DIY fabric accessories – extend the life of your clothes

Accessories are a girl’s best friend because they can dress up a boring outfit (or better yet, ‘update’ the same outfit you’ve been wearing on rotation!) and you can then get more life out of our clothes. I am going to share a simple way to dress up an outfit with fabric flowers. It’s a great way to upcycle scrap material or old clothes you don’t use anymore!

For this DIY I decided to make a fabric flower shield necklace which can be worn over plain dresses or tops to dress them up. You could also sew the flowers to an existing top or make a brooch out of them. The colour of the fabric gives your outfit an instant boost, which means I can get away with wearing that same black maxi dress more often!

What you’ll need

  • Fabric torn into strips (3cm wide x any length) – you could use anything! Think old shirts, leftover scraps of material etc.
  • Fabric glue
  • Felt OR a large enough patch of fabric
  • Ribbon (I used the clothes hanging ties you usually cut off new clothes)
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper or old magazines so you don’t get glue everywhere!

How to make a fabric flower

I’m not going to pretend like I came up with this myself – I googled “DIY fabric flowers” and found these great and simple instructions. I used fabric I found in my sewing pile which I think came from the remnant bin at the fabric store which was perfect for this project as one flower uses a piece of fabric 3cm x 100cm (varying in length to make different size flowers). You could quite easily use an old shirt or blouse as fabric.

For the effect I was after (a rough/frayed look) it was essential to rip the fabric to create frayed edges – this required cutting a small incision at the bottom of the fabric and ripping it to the end. Not all fabric will tear like this though so test it first. If the fabric doesn’t tear, you could always cut into strips and wash it (which might fray the edges slightly) or leave it with a clean edge look. Some fabrics will even fray on their own accord!

How to make the shield necklace

Once I made the flowers, I then placed them onto some felt until I was happy with the arrangement and then used fabric glue to stick them all together and let them dry. I then traced the shape onto the felt. You should now place the ribbon (or whatever you’re using to tie the necklace) onto the backs of the flowers and then glue the felt to the backs of the flowers (I forgot to do this and had to fix it up later!). You could alternatively glue a matching piece of fabric to the back instead of felt.  The glue should give it enough strength. Be wary that the ‘shield’ shouldn’t be too big or an odd shape or it may bend when you place it around your neck.

Once it was dry I hand-sewed the ribbon to the felt (so it was hidden at the back of the necklace). But as mentioned, it would be easier to glue it to the back of the flowers, underneath the felt!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. reyousable says:

    I love this necklace! so different than the other uses for fabric flowers I’ve seen
    {Ann Marie}
    reyousable.wordpress.com

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