Monday, March 21, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Knit Fabric Necklace

Today I’m sharing how to make a necklace out of strips of knit fabric, connected by ribbon crimp ends. This is a fun necklace to make and to wear that you can customize in lots of different ways.


Here’s how I made my knit fabric necklace:


  • Three strips of knit fabric, cut to 1x19 inches (I just cut across the fabric from selvage to selvage and divided it into thirds.
  • One strip of knit fabric, 2x7 inches pressed down the middle (or you can cut two strips, 1x7 inches each).
  • Ruler, rotary cutter/scissors, and self healing mat to cut fabric.
  • Four 3/4-inch ribbon crimp ends. If you use the brand I used (Jewelry Essentials from Michaels), you will need to buy two packs as each only comes with two of the large size (3/4 inches). There is pack under a different brand with more of this size at JoAnn, or you can buy individual ones at bead stores.
  • Craft glue (I used Aileen’s Jewel-It, but any kind should do).
  • Pliers: for the crimp ends, I used nylon-coated pliers which prevent scratching. Or you can just be really careful with regular flatnose pliers (or put a piece of felt in between).
  • Jump rings in different sizes
  • Optional: Beads and jewelry wire, round-nose pliers for wire-wrapping beads
  • Not shown: Jewelry clasp, serger (optional).


As mentioned, there are different ways you can customize this necklace. I serged the edges of the short strand, and left the edges raw for the long strands. For the short end, if you don’t have a serger you can use a zig zag on your regular sewing machine, or you can also leave the edges raw. If you leave the edges raw, you can cut the 2x7 inch strip into two 1x7 inch strips and stack them as I did with the three long strips (see further below).

If you are serging the edges of the short strand, fold the 2x7 inch strip into half lengthwise. You'll trim it while serging to fit the crimp, as the folded width is wider than the crimp itself which is 3/4 inches. I used a rolled hem stitch with just two threads in the serger.KnitNecklace4

Apply some glue to the ends of your short strip. I used a toothpick because too much glue squirts out directly from the bottle. Allow to dry a little. The hardened glue will give the teeth of the ribbon crimp ends something to grab onto.KnitNecklace5

Apply some glue to the inside of the ribbon crimp end.


Grasp the ribbon crimp end with your pliers in one hand, and place the end of the strip into the ribbon crimp end with the other hand. Press down with the pliers in the middle then scoot it over and press down on the sides. Just make sure it is pressed down evenly and the teeth have grasped the fabric. Repeat on the other end and set aside.

KnitNecklace7 KnitNecklace8

Take the three long strips and stack them. If you’re using printed fabric, stack them so the non-printed side is in the inside. So I have one with the right side facing down, and two with the right side facing up (and the white is in between). This is so you don’t have a “front” and “back” of the necklace.


I left these edges raw on these strips, so I just need to taper the ends to fit into the ribbon crimp ends by trimming with scissors. Then follow the directions above to apply just one ribbon crimp end.


Leave the other end un-crimped for now. Take each strip and twist it, so that the unprinted end is on the inside. This is another place you can customize…you can stretch the strips out so the edges fray more and curl inward, or you can just leave them as is.


Before you apply the last ribbon crimp end, check out the length and how it drapes, etc, and check out how it looks with the other strip. Now’s your chance to shorten the long strand, if you wish. When you’re satisfied, apply the final ribbon crimp end.


Now let’s connect the strands to create the necklace. If you’re not comfortable working with beads, an easier way to connect the strands together is to just use jump rings, which are available at your craft store or bead store. Make sure they are open, and not closed or soldered, jump rings.

This particular pack that I bought (picture below left) has an assortment of 3 different sizes. To open a jump ring, take a pair of pliers in both hands and hold the jump ring in them both as shown, with the opening in the middle (center picture). Then push one plier away from you and one plier towards you so it’s kind of like a twist or a slide rather than pulling them apart. So you end up with something like this (picture on the right). To close them, you do the opposite…slide the pliers back to where you started.


Using just jump rings results in a nice, clean look.


