Friday, January 28, 2011

Rainbow washer necklace

I went to my local World Market the other week for the first time in years. And I was so inspired by all the beauty :)

I noticed that one of their necklaces had "beads" made up of circular, seemingly crocheted shapes. They don't show pics of this necklace on their website and I didn't have a camera with me, but it doesn't really matter since my necklace looks nothing like the one I saw, that's just where I got my inspiration.

So this got me thinking. I had some washers at home and embroidery floss is so inexpensive. This is what I made last night.

It took a while but I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

This is what I had before I got started.

Embroidery floss, washers and a crochet hook. The cord I used isn't pictured but it's a pair of waxed shoelaces from a Dollar Tree pack of three shoelaces.

By the way. You don't have to be a crochet expert to do this, it's just chain stitch and I'll be linking to instructions so even if you've never crocheted you'll be able to do this. 

The close-up pics are blurry, I know, but I'm just showing you to give you an idea of how to do this (my camera does not do close-ups no matter what I do).

First step. Make a slip knot and tighten it around the needle (my knot is still loose in the above pic).

Start doing basic chain stitches by inserting the needle through the hole in the washer (see above pic).

This is what it looks like after that first stitch. Your floss is now on the backside of the washer which is why you have to make your second stitch by grabbing the floss on the backside of the washer. This way you cover the washer both front and back as you crochet your way around. Keep alternating going through the hole and on the backside until your washer is full.

Keep pushing the finished stitches together so the washer is completely covered with the stitches neatly centered on the edge of the washer. Cut your floss with a few inches to spare to make a loose tail and either chain stitch through your first stitch to close the circle or tie the two tails together. Leave at least one tail, it'll be used to sew the washers together.

When all your washers are covered, arrange them in your chosen configuration and start using the tails to stitch the washers together. I used an upholstery needle but a regular needle would probably work as well. There may be a prim and proper way to sew these together but I just winged it until I thought they were secure, tied the whole thing off and cut the tail.

For extra security (and lack of fray check) I put tiny amounts of super glue on the end knots so they won't unravel down the road.

If I had had a ribbon that would have worked with my chosen colors I would have used that to complete the necklace, I think that would look very cute and more girly than tribal. Since I didn't have that ribbon I used these shoelaces from the Dollar Tree which works too and makes it look slightly more tribal.

I attached one end of each shoelace to each end of the necklace with a lark's head knot. The loose end of the shoelace that you end up with just above that lark's head knot isn't very decorative so I just circled the loose end two laps around the long end of the shoelace, pulled the short cord end through those two loops (going downwards) and tightened and trimmed the short end. Don't know what that knot is called and couldn't find any good instructions for this, sorry!

To make a closure for the whole thing I tied the long ends of the shoelaces together with two sliding knots (scroll down to the bottom of the page) so the length of the necklace is adjustable. This is a little tricky, even with instructions, and if you can't figure it out I would go with the ribbon idea mentioned above :)

So this is the end result.

Above with the cords at a longer setting, below with the cords as short as they will go.

The beauty of this little project is that there's about a million different colors of embroidery floss out there and each "skein" costs almost nothing. Even for my biggest washer I used maybe 1/3 of the "skein" so you don't need a lot of floss. You can be as neutral or as colorful as you want with your floss choices and the ribbon/cord thing gives you a choice of girly or tribal.

What are you waiting for - go make some necklaces! :)

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts

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  1. This is adorable!! I think that I have to make a few for my girlie friends!! If I can just sneak some washers out of the tool shed.... Well done!

  2. What a great process for making rainbow washer necklaces! The contents are very informative. Thanks a lot....


  3. This is JUST BEAUTIFUL! The colors are amazing, and the work you put in was sooo worth it. Washer jewelry projects are common, but I don't think I've ever seen one I like as well as this! Titti, your blog is always so rewarding to me! Thanks for the inspiration, I just adore coming here.

  4. Thanks for all the details! I think I have everything on hand to try this project!

    I'm your newest follower!
    kristy @

  5. thanks for a very detailed instruction. you have a very unique style of making necklaces. I hope to feature this page in the future if permitted. Let me know,


  6. Wonder Dust, you didn't leave an email to contact you so I hope you get this answer. A feature is always nice, especially if it's accompanied by a link back here. Thanks for stopping by!


I really appreciate you taking the time to comment because I know you didn't have to. Additional ideas or related techniques are always welcome, the more we brainstorm the better all of our end products will be.
While I try to answer all comments I sometimes don't make it or have your contact info. If you don't hear back from me it doesn't mean I hate you, I just ran out of time (or simply had no way of contacting you).
I wish you a great day!

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