September 26, 2017

Boho Tribal Collar Necklace: September Pretty Palette Challenge

When I saw the inspiration photo and color palette for Halcraft's September Pretty Palette Challenge I immediately fell in love. The inspiration for the month was this beautiful 'fade' of yarn (photo below), and the color palette was right up my alley.

Click here to visit the Pretty Palette Challenge page on the Halcraft Blog.
The inspiration this month was a bit different in that it was textile rather than a design style, theme or visual inspiration. So, I decided that in order to incorporate the inspiration in more than just the color palette I wanted to use some sort of textile or fibers. I chose to work with rope and embroidery thread, as well as beads, to keep a textile feel to my project. This took me down a route quite different than my usual wire jewelry and I ended up with a very bohemian, tribal style collar necklace that I'm totally in love with!

(Side note: I've worked with thread in my jewelry on a couple of previous projects, but not on this sort of scale. To see some other projects incorporating embroidery thread click here and here.)

To create this necklace I pretty much just made things up as I went. I foolishly thought it should be an easy project...I mean, wrapping thread around rope sounds simple, right? Well, let me tell you. It takes quite a bit of planning and measuring and forethought and inventiveness to create all those wrapped pieces and layers without knots and hanging threads and no glue whatsoever.

Then, after finishing all the thread-wrapping and sewing all the rope strands together I thought I'd finished the hard part and adding beads would be easy. Let's just say I have some tender fingers from pushing a needle through layers of rope to firmly secure each bead.

I definitely learned a lot during this process and I have so many ideas of variations on this design and new color schemes that I'm itching to try...but at the same time sort of dreading because this project was actually kind of stressful. Ha!

A quick run down of materials used include cotton embroidery floss, cotton/poly blend piping rope, plated silver findings including bead caps, chain, and a toggle clasp (yes, I admit it...I didn't make my own findings/chain/toggle for this necklace), nylon beading thread, 22- and 24-gauge german style wire for the dangles and end caps, and beads in an assortment of howlite, agate, labradorite, aventurine, amethyst, and silver plate. All of the beads and bead caps except the labradorite rondelles and the faceted amethyst rounds are Halcraft beads from Michaels (the labradorite and amethyst beads are from Hobby Lobby).

Above you can see the necklace on for scale, and I'll leave you with a few more detail shots.

Don't forget to check out the Halcraft blog to see all of the other yarn-inspired jewelry projects on the Pretty Palette link up! You can find the link up here.

Have you ever incorporated fibers or textiles in your jewelry? What do you think of the boho tribal jewelry trend? I'd love to know.

Possibly linking up with:

Fabulous Party at Lou Lou Girls
Show and Tell Link Party at Flamingo Toes
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello


  1. Sarah, this necklace is FANTASTIC! I love the patterns you've created with the thread on the cording. It looks like something from the runway. I can imagine an entire line of jewelry based on this one design. Thank you so much for participating in Pretty Palettes this month. Truly inspiring!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! This was such a fun challenge palette, and the fiber and color inspiration you chose still have the wheels in my head spinning. I can't wait to explore more in this direction with future jewelry creations!

  2. Wow. This necklace is stunning! Kudos to you for sticking it out to the end. :) I'm pretty sure that I would have given up...

    1. Thank you so much, Francine! I'm glad I stuck it out too! ;)

  3. I love working with silk cord and embroidery floss for for me this is much more doable than your usual fabulous wire necklace which require so much more patience. I urge you to try fabric cords next time - cut a strip of fabric in bias and wrap the cord. You can play with so many more colours and patterns. It takes about quarter of the time thread wrapping takes

    1. Thank you for the wonderful idea, Divya (and the kind words!)! You're right, fabric strips would be much faster, and they would open up a whole new world of patterns. Your recent jewelry collection provides lots of beautiful fabric inspiration! I will have to dig through my meager scrap fabric stash and see what I can come up with...

  4. I admire your perseverance and your ability to create such a stunning work of art!

    1. Thank you so much, Terry! You are too kind!


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