Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

What do you get when you start with some interesting art fibers, then add a chain and some pendants?

Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s the perfect recipe for a statement necklace with gypsy panache!

Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This piece attracts endless compliments.

Supplies:

  • Art fibers (as many strands as you wish).
    Length of art fibers: your desired necklace length plus 2″ (51mm).

    Example: for an 18″ (457mm) finished necklace, use strands of art fiber that are about 20″ (508mm) long.

    You can find art fiber strands in various places online (etsy.com is a good source), by searching for “art fiber” or “art fiber bundle”.
    You may also find them in your local craft or fabric stores.
    I used these three art fiber strands for my necklace:

    Art fiber strands for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace (Tutorial)

  • Chain – the length of your finished necklace, plus about 4″ (102mm) extra.

    Example: for a 18″ (457mm) finished necklace, use a piece of chain that’s about 22″ (559mm) long.

    (The extra 4″ is for draping the chain between each pendant on the necklace.)
    I used an antiqued brass curb chain:

    Chain for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Pendants – I used 5 brass pendants (one larger focal pendant, plus 4 smaller side pendants).
    I also used one tiny silver metal clay pendant as a dangle on the necklace clasp:

    Metal pendants for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Jump rings – one for each pendant, plus two sturdy jump rings for the necklace ends.
    I used antiqued brass jump rings:

    Jump rings for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Clasp – your choice of style.
    I used this lobster swivel clasp – I love these!

    Lobster swivel clasp for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Craft wire or Artistic wire – 2 pieces, each 6″ (152mm) long – for binding a loop at each end of your art fiber bundle.
  • Wire cutter – for cutting wire lengths.
  • Scissors – for cutting and trimming art fibers.
  • Flat nose / chain nose pliers – for opening and closing jump rings.

How to Make a
Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace

Start by cutting your art fiber strands to size.

I’m making an 18″ (457mm) necklace, so my art fiber strands needed to be about 20″ (508mm) long.

I’m using three fiber strands, but they’re all very thin.

So I’m cutting each fiber strand into two 20″ strands, and then loosely twisting all 6 strands together – making one thicker 20″ long fiber strand:

Art fiber for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to make a loop at each end of the art fiber strand.

So let’s cut 2 pieces of craft wire or Artistic wire, each 6″ (152mm) long, to bind our two art fiber loops:

Wires for binding fiber loops - Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now pick up one end of your fiber strand, fold it over about 1.5″ (38mm):

Folding fibers to make a loop for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then lay one of your 6″ wires across your fibers, right below the fold you just made.

Use your flat nose pliers to hold the fibers and wire together:

Wire binding for fiber loop - Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your fingers to wrap the wire tightly around your fiber bundle, so that the wire binds the fiber loop in place:

Wire binding for fiber loop - Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

No need to make tidy wraps – this project looks great with artistically messy wire wraps:

Wire binding for fiber loop - Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now move to the opposite end of your fiber strand, and make a similar loop at that end:

Wire binding for fiber loop - Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When both loops are finished, it’s time to twist open your two sturdy jump rings for the ends of your fiber strand:

Twist open jump rings for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Insert one of the sturdy jump rings into one of your fiber loop ends.

Then string one end of your chain onto the jump ring:

Adding chain to Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and twist the jump ring shut:

Adding chain to Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now move to the loop in the opposite end of your fiber strand.

Insert the remaining sturdy jump ring into this loop.

Then string your clasp and the remaining end of your chain onto the jump ring, and twist the jump ring shut:

Adding chain and clasp to Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your necklace should look something like this:

Fiber and chain strands - Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll attach the center pendant to the necklace.

Twist open a jump ring, and thread it into the hole in your pendant.

Then string the jump ring through the center link of your chain.

Then push the center of the art fiber strand into the jump ring.

Make sure one end of your jump ring pokes through one of the fiber strands, to prevent the pendant from sliding back and forth on the strand.

Now twist the jump ring shut:

Attaching center pendant for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next we’ll attach the pendants that go on each side of the center pendant.

Follow the same procedure for attaching these pendants’ jump rings through the pendant, chain, and fiber strand.

Leave an extra inch or so of chain between the pendants, so the chain will drape down nicely between them:

Attaching second pendants for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your necklace should look something like this:

Three pendants attached to Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll attach the final pair pendants, above the second pendants we just attached.

Follow the same procedure for attaching these pendants’ jump rings through the pendant, chain, and fiber strand.

And again, leave an extra inch or so of chain between the pendants, so the chain will drape down nicely between them:

Attaching last pair of pendants to Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your necklace should look something like this:

Five pendants attached to Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

For the final touch, we’ll attach the tiny pendant to the clasp end of the necklace.

Twist open a jump ring and thread it onto the tiny pendant:

Attaching tiny pendant to clasp for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Attach the tiny pendant’s jump ring to the clasp’s jump ring, and twist it shut again:

Attaching tiny pendant to clasp for Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And now your finished mixed media gypsy necklace may look something like this:

Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Mixed Media Gypsy Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn How to Design
Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class 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.

 

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Comments

  1. That’s lovely, and such a great way to attach fibers to chain. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Kathleen Sirois says:

    I love the warm feel this gives off. I’ll be picking up some fiber strands and pawing through my “stash”! Thanks!

  3. I love the look of this, Rena! Those fibre strands are so colourful and interesting, and add such a dimension of softness to the necklace. Very cool! 🙂

  4. I love how eclectic it looks, yet coherent.
    Thanks for giving such detailed instructions, Rena!

  5. What a lovely necklace! This would be a great way for me to use up my bits and pieces, too!
    I also crochet and loom knit so I have various types of yarn left over from projects that would make interesting additions to this type of necklace.

  6. This is beautiful, Rena! Wonderful tutorial!

  7. Thank you for all the lovely feedback on this jewelry project! 🙂

  8. This is quite an unusual piece. It would take a strong individual to wear it. A statement piece really and very beautiful.

  9. totally cool! love the gypsy look and such a great tutorial to follow!

  10. You are so very talented! Love this look.

  11. Jann Olson says:

    Oh, this does have a gypsy flair to it, and I love it! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.
    hugs,
    Jann

  12. I love it, fantastic job!! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. Gorgeous!!! I seriously adore how this turned out.

  14. So cute!

  15. How cute is that!! 🙂

  16. Beautiful!!

  17. What a creative piece of jewelry/art!
    xoxo
    Lisa

  18. I love how you’ve combined the fibres with the metal bits. it’s gorgeous.

  19. Rena, this is exactly the type of jewelry I adore (throw back to the 60s possibly even though I was young). My very cool sister would bring me (age 8-12 or so) into Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline (a well to do and fun adjacent city with some funky stores) and dress me up in all the gypsy” stuff, mostly jewelry and hats. Because I’ve been a sensitive/artist forever, I adored this. She opened that world to me and gave me permission to be in it. (Your tutorials do that for me, too.) Because of all that, I tend to go for the Cambridge urbane funky look. This is a terrific necklace and suits me well. One thing you gave me in this tutorial is the idea of using “orphan” beads. Never thought of that and have many. Your tutorials spur (right word?) me on – that is if I can pull myself away from your website (I love research).
    Once more, thank-you for your sharing so much. It’s great karma.
    Betsy 🙂

  20. Betsy, how neat to have those memories of your cool sister and the fun gypsy accessories! And thank you so much for your lovely feedback about my tutorials. I do put a lot of time and effort into creating them, and it’s so rewarding when people appreciate them as much as you do! 🙂 I’m thrilled that you’re finding inspiration (and beautiful memories) in them.
    (p.s. – I’m an obsessive researcher too!) 🙂

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