This year I’ve been searching for the perfect tribal rope necklace to wear with my ever-growing collection of comfy tees and tanks in bright colors. There are SO MANY AMAZING tribal necklaces out there (head on over to Etsy if you don’t believe me), and they are the ideal accessory for ’80s and Memphis Milano-inspired fashion. I didn’t find quite what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own. You can go big with this DIY tribal necklace project, but I really wanted something on the thin side, able to be worn everyday with the most casual of shirts. So here’s what I came up with…
Tribal Necklace Supplies
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- rope or cording
- embroidery thread in a range of colors
- craft glue
- a glue gun and glue stick
- a clasp (optional)
I used grey paracord for this necklace, and you may find this hard to believe, but good old Elmer’s Glue was all I needed to secure the embroidery thread around the cord. Since you may be using your fingers to create a smooth finish as you press the thread into the glue, hot glue is not recommended (except for the clasp/securing the ends).
Start by cutting your cord to the desired length. I wanted a longer necklace, so I opted not to mess with a clasp, instead simply using hot glue to stick the ends of the cord together. I hid the evidence by wrapping embroidery thread around the joined ends. But you can certainly use a clasp for a more professional look (especially if you create a shorter necklace that won’t fit over your head).
Cut sections of embroidery thread and begin wrapping them around the necklace. Use a dab of glue to hold the thread in place at the start and end of each wrapped section. If it helps, you can apply the glue to the necklace with the end of a toothpick or skewer. These bamboo picks were the perfect glue-applying tool for my project.
Fill in any gaps with additional wrapped sections of embroidery thread. I loved using a dash of neon for a radiant touch. Plus, neon yellow really enhanced the green and blue palette I selected.
This necklace is super-easy to create (I made mine in an hour), and you can certainly make it more elaborate by choosing a thicker rope/cord, and by creating multiple strands. Plus, it goes with many different comfy summer tops in my wardrobe. Cheers to colorful retro-modern style! XOXO, Kate