Upcycled Vintage Fabric Wrapped Bead Necklaces

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend! The weather here was just gorgeous! We took the little Beau monkey out to the flea market, and I came home with quite a stash. I will have to share it with you all this week sometime. Today I am going to show you all how to make these sweet necklaces. I absolutely adore vintage fabrics and hankies! This is a great way to use up a stained handkerchief or long scrap of fabric. It’s really quite easy to do, and it’s fun!

Here’s What You Need:

*Round Wooden Beads

*Vintage Hanky or Vintage Fabric (I used a hanky as well as some leftover from vintage bedsheet fat quarters I had)

*Embroidery Floss

*Sewing Needle

*Sewing Machine and Thread

*Ruler and Scissors

*Bead end caps

*Medium Gage Wire

*Jewelry Pliers

*Chain or Ribbon

*Safety Pin


The first thing you need to do is measure your beads. My beads were just about an inch wide(7/8). You will need to add seam allowance and a little ease to the measurement. So I measured around the bead and added the extra which gave me a measurement of 2&3/8 or if you’d like a little more ease 2.5″ wide. Cut your fabric into one strip for each necklace. My fabric strips were 2.5″ wide by 12-15″ long. Once you have your strips cut, fold them in half width wise with right sides together and sew 1/4″ seam allowance along the side where your edges meet. Now you need to turn the casing right side out.  What I usually do is pin a large safety pin to one end of the casing and feed it through on the inside to the other end of the casing and pull it through so the casing is all right side out. Next, insert a bead into your casing. Thread your hand needle with floss in your color choice. Pinch the end of the casing and slide the bead down to where your finger is. Now, insert the threaded needle into the fabric above the bead. Pull through but leave a small tail at the end and wrap the floss tightly around the fabric above the bead where you pinched. Tie a knot using the tail if you like and snip excess thread. Now, pinch the fabric at the bottom of the bead. Insert the needle and wrap the thread like you did above the bead and tie off. Next, slip your next bead into the casing and slide it all the way down to the first bead. Pinch the fabric around the end of the second bead and stitch and wrap your thread like you did with the first bead. Repeat with the rest of your beads until you have the length that you want. Insert the needle into the fabric below the last bead and wrap and tie off. Next, snip your fabric close to the tied part. Snip off a length of wire about 3-4″ long. Bend the bottom end around the fabric end where the floss is tied. Pull the wire around and wrap it once around the end of the fabric. String a bead cap onto the wire and slide down to the end of the bead strand. Bend the wire down at a right angle to the cap. Now loop the wire over making a nice sized loop. Bring the wire back down and wrap around the bottom of the loop a few times and snip off the excess. To finish off the necklace you can tie ribbon or add chain to the loops of wire at each end of the bead strand.

Aren’t they so sweet! I love them! These are really easy to make, and they are great for summer! I love the chunkiness and I love that they are both sweet and bold due to the lovely floral fabric and size of the beads. These little necklaces would be fabulous with a plain tee and jeans, or add a little vintage sweetness to your favorite summer dress. They make great gifts too! They are so easy to make and they whip up pretty quickly, so you can make a whole batch in an afternoon. I love the vintage fabrics, but you can use any variety of scraps that you have on hand. I hope that some of you will give it a try! You’ll totally love them!

Happy Crafting!

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9 Responses

  1. LAURA S

    Very Cute!! Very shabby and I love it!

  2. What a lovely idea! I never saw this done with the chain necklace included. I can’t wait to make my version.

  3. The cutest ever! Gonna try!

  4. Eek! My favorite vintage sheet!!

    • I love this sheet too! I have never found a whole one, but I have been lucky enough to find a few fat quarters here and there. Vintage sheets are the BEST! 😉

  5. Oohh, I like these. I’ve made these before in bracelet form, but only with the fabric knotted between the beads. Love the embroidery floss look and the necklace chain.

    • Thank you Valerie! I’ve made the knotted kind too. Both methods are fun, but what I love about the tied version is you don’t need as long of a strip of fabric. Thanks again!