Friday, September 2, 2011

Ribbon Jewelry (A Tutorial for the Craft Inept)

Okay, so it's not that you're inept, rather, I am. I know I do a lot of projects, but if it's too difficult to keep together with airplane glue, or duct tape, then just forget about it. I cut corners, I know that if someone isn't going to see it, then why not cover it in duct tape and modpodge?

However, when I saw that Michael's was trying to sell necklaces of ribbon for nearly $4, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'd wanted to make necklaces using ribbon for quite awhile, but couldn't bring myself to spend nearly $10 to buy a few of them to practice on. What  did instead, was bought some ribbon and was on my way to go home and see if I could make this work.

What I made turned out very lovely, although, yes, duct tape is involved. If you have a large pendant that you don't think chain will do justice to (or in my case, a pendant with brass accents that would look awful on a silver chain), ribbon is a good alternative, and always adds an extra sense of elegance to whatever you're wearing.

What you'll need:

- Ribbon
- Duct tape to match (Black tape on black ribbon, blue on blue, etc....I used this because I happened to have it lying around, and it matched my choice of ribbon the best)
- Two Crimp End Caps
- One Jump Ring
- One Lobster clasp.
- Pendant(s) of your choice

How to do it:

1. Cut two lengths of ribbon about 17" (If you're going for a choker. Longer or shorter if desired).

2. Fold the last 1/2" or so of the end of ribbons in half and then in half again, wrapping a short length of duct tape around it. It will now somewhat resemble a shoelace or sorts. Do this for both ends, using both ribbons.

3. Before taping your end cap on, I would attach your jump ring/lobster clasp, respectively. this will make things a lot easier. Pinch he duct tape, so it's small enough to put the end cap on.

4. Tape it on, so it is secure.

5. Do the same thing for the other side.

 Add your pendant, and you're set! You've got a beautiful ribbon choker for 1/50th the price of a pre-made ribbon. And using this method, you can customize the length of your necklace.

This is another choker I made, but using tarantula fang beads from my molted Pink toe, Brynhilde, and using a shorter length of ribbon. Adding multiple smaller pendants gives this choker an added dimension, and the short length is good for fragile beads.


Ribbon bracelets are also very easy, and something else that is generally rather overpriced at jewelry and department stores. This didn't take very long, but will require very, very minimal sewing (don't worry, I tried both glue and tape, but sewing was the only thing that worked).

What you'll need:

- Ribbon
- Beads
- Needle and Thread (or a fancy pants sewing machine if you have one).

1. My beads happened to be a pre-made length at Michael's bargain bin for just under $2, but you can do whatever you'd like. Use a length of about 4" or so (just shorter than your wrist.)

2. Through the jump rings on either side, pull your ribbon through. Both my ends ended up being about 7" or so, I believe, with an extra 2" to sew on the bottom. It may seem too long for a bracelet, but remember that you're going to be using the ribbon to tie a bow, and will need quite a bit of length.

3. Fold about 2" or so underneath the ribbon. About 1/2" away or so, sew the ribbon onto itself. Cut any excess ribbon off from the undersside that you just sewed on. do this on both ends.

Now you have a beautiful ribbon bracelet!

Hopefully if you guys have some extra ribbon and jewelry stuff lying around, you'll now have an excuse to make something from it.

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