DIY DeVa: Leather Bib Necklace

Leather Bib Necklace 011

Sometimes I wish I had a girl in the house. The Hero probably wishes I did too. The enthusiasm for some of the DIY projects just isn’t the same from him as it is from my friends. Sigh.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop me from creating. On the back of the craft room door is a shoe organizer full of miscellaneous fabric. When I first started DIYing stuff, I would keep fabric from everything. Old clothes, boots, curtains, everything. There are all kinds of fabric waiting to be repurposed.

I found a cool template for a necklace. When I printed it, I thought I would make a really cool fabric necklace, but was quickly deterred when I realized I didn’t have the appropriate cutting tools for the intricate design. So I improvised. I had a bag of gems I impulsively purchased at Joann and the leather from a pair of boots that served me well for four years, but I finally had to send to boot heaven after realizing the fun in repurposing the leather outweighed the cost of repairing the heels.

The process is pretty quick. The longest part is waiting for the glue to dry. Go make donuts while you wait.

Leather Bib Necklace


  • 12” x 12” piece of leather
  • Iron-on interfacing
  • 12” x 12” piece of fabric
  • Flat-backed gems or beads
  • Permanent glue (I used E-6000)
  • Chain (I used about 7” total)
  • Jump rings
  • Clasp
  • Flat-nose pliers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Awl or small-hole punch
  • Necklace template


Print out and cut the template. If you’re going to make multiple necklaces, I suggest gluing it to a piece of cardboard before cutting to make a sturdier stencil.

Trace the template onto the leather, fabric and interfacing and cut out. Layer the fabric in this order: leather (right-side down), interfacing and fabric (right-side up). Place a pillowcase or piece of thin fabric on top and iron all three pieces together. Trim any uneven edges.

Place the template on your work surface and arrange your gems and beads in a pattern you like. I found it was easier to glue when I turned all of the gems over after arranging them. Glue in place and let dry.

When the glue is completely dry, fold the bib in half and poke a hole in both sides at once.

Start with 7” of chain on each side and adjust according to where you want the bib to lay. This can be a trial and error step. I used about 7” because I wanted it to resemble a collar. Once you determine how much chain you need, cut it in half.

On one end of one length of chain attach a clasp and a jump ring on the other end. Attach to the bib. On the other piece of change, attach a jump ring on each and connect one side to the bib.

Leather Bib Necklace 017
And it’s reversible!

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