Necklace on left by Adia Kibur, found via Couture Carrie, available at Right, my DIY version.

Love the necklace. Yes, love. And $45 isn’t really that bad a price. It supports an up-and-coming designer, fosters cottage industry, stimulates the economy, yada yada yada. But, I just happened to have a whole bunch of wooden beads laying around…and some ribbon…and a little paint… So, you guessed it, I DIY’d my own. Sorry Adia! Here’s how…

You will need:
-27 beads in small, medium, and large sizes (I used wood because that’s what I had, and I painted them white, oyster, marigold yellow, and charcoal gray, and then sealed them with gloss Mod-Podge…though in retrospect, spray-painting would have been easier and made the color more uniform)
-2 yd double-face matte ribbon (I had single-faced, and that means that the underside of the necklace is more obvious than if the 2 sides were the same. I also used shiny satin, which I like; the designer version uses matte.)
-thread, same color as your ribbon (I used black and it’s a little obvious)
-fabric glue

How To:
Start by triple-knotting a double-length of thread onto your needle. Push needle into center of ribbon about 8″ from one end. String on a small bead on the UNDERSIDE of your ribbon. This will create a little hump underneath the ribbon. Push needle into center of ribbon just beyond that bead, and bring to front.

Thread next bead on, and so and so forth, alternating beads. You can also go in and out with the needle a few times to anchor your beginning bead strongly at the the top of the necklace.

Once you’ve added all the beads on, alternating sizes, anchor your last bead in, and knot and cut your thread. Then apply fabric glue to about 1/2″ of the front of the ribbon, right at that thread knot at both the beginning and the end of your threaded beads. Fold ribbon over (we’re trying to disguise that thread, just to explain), press, and allow to set. I also hand-stitched under that fold to make sure it was secure, on both sides.

Cut the ends of your ribbon to the length you want, glue together and then fold over to disguise the ends in a similar manner. Hand-stitch again, to secure.

I really love the design of this – it’s elegant and simple. (Hub says it looks like I’m getting married in Hawaii at a traditional-style wedding….They place a similarly-threaded kukui nut-and-ribbon necklace on the groom instead of a flower lei in some situations. Well, I’m not getting married in Hawaii…we got married in Hawaii!! 5 years ago! Hello??!!…and Hub was not adorned with said kukui nut necklace. Well, now I’ve made him one, apparently – we can have a do-over.)

Happy DIY’ing!




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