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