DIY Utility Rope Necklace

A couple summers ago, we stocked up on brass washers to make friendship necklaces. A year later, hex nuts became short in supply thanks to the hex nut bracelet. Today we’re all about compression sleeves, which are conventionally used in plumbing but also make for the perfect component for these statement necklaces. Striking, colorful, and fun, this tutorial won’t be able to keep you too far away from your local hardware store!

You’ll need:

Start by cutting the utility rope into 8 32 inch pieces. Gather them together and slide the compression sleeves on, one at a time.

Keeping the compression sleeves together keep the ropes evenly bound and make sliding them on easier. After 12-14 sleeves are on the ropes, spread them out accordingly.

Decide which sections to wrap and start at the center of the necklace. Run the end of the knotting cord upwards along one section and towards the edge of a brass sleeve. Then wrap around the ropes, working downwards in the opposite direction. This helps secures the cord.

Continue to wrap the entire section. Before reaching the end of the section, place a bead of glue along the starter cord and finish wrapping.

Allow to dry before trimming any excess cord. Continue wrapping different sections of the necklace.

When all the sections have been wrapped, trim end ends. Squeeze a generous amount of glue into the cap and insert the end of the necklace into it. It may require some rotating to get the end of the necklace into the cap. Repeat the step on the other end.

Using pliers, attach a larger jump ring to one end and a clasp to the other.

And that’s it, your necklace is finished!

Make a couple more and layer them on top of each other. And most importantly, have fun! PS If you’re in San Francisco on July 26th, come DIY with me to celebrate Madewell‘s one year anniversary!! 

(all images by HonestlyWTF)

Leave a Comment

180 Comments

  1. EmerJa wrote:

    Totally in love with it!!!

    http://www.emerjadesign.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  2. Another fabulous DIY! The colors are so pretty. I guess I need to start browsing Home Depot for some great DIY ideas!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  3. Very nice colours! Really loving Them!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  4. EUGENIA wrote:

    GREAT IDEA!!! 🙂

    http://diamondsandspikes.com/

    7.24.12
    Reply
  5. This is awesome. As soon as I saw this necklace trend, I want to make one. Thanks for making it easy. 🙂

    7.24.12
    Reply
  6. Graftuts wrote:

    Great tutorial, like always 🙂

    7.24.12
    Reply
  7. sits wrote:

    my favorite so far!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  8. Mari-Liis wrote:

    Looks adorable, loooove the colours!

    suvimariliis.blogspot.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  9. Looks beautiful!!

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

    7.24.12
    Reply
  10. Kirbybee wrote:
    7.24.12
    Reply
  11. Nadia wrote:

    So beautiful!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  12. It’s awesome!! Love it!

    Birdyblue

    7.24.12
    Reply
  13. Sarah wrote:

    This looks awesome! It reminds me of hair wraps I used to do when I was younger. I’ll definitely have to give this one a go!

    Sarah x
    http://www.tellhershesdreaming.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  14. Kate wrote:

    So beautiful and such a good idea!

    Kate

    http://www.thrillofthechaise.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  15. Wow, this is so fabulous! I might share this on my blog!

    My jewelry blog: joliejouel.blogspot.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  16. Domonique wrote:

    Such a great DIY! Definitely need to be trying this out 🙂

    http://lilylovelock.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

    7.24.12
    Reply
  17. Votre Amie wrote:

    I looooove how you find ways to make DIY jewelry that looks like a million bucks!!! I love the vibrant colors and the mix up of texture with the rope and cords, and of course, everything is better with a little hardware!
    x
    http://www.iloveublank.blogspot.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  18. Leila wrote:

    omg so gonna try this!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  19. style-xyz wrote:

    the final effect is awesome!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  20. Fey wrote:

    So trendy! Love it!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  21. Too perfect!! LOVE.

    7.24.12
    Reply
  22. I love it!!!!

    http://thestelstyle.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  23. Ambyr wrote:

    This is so cool. I love the beads that you used to separate the colors. Very cool.

    xoxo
    http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  24. Nomadic D wrote:

    You’ve done it again! This is very cool.

    http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

    7.24.12
    Reply
  25. OMG…just great!!!!!Great great!!!!!!I want it now..!!!
    kisses,
    Bloody Mary
    http://kosma28.blogspot.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  26. MaviDeniz wrote:

    You’re so talented! They look amazing!

