-happy. For the floating necklace however, we’re using glue, so get to estimating. The easiest way to estimate is to attach your thread to one side while keeping it still on the spool so that when it comes time to attach the other end, you can hold the base of your necklace on your neck where you want it to hit, and then un-spool your mono-filament until it reaches the other side. I hope that makes sense. Knot the end of your mono-filament a few times (knot will be tiny). Use the toothpick to dab a small blob of glue to the backside of your formation at one end and drop knot into glue mess and then press another small disc on top of that. Set aside to cure.
Step 9: Once you have estimated how long your cord is going to be, thread a small button onto the cord and loop into place exactly in the middle where it would rest against the back of your neck. Add a small dab of glue to keep in place, set aside to cure. This will help keep your cord orderly, allow for easier hanging, and rest on your neck a little bit more evenly. In a pinch, you can omit this part.
Step 10: Finish off your piece by anchoring the other end of your mono-filament in the same manner as you did the first, and allow to cure. Trim excess thread, gently pull over the top of your noggin, and dazzle your friends with your one-of-a-kind bit of ingenious fashion!
To use embroidery thread instead, you won’t need to guess too much. Cut two lengths of thread that will get your necklace around your neck. Follow the same instructions for adhering your thread to the back of the necklace using the glue and wooden discs. Instead of one length, you are going to use two: one for each side. Set aside to cure. Once all the glue is dry, simply tie the ends together around your neck. This way you can adjust the length depending on the neckline of your blouse, top, or dress. If you wish to finish the necklace with a bit more oomph, knot on a clasp and jump ring. Whichever you choose, your scrap-happy necklace will be a delight.
About the Author:
Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.