Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Nursing or Teething Necklace

I know, I know... all of my crafting lately has been centered around a certain roommate that moved in a couple of months ago. It's my life right now, OK? In any event, I was looking to order a couple of teething necklaces from Etsy or one of those other sites but after I started looking at them and some of the prices, I decided I could make myself and some of my nursing mothers each a necklace for less than one of the online versions. Mine may not be as perfect but they are satisfyingly pretty and I have to say they are pretty simple to whip up!

I'd been pining to use this Bari J fabric for awhile and since it's so pretty, why not wear it? Some other items that I grabbed for the project were some 24 mm wooden beads, unfinished (I found mine on Oriental Trading though I just saw them in Michael's last week), fabric scissors, sewing pins, matching thread, a sewing machine and my jewelry making supply box of tricks.

I didn't particularly measure anything but more so used the beads as my guide. Laying the fabric the length of a yard, I allowed enough space for my stitching, folded the fabric over (wrong side out) and ironed it down for ease of sewing. I then ensured the fabric would fit over the bead before sewing.

I sewed a straight stitch down the edge of the piece, keeping it close to the edge as a starting point. After sewing my initial stitch, I slipped the wooden bead into the fabric and realized I had a lot of extra space. I wanted there be enough space to slip the beads in with ease but I also didn't want there to be a ton of extra fabric when I went to build the necklace.

Once I had my second stitch in place, I ensure that the bead had room to breathe but not too much room.

I trimmed along the stitch line, removing the excess fabric. Since I would be turning this inside out, the less getting in the way, the better.

I used my fingers to pull the right side of my fabric through to bring it all the way to the end.

I ironed the fabric tube down at the seam before building the necklace. I wanted everything to be smooth before starting out as I was sure any wrinkles or bunching might cause issues with the appearance.

I tied a knot close to one end, leaving about two inches of fabric hanging, for closure of the necklace at the end of the project. From the open end, I pushed a wooden bead through to the knot. I then knotted at the other side of the bead I just inserted, being sure to get the knot as tight and as close as I could. I repeated this until I had the desired amount of beads on the necklace. I chose 8 as my number but you can use as many or as few as you'd like. The great thing about making your own necklace is you can do what you'd like!

Once I had finished knotting my beads into the necklace, I had to decide how I wanted to "string" the necklace and close it. I took a few strips of the same fabric and braided long enough pieces to serve as the rest of the necklace. You can use ribbon, fabric or choose to knot beads all the way around. Just be sure that what you are using is safe for the baby!

With a quick stitch and a jewelry loop, I was able to bring my new necklace together. It's pretty much up to you, the maker, how you want the closure created.

Have you ever whipped up anything like this?

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