Introduction: DIY Ethnic Inspired Necklace

About: Hey, I'm Muhaimina! A Craftaholic person (or Witch if you may say!). Obsessed with swirls and polka dots... and Instructables is pretty much my second home! Follow my IG Blog…

Ethnic and tribal pieces of jewelry always attract me; the colors and patterns are so inspiring and filled with love and energy!

When I started sketching ethnic-inspired jewelry designs, I was tangled and so confused! I mean, where should I start from? From which ethnic design or pattern?

So, I did a little research and had to stick with the colors and shapes, easy and fun for a first attempt. I'm very happy with the final result and surely making more versions of it very soon.

Check out the ible and find out how to make this inspiring necklace!

Step 1: Supplies Needed

To make this ethnic necklace you will need the following supplies

  • Felt fabrics - different colors
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Threads
  • Seed beads - different colors
  • Black jewelry string
  • Cowrie shell
  • Jump rings
  • Small bell jewelry charms
  • Wooden beads (optional)

Step 2: Preparing the Basic Patterns

Get creative because this is the most important step!

Selecting the basic pattern was really fun but tie consuming!

If you want to same your felt, better to sketch a pattern on a piece of paper and then maybe coloring them to see how the design might look like.

I used basic shapes for detailed designing, they give a nice ethnic look. So stick to triangles and squares in case you're confused about what patterns to use for detailed designing.

Step 3: Stitching the Base Design

The bae has 8 parts and 6 of them have detailed patterns on them, which I'm about to stitch to attach them together.

Prepare matching threads and needle (or maybe not! using different colored threads is also fun!).

Start to stitch the shapes on each base. I did star stitch and flat blanket stitching around and on the center of each shape to attach them with the base.

Once you're done attaching the shapes, take a felt, big enough to cover the whole necklace base. Place the individual bases on the big felt fabric appropriately.

Stitch the bases on that felt all around the sides by doing flat blanket stitches.

Don't forget to tie a knot after completing each stitch.

Step 4: Stitching Seed Beads

Ahhh! This part was super fun! I grabbed all the seed beads I had and stitched them all! The more colors, the better!

I stitched seed beaded border around each basic shapes and for some, I stitched on the middle and center of the shapes.

How to stitch seed beads:

  1. Insert enough seed beads into the thread (using a needle) to cover each side of the shape.
  2. Push the beads all the way to the closed end of the thread.
  3. Draw the needle to the other side, right from the point where the beads end (or that side of the shape ends).
  4. Now, stitch between every 2 beads to lock the beaded thread nicely with the felt fabrics.

Continue to stitch seed beads until you're satisfied with the beaded pattern.

Step 5: Beading Border and Cutting the Base

Once you are done beading the base you can start to stitch the border of the main base.

Simply insert beads covering 2 cm or 3 cm length of thread and stitch the beaded thread like we did in the previous step.

Done beading the border? Great! Now carefully cut around the sides of the beaded border.

While cutting the side, keep in mind to keep a safe distance (just a teensy bit will do!) from the beaded border.

Have a look of the back side!

Step 6: Adding Shells and Charms

Fun fun fun! Loved adding these!

I'm using cowrie shells and small jewelry bell charms. The bell charms usually have holes on them but had to make holes on the cowrie shells and then add a jump ring to them.

Use thread and stitch flat blanket to add the cowrie shells (through jump rings) and the charms along the bottom side of the necklace.

Tie a knot and draw the needle between the 2 base felt fabrics, and then draw it back out. Cut off extra thread.

Step 7: Attaching the String

I'm using black jewelry string for the closure.

Cut out a string long enough to wear it through the head when creating a loop with it. Also, make sure to keep extra length so that you can adjust the length to your choice.

Place the string along the top side of the necklace, keeping even amount of string length on both sides of the neckpiece.

Prepare needle with black thread and do flat blanket stitches to attach the string with the neckpiece along the top side.

Done stitching? Tie a knot or two and cut off extra thread.

Step 8: Necklace Closure

Hold the open ends of the string together and bead a wooden bead through both ends.

Tie a knot using both ends of the string together.

And done!

I can't wait to make more versions of this necklace. To think of all the fun colors!

Thank you so much for reading my ible. Please do share a picture if you make one.

Happy crafting!

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