Hello everyone! I'm Alli and I blog at One Pearl Button. I'm so excited that Suzannah invited me over to share a tutorial with you today!
I've been loving all the bows popping up in fashion lately, but I've had trouble incorporating them into my wardrobe. I look a lot younger than I am (and work in a field where that isn't a good thing), and the bows that I've tried came across as a little *too* sweet. Then I saw Katharine's (of the fabulous Making Chicken Salad - if you've never visited, do yourself a favor and go!) tutorial for a leather bow keychain. A sophisticated, elegant, grown-up, take on the bow? Instant inspiration!
To make the necklace, you'll need: a strip of leather 4x1"; a strip of leather 2x.5"; jewelry chain; a clasp; small and large jump rings (I used 1cm and .5cm jump rings that I found packaged together at Jo Ann Fabrics); jewelry pliers (you can find inexpensive sets at most craft stores - mine were $10 for five pliers of different styles, and I used a 50% off coupon); strong glue (I used hot glue because it's cheap and I had it on hand), a large-ish needle.
We'll start by making the bow. We are going to use Katharine's directions, just working on a smaller scale.
Step 1: Trim the corners off your larger strip of leather. You don't need to be careful or accurate here.
Step 2: Put some glue on the center back of the strip, then fold over one side and stick it down.
Step 3: Glue the other side to the center, placing the end on top of the first.
Step 4: Pinch your strip into a bow shape. Place little dabs of glue into the folds on both the front and back to hold it in place (if you are using hot glue, be careful not to burn yourself!).
Step 5: Run a small line of glue down the center of the smaller strip and wrap it around the bow. You might need to trim the length down a bit.
Okay, your bow is done! Set it aside for now.
Step 6: Measure around your neck to figure out how long you want your necklace to be. I chose to make mine 18". Subtract 1.5" from your measurement, and use pliers cut your chain to that length (so mine was 16.5").
Step 7: Fold your chain into thirds. Cut one of the folds so that you have one shorter piece of chain, and one longer (if you'd prefer your necklace to be symmetrical - so the bow sits in front like a little bow tie - fold your chain in half and cut in the center).
Step 8: Using a needle, poke a hole in each side of your bow at the fold. You might want to use a smaller, sharper needle to make the initial hole, then run a larger needle through to really define it.
Step 9: Use your pliers to open one of the larger jump rings. Slip the jump ring through the hole you've just made in your bow. Hook one of your chain halves into the same jump ring, and use your pliers to close it.
Step 10: Repeat step 9 on the other side of your bow.
Step 11: Use the smaller jump rings to attach the clasp to your necklace.
That's all there is to it! I hope you enjoyed the project, and that you'll stop by One Pearl Button to say hello sometime - I'd love to meet you!