Introduction: Ribbon Charm Choker

Most chokers, in my opinion, are far too small and very limited and have annoying amounts of skin-irritating metals.  If I'm going to wear jewelry or accessories, I want them to be big and rash-free.  It's a super special bonus to have pieces that are adaptable.  I recently rewatched Marie Antoinette and noticed that Kirsten Dunst wore some pretty fabulous chokers which gave me the inspiration for this project.

This choker can be as big or as small as you want it.  There are no metals to come in contact with your skin.  You can switch out the "charms" as much as you want, and there are endless possibilities for what you can use as a charm.  This project is inexpensive and quick, and you can use leftover bits of ribbon from previous projects (or presents).  There's also a margin for error, so you don't have to sweat the little stuff.  Most mistakes won't be very noticeable.

Step 1: Materials

For making this particular choker, you'll need:
  • Sewing Machine
  • 3 Coordinating Ribbons in Decreasing Width*
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Large Needle
  • Seam Ripper
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Fake Flower
  • Bead
  • Glue Stick
  • Fake Dove
  • Lighter
  • Pencil (optional)
*It's best if the middle width ribbon (middle ribbon) has a repeating pattern of some sort.

Step 2: Measurements

Measure your neck in centimeters for a comfortable choker circumference.  In this example, 31-33 cm was comfortable.

Subtract 3 cm for the cut length to allow for comfort and adjustment.  In this example, 28 cm was the end measurement.

Cut the two primary ribbons to length.  This does not include the feeder ribbon.

Slightly burn the ends of the ribbon with a lighter to prevent fraying.

Step 3: Buttonholes

Determine where to space the buttonholes on the middle width ribbon.  A white and pink flower patterned ribbon is used as the middle width ribbon in this example. 

The number of buttonholes must be a multiple of 4 (e.g., 16, 20, or 24).  This is to allow for the feeder ribbon to have an exit point at the ends of the choker. 

You can use the pattern on the ribbon, or you can measure it out and mark with a pencil.  In this example, the pattern was used so that a buttonhole was sewn in the middle of each flower and between each flower to create 20 buttonholes total.

The pattern also helps determine the height of each buttonhole so that the larger centers of the flower marked the ends of the buttonhole.

If you are not using a repeating patterned ribbon, you will have to measure and mark with a pencil.

Run a test on a scrap piece of ribbon and adjust for tension, stitch width, etc.  If you are uncertain how to sew a buttonhole on your machine, consult your manual and follow the steps precisely.

Sew the buttonholes on the middle ribbon only.

Open buttonholes carefully with a seam ripper or scissors.

Trim threads.

Step 4: Top-stich and Hem

A glue stick (one used for paper typically) will help the two ribbons adhere slightly and make stitching easier.  Apply glue to the middle ribbon and place it on the bottom ribbon.  You may have to finger press the middle ribbon a bit, and eyeballing the placement is completely acceptable.

Note:  Do not use fabric glue.

Top-stitch the middle ribbon to the bottom ribbon on both edges.

Turn over the ends once and stitch.

Step 5: Feeder Ribbon and Decoration

Start weaving the feeder ribbon into the choker until you come to the place for the decoration.

For this example:
  • Send the feeder ribbon through the holes in the middle of the deconstructed fake flower.
  • Send the feeder ribbon through a bead and back through the holes in the fake flower.
  • Pull taut and continue weaving the feeder ribbon through the remainder of the choker.  This may require a few readjustments.
  • Wrap the wire on the fake dove around a stem of the flower.

Determine how long you would like the feeder ribbon to be to allow for tying a bow.  Snip to appropriate length and burn edges slightly with a lighter.

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