I used three of the larger jump rings to connect the strands in the front, and two small ones for the clasp in the back.KnitNecklace14 KnitNecklace15

If you would like to add beads, I wire-wrapped a big bead and connected the two front ends that way. But instead of showing you how to wire-wrap here, there’s already a great tutorial on the BeadStyle Magazine website (or at the back of each paper issue). Scroll down on their website further and you’ll find a better tutorial on how to work with jump rings than mine!

Each time you wear the necklace, I would undo the clasp rather than throw it over your head to avoid over-stretching (though of course, since it’s knit, it will stretch over time). Undoing the clasp also lets you twist the three strands together or even make the short strand twisty if you like.

Knit Necklace

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! There are so many ways to make this necklace. I'd love to see your interpretation, so please please let me know if you make one yourself!

This was originally a guest post on Crystal’s Craft Spot. Stop by there today, as she has some huge giveaways going on to support Austin, a brave little boy in need of a kidney transplant. Your donation earns you entries in the giveaways. Click here to see how it works.

Linking up with these craft linkys.



  1. I saw your necklace when I was linking up to All things Related. I really like it, and your tutorial is done so well. I am not very good at explaining what I do, so I definitely admire a good tutorial!

  2. Great idea, really nice necklace.

    Wish I had a sewing machine so that I could try this myself!

    Sadie :)

  3. Great necklace! I just got done making one out of tshirt material and beads and was fun to do and so easy! You did a fantastic job on this one. Love the colors you chose.

  4. Very creative, Steph! The colors you used are so vibrant. Thank you for sharing... now, to make time to try it out!

  5. Oh I love this! Beautifully bold and colourful, but still grown up. Gorgeous!

  6. Oh my gosh, LOVE this! I'll be trying this one out! Thanks!!

  7. What a cute idea! Great use of smaller pieced fabrics :).

    Q @ JAQS Studio

  8. Hey Steph,
    You are so good at these things! Too cute! I want to be your daughter!

    Elaine ;)

  9. Reallllly cool! Thank you for sharing it with us at this week DIY Craft Tutorial Linky Party.

    if you want a variation on this theme, check out this tutorial too:

  10. wow this is a gorgeous necklace, thanks for sharing the tutorial! I came from Sew Much Ado, have a great day!

  11. Blog hopping! I'm your new follower and would love a follow back! Thanks!

  12. So chic! I love the retro glam colors!!!
    Visiting from Its A Hodgepodge Life!

  13. Gorgeous and so creative! I really love the finished product!

  14. That turned out really cute;0

  15. That so pretty, and it doesn't look like a very complicated to make! thank you for sharing!

  16. That necklace is so fun. I love how bright and colorful it is!!

    I shared it on my TT&J FB page and linked to you :)


  17. This is such a cute necklace Steph!! I really like the colors you used and the different sections. That big blue bead is really fun too! I love it!
    Thanks so much for linking this up to Think Pink Sundays! :)

  18. this is such a cute idea and i love the fabrics you chose. pretty necklace for spring! :)

  19. Very cute and creative. Nice tutorial too. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Darling and colorful and would look great with almost any color top. Love it. winks-jen

  21. So clever! I might just have to make one of these for myself. Thanks you for sharing.

  22. Steph-

    This is really well-written!

    Thanks for linking to Creative Juice Thursday! I hope to see you back this week {party opens on Wed night @ 8pm CST}

  23. Very nice! I love it! I'd love for you to link up at Inspire Me Mondays @ Singing Three Little Birds!

  24. Steph, great tute! I love the colors and patterns you chose for that sensational necklace.

    Thank you for adding style and panache to "A Little Birdie Told Me..."!


  25. I LOVE this! Its PERFECT for you to Link up at my Linky PAR-TAY,

    Whassup Wednesday!!!

    And I have a party button you can grab so your friends can come too:)



  26. Very interesting, looks great. I saw you at Saturday Spotlight by Craft Envy.

    My blog is having it's first linky party this weekend. I would love for you to add this post:

  27. This is a great project! Thanks for linking up last week! I hope to see another of your posts this week! :)

  28. featured this on my blog today!


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