    Xo

    7.24.12
    Reply
  27. perfect… colors are fabulous… and it looks very very easy ..

    7.24.12
    Reply
  28. Ronna wrote:

    SO cool ! So simple but so genius! thank you so much!!! <3

    7.24.12
    Reply
  29. Great tutorial!! Love it!

    My DIOR clutch in http://cravingforbarneys.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  30. Carol wrote:

    I loved it!!!!!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and summer accessories;

    http://www.thegavlaks.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  31. DC2NY wrote:

    AWESOME idea! I love utility necklaces, they’re so bold and fearless!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    DC2NYConfessions Blog
    Don’t miss my summer GIVEAWAY

    7.24.12
    Reply
  32. adorable!

    Bises,
    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

    7.24.12
    Reply
  33. Layla wrote:

    You always have the best DIY projects! The necklace looks so amazing layered like that. I love it!

    Layla,
    http://chicchefblog.com/

    7.24.12
    Reply
  34. Mira wrote:

    It looks great !!! What a wonderful idea.
    It doesn´t look like a utility rope at all 😀
    xo

    glamDevils

    7.24.12
    Reply
  35. alix wrote:

    I love this can u make me one lol 🙂
    http://www.jewelryandothershit.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  36. Rachel wrote:

    What a fun project. The options are endless.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  37. Geraldine wrote:

    What a cool idea, I will definitely try this out !

    7.24.12
    Reply
  38. Great DIY! I just bought 20 feet of utility cord, this is a great use for all the leftovers!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  39. Patti M` wrote:

    Another great project to try!! Love it!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  40. Shubana wrote:

    I need to make this!
    Ruched Boutique Giveaway!!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  41. Aurora Eva wrote:

    genius!!!!!!!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  42. aubrey wrote:

    love your DIY’s
    too bad my patience is so thin
    keep them coming!! <3

    7.24.12
    Reply
  43. tanya wrote:

    Easily the best rope necklace Ive seen EVER!

    7.24.12
    Reply
  44. Dary wrote:

    Totally going to try this! LOVE the color combo too! XOXO
    Darby
    Obviously Obsessed

    7.24.12
    Reply
  45. juandia wrote:

    I’m gonna for sure try it out! 🙂

    7.24.12
    Reply
  46. Kristiina wrote:

    Love it! I’m excited to try it out.

    7.24.12
    Reply
  47. Oh my god, you really make the BEST DIYs….THE best. – Aliya:)
    http://marantphiles.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  48. Jasmine wrote:

    awesome idea! love the colors all together!

    check my fashion blog out? 🙂

    xo

    turquoiseinlove.blogspot.com

    7.24.12
    Reply
  49. steph wrote:

    amazing! what i really love about your DIYs are that they are always finished off so well! 😉

    7.24.12
    Reply
  50. Hi dear!

    This necklace is awesome, I am into this neon trend.
    http://www.fashionblogstyle.com
    X0X0 😉

    7.24.12
    Reply
  51. comemoda wrote:

    Love this DIY

    7.24.12
    Reply
  52. Vaishnavi wrote:

    thats super cool!!!

    7.25.12
    Reply
  53. fly wrote:

    Cosmic. Do Great idea! Easy to do and the effect wonderful <3

    7.25.12
    Reply
  54. Güler wrote:

    just great!

    my DIYs —————————> http://gkdone.blogspot.com/

    7.25.12
    Reply
  55. wonderfull…………Come and see our list of waxed cotton and leather to make this bracelet in multicolor maloufimo.com

    7.25.12
    Reply
  56. Tabetha wrote:
    7.25.12
    Reply
  57. littlelulu wrote:

    Such a great DIY as always!!!!

    http://lovelittlelulu.blogspot.gr/

    7.25.12
    Reply
  58. Michelle wrote:

    This is so pretty. I already ran out and got everything I need to make these necklaces! Now I just need to find the time to assemble…

    7.25.12
    Reply
  59. Wow Love This!!!
    http://jewelryrage.com

    7.25.12
    Reply
  60. Preppyip wrote:

    Love it and all your DIY’s! Do you have another resource for the Chinese knotting thread? The one given doesn’t have many colors. Thanks!

