Jewellery-making at home

Make it! Do it! May 15, 2020

It’s the perfect time to get creative or learn a new skill, so why not make jewellery at home? Alex Twin, Silver Jewellery tutor at the West End Centre, has put together some tips, tricks and inspiration so you can create jewellery using household items…

Delve into your sewing box

photo: Alex Twin

Delve into your sewing box and knot, crochet, plait or even macrame cord and embroidery threads to make colourful friendship bracelets. Go one step further and put your basic sewing skills into practice – use scrap fabric and add odd buttons to create fun jewellery that adds a splash of colour to your lockdown outfits. If you don’t want to sew, you can add buttons with PVA glue.

Embroidery threads can also make wonderful tassels to decorate jewellery. All you need is a square piece of card (or a membership card) to wrap the thread round approx. 20 times, then hold one end of the loop tight and cut through the other end with a pair of scissors. Once cut, take another length of thread and wrap around the folded end to bind the tassel together. Finish by tying the wrap in a tight knot and snip the ends, then attach it to something such as an old costume jewellery chain used in the example below…

Raid your wardrobe

photo: Alex Twin

The ribbons attached to t-shirts and jumpers can also be cut out and used to make something lovely with old jewellery by creating…

A twisted ribbon: knot the ribbon onto one end of the chain and twist away - just thread the ribbon through the occasional link to keep it in place.

photo: Alex Twin

A plaited ribbon: knot the three strands of ribbon onto one end of chain (try to do a small knot or leave the ends loose so you can tuck them in and hide them). At approx. every inch, thread one section of ribbon through a link in the chain and try to alternate what colour ribbon is going through the link to build a pattern.

photo: Alex Twin

Once you’ve finished plaiting, either:

  • Attach a button or thread a bead to decorate
  • Tie a knot in a new colour
  • Hide any joins with an extra wrap
  • Or just tie the ends very tightly and cut them off.

Plaiting also works well with multiple embroidery threads by twisting or pulling to flare out, creating some fun shapes. Use multiple chains, mix pearls, beads, lace fabric and more. There is so much fun to be had!


If you have enjoyed Culture on Call and you are able to make a donation, any support you can give will help us keep people connected.

Nicky Rooney

Among with Amy Watson

Community Programme Coordinator responsible for West End Centre’s cultural engagement programme of classes, workshops, exhibitions and community outreach.

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