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Thread Wrapped Necklace

This thread wrapped necklace came from combining Steph’s love of textiles with traditional beading and embroidery techniques. The result is a lovely tactile necklace using embroidery thread and beads that’s sure to make a bold statement.

Tools and Materials

How to make a Thread Wrapped Necklace

Wrapping Quicklinks

1. Cut a long length of embroidery thread (approx 75cm), thread on to a sewing needle. Leaving a tail of a 3 – 4cm, hold the thread and large quick link together in your none-dominant hand. With your dominant hand you’ll make a half hitch knot; take the needle through the link from behind, then up through the loop created, pull tight (A). DO NOT LET GO WITH YOUR OTHER HAND YET! Repeat this knot again (in purple), this will keep the first knot in place (B) and you can then let go.

Repeat this knot until you have filled the link – the knots want to be snug, right up to the previous knot so that no metal is showing through – as you get toward the end of the wrapping you can wrap over the ‘tail’ end of thread to cover it (C) then trim off any excess thread. Once you’ve finished the last knot take your needle under a few strands on the back to secure, pull tight and trim off (D).

2.Repeat the process set out in step 1 for wrapping your quick links. You have 1 complete larger one, you’ll also need 2 medium for the necklace. These will be in your second colour and you’ll need approximately 60cm of thread.

Beading around your links

3.Using brick stitch and size 8 and size 11 seed beads you’ll embellish the outer edge of the links; cut a length of Nymo thread and thread a size 10 beading needle. Take the needle through the  embroidery thread just below the row of knots and tie the two ends of the thread together to secure. Pick up 1 size 8 seed beads followed by an 11 and another 8. Sew through the embroidery thread from the back towards the front, approximately 0.5cm from the first knot, take the thread back up through the second size 8 seed beads, so that it is sat on top of the edge of the embroidery thread (E). TIP: if you pull the thread so that the beads are in place before going back through the seed bead it will be easier.

Continue beading around the link; pick up just 1 size 11 seed bead followed by 1 size 8 and stitch through from the back and go up through the size 8 (F). Continue in this way until you have filled the outside of the link. TIP: when you get close to the end you might not have the exact space require for the beads, it is best to spread them a little rather than squashing them in.

After adding the last bead you’ll need to join up the two ends and add the final size 11 seed beads; Pick up a new size 11, go down the first size 8 seed beads added at the beginning of the step, stitch through the embroidery front to back and go up the same bead to secure (G). Do not cut off the excess thread at this point.

Creating More Links

4.Repeat step 3 to add beads to the other two links. 

5. Repeat step 3 to add beads to the outside of 2 x 6mm pearls; cut a length of Nymo thread and thread through the bead twice, leaving a thread on the outside of the bead, then again, so there is thread around both sides of the bead (H). Then add bead in the same way at step 3, except you are anchoring under the thread around the bead as oppose to through the embroidery thread.

Thread wrapped necklace project

 Joining your links

6.Place two links together, the edge beads, that look like teeth, will slot inside one another. Use the excess tails of thread to sew through the 5 beads joining them together. Do this again to connect the third link, at an angle (shown below). Then finally the two beads on each side.

Thread wrapped necklace project

Adding embellishments.

7. Use the excess threads to attach bead in drops (if you wish) – start from the centre and work up each side alternatively to get a balance.

Thread wrapped necklace project

8. Why not also make matching earrings, a simple pendant to go along with your thread wrapped necklace? You can also play around with different colour options.

Thread wrapped necklace and earrings project

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