Fabric covered beads necklace for a toddler with tutorial

When I was a little girl I could not resist my mum's jewellery box. Getting her jewellery out and trying things on was one of my favourite things to do. I loved to play with her necklaces and wore them around the house pretending I was a grown up.

I think all girls do that. My Little Monkey is no exception. She loves to wear my necklaces. Often she  wears a couple and then brings a couple for me to wear. Very cute!

Recently I made a reversible scalloped skirt for her - the Bluebell skirt. I thought the skirt needed soemthing to go with it. A fabric covered bead necklace! Of course! I have been wanting to make one for a few months now. What a great excuse to finally do it.

So, while she was not sleeping when she should have been, I made this little thing:

Isn't the necklace cute? It is very easy for a toddler to put on and take off. It won't fall apart any time soon. It compliments not just one skirt, but a lot of other outfits. Besides, it is fun to play with - bonus :)

This necklace was very easy to make, too. Would you like to have a go? Please click Read more to follow my steps.

I had:
  • a cheap bead bracelet
  • some quilting cotton
  • elastic
  • matching thread
  • contrasting thread
  • safety pin
I bought a cheap bead bracelet at one of the costume jewellery shops. The beads were just the right size for what I had in mind.

I needed a couple of measurements before I could cut my fabric - the length and the width. Measuring the length was easy - I used my trusty measuring tape and put it around Little Monkey's neck as if it was a necklace and added a few cm 'just in case'.

For the width, I took one bead and wrapped my measuring tape around it, taking note of seam allowances at the same time. In this case, my strip of fabric needed to be 7 cm wide, with 1 cm seam allowance on each side.

I cut a rectangle out of the fabric using my measurement, folded it in half lengthwise right sides facing and pinned.

 Then made a tube by sewing the long edges together.

Once I finished sewing, I didn't cut my thread but left a 'tail'. I attached a safety pin to the 'tail' and...

... used it to turn the tube right side out by inserting the pin with a 'tail' inside the tube and pulling it through.

Nearly there :)

 I used the safety pin to mark where I wanted the central bead to go.

Pushed a bead inside the tube and secured it using a contrasting thread. I opted for a needle with a large ear so I could use four strands of thread at once. I put the needle through the fabric tube,

twisted the tread around the fabric tube right next to the bead a few times,

and secured the thread as I usually would when doing hand sewing.

Then I secured the bead on the other side.

Repeated for each following bead.

Next, I tied knots on both ends of the elastic so it would not slip out. Toddlers watch with their hands. They will pull everything they can. They are the best quality control officers on the face of the earth.

 I adjusted the length of the necklace, folded the raw edges inside, inserted elastic,

and stitched it closed... not once, but twice, making sure both rows of stitching went over the elastic, as I have a really keen quality control officer here!

I then folded the ends of the necklace in half and hand stitched them in place.

Done :) Maybe I should make myself a matching necklace? Little Monkey would love that!

Please let me know if you make a fabric covered bead necklace using this tutorial. I would love to hear from you and have a look at the pictures (if you take pictures of your creations). I would appreciate a link back to this tutorial should you choose to use it.


  1. What a cute and fun necklace for a toddler or her mom. Thanks for sharing today.
    Donna @onceuponasewingmachine.com

    1. Hi Donna, thank you for stopping by and for your kind words :) I am browsing through your blog as we speak (isn't it why we get into blogging? to get to know each other and share what we get up to, hey?) - I love the story behind Once upon a sewing machine :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Love it!! I really should make one (or three)...thank you for sharing.
    xx Kim

    1. It is always nice to see you here Kim :) I think I should make myself one as well :) Pls let me know if you end up making one :)

  4. I think you should make yourself one,too!

    1. Thank you for popping over :) Yes I think I have to :)

  5. I should really make one of these for my daughter! She likes necklace and someone gave her a kind of cheap bead one- but I'm paranoid she is going to chew off a bead or something..... Very cute project!

    1. haha ok I just scrolled up and noticed Donna already commented....haha don't mind us! -Rachel

    2. Hi Rachel, it is nice to hear from both halves of the creative duo :) I reckon little ones have less chances of swallowing a bead it if is inside a fabric tube :) But if in doubt - wait till your little one is a bit older. I know I can trust my Little Monkey with small things now after I said, "Please take this out of your mouth", "Please don't put this in your mouth", "Please hold it with your hands, not your mouth, "Mouth is for eating, not for playing" etc about gazilion times hahaha

  6. Just beautiful Jenya! One very talented lady and I love the clear pics you take of all the steps xoxo

  7. Thank you so much for your tutorial! I cannot wait to make one for my granddaughters, and myself also.
    Your pictures of your little monkey are precious!
    Blessings to you and yours,

    Kay Brightwell

  8. I love your necklace. What sort of thread do you use to tie off each bead? It looks thicker than normal cotton.
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Sarah,

      thank you for visiting and for your question. Sorry it's taken me a while to reply. I have just recently discovered that I have not been receiving notifications about new comments on the blog.

      I used usual cotton folded a few times (I had four strands) :) Works well with a needle with a larger ear. It can be done with thred only folded twice, but it will take longer :) and I am lazy hahaha

  9. I so love this! I have been looking for an option for necklaces and I think this will work for us! Now to make it :D

    1. Thanks :) There can be as many options as you like - you can make it long and tie with a bow, or add ribbons instead of elastic. I just noticed that my daughter had been pulling things away from herself then up, that's why I sewed elastic at the back for her. It made taking her necklace off and putting it back on super easy!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.