Saturday, October 29, 2011

DIY Your Weekend: The Rope Necklace

If you've got a DVR full of shows to catch up on, some snacks to nibble, then we've got the perfect solution for you.  Even with almost no jewelry-making know-how, you can fashion an impressive-looking DIY necklace that's guaranteed to get a lot of play in your fall wardrobe. So, cancel your post-brunch plans, and make it a crafternoon! 
The Inspiration

Let's Begin:
Here's what you'll need:
Climber's rope
Brass hex nuts
Brass lobster clasps
Brass jump rings, small and medium sized
Brass end caps
Light blue seed beads
White thread
Needle-nose pliers
Super glue
Embroidery floss in several different colors
Gold-colored thread or elastic
Step 1: Cut a length of climber's rope. For the final product you will need four or five ropes that are slightly different lengths, so it's a good idea to cut the the sizes you want now.
Step 2: Put super glue inside of one end cap. You want enough so that the climber's rope will stick securely, but not so much that glue will gob out.
Step 3: Insert one end of the climber's rope into the end cap. Be careful not to get glue on your fingers! Wait a few seconds for the glue to dry before continuing onto the next step.

Tip: If you do get a little super glue on your fingers (we had plenty, trust us), just use some acetone nail polish remover to get it off your skin.

Step 4: Choose the first color of embroidery floss you'd like to use. Tie one end of the floss around the climber's rope at the bottom of the brass. 

Tip: You can either cut a length of embroidery floss to wrap around the rope, or you can keep the floss connected to the bundle—whichever you find easier!
Step 5: Trim the smaller end of the embroidery floss so it's about a half-inch long.
Step 6: Hold the short end of the floss against the rope. Begin to wrap the longer end of the floss around the rope, covering the short end to hide it. Continue wrapping until you would like to change to a new color. Wrap tightly so the floss doesn't unravel, and make sure not to leave any gaps where you can see the rope.
Step 7: When you want to change colors, simply tie the new floss around the end of the one you were just using.
Step 8: Just as before, keep the short end of the floss against the climber's rope and wrap over it.
Step 9: Switch up the colors! The beauty of this necklace is that there is no symmetry and no two colors are the same length, so feel free to have lots of tiny blocks next to super long ones. Change it up!
Step 10: Let's try adding some beads now. First, cut a length of white thread and tie a knot at one end and string the needle on the other.
Step 11: Put a small amount of the seed beads into your palm. Thread several of them on the needle and then push them down along the thread, forming a line of beads.

Tip: Be sure to keep the cap on the seed beads closed! These little tubes love to tip over and spill all over the place.
Step 12: Once you have a few inches of beads on the thread, tie off the open end so they stay put.
Step 13: Attach the string of beads onto the end of the floss just like before.
Step 14: Wrap the string of beads around the climber's rope like you did with the floss. Be sure not to wrap too tightly, as the thread easily breaks. To secure the beads, add a few dabs of super glue, making sure to add glue at the end of the string as well.
Step 18: Feel free to keep a few inches of rope uncovered. To attach a new piece of floss after a length of bare rope, simply tie it on as in the beginning.
Step 19: When you have covered the entire length of rope with embroidery floss, put super glue into the other end cap and attach it to the end of the rope.
Step 20: Repeat steps 1-19 for however many ropes you would like to make. When you're finished, slide all of the end caps on end of the ropes onto a large brass jump ring. 

Step 21: Use pliers to make sure that the jump ring is securely closed. You don't want your necklace to fall apart on the street!
Step 21: Use pliers to make sure that the jump ring is securely closed. You don't want your necklace to fall apart on the street!
Step 22: Add small jump rings to the larger one, so you can adjust the necklace's length.
Step 23: Thread the other set of end caps onto another large jump ring. Then, add two smaller jump rings and a lobster claw fastener.

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