[the DIY Files] painted summer fringe necklace.

Like many of the 20-something American women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!

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Whether you’re apt to believe the weather conditions outside (ugh, 150% humidity + alternating between the arctic blasts of the office and the hell-ish environment waiting outside), or you happened to recall this past Saturday as being the first ‘official’ day of summer and the solstice, there’s no two ways about it.

It’s getting hot in hurr. And the last thing I’m looking to do is pile heavy pieces of jewelry on when I’m fighting strangulation by sweat, so why not use some textile to make the statement I want?

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Time to get your fringe on!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6-9 inches of fringe trim in a light color (I used an ivory/off-white color here to add some warmth to the watercolors)
  • 2 flat silver cord ends
  • E6000 glue (recommended — trim tends to fray, this will keep the ends secure)
  • ruler or measuring tape
  • scissors
  • 10 in of chain (dependent on your length preference)
  • clasp/closure
  • watercolor paints or acrylic paints
  • paintbrush
  • cup of water
  • rag/scrap fabric to dry the brush
  • optional: scotch tape or painter’s tape

…and the instructions below!

1. Layout the fringe trim on a flat surface, placing the edge of the rule or measuring tape along its side. Making sure the trim is completely straight (no wrinkles or knots!), measure out the length you’ll want for the necklace. Add a quarter inch to the end you will be cutting, as this portion may start to fray and will have to be covered with the closure.

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2. Cut on the side where the fringe is sewn together — the ends will be rounded indicating folds — not the side with visible ends.

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3. Once you’ve cut the fringe trim, carefully dab a drop of the E6000 glue onto the cut end and let dry. Add a drop of the glue to the other end as well, just in case it begins to disassemble.

4. Using the cord closure, place each end of the trim in one closure and use pliers to clamp down on the metal. This will secure the trim inside the closure.

collage closures

5. Take a piece of painter’s tape or scotch tape and secure the end of any remnants you may have.

6. Using the paintbrush, drip some water into the colors you want to use. Since I’m going for a warmer tone — reds, violets, oranges, and some yellow — I put drops of water into the pans for these colors.

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*If you’re using acrylic paint, you’ll want to use several small pans/cups and water down the paint. With watercolor, using small drops is diluted enough to give a wash of color rather than completely changing the color of the fringe.

7. The bottom part of the trim should still be (mostly) secured together, so you want to begin near the bottom and work your way up towards the top.

8. In between colors, whether you’re blending them or changing it up, dip the brush into the cup of water and softly dab on the rag or fabric to soak up the excess water.

9. Let the fringe dry overnight OR lock in the color with a blow-dryer.

10. Take the chain and split into two pieces, approximately 5 in long each.

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11. Using the pliers, attach one end of one chain to the clasp or closure you’re using.

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12. Attach one end of the other chain to a jump ring.

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13. Finally, using the pliers, attach the chains to the ends of the fringe, through the cord closures.

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14. Pull the bottom ends of the fringe of the trim apart slowly, so the pieces are able to move freely.

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15. Pair the necklace with an all-white or all-black outfit for it to really take front-and-center. Layer with silver thin chains, the fringe airy enough for the summer heat.

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It turned out even better than I had imagined — the colors are just muted enough to come across as worn and with a vintage-feel. Gah! Loving this piece!

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On another note, I’m working on a new addition to my shop, launching near July/August. One-of-a-kind textiles and materials that have a more raw feel, with hand-worked finishes… can’t wait!

– Nita

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