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DIY Craft: How to Make a Pretty Fabric Rosette Necklace

A lover of handmade jewelry, Donna has been crafting (and wearing) unique pieces of statement jewelry since she can remember.

handmade rosette necklace  (c) purl3agony 2013

handmade rosette necklace (c) purl3agony 2013

Easy to make, fabric rosettes can be used to create jewelry or embellish accessories or clothing. I painted my rosettes to make my funky little necklace, but you can use any decorative fabric or ribbon to create your own special design.

Then once your rosettes are made, you can decorate them using beads, buttons, glitter, and other trimmings. To assemble your necklace, you can place your rosettes in a variety of arrangements to create a unique piece of jewelry that you'll love to wear!

Choosing Your Fabric

I used some plain cotton artist's canvas for my rosettes since I wanted to paint them, but you can use a number of fabrics.

If you want to be able to paint your rosettes, I would suggest choosing a cotton fabric. Canvas, cotton duck, or jersey would be good choices (though jersey will take the paint differently than the other two).

If you are not interested in painting your rosettes, than you can really choose whatever fabric (or even ribbon) you want. For fabric, you should choose a material that is printed on both sides, since you will be twisting it as you make your rosettes.

Ribbon or silk cord are also great choices for making your rosettes.

Other Materials

In addition to strips of fabric or ribbon, you will also need:

  • fabric glue
  • a sewing needle and thread to match your fabric
  • chain or cording for your neck strap
  • acrylic paint and brush (if you want to paint your rosettes)
  • embellishments of your choice (beads, buttons, glitter)
making a fabric rosette  (c) purl3agony 2013

making a fabric rosette (c) purl3agony 2013

Making Your Rosettes

First, you will need a fabric base to build your rosettes on. Cut a piece of spare fabric that is about 3 inches wide by about 6 inches long. This will serve as the backing for gluing down your rosettes. You should choose a material that will be comfortable against your skin and not rough or itchy.

For each rosette, cut a thin strip of your fabric that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and 12 inches long. If you are using ribbon or cording, just cut a 12 inch length. You can just estimate these measurements and your strips do not have to be cleanly cut. You will be twisting your fabric, so any raw edges really won't show.

I would suggest making a few extra rosettes, so you can choose the ones that look most alike or have the shape you want for your project.

making a rosette  (c) purl3agony 2013

making a rosette (c) purl3agony 2013

To start, put a small drop of fabric glue on your fabric backing. Stick the end of your fabric strip or ribbon in the glue and let it set up for a few seconds. This will be the center of your rosette. Once your end point has set, begin twisting your fabric around your center point as if you are building a little nest. Add small amounts of glue to tack your fabric down as you make your rosette. Be careful - try not to get glue on the top of your rosette. If you plan to paint your rosettes, the glue will not absorb the paint.

finished handmade rosette  (c) purl3agony 2013

finished handmade rosette (c) purl3agony 2013

Keep twisting your fabric and building your rosette until you get it the size you want. Then let your rosette dry completely (preferably overnight). Don't worry about trimming loose threads or the end of your fabric strip - you can clean it up once it has dried. You can also tackle down any loose ends with a few small sewing stitches once your rosette is done.

painting fabric rosettes  (c) purl3agony

painting fabric rosettes (c) purl3agony

Painting Your Rosettes

To paint my rosettes, I thinned down acrylic paint to a watery consistency and painted each turn of the fabric a different color. Because my paint was very wet, the color blended together like watercolor on my rosette. I painted on various color layers, letting each dry before adding another, until I got the color combination I wanted.

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I would suggest making extra rosettes and trying various paint techniques to see which looks best for your necklace.

Various Paint Techniques to Try

If you are looking for some painting ideas, here are some techniques to try:

  • Spray your rosettes with water until they are wet, but not soaking. Then drip thinned paint onto the rosette, letting the colors bleed and blend into one another.
  • Grab an old toothbrush and dip just the end of the bristles into your paint. Using a dry or wet rosette, run your fingernails over the toothbrush bristles and flick the paint onto your rosettes. This will create a pebbly paint surface. It is a great finishing effect for your rosette.

Embellishing Your Rosettes

You can add whatever additional decorations you choose to your rosettes. I glued a iridescent pearl bead in the center of each of my flowers, but you can also use buttons, rhinestones, and glitter if you want.

Once the glue was dried from my beads, I cut out my rosettes from the backing fabric very carefully and cleanly. Then I sewed on two layers of coppery tulle netting to the back of each rosette. Each layer of tulle was an irregularly shaped circle and I made the top one a little smaller than the bottom. This is optional, but if you want to add trim to your rosettes, you could use ribbon, lace, or any kind of fabric (thinner fabric will be easier to work with).

pretty handmade fabric rosette necklace  (c) purl3agony 2013

pretty handmade fabric rosette necklace (c) purl3agony 2013

Assembling Your Necklace

The first step to assembling your necklace is to decide what arrangement you want for your rosettes. I positioned mine in a slight smile shape. You can also hang your rosettes in a horizontal or vertical line. Or you can make a bib necklace: make a bunch or rosettes (9 or more) and arrange them in a descending pyramid. You can even arrange them in an asymmetric composition. The size and shape of your rosette pendant is up to you!

Once you have decided on an arrangement, you can either:

  1. sew your rosettes together by tackling them with small stitches. Make your stitches from the back side of your rosettes so they don't show on the front of your necklace. Or,
  2. cut thin strips of fabric or ribbon and glue these on the back of your rosettes (sort of like band-aids) to brace your arrangement and hold it in place. Be careful that the strips are thin enough and placed so you can't see them from the front.

Then add the hanging strap for your necklace. I used a chain from an old necklace, sewing it on through the links in the chain. (You can buy a chain at any jewelry supply or craft store). You could also use ribbon or a silk or leather cord for your strap. Make sure your necklace hangs the way you want and sew on your strap securely.

Final step - enjoy your rosette necklace and be sure to tell everyone that you made it yourself!

Copyright © 2013 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.

Looking for more jewelry projects?

Check out my collection of jewelry tutorials and craft projects.


Donna Herron (author) from USA on March 04, 2013:

Hi Mardi - Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments!!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on March 04, 2013:

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan - Thank so much for your support! Yes, since you can make rosettes from a variety of fabric and trimmings, they can be added to almost anything! Thank you for your pin!

Mardi Robyn on March 03, 2013:

What a great idea! I like the necklace. It is pretty!

Claudia Porter on March 03, 2013:

What beautiful creations! I could see those as embellishments on a quilt or sweater too. Very cool! Pinned.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 28, 2013:

Hi theframjak- Thanks so much for your comments and support :)

theframjak from East Coast on February 27, 2013:

This is a beautiful necklace. It's amazing how you were able to turn everyday materials into a beautiful piece of wearable art. Voted up!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 26, 2013:

Hi kidscrafts, sallybea, and hrymel! Thanks so much for all your kind comments!! I'm really happy with this necklace. The best part is you can embellish it as much as you want, or just use the rosettes along for a simpler look.

@Hrymel - you are right, these rosettes could be used to make pretty headbands or any other type of accessory.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

Haley from Baltimore, MD on February 26, 2013:

Beautiful necklace, and it seems that it's pretty simple to make. they would also make an adorable headband. Voted up.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 26, 2013:

Very creative and a lot of fun, thanks for sharing.

Voted up

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on February 26, 2013:

Your necklace made of fabric rosettes is just awesome! I love your mix of techniques with first with the rosettes, than the painting and the finishing touches with the light tulle and the back of the rosettes and the pearl at the centre of each rosette!

Voted up and awesome!

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