I loved playing with a spirograph as a kid. This necklace takes little more than string and fabric glue to recreate the look of the sirograph drawings using string art techniques.
Step 1: Make the Jig for Wrapping String
Trace a circle on cork board or foam.
Mark dots at equal points around the circle.
Shove toothpicks, bamboo skewers, or little nails into the dots.
If you're using toothpicks or bamboo, it would help to coat them with a little melted beeswax; brush it on with a paintbrush, then re-melt it with a hair dryer to smooth it out.
Step 2: Wrap the String
Choose a color string. Wrap it around one peg of the jig or tape it to the board to secure it.
Choose the number of pegs to skip for your first necklace link. For this one, I skipped four pegs and wrapped the string over the fifth peg.
Keep skipping pegs and wrapping the string in a pattern you like.
When finished, secure the other end of the string by wrapping it around a peg or taping it to the board.
Step 3: Add Glue
I chose fabric glue from the craft store so the necklace would stay flexible and hold up to sweat and oils from skin.
Apply glue thoroughly with a paintbrush; it works well if you dilute the glue with some water and soak the string.
Make sure to squish the strings against each other on the pegs; you'll want them as close as possible so they adhere to each other. For this one, I slid a bamboo skewer under the string and pushed the bottom up while pushing the top down.
I'm impatient. I use a hairdryer to dry the glue and help heat set it.
When it's dry, gently scrape each point up from the peg using your nails. Be careful; you may have to scoot the points up slowly and go around the circle more than once to get it all the way off.
Once it's off, note where the overlapping strings need more glue. Add more glue.
Once it's off the jig, don't just turn the hairdryer on. The string will fly off the table and onto the floor. Don't ask me how I know this. Hold it down with a skewer or something else that pins the string down, and THEN turn on the hair dryer. Squish the overlapping strings together with your fingers.
You'll want each string link to be flexible but strong enough to hold its shape.
Step 4: Make More Links
Make more links. It might go faster if you get your mom to help. I had mine help with the colored links, since that necklace was for her.
Try different size jigs, different colors or thicknesses of string, and different patterns. Variety is nice.
Be aware that the larger the inside opening of a link, the more likely a link is to get pulled out of shape when the necklace is attached.
Step 5: Attach the Links
Use metal jump rings to attach the links together. You can make some offset; vary the pattern.
Make sure the string links can lay flat when the jump rings are all vertical.
If you have enough links, you can simply attach a clasp to your necklace. If you don't want the string links to go around the back, tie a bit of string or ribbon to each end so you can tie the necklace on, or use wire with the ends bent into a clasp like I did.
First Prize in the
Summer Yarns Contest