Fun, Frugal, Fiber Finds: Using Thrifted Scarves in Jewelry Designs

I just love when I get the opportunity to wander through a thrift
store! I have certain areas I love to
check out! (And of course the jewelry section is on that list.) Got to love finding old jewelry that has
great components just needing a new
design idea. For me there is something really satisfying about re-purposing  things! That said, my post today is
about using old scarves as a great way
to add fibers into your jewelry designs.
I was really inspired one day at a thrift store when I saw
bags of randomly combined scarves in various materials, including silk (not the
kind you wear to keep warm in winter but more the type women wear as accessories). The price tag was amazing at only $3 per bag.  Right there in the thrift store I thought; ” how awesome these amazing colors and textures would be in jewelry
designs!” I took them home, gave
them a wash, and began to play around.

So here is what I do. I take the scarves that I want to use
in my design and cut strips. For the purpose of braiding, I cut three strips.  I love to mix and match different
colors. Color combinations are endless!  Strips I cut vary in width but are usually
around one inch wide. If it is a thicker
material, you may want to cut thinner strips, unless you are going for a thicker
end result.  Playing around with this you
will get a feel for what you prefer!  As
for length, go as long as you like, you are only limited by the length of the
scarves you are using. I just roughly
cut the scarves as I think rough edges add to the charm.

I tie the three pieces together at the top. I often like to leave some extra fiber out
because I will sometimes use it in my design. 
Once tied I begin basic braiding. 
I happened to find one of these macramé boards at my local thrift store
– still brand new as you can see (I have not even bothered taking the plastic
off). This works great to hold what I am braiding – by pinning it at the top of
the board. You don’t need one of these
but they do come in handy if you have one.

Ideas are limitless when it comes to mixing things up a bit
for this project.  I will add other
materials with the scarves like leather and other fibres for different looks.  There is no right or wrong, I encourage you
to just have fun trying different things out!

Sometimes I tie my fibers right to my jewelry components and braid
straight from them. As I show here in the bracelet I made.  The braid is made up of two pieces of leather
cord and one piece of teal scarf.

So if you have some scarves lying around that you don’t wear
anymore, you can add them to your jewelry designs.  If you don’t have any, hit up a thrift store! There is no reason to be limited to scarves either.  Get creative and try other materials

I like to finish my ends with wrapped wire (various thicknesses), and I often leave some extra fiber because I like the look!  You could also use end caps.

Lorelei Eurto has a great tutorial on finishing fiber ends!

By the way, this is my first official post as part of the ABS team! I’m so excited to be here! In an effort to share my excitement, I would like to give away one of my ceramic rose bracelet toppers. Leave a comment telling me if you do or don’t use fibers in your work. Let me know if you have a favourite type of fiber.  I also love hand dyed silk cording as one of my favourite fibers! Winner will be chosen at random sometime Saturday evening.

Terri Del Signore from artisticaos
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15 Comment

  1. Kathy Lindemer
    February 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I do use fibers in my jewelry. Typically I use silk ribbon. I also like to use strips of fabric and weave it through large chain links.

  2. Beti Horvath
    February 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Yes, I love using fiber in my work. I have a large collection of thin craft ribbon that I have been using to make wrapped bangles, combining them with wire and beads. I also have a large collection of thrifted scarves, which I think about using as part of jewelry designs, but I have trouble giving them up!

  3. Erin Fish
    February 9, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I have started to use fibres in my work but eh sue of scarves ( and recycled at that !!!!!!!!! ) is a wonderful idea. Thank you for the inspiration.:)

  4. Shaiha
    February 10, 2017 at 12:08 am

    I am trying to incorporate more fibers into my work as I can't seem to resist buying them! I just love the ideas that you have shown here and hopefully I can get my piles of chiffon and other textiles down some.

  5. KimG
    February 10, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Have certainly used fiber! I made a resin pendant (butterfly print) and wove black cotton ribbon through brass links on one side, with beads on the other. It's one of my favorite pieces. I've also used ribbon at the top of necklaces in place of chain to keep the weight down, and also give an adjustable tie length.

  6. Ann Schroeder
    February 10, 2017 at 1:34 am

    I use fibers – ribbon, leather, trims – but my absolute favorite is waxed linen as a stringing material. I love how it lays. I look forward to your future posts!

  7. Bijoux Gems Joy
    February 10, 2017 at 3:48 am

    I've used fibres on a few pieces. Not quite happy with how they all turned out and am planning to redo a couple because the fabric did not look integrated. I like how you used it in the first piece though.

  8. !
    February 10, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I've never used fibre in my jewelry before. I have just bought some waxed Irish linen to try for the first time, & I have done circular RAW around rats tail satin. I would like to use sari silk & I also like Tensha beads. They are made with kimono silk. bec

  9. Elaine Thornton
    February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Well fibre isn't really my thing! But it was an interesting post as I am very unsure how or what to use, so it was very helpful and I have a better idea if I want to use it in the future. Thank you Elaine x
    Beautiful bracelet bar love the roses.

  10. Wendy
    February 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I have only ever used cord, but i love this idea!

  11. Divya N
    February 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    I have a big box of fabrics from my college days that I regularly dip into. I prefer finished ribbons to fabrics but in (fabrics) fibres I prefer polyester blends to pure silk as they tend to fray less

  12. Deb
    February 10, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I haven't used fibers in my jewelry, but your post does make me want to try using some – thanks!

  13. Nadine Edris
    February 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I love mixing fibers into my designs and especially love the fraying and texture of sari silk. So far, I haven't been successful using them braided but I'll keep experimenting.

  14. Klassy Joolz
    February 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I used to use fibers. I think maybe I should start using them again.

  15. Loralee
    February 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Yes, I use a lot of sari silks for tassels and cocoon or pod type beads for earrings. Love that rose bar xo

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