Tie-Dye T-shirt Hardware Necklaces 7 Ways

 necklace finish2  
Whether you're celebrating back to school or back to work, here are a handful of quick-and-easy, no-sew techniques to accessorize on the cheap. Just grab all those scraps you've cut from your white T-shirts, rejuvenate them with a splash of tie-dye, and macramé your way to a statement necklace or two (or seven!)
I've always loved shopping at hardware stores for my materials -- washers and hex nuts and some of the more delicate chains lend a nice physical weight to a fabric-based piece while adding an industrial edge to the overall aesthetic.

What You Need
-White T-shirt strips
-Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye (blue)
-Lock washers and flat washers in various sizes (#10, 1/4, and 3/8)
necklace materials
Prepare the Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye (just add water!) and rubber band the T-shirt strip "spaghetti." Dye it liberally and let set before wringing and drying completely.
necklace step1
Use knots, braids, or other weaving techniques to attach the hardware to the T-shirt scraps.
necklace step3
Use the illustrated diagrams that follow as your guide.

necklace how-to
A. Thread one end of the T-shirt strip through an odd number of lock washers. Then double back the strip and thread the end through only every other lock washer. Tie the T-shirt strip ends together and try it on, letting the cluster of lock washers act as a center weight.
B. Make a single overhand knot in the T-shirt strip, thread a single flat washer onto the strip and slide it so it rests flush against the knot. Tie a second overhand knot to secure the washer in place. Repeat at uneven intervals along the T-shirt strip in desired quantity.
C. Thread a single lock washer onto the T-shirt strip. Execute an overhand knot, catching the lock washer in the crook of the knot. Repeat, spacing the knots as evenly as possible.
D. Knot the ends of three T-shirt strips together and thread a package of lock washers onto of the three. Braid the three strips together, allowing a single washer to get caught every third time the washered strip moves left in the braid.
E. Use a "4 knot" (aka slip knot) to wrap a 2" to 3" section (or multiple sections) of metal chain.
F. Knot the ends of three T-shirt strips together and braid the strips.
G. Make a single overhand knot in the T-shirt strip. Then thread a single lock washer, followed by a flat washer, followed by a lock washer, then flat washer, then lock washer, then flat washer, and lock washer (there should be three flat washers alternating with four lock washers). Make a second single overhand knot in the T-shirt strip and slide it until it's flush with the stack of washers. Repeat, clustering the washer stacks evenly or unevenly along the length of the T-shirt strip.
3. Mix and match the necklaces as desired! Wear one solo, or make a particular design en masse and wear them all together.
necklace finish1
 VARIATION:  Wrap any of these designs around your wrists for some bracelet stacking action!

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Megan Nicolay, founder of, is a craft editor, designer, and author of the bestselling books Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt and Generation T: Beyond Fashion.

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Published Date

January 15, 2015