Re-working an Old Necklace




Introduction: Re-working an Old Necklace

About: I adore sewing and knitting, mostly vintage or vintage-inspired patterns. I hope to inspire others to create lovely and lasting garments that speak of a past era and yet remain timeless and elegant.

I found this lovely necklace at a farmers market years ago.  It was an amazing deal, and made of semi-precious stones - I just love the braided torsade, but NOT the closure.

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Step 1:

The glittery beads at the back of the necklace did not match the natural stones, in my opinion – but I could still wear the necklace with my hair down.  However, those pesky beads caught in my hair and scratched the skin on my neck.

The hook and jump rings were over-sized but incredibly difficult to open.  My nails are far from beautiful, but I do not enjoy tearing them to get a necklace on and off, which was happening with this particular clasp.

So the necklace was buried in my jewelry box for years.

Time for a quick fix!

Step 2:

There was a possibility that the whole thing was going to come apart as soon as I used the wire cutter to remove the clasp.  It looked like there were some crimp beads holding the torsade in place, and thankfully, they survived the dissection!

With only an inch left of the jewelry wire to work with, I reattached the decorative cap, along with a new length of wire extending through that cap so I had more length.

Step 3:

My first thought was to use some fluorite beads I had stashed away to extend the length of the piece and add a toggle closure.  But in the end, I was not happy with the way the beads looked.

Step 4:

I decided ribbon was the best way to go – but could not find exactly what I wanted. 

Time to make some ribbon! 

I recently made a dress from some lovely rayon satin, and realized that the fabric would work beautifully (the dress is actually what reminded me of the necklace!). 

A width between ¾” and 1” seemed like a good size.  Using dressmakers chalk, I marked 2 ¼” on a length of material remnant.  The fabric was folded, stitched, and turned right side out.  After a good press with the iron, my ribbon was ready.

Step 5:

To test out length, I grabbed a couple of ribbons and tied them to the end of the necklace.  After tying a bow , I placed a pin where I wanted the hanging ribbons to end.  When the ribbons were untied I measured where to cut my handmade ribbon.

Step 6:

Now I had the problem of how to permanently attach the ribbon.  A jump ring was not the look that I wanted, but a loop was the only thing I could think of to attach a length of ribbon in a secure manner.

In the end, I looped my wire through a crimp bead.

Step 7:

My satin ribbons (measured and cut to length) were threaded through my newly created wire loop, the raw edges tucked inside, and the ribbon wrapped around and stitched over my created loop.

Step 8:

The last step was to finish the other raw end of my created ribbon.

TIP:  If you would rather use purchased ribbon and it has a polyester content, you can melt the ends of the ribbon with a flame so they will not fray.

Step 9:

Now I have a necklace that I can actually wear.  And to top it off, the length is adjustable!

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    2 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Really beautiful! I was confused about one part tho, why did you scrunch up the ribbon? Is that how you turn it inside out?

    Laura Mae
    Laura Mae

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yes! I like to use a loop turner to turn things right side out, which requires a little scrunching! It saves time and frustration. An example of the loop turner may be found here: