by Rena Klingenberg.
This fabric wrapped choker necklace is made from four stacked wire neck rings.
Two are wrapped with fabric strips, and the other two are bare metal.
It’s fun to choose your fabrics for this project! I love Autumn colors, especially olive and sage greens.
Let’s get started.
- 16-gauge round soft wire – I used brass. I used 66″ (167.64 cm) of wire; see “Measure Your Neck” in the step below to find out how much wire you’ll need.
- Tape measure.
- A file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone for smoothing off the 16-gauge wire ends.
- Artistic wire (or other wire) for wrapping the ends of your fabric to secure them to your wire frames. You’ll need at least 4 pieces that are each 5″ (12.7 cm) long. (You’ll need more than 4 pieces of this wire if your fabric strips are shorter than 60″.) I used 20-gauge gunmetal colored Artistic wire.
- Wire cutter.
- 2 strips of soft, non-scratchy fabric (I used a jersey knit camouflage print, and an ultrasuede with a metallic floral print) that are each about 1.5″ (3.81 cm) wide and 60″ (152.4 cm) long. If your fabric isn’t 60″ long, you can use multiple shorter strips to make up your two 60″ strips.
- Scissors for cutting your fabric.
- 2 jump rings – 15 mm size (I used antiqued brass).
- Round nose pliers.
- Flat nose pliers.
- OPTIONAL: Clasp (a hook or S-shape would work well with this design). I didn’t use a clasp on mine, and it works fine without one.
Measure Your Neck:
Wrap the tape measure around your neck and arrange the tape to the length you’d like your choker to be.
Add 1.5″ (3.81 cm) to that length to get your total length.
You’ll need 4 pieces of your 16-gauge wire in this total length.
Example: Let’s say you want your choker to be 16″. You’ll need 4 pieces of wire that are each 16″ + 1.5″ = 17.5″ long (a total of 70 inches of wire).
Fabric Wrapped Choker Tutorial:
Cut your 4 pieces of 16-gauge wire.
Don’t straighten the wire out; leave its natural curve:
Use your file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone to round and smooth off both ends of each piece of your 16-gauge wire:
Using just your hands, shape each piece of your 16-gauge wire into a circle.
You could also wrap the wires around a large oatmeal box or other large cylinder to shape them into circles.
Your wires should now look like this:
Use the fattest part of your round-nose pliers to make a loop at each end of each of your 16-gauge wires:
Each wire should now look like this:
So your four wires now look like this:
From each of your fabrics, cut your 1.5″ (3.81 cm) x 60″ (152.4 cm) strip. Or cut multiple smaller strips to make up the 60″ length from each fabric.
These are the fabrics I used for my fabric-wrapped choker, before I cut my strips:
Cut your 4 pieces of Artistic wire, each 5″ (12.7 cm) long.
You can make these wire pieces longer if you want to make artistically messy wraps.
And if your fabric strips are shorter than 60″, you’ll need more than 4 pieces of this wire so you can make extra wraps each place you add a new strip into your fabric wrap:
Start wrapping one of your fabric strips around one of your 16-gauge wires:
Lay one of your binding wires (Artistic wire) across the beginning of your fabric wrap, and hold the fabric-wrapped 16-gauge wire and Artistic wire together with your flat nose pliers:
Use the fingers of your free hand to wrap the long end of your Artistic wire very tightly around the fabric.
A good, tight wire binding is important to keep the fabric from coming off the 16-gauge wire later.
Wrap your binding wire neatly or make it artfully messy:
When you’ve wrapped the entire binding wire around your fabric-wrapped 16-gauge wire end, use your pliers to clamp the two ends down securely.
Make sure there’s no scratchy binding wire ends poking out.
Your fabric wrap should now look like this;
Continue wrapping your fabric strip tightly around your 16-gauge wire, “traveling” along the wire as you wrap:
If you’re using shorter strips of fabric, start each new strip over the end of the previous fabric strip.
Bind the beginning of each new strip tightly to your 16-gauge wire with another piece of your Artistic wire.
When you’ve wrapped your fabric strip(s) all the way to the other end of your 16-gauge wire, cut off any excess fabric and use a piece of your Artistic wire to bind this fabric end tightly in place:
Then wrap your other fabric strip around another of your 16-gauge wires, securing both ends of the fabric wrap with Artistic wire bindings.
Above is my ultrasuede fabric strip with metallic print; below is my jersey-knit camouflage fabric strip:
Use your flat-nose pliers to twist open each of your jump rings:
Put one of these jump rings on each end loop of one of your fabric-wrapped wires:
One at a time, attach each of the plain 16-gauge wires to the jump rings.
Then add your other fabric-wrapped wire to the jump rings.
Use your flat-nose pliers to twist the jump rings closed.
Your fabric wrapped necklace should now look like this:
Your two bare metal wires are sandwiched between your two fabric-wrapped wires:
This choker is flexible so it’s easy to put on and take off, bending the wires to fit your neck perfectly.
Ideas for Wearing
this Fabric Wrapped Choker:
- I wear the open end in the back (and you could add a clasp if you like).
- You could could even put a pendant on this choker, using a jump ring large enough to go around all 4 wires, or hanging the pendant on just one of the wires.
- You could also wear the open end of this choker in front, and add some sort of dangles to the jump rings.
Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?
In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.
By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.
You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.