Clothesline Necklace Tutorial - May 2020 Fashion Contest Entry

Here’s my method for making a fabric-wrapped clothesline necklace like this:

You can make your necklace any length, but for this tutorial, I’m using ~18 inches of plain, polyester clothesline rope, about 1/4 inch in diameter.

The first step is to wrap your cord in fabric. I’m choosing some black fabric I bleached. A busy or solid fabric works best for this part. A pattern that’s too spaced out likely won’t work as you’d see very little of the actual pattern once it’s wrapped.

Cut a 1 1/2 inch wide strip of your chosen fabric with about an inch overhang on each end of your cord.

Secure one end by folding it over your cord. I did a couple quick running stitches on either end to secure, but I’m not sure it was necessary.

I also fold both edges of my fabric in at this point, about 1/4 inch. You could hit it with an iron to get the fold to stay, but I just creased it with my Cricut scrapping tool (because I’m lazy…shh!).

Next, you want to fold your two sides in around the end of the cord and secure with a clip:

You can also stitch this end in place now, but I find it less fiddly to clip it for now and come back to it later.

Now you’re ready to stitch! I used black thread, doubled so it wouldn’t come off my needle, but you can also use a single strand of embroidery floss. I’ve also used 3 strands of floss before, but it adds bulk to the stitched side and gives the overall piece a different look. Both are fine - get creative with it!

I stitched with a simple whip stitch. I’m sure an invisible stitch would look great here, but I’m still perfecting mine. :slight_smile:

Stitch along the entire length of your cord, readjusting your grip and folds as you go.

Just keep stitching…you can see in the pic below I ran out of thread and had to knot and re-start. I didn’t do anything fancy here, this will be the underside of your necklace, so you shouldn’t be able to see it. I just tried to keep it as small as I could.

When you near the opposite end of your cord, fold down the top ~1/4 inch, fold over your cord, and pin in place:

Secure the end with stitches. I don’t do anything special with the end, just stitch right up to it. Here’s what it looks like for reference:

Don’t forget to go back and stitch the clipped end now, too! You’ll end up with a fully enclosed length of cord:

Now we can make the end pieces. I used 2 six-inch lengths of wire for these. Disclaimer: I have no idea what gauge wire I actually used. The label is long gone. However, with the help of some crafty friends, we decided 16, 18, or 20 gauge wire would work. You’ll also need a standard pencil for this next part. I found pencil diameter matches the cord pretty perfectly and provides a nice sturdy mold for wrapping your wire.

Start by wrapping your wire around the pencil about 4-5 times:

You want a good length of wire left at the end. Bend it up at a 90 degree angle with a pair of pliers:

Move your coil from the pencil to the end of your wrapped cord. Use the pencil again to create a u-shaped loop with your wire:

I tucked the excess wire into the coiled part, but you can also cut it off. You should have something that looks like this:

Repeat for the other end.

Before you secure the coil wire caps to the cord, you want to string on whatever accents you want on your necklace (if any - plain is fine, too!). If you have a Mr. Road equivalent, you can ask him to make you a little bead using a flat piece of copper and his soldering iron:

If you don’t have a Mr. Road, I have found that wooden macrame beads work well - the diameter of the hole is perfect for stringing on the cord. Really anything that fits will work!

Secure your end cap coils with a bit of glue - I used Tacky glue, but feel free to use your favorite. :slight_smile:

Once dry, attach your clasp and you’re done! Wear your new necklace with pride!


This is great! Love the color and that copper bead sets it off perfectly.

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Awesome tutorial!

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I have been eagerly waiting this tute since you mentioned planning to make it! Now to just get some clothesline at the next store trip, and I will be trying this out in a hot second! :heart_eyes:

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Neat! What a pretty necklace. I have some clothesline at home. I may have to try this.

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I hope you guys try it and share your results!

the copper bits really go with the bleached part of the fabric. looks great!

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Great tutorial and a very clever technique! Your necklace looks great!

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Awesome tutorial @Abbeeroad! I love how nicely the copper wire & custom bead, go with the bleached areas of the cloth. Also, love the pencil cameo. :wink:

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Haha…I did specifically select that particular pencil. :wink:


Great necklace, great tutorial!

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Oh yes I love this!

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Utterly stunning, Abbie! and so you!

So interesting you are posting this because I’m teaching a class on it next month! :grin:

I can’t wait to take the class!

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Yes! One of those discussion threads linked to here! so I found it! The class looks like it’s gonna be fantastic!