Beading / Jewelry

Ribbon Necklace

Use your sewing machine and a ruffler attachment to make a truly unique embellishment that is the focal point of this beautiful necklace. You’ll won’t believe how easy it is!
By  Kim Novak 



  • Realeather Craft Deerskin Lace 3/16”, 2 yds.
  • Sheer or silky ribbon, ¾”, 2½ yds.
  • Large wooden beads, eight
  • Accent beads: small wood, eight; crystal beads, eight 
  • Jewelry Fundamentals Flat Multi Cord Finding Set


  • Sewing machine and thread, 50 wt.
  • Rayon or polyester embroidery thread, 40 wt.
  • Ruffler attachment
  • Satin stitch foot
  • INSPIRA Dissolve-A-Way Water Soluble Stabilizer, 3”x6”, two
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Adhesives: jewelry glue, transparent tape

basic supplies

  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Marking pen
  • Ruler or tape measure

This idea was originally published in our 2016 Holiday issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year. 

Project Instructions

1. Cut 22” length from ribbon and set aside. Cut four 12” lengths from remaining ribbon to use for practice. Thread sewing machine with 50 wt. sewing thread and insert matching bobbin. Set machine for center needle straight stitch with stitch length at 2.5mm. 

2. Install ruffler attachment. Photo shows different options available, pleating every 12 stitches, every six stitches or every stitch. The variation on the far right was created using the every stitch setting. Pull ribbon to the left and right of needle as it is feeding into the ruffler for random plating pattern shown on the very right. Try all four options with practice ribbon pieces and ruffle 22” length of ribbon as desired, leaving 1” long tail at beginning and end of ribbon.

3. Remove ruffler and attach ankle and standard sewing foot. Encase short cut edges of ribbon with a double ¼” fold and pin in place. Sew down center of pleated ribbon embellishment, backstitching at beginning and end to secure seam.  

4. Position ribbon embellishment on suede lace 16” from one end. Topstitch ribbon embellishment onto suede lace as desired. Tightly wrap both ends of lace with transparent tape. Slide three large beads onto short side above ribbon embellishment and five onto long side below ribbon embellishment.  Position beads so ¼” of lace is visible between beads.

5. Use fabric marker to mark ½” away from outermost bead on each end for decorative stitching. Slide all beads toward ribbon, as close as possible, leaving room to stitch on suede lace. Rethread sewing machine with 40 wt. embroidery thread and attach satin stitch foot. If machine can program stitches together, program: 16 zigzag stitches 4.5mm wide x 0.6mm long and one reinforced straight stitch, 3.5mm long. If machine does not have programming, choose a decorative stitch to sew on lace above beading. Wrap area where stitches will be added with scrap of Dissolve-A-Way Water Soluble Stabilizer and adjust stitch width to 4.5mm or less to fit lace. Use tie-off stitches at beginning and end. Adding more stitching to side with fewer beads and less stitching on side with more beads will help balance the piece and add a bit of interest. Trim or tear away as much of stabilizer as possible. Dab remaining bits with wet Q-tip to remove.

6. Reposition large beads between decorative stitching and ribbon embellishment so they are evenly spaced. If beads slide easily or fit loosely on suede lace, add drop of jewelry glue into hole and let dry. 

7. Use small wood and crystal beads to accent ribbon embellishment as shown; hand stitch as desired.

8. Try on necklace and decide ideal length and placement of embellishments. Mark area where closure should be attached on suede lace and trim ends. Add dot of jewelry glue to open clasp and place one end of flat suede lace on top. Fold clasp closed and pinch with pliers to secure.  Repeat to attach other half of clasp to other end of suede lace.