When I saw an $80 version of this bolo wrap necklace, I knew I had to make my own. The materials should only run you about $6, so even if you had to buy some of the tools, you’d still come out way ahead relative to the store-bought version. DIY wins again!
Lately I’ve been wanting to wear more minimalist jewelry. Luckily, since there aren’t many parts, it’s often the easiest type to make. The only way this necklace could be simpler is if it used actual bead end caps. But I couldn’t find any that were the right size and shape, so I figured out how to make my own from tube beads. The effect is just what I was looking for, though, and this type of bead seems to be easy to find, so there isn’t any downside except that you need a few tools (really just a hammer and wire cutters) to whip this necklace up.
As you can see, I made two of these, one with suede cord I had in my craft supply stash, and one with a black waxed cotton cord. I think that the suede one drapes a little bit better, so if you want a vegan version, you could also use faux suede cord.
DIY Bolo Wrap Necklace Instructions
Tube beads with 2 mm opening
2 mm waxed cotton cord, OR suede cord – About 43 inches
Scrap wood or jewelry bench block
I didn’t end up using the glue or the pliers pictured here.
1. Cut the cord to the length you want. I made both of mine 43 inches, which is long enough to wrap around my neck twice. But you can make yours longer if you want more wraps.
2. Take a tube bead, measure it, mark the halfway point, and cut it with the wire cutters.
You’ll be left with two slightly-curved pieces of tubing that are each crimped shut on one end.
3. Insert one end of the cord into the open end of the tube. I was able to just stick it in with the cotton cord, but for the suede I used a big needle to help push it in all the way. Repeat with the other end of the cord and the other half of the tube.
If you want you could stick some glue on the end of the cord before you put it in, but I didn’t use any since it seemed totally secure without it.
3. Put the tube on a piece of scrap wood (or a bench block, if you have one), and gently hammer it flat. You want to both flatten the curve of the tube, and flatten the tube closed. Repeat with the other tube end.
A little bit of the silver metal coating flaked off on one of my tubes during this step. I didn’t really care, but it’s something to be aware of.
That’s it! I think I’ll be wearing these both a lot, since they go with practically anything.
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