Southwestern Boho Necklace (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
This Southwestern Boho Necklace is a fun mixed media project, where you can use all sorts of jewelry techniques.
The colors and materials feel very Western / Southwestern, while the fringe, dangles, and beads feel very Boho.
Side view when wearing this necklace:
It can also be a great music festival necklace.
- Soft, supple leather cords – 3 pieces, each 254mm (10″) long.
I’m using deerskin lacing, 3mm x 1mm size; “saddle tan” color.
- Thin chains for attaching charm dangles, 4 chains, each 25mm (1″) long.
I’m using antiqued copper chain, 2mm x 4mm link size.
- Large hole beads that will fit onto your leather cords. (Pony beads could be an option.) You can find a variety of large hole beads on Etsy.com .
I’m using a variety of acrylic beads in lime and turquoise colors.
- Charms to use as dangles at the ends of the short chain pieces.
I used 4 charm dangles – a piece of green sea glass, a metal patina key charm, a metal patina donut disc, and a small beach pebble with a large hole drilled in it.
(I have gotten all of these charm components from various Etsy sellers over the years.)
- 1 hardware washer.
I’m using a copper washer with an outside diameter of 24mm (0.94″) and in inside diameter of 16mm (0.63″).
You can find copper washers at Harbor Freight, and other sources you’ll find with an online search.
- Jump rings – 8 medium size – for attaching the charm dangles to the chains, and attaching the chains to the washer.
I used antiqued copper jump rings, 8mm size.
- Jump ring – for attaching the necklace chain or cord to the washer.
I used a heavy-gauge, antiqued-copper jump ring, 10mm size.
- Necklace chain or cord.
I used an antiqued brass chain, 4mm x 5mm link size.
- Scissors – for cutting your leather cords.
- Flat nose and chain nose pliers – for opening and closing jump rings.
- Wire cutter – for cutting your chain pieces.
- Optional if your want to patina your washer: Patina inks.
- Optional if your want to patina your washer: Cotton swabs (Q-Tips).
- Optional if your want to patina your washer: Paper towel scraps.
How to Make a
Southwestern Boho Necklace
We’ll start out by coloring the washer with Ranger patina inks.
I used these two colors:
. . . to turn my shiny copper washer into a rustic turquoise verdigris artifact:
If you want to color your washer the same way I did with mine, see my Jewelry Patina Techniques Tutorial and scroll down through that tutorial to see “Jewelry Patina Technique 6 – Layering Patina Colors”.
To color my washer for this Southwestern Boho Necklace, I first used a layer of “Cinnabar” color patina, and then used a layer of “Verdigris” color patina over it.
The patina inks dry pretty quickly, so while your newly-colored washer is drying, you can gather your other components, and then move on to the next step.
Cut your cord into 3 pieces, each 254mm (10″) long:
We’re going to attach each of these cords to the washer, using a larks head knot.
If you’re not sure how to do this kind of knot, see my How to Make a Larks Head Knot (Tutorial).
Attach one of your leather cords to the hardware washer, using a larks head knot:
Now add the other two cords, using larks head knots to attach them right next to the first larks head cord:
Let’s start adding the beads to your cords.
String however many cords you wish onto one of your cords, leaving at least 35mm (1.4″) of cord end below the last bead, so you can tie a simple knot at the end of the cord:
After stringing your beads, here’s how to make the knot.
Bring the tail of the cord around to make a little loop:
. . . and then poke the tail of the cord through the loop:
Pull the tail of the cord to make the knot tight.
If you have trouble pulling the tail of the cord tightly enough, use your flat-nose pliers to grasp the cord tail and pull it.
Your finished cord knot should look something like this:
Now you can slide your bead(s) down to rest against the knot:
Now add whatever beads you’d like to string onto each of your other cords, finishing each cord end with the same knot as we used on the first cord:
Next we’ll add the chains and charm dangles.
I’m using these four charm dangles:
We’ll attach these dangles to chains, using a jump ring at each end of each chain.
I cut all 4 of my chains to 25mm (1″) long, but you may want yours longer, shorter, or a variety of lengths:
If you’re new to using jump rings, see my quick tip, How to Open and Close a Jump Ring.
Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open a jump ring.
String the open jump ring onto the last link of one of your chains, so you can attach one of your charm dangles to it:
After stringing the charm onto the jump ring, use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist the jump ring shut again:
Attach each of the other charm dangles onto a chain, just like you did with the first one:
When all the charms are attached to the end of a chain, it’s time to attach the chains to the washer.
Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open a jump ring, and string it onto the un-used end of one of the charm chains.
Attach the jump ring to the washer on one side of the larks head knot cords.
Then use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist the jump ring shut again.
Your first charm chain dangle may look something like this:
Attach your remaining charm dangle chains to the washer, between and / or around the larks head knot cords:
Now it’s time to attach the necklace chain or cord.
Attach a sturdy jump ring to the top of your washer:
. . . and thread your necklace chain or cord through the jump ring:
Your finished Southwestern Boho Necklace may look something like this: