Necklace w Peace Symbol & Ruffles :: Recycled Jewelry

Crafts For Kids, DIY Personal Accessories

"It is amazing what you can do with an old curtain and a sewing machine."

This, my dear friends, is Australian humor. My Aussie boyfriend at the time gave me a compliment on my dress. Yes, they may speak English downunder, but they sure speak another language than North Americans.

Anyhow, the whimsy of the statement always stayed with me, and noooowww, I have a funky any-age-girl preteen/teen/tween kid craft that you can whip up with an old curtain and a sewing machine.

recycled jewelry :: necklaces

This gorgeous peace necklace that is 100% contemporary, is also 100% green.

It upcycles an old shoelace necklace band that was no longer in use, (but any strip of elastic band will do), a strip of an old lacy curtain, and an earring that was too big and heavy for my dear little ears.


A tutorial? Ok.



Upcycled Necklace Tutorial

1. Find an outfit that needs a sparkle.

2. Figure out the color and style of jewelry it would befit.

3. Go over your remnants cabinet and pick something of that color and stylerecycled jewelry :: necklaces.


4. Cut it up into one long strip of fabric, of say 3 inches wide (nothing too exact about this).

As you can tell I have a full curtain width here, I’d say that depending on the type of fabric, you’ll need about 2-4x your neck’s circumference.   See how long it is in the picture here.


5. If you are old enough, use your mom’s sewing machine (otherwise do it by hand) and sew the entire strip in a tube. 

Depending on your remnants, you may need to do some patchwork, and first sew the smaller stretches of fabric into one long piece. Then, sew the entire strip into a tube.


free necklace tutorial

As you can see in the sewing machine picture on the left here, I first sew my tube and then cut of the remainder of the fabric.  I don’t think this was smart, as I used slippery material so that the weight of the fabric on the left made it slip to that side.  So…, do as I say rather than do as I did. Cut it first.




6. With a large safety pin, turn the tube inside out, or rather, right-side out.

7. Pull the shoelace necklace through the tube.

8. I fastened the edge of the fabric tube on each end with a few stitches, so it would stay tidy. So, depending on what materials you are using, tidy it up and create a handy open/closing situation. You might want to sew on a button or a little and make an embroidered loop on the other side.

9. Put it on.

10. Go over to your jewelry box and look for dangling earrings that you never wear for any reason. My peace earrings are still much loved but they were just too heavy for my ears. Once you find something suitable, with some pliers, change the oblong earring loop into a nice round loop instead.

11. Hook the earring over the fabric, on the middle front of your necklace. Take it off and with your pliers work the hook a bit so that it will be impossible to become undone (so you won’t loose your earring).

That’s it, folks. Let me have a look at what you have done with this tutorial. I am cuuuurrious to see your green, upcycled creations also. So, leave us a comment below or email me. And use the sign-up form if you want to join my newsletter.


Happy green crafting. If you have any questions re details, email me.


keywords: upcycling, refashioning, craft, tutorial, free, jewelry, necklace, contemporary, teen craft

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