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DIY Craft: How to Make a Quick & Easy Beaded Ribbon Necklace

Updated on October 13, 2017
purl3agony profile image

A lover of handmade jewelry, Donna has been crafting (and wearing) unique pieces of statement jewelry since she can remember.

beaded ribbon necklace  (c) purl3agony 2013
beaded ribbon necklace (c) purl3agony 2013

Ribbon necklaces are a popular fashion trend and this beaded version is beautiful, easy to personalize, and quick to assemble. With the beads strung on a length of ribbon, this necklace has a romantic, yet relaxed look. This project is a fun way to update old necklaces to give them new life and a new look!

Because there are no tools involved, this beaded ribbon necklace is a great jewelry project for older children and teens. And this necklace is easy to make with materials that are readily available at your local craft store!

you can recycle beads from old jewelry into a new necklace   (c) purl3agony 2013
you can recycle beads from old jewelry into a new necklace (c) purl3agony 2013

Beads, Beads, Beads

There are lots of places to get beads. For instance, you can use beads from your old unworn jewelry. I had previously strung most of these beads on regular beading thread, but rarely wore the necklace. I didn't really like how some of the beads looked together and it didn't sit straight on my neck. By recycling these beads into a new necklace on ribbon, I created a new piece of jewelry with a funkier yet more polished look.

You can find large variety of beads at most discount stores and craft shops. The widest selection is usually found at specialized bead stores or on web sites, but they can be expensive. Another great source for beads is buying vintage jewelry at thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets or online, then taking it apart to use the various pieces. You can find some really unique beads by recycling old necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry.

My Materials

A bunch of coordinating beads - how many really depends on how you want to build your necklace. However, because your beads are being strung on ribbon, you need to choose beads with large center holes for this project. You can also add a center pendant if you want to your necklace design.

4 feet (48 inches) of ribbon (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide) - I know this seems like a lot, but I only used 36 inches of ribbon and wished that I had more. The ends of the ribbon will get frayed as you slide your beads along, so you will need trim them as you assemble on your necklace. You will also used up some length when knotting the ribbon.

Scotch tape (optional) to wrap around the ends of your ribbon.

Getting Started

I always lay out my beads first in a circular arrangement as I want to string them. I start with the center bead and work out, building both sides at the same time. The rest is really a matter of personal taste.

I like symmetry in my design, so I place beads of the same size on each side, but the beads don't necessarily need to match. I like a balanced design, but with some electric flair to the beads. Another hint: this may seem obvious, but I put the beads I really love in front, where they will be seen (instead of further up the necklace where they might be hidden by hair or a collar).

You should plan out your beads to suit your personal taste. If you are unsure about your design, let it sit out for a few days and look at it every once in a while. See if you still like the arrangement. If you like it, go ahead with your necklace. If not, change the order of your beads or make substitutions.

placing the beads  (c) purl3agony 2013
placing the beads (c) purl3agony 2013

Assembling Your Necklace

To make it easier to get your beads on your ribbon, you may want to wrap the ends of the ribbon tightly with Scotch tape, like the ends of shoelaces. I actually found it easier just the twist the ends of my ribbon, but I had to re-twist them every time I put a bead on.

Then I folded my ribbon in half, making a crease at the halfway mark. I slid my center bead or pendant down to this center crease as my starting point. I then added more beads, working both sides to make sure my design looked balanced. I continued to trim the ends of my ribbon as it became frayed. Keeping the ends cut clean made it easier to get the beads on my ribbon.

I couldn't use smaller spacer beads because their center holes were too small. So instead, I just tied a knot in my ribbon to create a spacer. These knots also kept my beads from sliding if I wanted them to stay in place. I like the way the knots become like a bead and add interesting texture to my necklace.

Finishing Your Necklace

Once you have added all your beads to your necklace, smooth out any creases that have developed in the length of your ribbon and freshly trim the ends. Then tie off your necklace with a generous bow (I wanted my bow to be bigger, but didn't have enough ribbon).

Depending on the weight of your beads, you may find your knot will slide and come undone. I suggest that you tie your necklace so that it is long enough to slip on and off over your head without undoing your knot. Then when you've got your knot just as you want it, take a needle and thread and sew a few stitches in the center of your knot to secure it. This should keep your bow from coming undone.

beaded ribbon necklace  (c) purl3agony 2013
beaded ribbon necklace (c) purl3agony 2013

This ribbon necklace has a fresh feeling that's perfect for the spring season. I hope you enjoy making your own!


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    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 2 years ago from USA

      Thanks so much, Kristen! I appreciate your comments and support!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Donna, beautiful beaded ribbon necklace. I would love to wear one myself! Voted up!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Great!! Honestly, I think you can throw together almost any beads and it would look great - just be sure to balance the placement of them around the necklace and choose a ribbon that ties it all together (no pun intended). I'm sure your finished necklace will be beautiful. Thanks, as always, for commenting!

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      This is gorgeous. My favorite necklaces are the kinds with mismatched and funky beads of different sizes although I never tried making my own. The beads you chose are so pretty. I'm going to try one of these when I find some beads I love. Pinning for that time. I'll let you know how it comes out :)

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Hi openentry - I hope your friends find this tutorial helpful. Thanks for passing it along and for your comments!!

    • profile image

      openentry 4 years ago

      Cool, this is great to share the skill and method. many of our friends are also making glass beads bracelet i will direct them to this article.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Hi thirdworldcraft - Thank you so much for your kind comments and vote up! I appreciate it :)

    • thirdworldcraft profile image

      Anupama Maharjan 4 years ago from Nepal

      Wow creative idea...Ribbon and beads together is very elegant and classy. Different colors of ribbons can be used. voted up :-)

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Hi kidscrafts - Thanks, as always, for your kind comments and support :)

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I really like the necklace with the ribbon. Very pretty! I like also the randomness in the pearls (I wouldn't dare do that myself) but they all fit so well together!

      Voted up and beautiful!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks so much!! I'm glad you like it :)

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

      I love everything fashionable, and these ribbon necklaces are cute and elegant at the same time, perfect for all occasions. I think this is quite easy, might wanna do it. Voted up, useful. :)