Upcycled Vintage Lace Shirt Collar Necklace

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About: I'm a bit of a crazy cat lady with a penchant for red wine, travel, and making something from nothing. I blog at Shrimp Salad Circus, where I cover everything from an extensive library of DIY tutorials to te...

Intro: Upcycled Vintage Lace Shirt Collar Necklace

I found a fantastic royal purple long vintage skirt with a beautiful embroidered lacy bottom recently, and I just love it because it works as a skirt or a strapless dress. It came with a very unflattering shirt, which I was about to drop off at the thrift store when inspiration struck.

I love the way the industrial look of the eyelets and chain contrasts sharply with the ultra-feminine purple lacy collar, and the necklace is really versatile because it works as a collarbone length necklace or as a choker.

Materials

  • vintage or unwanted shirt with lace or embroidered collar
  • chain or ribbon
  • 2 large eyelets
  • large eyelet tool
  • jump ring and clasp
  • needle-nosed pliers
  • hammer
  • scissors

Full tutorial can be found at How To-sdays at Shrimp Salad Circus!

Step 1: Cut Out Your Lace

1. Begin by cutting the usable portion of the collar away from the rest of the shirt. Take care to cut around the edge of the embroidered portion so that you don't accidentally nick any threads and cause unraveling.

Step 2: Adjust As Necessary

2. The result should look something like this. It may take a bit of trial and error to determine how long you'd like it to be, but it's always better to start with the whole collar. I ended up trimming and inch off each side so that it hits just at the edges of my neck. Hold it up to yourself in front of a mirror to see what works best.

Step 3: Cut Holes for Eyelets

3. Trace the outline of the eyelet's center onto the edge of the collar using a pencil or marker, and cut a hole large enough for the eyelet to poke through.

Step 4: Cut Backing for Eyelets

4. Cut four to six more eyelet-sized pieces of fabric from the side or bottom of the shirt. This is to give the collar a bit of extra durability for the eyelet to grab onto, so you can use less fabric layers for heavier fabric and more for lighter. I used two. Cut a hole in the centers the same way you did for the collar itself.

Step 5: Poke Eyelets Through Holes

5. Poke the front of the eyelet through the hole in the front of the collar. Layer the fabric pieces over the collar.

Step 6: Assemble Eyelet on Anvil

6. Place the back {washer} of the eyelet over the fabric scraps, and then place the whole thing onto the anvil portion of the eyelet tool. It should look like this.

Step 7: Hammer Eyelets in Place

7. Place the barrel of the eyelet tool over the washer, and on a very hard surface {I did it outside on the concrete over a magazine.}, hit the barrel very hard several times to bend the rim of the eyelet and bond it together.

Step 8: Check for Attachment

8. Once you've done both sides, your collar should look like this.

Step 9: Add Chain {or Ribbon}

9. Decide where you want the collar to lay on your chest, and then measure how far it is around the back of your neck to connect the eyelets. Cut two pieces this size out of your chain. Thread a chain through each eyelet.

Step 10: Finish With Clasp

10. Attach a clasp through both ends of one eyelet's chain. Attach a jump ring through both ends of the other eyelet's chain.

Note: You could skip the wire and use a satin or sheer ribbon {like in the picture below} for a more feminine touch. Instead of using a clasp, just tie a bow at the back or side.

Step 11: Et Voila!

The necklace can be worn as a choker like the above photo or hanging down around the collarbones as a bib style necklace, like the first photo on the dress form.

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    8 Discussions

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    stuffedbears

    7 years ago on Step 11

    absolutely stunning!
    nice touch with the ribbons :D

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    beckymcmath

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Sooo cute! I cannot wait to try it. I was looking for an i-ble on a beaded bib necklace (since I have a bunch of random beads) but this one will be a good first try!

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    BECKBERRY

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if it would look good with my new upcycled sweater shoes?!