It’s time for a “How To” on the necklaces MOH Big Eyes and I made for the women in the bridal party. I say this with the utmost sincerity, please do not try this at home. In fact, don’t ever attempt to make jewelry out of wool. It’s just a bad idea. Wool is not a good medium for creating pretty, dainty things. But DO make the necklace, just use different fabric.
THAT SAID, we did the best with what we had. And I think our necklaces turned out absolutely gorgeous, thanks to Sister Big Eyes and her ingenuity.
There were a lot of ideas thrown around over the past few months regarding bracelets and necklaces and the tartan fabric. The question was how could we gift the bridal party a piece of our family tartan? (The men will get to keep their bouts even though they’ll never have another reason to wear them. They’ll probably just hold on to them for sentiment’s sake, HA!) Ladies of the Sword bridal party feel free to read on about all the
frustration love that went into your jewelry! 🙂
Let’s start with the inspiration for this necklace.
If you click on the link to Pinterest you’ll find lots of ideas and versions of this beautiful necklace. Most fabrics will move a lot easier than wool. Two things to note about working with tartan fabric, 1) It is very stiff and doesn’t bend well, 2) It frays badly immediately after being cut.
Great, now that you’re excited, here is the step-by-step version of how we made our very own washer necklaces with our tartan fabric.
STEP ONE: BUY YOUR SUPPLIES. You’ll need enough washers for each necklace and Sister Big Eyes says odd numbers look best, so we figured about 7 per necklace plus quite a few extras. We also decided we wanted to paint the washers, so picked up ivory and forest green spray paint.
Then we visited JoAnn’s to buy ribbon to add to the necklaces so they can be tied around the neck, and interfacing to put on the back of the fabric to prevent it from fraying as much.
STEP TWO: SPRAY THE WASHERS. Optimal conditions would be in Bismarck, ND when the temperature is below zero so your hands want to fall off and directly before it starts snowing so your first batch is completely ruined. OH WAIT, those were our conditions but maybe you live some place warmer than the tundra. In that case, just spray them on a piece of cardboard or a paper bag.
We tried using both the ivory and the green washers with the tartan but in the end we felt the darker green color looked better than the lighter ivory color.
STEP THREE: LAY OUT INTERFACING ON TARTAN FABRIC, CUT TO FIT. Sister Big Eyes looks like she knows what she’s doing in this picture but truthfully none of us had ever used interfacing before. What is interfacing you ask? To quote Wikipedia, it’s “a textile used on the unseen or “wrong” side of fabrics to make an area of a garment more rigid.” (Thank you Boss Lady for the giving me the idea.)
GET SILLY IRON INTERFACING ONTO FABRIC. While Sister Big Eyes was working hard, cousin and BM Jo and I were having our own fun.
Tartan headband anyone? 5 dollars please.
Even Fibonacci wanted to help out! Hehe. BM Jo sent him downstairs wearing this:
STEP FIVE A: LAMENT ABOUT HOW MUCH EASIER THIS PROJECT WOULD BE IF YOU USED RIBBON INSTEAD. Celebrate Christmas with your family and take a break from the necklaces until you’re back in Minnesota.
STEP FIVE B (aka the real STEP FIVE): CUT THE TARTAN INTO STRIPS. I don’t know exactly how long we made ours because it took some trial and error and it depends on how low you want your necklace to hang. No matter what fabric you use don’t forget to factor in extra fabric for looping it through each washer.
STEP SIX: ADD ANTI-FRAYING GOOP TO EDGES. While the interfacing did help, the tartan still began to fray and separate immediately after it was cut so we decided to do both. This was my job. That and taking photos of every step of the process!
STEP SEVEN: SEW RIBBON ON TO EACH END OF YOUR STRIPS. Sister Big Eyes did this part as well (shocking I know) and she did a great job. The length of ribbon doesn’t matter too much because if you have too much you can just make a bigger bow at the back of your neck.
It’s best if the ribbon is the same width of your cut strips of fabric.
STEP EIGHT: LOOP TARTAN THROUGH EACH WASHER. Honestly, I have no idea how to explain this because I didn’t do it (worst tutorial writer ever!), but I think you thread it through the first washer, then the second washer and then back again through the first washer so they lay close to each other.
I know I mentioned earlier that we were going for seven washers per necklace but in the end it was more important to make the washers centered in the middle which meant some of them have one extra or one less washer.
STEP NINE: WEAR IT. For some reason we don’t have anyone wearing the finished product necklace. In the below picture MOH Big Eyes is wearing her bridesmaid dress and a necklace that has the original (unpainted) washers, and after that is BM Jo wearing a prototype necklace that does not have ribbon or interfacing.
Overall I’m really pleased with how they turned out! And I can’t wait to see all the bridesmaids and honor attendants wearing them with their dresses! I’m so happy that each girl will get to take home a piece of the Sword family tartan as well. Based on the photo above I’m thinking the girls will be able to wear them again with regular clothing. Win win!
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the world’s best Maid of Honor, my little sister. Without her I don’t know where I’d be, and I’m so grateful for all of the work she has done to make our Highland Fairy Tale a dream come true.
And I truly hope I can help her waste her time on an equally stressful craft for her wedding in the near future. Much love Sis.
(all photos personal)
Do you like the tartan necklaces? Would you ever make a necklace with washers? What wedding craft did you spend way too much time working on?