DIY Fabric Necklace from Scraps!

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Make this cute fabric bead-style necklace using strips of leftover fabric and piles of your sewing trimmings including thin fabric scraps and thread ends.

This is a fun and inexpensive craft idea to make as a gift or for yourself. And the bonus is that it helps get you closer to having a zero-waste sewing room!

fabric necklace diy

How to Make a Fabric Necklace from Scraps

Check out the materials list below and make yourself a new necklace this evening!

Materials Needed – Fabric Necklace

fabric necklace supplies
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
  • (1) full-length Jelly Roll Strip (2.5″ x 44″) for the small version; (1) 6″ x 44″-50″ strip for the large version (you can also opt for a size in the middle but you still need to keep the length above 40″ ideally).
  • Fabric trimmings (i.e. slivers of fabric cut off in squaring up quilt blocks, clipped corners, small crumbs, etc).
  • Thread from the ends of bobbins (optional but useful)
  • Necklace Findings with Crimp Ends (optional)

Step 1: Sew your Fabric Strip into a Tube

fabric tube inside out
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Whichever size strip you are using, fold it in half and sew into a tube right sides together using a quarter-inch seam.

Backstitch about 1/2″ from the start and end points.

Step 2: Turn your Tube Right-Side Out

fabric tube
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Using your preferred method turn your tube right side out. I used a safety pin and a chopstick to do this. If you don’t know how refer to the video version of the tutorial below.

Step 3: Make Fabric ‘beads’ out of your Trimmings

Pick up a small fingerful of your fabric trimming and squish them into a ball shape.

small fabric bead
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

The size of your ball will depend on the size of your tube.

small fabric bead size
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If you are using a jelly roll strip make your balls slightly smaller than a domestic sewing machine bobbin, if you are using a larger strip make ball that fits in the palm of your hand and then test it against your strip.

large fabric bead
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Tie a knot around your ball to secure it using either a long trimming or some thread from the end of a bobbin (you know where you finished your project and still had a tiny bit of thread left on the bobbin and now it is just sitting in your drawer … use that thread).

For my necklaces, I used 7 small balls for the small version of this necklace and 5 large ones for the big version. You can add more or less as you prefer.

Step 4: Insert your Fabric Beads

First, you want to find the middle of your tube by folding it in half lengthways and putting a clip or pin at the midpoint.

diy fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Then insert your first fabric bead/ball into the tube and push it down to the middle either with your finger or the end of a long blunt object like a chopstick.

inserting fabric beads
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
inserting fabric beads
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

When you have it in the middle take one side of your tube and tie a knot tight up against your bead. Repeat on the opposite side to secure the bead in place.

diy fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Repeat this for as many beads as you like alternating which side of your tube you put the new bead in and securing with a knot each time.

making a fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Make sure you are testing your necklace against yourself as you go so you leave yourself long enough tails to secure the necklace around your neck at the length you want.

diy fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Step 5: Finish the Ends of your Necklace

I have two options for how to finish the ends of your necklace.

For either option, you want to first make sure the two remaining ends of your tube are the same length. Trim any excess.

Crimp End Jewellery Findings

For a professional look you can get some crimp end jewellery findings (that is what they call the clasp and chain used to do up a necklace).

crimp ends on fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I used this method for my larger necklace. My crimp ends were narrower than the ends of my fabric tube (The crimp ends come in lots of sizes but this was just the size I had to hand!), so I folded the sides of my tube in and then folded over the raw edges before pushing the end of my tube into the crimp end. See my video below for a visual.

I then squeezed the crimp ends shut with my fingers and then with pliers to make sure they were extra secure.

Sewn Ends

The second option for finishing which I used on the smaller version of this necklace is just to finish the raw edges of your tube and secure it with a knot behind your neck.

sewn ends fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

To finish the ends I turned the raw edges back inside the tube and then folded the end into a half triangle.

I then sewed the triangle in place to make sure the raw edges stay out of site.

Then just tie and untie your necklace to take it off and on.

necklace ends
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
fabric scraps necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Fabric Necklaces Video Tutorial

Finished Fabric Necklaces

I had great fun making these zero waste fabric necklaces. I think they would make great gifts and might even sell well at craft fairs! It’s also a great little project to do with kids or grandkids. Hope you enjoy!

finished fabric necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
fabric scraps necklace
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
fabric necklace diy
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

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