Editor’s Note: Faerl Marie Torres is a local personal stylist, professional shopper, wardrobe consultant and self-described style therapist. She shares her student-tailored fashion insights via a weekly column. If that isn’t enough to satiate you, she also keeps a fashion blog accessible at faerlmarie.com.
If the holidays, followed by your tuition and book expenses, have left you on a budget tighter than last season’s skinny jeans, consider a do-it-yourself project to freshen your wardrobe.
The beauty of many DIYs is that they use objects you may have lying around. This project, which remodels a scarf and a few beads into a “scarf necklace,” is inspired by a similar accessory from Anthropologie that retails for almost $200. You don’t need any special skills, and it shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete.
-A scarf, any length
-Beads, as many or as few as you want
-Multi-ply thread (i.e. beading thread, silk cord or embroidery thread)
-A sewing needle
Decide the order in which you want your beads strung, and how long you want the beaded portion of your necklace to be.
Do yourself a favor and lay the beads out in order, so you don’t accidentally string them incorrectly and have to start over. Cut a generous piece of thread, approximately one-third longer than the length of the beaded portion of your necklace.
Leaving several inches free of beads on the end of the thread, tie a knot large enough to stop the first bead. String the beads. If you want the necklace to be extra sturdy, tie a knot between each bead or every other bead. This prevents all the beads from being lost if the necklace were to break.
Once all the beads are on, tie a final knot as close to the final bead as possible. Leave four free inches of thread at the end.
On the free thread at the end of the beaded portion, string another bead. This is the anchor bead. Use a large bead if you have one; keep in mind that it will be hidden in the folds of the scarf.
Tie another secure knot at the end of the anchor bead. One way to do this is to loop the thread through the bead hole twice and tie it off. Do this on both sides.
This is the final step and trickiest part, but you can do it!
Thread your needle. Fold your scarf in half lengthwise (hot dog style). One inch from the end of your scarf, begin sewing a straight line through both layers of the scarf. These don’t have to be tight stitches, but make sure you are sewing through both layers.
When you get to the midpoint, lay the beads down on the scarf, so the anchor bead is “inside” the line and the first bead is outside. The bead strand should be extending out, beyond the scarf. In other words, the thread line should form a divider between the anchor bead and the first bead.
Sew over the beaded strand, so it is loosely attached to the scarf. Finish sewing the line to the end of the scarf. Hold the thread and needle with one hand, and with the other, gently pull the scarf toward the knot, so it gathers around the anchor bead.
Hold the gathered scarf and anchor bead, and with the needle and thread sew around the bead several times between the anchor and first bead, making sure to sew through several layers of the scarf.
This is the cinch that keeps the beads and the scarf attached, so make sure to sew all the way around at least twice. Tie it off and carefully snip any loose threads. The anchor bead should be secure and hidden in the folds of the scarf. Repeat this on the other side. You’re done! Wear your new necklace with style and pride.
Here are a few ideas for modifications:
If you have a very long scarf, you could cut it in half after you finish, sew off the ends to prevent fraying, and use the loose ends to tie a bow as the closure. Try using ribbon instead of a scarf or use several strands of beads for the beaded portion. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.