The moment we saw Phillip Lim‘s Box Braid Collar Necklace, we were immediately overcome with a wave of nostalgia. Our memories of a neon, plastic box braid lanyard was suddenly transformed into a sophisticated leather jewelry component. Honestly, brilliant! Inspired by our fondness of Lim’s necklace and our love of utilizing hardware, we made our own interpretation of a box braid necklace. And in case you forgot how to make your favorite childhood summertime craft, take a trip down memory lane with us!

You’ll need:
– 12 yards of micro-fiber faux suede (we highly recommend using micro-fiber suede because it’s super soft, flexible and easy to work with)
– 4 rubber bands
– an assortment of small, medium and large washers.

Start by cutting the suede in 4 three-yard pieces. Tie them together in a knot, leaving about 15 inches of slack which will serve as ties for the necklace. Because the strands are so long, tying them into bundles using rubber bands makes them more manageable and prevents tangling. Starting at the knot, spread the strands to form a cross. Fold the first vertical strand to the opposite side, creating a loop. Fold the opposing vertical strand to the opposite side, creating another loop. Hold the parallel loops in place with one hand. With the other hand, weave a horizontal strand over the closest loop and under the next loop. Do the exact opposite with the last horizontal strand. Pull the four strands tightly. (Click images to enlarge).

Repeat the box braid until you are ready to add washers to the necklace. We started braiding in the smallest washer after the first 3 inches. Undo one of the bundles. Thread on a washer and let it fall to the base of box braid. Continue with the box braid weave and tighten, securing the washer. Keep the bundle unwrapped as it will be the only strand to which you’ll add washers. And to keep the washers on one side of the box braid, add washers to every other weave. Gradually add larger washers for a graduated effect.

Once the necklace is finished, trim the ends. You can either finish the necklace with another knot like the first knot or undo the first knot – whichever you prefer. The necklace is adjustable in length and can be secured by a knot or a bow.

Wear it as a necklace, wrap bracelet or even a headband!

(top image via Ssense, rest of images by Honestly…WTF)