DIY Leather Cord Necklace

I love the boho long leather cord necklaces (like the ones I made above) that are a big trend this year, not to mention fabulous for fall sweaters. As I look at leather cord necklaces in stores and online, I cannot believe how expensive some of them are, especially since I know from my jewelry making experience and business just how super easy and inexpensive it is to make this DIY leather cord necklace. I’m talking about 5 minutes easy and can be made under $4.00 each! If you can tie a knot, you can make this! The hardest part of this project is running to the craft store to pick up a package of leather cording, which is not hard for me since I practically reside at Hobby Lobby!

So this weekend, I decided I would make a few of these necklaces for myself, a couple for friends with upcoming birthdays and extras to put away for Christmas gifts because I couldn’t stop making them! For my girlfriends, I found some inexpensive and fabulous pendants that are sold by themselves at Hobby Lobby in the jewelry section that I knew that they would love. I also found great sets of inexpensive earrings that I removed the pendant from the hoops and turned into necklace pendants.

I made 8 necklaces in less than an hour! If you’re interested in doing this easy project, below are the project instructions:

1) You’ll need thin leather cording (not the thick leather but the narrow round cord that has sort of a shiny coating) sold in the jewelry making section at the craft store or you can order online at Hobby Lobby here. I am using the brands Jewelry Shoppe and On-A-Cord . This is what it looks like:

2)For your pendant, you can use a pendant that you may already have just hanging out in your jewelry box. Think about that 14k monogrammed pendant that you may have received as a graduation gift or sterling silver cross. Your other choices are to buy a pendant that is sold at craft stores (jewelry making section) for $2.99 like these found at Hobby Lobby online. These are the ones that i bought:

or you can buy a pair of large earrings that would make a great pendant when taken off the hoop (plus you will be able to make two necklaces) that I will show you how to remove from the hoops later in the instructions. Here are the earrings that I used.

3)Ok, if you are using a pendant that you purchased or a pair of taken apart earrings, you will need to buy a package of small split rings like these here. Split rings are very different than jump rings, make sure yours say SPLIT RINGS and that they are the smallest size you can find. You can get them at the craft store (jewelry making section) and they should come in a package of 30 or more for around $1.00. For some dumb reason, most pendants that you purchase separately, do not come with the round ring attached that enables your pendant to hang fron the cord. A split ring is just like a key ring for your keys and super easy to add to the hole (just like your adding a key by lifting up the metal part and sliding the pendant on the key ring) on your pendant and it’s perfect for hanging on the cord. You may need a pair of small needle nose pliers to help you lift the metal split part. This is what split rings look like:

4)Ok, now you’re ready to start making your necklace. Take your leather cord and decide what length you want by placing around your neck. Allow yourself an extra two inches for your knot. Make sure that you also have enough room to go over your head and cut the cord at your desired length. I made some short and long.

5)Place your pendant on the cord

6)Tie the cord ends in a square knot. A square knot is right over left than left over right and pull all cords at the same time but not too tight that you’ll break the cord. Just keep pulling as tight as you can until it’s secure. Here is a video on how it’s done here

7)Snip the ends of your cord about a 1/2 inch from the knot. Don’t worry about having a knot versus a clasp, most long leather cord necklaces are sold this way today. Here’s a picture of your finished knot:

8)Because the cording was wound up in a package, you will need to leave your necklace hanging for about a day and the crimps will come out.

If you want to turn a pair of great earrings into a pendant, this is how you do it:

1) With two small pairs of pliers (one in each hand) grip one pliers on the hoop itself and grip the other pliers on the hook part that is holding the pendant and go in opposite directions opening up the hook/loop. See below:

See the loop on the earring holding the pendant? Just use both pliers to open it up to allow room to slide off the pendant.

What the loop looks like after you open it with pliers.


What your earring will look like after you have removed the pendant from the opened loop.


You now have a pendant just add a split ring to the hole so your pendant will not hang sideways.

Here are my finsihed baubles! I’m so excited that I made them myself under $4.00 each.

It’s that easy! Please email me if you have any questions or run into any problems. I would love to see pictures of your finished pieces too!

I’m working on a few projects that I will be posting shortly. Thank you so much for your comments, emails and notes. I love hearing your thoughts on projects and blog postings and can’t thank you enough for your interest! I am thrilled that we recently crossed the 300 follower mark between our email subscriptions (found at the top left hand corner just under the blog header), Google Connect (found midway down the blog page on the left) and Fans of the Exchange Blog on Facebook here. Thanks so much guys for your interest and support and if you have a project idea that you would like to share or see, please let me know!

Have a great week!



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