Handmade Jewelry Using Fabric: Necklaces, Earrings and More With Sewn Elements

a necklace and earrings in the shape of snail shells

Handmade Jewelry Using Fabric: Necklaces, Earrings and More With Sewn Elements


Fabric offers amazing potential for creative handmade jewelry. Lightweight and available in endless colors and patterns, textiles can be sewn, wrapped, layered, and embellished into beautiful wearable art pieces.

This guide will dive into how to transform cloth scraps into stunning jewelry components like fabric beads, textile necklaces, embroidered brooches, ribbon flowers, and other textural designs. Learn easy techniques for sewing, wrapping, knotting, and weaving fabric elements to make them jewelry-worthy.

Benefits of Using Fabric in Jewelry Making

Why choose fabric as your next jewelry making material? Here are some of the advantages this diverse textile offers:

Cost Effective

Fabric scraps, old scarves, recycled garments, and discount store finds provide very affordable material.

Endless Patterns & Textures

From delicate chiffons to chunky wools, fabric offers limitless colors, prints, and textures to work with.

Textile Interest

Intricate details like lace, netting, embroidery, applique, crochet, smocking, etc. add beautiful depth.

Mixes Well

Combine fabric with beads, charms, hardware, found objects, etc. for eclectic mixed media jewelry.


Jewelry with fabric elements is lightweight enough for comfortable all day wear.

Accessorizes Outfits

Choose fabrics that coordinate with your wardrobe to perfectly accessorize different fashion looks.

Helpful Supplies for Making Fabric Jewelry

Many fabric jewelry projects require minimal supplies beyond the textiles themselves. Here are some basic items that prove handy:


Build up a stash of fabric scraps, scarves, vintage trim, etc. in varied fibers, prints, and textures.

Sewing Tools

A needle and thread are essential. Embroidery floss adds color. Consider a sewing machine for complex work.

Jewelry Findings

Clasps, jump rings, headpins, and ear wires finish off fabric elements into professional looking jewelry.


Fabric glue or epoxy help adhere elements like buttons or mount fabric pieces onto metal pendant trays.


Combine beads and charms with fabric parts like beaded tassels, bead embroidered fabrics, or using beads to embellish sewn flowers.

Cutting Tools

Sharp scissors suited to your fabrics allow neat cutting. Rotary cutters make straight edges.

Measuring Aids

Rulers, measuring tape, and fabric markers help cut uniform lengths and shapes.

Sewing Techniques to Create Fabric Jewelry Components

Sewing opens up many options for transforming fabric into jewelry-worthy elements. Here are go-to techniques:

Fabric Beads

Wrap strips of fabric around a dowel and sew along the long edge to form a bead. Stuff firmly with batting or fiberfill before closing.

Embellished Patches

Cut fabric shapes and stitch on decorative details like beads, sequins, or embroidery. Finish into pins, pendants, or bags charms.

Braided Fabric Cords

Braid together fabric strips into a cord, then finish the ends with clasp tips or knotting for necklace, bracelet, or lanyard use.

Fabric Flowers

Hand sew fabric scraps into shapes like rosettes, posies, daisies, and lilies. Attach pins backs to create floral brooches.

Fabric Tassels

Wrap fabric around a book or cardboard. Tie threads tightly around the top to form the tassel neck. Trim the bottom edge.

Innovative Techniques for Fabric Jewelry Elements

Once you master the basics, try these advanced ways of working with fabric in jewelry:

Quilted Jewelry

Miniature quilted fabric pieces make pretty focal pendants. Quilt meaningful scraps together and finish the edges with binding tape.

Woven Jewelry

Weave strips through a wire or bead loom to create tapestry-like fabrics. Adhere woven sections onto cuff bracelet blanks.

Trapunto Jewelry

Layer two fabrics with batting between, then sew decorative motifs to define the design and create dimension. Cut out and add findings.

Fabric Origami

Use origami techniques on fabric or felt sheets to create folded geometric beads, pendants, and layering elements.

Fabric Crochet Jewelry

Crochet chains and motifs from yarn or thin fabric strips. Join into jewelry elements like lacy bib necklaces.

Fabric Stamped Jewelry

Stamp designs, textures, or patterns onto fabric with printmaking tools and inks. Cut out to form focal pendants or earrings.

Jewelry Design Ideas Using Fabric Elements

Looking for inspiration to ignite your fabric jewelry creativity? Here are beautiful ways to implement fabric’s diversity:

Fabric Flower Jewelry

Create stunning corsages, wristlets, and statement bibs pinning and stringing your handmade fabric blooms together into designs.

Recycled Sweater Necklaces

Cut or tear sweatshirts into strips. Knot and braid the knit fabrics into earthy handmade rope necklaces.

Vintage Hankie Choker

Fold and gather a vintage hankie or doily into a ruff neck choker. Secure with embellished fabric ties or ribbon.

Fabric Tassel Earrings

Tie tiny tassels from patterned fabric or embroidery floss. Attach a bead cap and French ear wire for swingy statement earrings.

Memory Quilt Pendant

Incorporate meaningful scraps like childhood clothes, wedding ties, or well-worn baby blankets into a mini quilted necklace pendant.

Woven Fabric Bracelet

Weave ribbons or strips cut on the bias through a cuff bracelet frame into a colorblock chevron pattern.

Tips for Elevating Your Fabric Jewelry Making

Follow these handy tips to take your fabric jewelry projects to the next level:

  • Tightly wrap fabric around dowels when bead rolling to prevent lumpy shapes.
  • Cut fabric on the bias grain for strips that don’t fray or curl.
  • Use pinking shears to finish raw edges with a zig zag pattern that won’t unravel.
  • Look for vintage doilies, hankies, and fabric remnants for built-in charm.
  • Wash and dry fabric before use to preshrink it. Steam press to smooth wrinkles.
  • Back fabric elements with felt or interfacing for added body and structure.
  • Ensure good tension on thread when hand sewing and knot securely so seams stay tightly closed.


Fabric offers immense design potential for handcrafted jewelry. With just basic textile techniques like sewing, weaving, braiding and knotting, you can create stunning wearable art incorporating meaningful bits of fabric.

Let your imagination wander when selecting fabrics. From delicate silk to homespun cotton, the diverse textures, patterns, and colors available provide endless inspiration for jewelry making. Give clothing and linens scraps new life in your jewelry designs.

With some creativity and skill, fabric transforms into beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches, and more. Bring your favorite outfits to life by coordinating custom fabric jewelry accessories.

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