October 16, 2013

DIY J.Crew-inspired Braided Necklace

Ever since August when the fall J.Crew style guide showed up in my mailbox (or rather, my parents' mailbox since I was back home--full disclosure-- enjoying week of Doritos and binge sleeping before the new school year), I've had the embroidered necklaces (seen here and here) on my mind. While the jeweled pendants are beautiful, I loved most the simple square knot macrame construction of the silk cord. While I went for a subtler necklace, you can always make some fancy pendants from studs and rhinestones to better mimic the original!

In a rich and quintessentially fall color, a pared-down but still sparkly version of the necklace made it to the top of my to-DIY list this autumn. I found the perfect cord online (available in a just-right length!) and was able to tie it up using the simple macrame square knot in less than half and hour. Perfect in-front-of-the-TV activity for a fidget like me!

Tools and materials:
Needle and thread in matching color or fabric glue
2 inches of chain
Rhinestones in setting (mine are c/o Wander & Hunt)

Cut the string into two pieces-- one 36 inches and the other the remainder of the 6 yards (180 inches, or 15 feet). Loop both through the last link of the chain. Begin tying square knots with the outer cord around the shorter inner cord. Take the longer string on the left, and form a loop on the left by overlapping the left string over the short center strings and under the right longer string, so it looks like the number 4. Bring the end of right string under the center strings and through the loop formed by the left string. Pull both the right and left ends tight to make the knot.

 Repeat on the opposite sides, making a loop with the right string, and bringing the left string under the center strings and through the loop. Pull tight, and repeat the entire length of the necklace.

Once you've reached the desired length, tightly double knot the cord around the clasp and trim the ends. To prevent fraying and unraveling, add a few dabs of fabric glue to the knot and ends of the cord.

To attach the rhinestones, add small drops of glue to the back of the rhinestone settings.  Press into the necklace, and let dry. Once you've placed and attached all the rhinestones, you can go back use the needle and thread to sew in place and further secure the rhinestones.

I love reintroducing richer tones--like the plum color of this necklace-- to my wardrobe every fall. Add a touch of smoky colored sparkle, and you've got a great DIY necklace to top off sweaters and collared shirts this season.


  1. Fantastic!!!!!!


  2. Great result!!
    I love it!


  3. Great idea. I will have to try this one.

  4. I absolutely love love love this, Erin! You chose perfect colors, the rich plum and the smokey crystals epitomize this time of year. I can't wait to make one now!
    xo ~ Lia Smart n Snazzy

  5. Awesome. More rhinestone goodness.

  6. I love it, Erin - it looks super-chic!
    Carly www.chicsteals.com

  7. Love it

  8. Oh that is great! I think I'm going to use the macrame supplies from the last Whimseybox for this instead... so much cuter!

  9. I love the plum color for the necklace. It's a pop of color for any formal wear! And it also add elegance and chic to any casual clothing. I am enrolled in a series of jewelry making classes here in South San Francisco, Dragonfly Designs. They teach copper etching, enameling, stamping and dapping, bead stringing, wire work, resin pendants, finger knitting and hair jewelry! I hope I can be a fab accessories and jewelry designer like you in no time.... I would love to have a blog like this too. :) Thank you!

  10. Hi, I've been asked to teach a small group who have never made jewellery before - is it ok if I use this for around ten students? Or, as I've taught the macrame to other students, I could finish it a little differently, perhaps with beads or charms, saying the idea was inspired by you, and give a link to your website? Thanks :)

    1. I think this would be a great project for students and would be fun to see how they interpret it! Enjoy!


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