Want to make a statement with your next DIY jewelry project? Try adding faux leather to the mix! It brings an interesting dose of texture, and you can use leftovers from past projects. This tutorial also features an easy no-sew technique for pleating faux leather. No one will believe you made it yourself.
– Pearl beads
– Beading wire
– Rhinestone pendant
– Short strands of chain (optional)
– Strong craft glue
– Jewelry clasp
– 12mm jump rings (2)
– 8mm jump ring (1)
– Crimp beads (4)
– Faux leather (11″ x 1″)
– White gel pen or paint pen
– Mini binder clips (5)
– 3-in-1 jewelry pliers
1. About 1/4 inch from the left edge of the faux leather, mark a dash at the “0” point on the ruler. Add two more dashes measuring 1/2 and 1 inch away. This completes one set of dashes for one pleat.
Move your pen 1 inch, then create the next set of dashes. Repeat this until you have marked five sets of three dashes each.
2. Put a dot of glue between the first and second dashes.
3. Fold the faux leather to the left so that the third dash meets the first, then crease it gently at the point of the middle dash. Fold the faux leather back to the right at the point where the first and third dashes met to create a layered pleat.
4. Add more glue to the inside of the fold where the back sides of the faux leather meet for extra security.
5. Secure it with a binder clip.
6. Repeat Steps 2-5 with the remaining dashes. Set it aside to dry overnight.
7. Cut a long strand of beading wire.
8. Add a crimp bead to the wire and insert it through the first chain link.
Author’s Note: If you decide to create a full strand of pearls without any chain extenders, you can apply this step directly to a jewelry clasp. Add the crimp bead, then the clasp, then continue with Step 9.
9. Insert the wire back through the crimp bead.
10. Flatten the crimp bead with the flat portion of the jewelry pliers.
11. Add pearl beads.
12. Using the smaller jump ring, add the rhinestone pendant.
13. Continue adding pearls. Connect the wire to a second chain, just as you did in Steps 8-10.
If you aren’t using chain, simply apply this step to a large jump ring and skip to Step 15.
14. Add a large jump ring and jewelry clasp to the ends of the chain.
15. Remove the binder clips from the faux leather. If necessary, trim it to even out the ends.
16. Add dabs of glue to the top edge of the faux leather, then position the pearls on top, with the rhinestone pendant in the center. Press the pearls into place and set the necklace aside to dry.
Our finished necklace features five pleats, resulting in a faux leather segment measuring 4 inches long. Of course, you can always use more or less material for an entirely different look. You can even use beads other than pearls, or replace the rhinestone pendant with one made from wood, metal or glass!
Photo credits: Kirsten Nunez (Step-by-Step Tutorial) & Haruka Sakaguchi of The Denizen Co. (Street Style)