Monday 14 September 2009

How To: Make a Button Bib Necklace from Felt

You know when you get that sudden urge to make something? Well, I got that urge this weekend and made LOTs of things... all destined to be fun tutorials, coming to this here blog very soon. Woop!

First up: a key accessory in fashion this autumn, the statement bib (or collar) necklace. I am becoming increasingly obsessed with these - they seem like such a bold fun way to jazz up the most simple outfit. A plain dress (or jeans & a tshirt) plus a bib necklace equals POW!

To make your own necklace you will need:
A paper template (see the bottom of this post), or you could draw your own shape
Thick felt (because of the weight of the buttons). Quality wool felt, or that thick (and wonderfully cheap!) synthetic stuff you get in sheets in stores like Hobbycraft. I used black to make the other colours really pop.
Matching thread, sewing needle, scissors, and pins.
Matching wide ribbon to make the ties
Buttons - I used a mix of bright colours for mine, but you could use any colour palette you fancy, perhaps an assortment of shapes in one colour? All black buttons on a grey background would look particularly chic. For some extra bling, you could add sequins, beads, and any other shiny doodads you can lay your hands on.

1. Pin the paper template to your felt, and cut around it. Do this twice, so you have a pair of matching felt shapes. One of these will be the decorated front of your necklace and the other the back.

2. Lay out your buttons on one of the felt pieces and play around with them until you get an arrangement you're happy with. This piece will become the back of your necklace.

3. With the back piece (covered in buttons) on the table in front of you serving as a guide to where to place them, gradually sew the buttons one by one onto the other (front) piece of felt. Make sure you stitch the buttons on securely, using a double thickness of thread and several stitches per button.


4. Cut two lengths of ribbon, long enough so you can easily tie a bow to fasten your necklace (I cut mine to each be 14 inches long so I can wear the necklace low or high). Cut the ends at an angle to help prevent fraying.

5. Place one piece of ribbon at the top left of the back felt piece, so half an inch or an inch of the ribbon overlaps the felt. If your ribbon has a "right" and a "wrong" side, make sure that the "right" side is face up on the felt so it will be visible when you wear the necklace. Sew the ribbon in place securely. Repeat this for the other piece of ribbon on the other side of the necklace.

6. Now place the front and back pieces of your necklace together, so that the buttons are facing outwards and the stitched ends of your ribbon are sandwiched between the felt pieces. Pin the felt pieces together carefully. Finally, use a whip stitch to sew all around the edges and finish your stitches at the back of the necklace where they won't be visible.

7. Wear your necklace immediately and feel fabulous!

Double click the template below to to view it full size and print out.
If you print at 100% your necklace will be the same as mine, just change the % to make it smaller or larger.
This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many necklaces as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

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Anonymous said...

Very cute and clever design!

Little Brown Bird said...

Fab pattern.

Now I know what to do with all my mother of pearl buttons!

N x

Bugs and Fishes said...

Little Brown Bird - oooh, mother of pearl buttons would look AMAZING! :)

Little Brown Bird said...

They're really tiny buttons. I must do this. *adds idea to list of things to do*


Fabric Nation said...

Perfect and lots of fun! I like how you have 2 and 4 hole buttons.

The Beading Gem said...

Love this funky design! Thanks for sharing. Will tweet!

my little Aura said...

Funky and cute, love it!

Clare said...

Ooo wonderful, I do love a tutorial and this one is very cute!

lucky girl m. said...

I know exactly what craft I will do tonight with my jar full of buttons! Thanks for sharing!

ChocolateMintCrafts - BubbleBakes said...

It looks gorgeous!! ***

Sarah said...

I can't wait to try this, and am very excited about the prospect of more tutorials to come. I used your ideas for wrapping presents last Christmas and they went down very well.

Thank you!

Silky Prudence said...

Ooh, Mama's button box may be raided this weekend!!

Fab tutorial x

Funky Finds said...

This is very funky! Love it!

Beads said...

So simple, but so effective, love the design :) said...

It's beautiful! I love all the colors. Any excuse to go through my grandmother's button box... =) Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

Kris said...

What beautiful and delicious things you make

Thoughts Kris

belle d. said...

trés fab necklace! love all of the buttons and your blog is stinkin' cute!

Selena Gomez said...

Wow. this is beautiful. My sister would love this. :)

Jonnie Navarro said...

your crafts are sooo cute! now i'm inspired to make stuff too <3


Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks! I hope you have lots of fun xx

Unknown said...

What a cute necklace! This would make an excellent kids' sewing class! I teach kids every month, and am always looking for great fun ideas, thanks for sharing this! I will link you if I teach a class on it!

Unknown said...

Very lovely