    7.25.12
    Reply
  61. Beh1nd handicrafts by mk wrote:

    Thumbs up for another excellent handmade jewelry post!

    7.25.12
    Reply
  62. fabulous!

    Bises,
    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

    7.25.12
    Reply
  63. Kasia wrote:

    anyone know where else to buy the chinese knotting cord? that site is sold out of the fun colors used in this necklace!

    7.26.12
    Reply
  64. Justines7 wrote:

    I love this!!! Verry good idea and easy to do 🙂

    7.27.12
    Reply
  65. Love the colors- perfect for summer!

    http://www.worship-worthy.com

    7.27.12
    Reply
  66. Liya wrote:

    I love these colors! This necklace is such a good idea!
    http://www.PrettyEnergy.com

    7.27.12
    Reply
  67. Nicole wrote:

    Great idea!

    Kisses from Hong Kong,
    Nicole

    7.28.12
    Reply
  68. zee wrote:

    the compression sleeves look surprisingly awesome! where do you guys get these great ideas

    7.28.12
    Reply
  69. Bug wrote:

    This is fab, and a really well set out tutorial. Ta!

    Bug @ STYLEoverSENSE

    7.28.12
    Reply
  70. Harima wrote:

    This is so original! I LOVE your DIY!!!!!! thank you!

    7.29.12
    Reply
  71. Agnieszka wrote:
    7.30.12
    Reply
  72. Mandy wrote:

    Just finished mine and love it! But I can’t find end caps anywhere, where did you get them???
    -Mandy

    8.1.12
    Reply
  73. Jennifer wrote:

    The colors are so fun. We love your DIY and tutorial!

    We found your blog from one of the members in our fashion community. She spotted your necklace into her favorite DIY collection on Socialbliss, hautespot for style.

    All images are an open link back to your website where it was spotted. Enjoy!

    http://www.socialbliss.com/styletab/diy-projects-GEYDKMBU/diy-utility-rope-necklace-honestly-wtf-HEZTEOJZ
    http://www.socialbliss.com/

    8.1.12
    Reply
  74. Andrea wrote:

    Thank goodness for your blog. You have the best DIY’s! I am constantly using your tutorials to make jewelry, and wearing it on my blog.

    http://spanishspur.blogspot.com/

    8.2.12
    Reply
  75. Eva wrote:

    In what kind of store do you buy your stuff? I’m from Holland so… 😀

    8.9.12
    Reply
  76. Nataya wrote:

    I am honestly inspired! Thankyou!

    Naty Ponders Style

    8.9.12
    Reply
  77. Lorna wrote:
    8.10.12
    Reply
  78. SAHRA wrote:

    SÜPERSSSS:)

    8.13.12
    Reply
  79. Nadja wrote:

    great idea! looks a little african!

    http://somethinglikecreativity.blogspot.co.at/

    8.15.12
    Reply
  80. Sereine wrote:

    C’est trèèèèès joli! Un tout grand merci pour le partage 🙂

    8.21.12
    Reply
  81. Pamela R wrote:

    <3 <3 it so EZ for my daughter and her friends to do =)

    8.22.12
    Reply
  82. Angela wrote:

    Ok so.. lets just say you are extremely talented. I love the necklace and great demo. I’ve learned a lot from you already.. Keep them coming.. I’ll be back to see more.. 🙂

    9.2.12
    Reply
  83. This necklace is just gorgeous! I absolutely love it! I’m at a wedding this weekend and am wearing a 70’s mod white and black color block dress. I wish I had that necklace to wear as a statement piece!

    9.15.12
    Reply
  84. Isabele wrote:

    Hey! First of all, i LOVE your blog! I love to do things by myself and you allready helped my for a lor of things…thank you for that! There is just one think…could you do a video showing how you put the cord end caps please? i just dont know how to use it…

    Beijo from Portugal =)*

    9.17.12
    Reply
  85. Acabo de descubrir tu blog y me ha encantado. Me qudo!!

    9.20.12
    Reply
  86. lena wrote:

    i love these idea. i make it too thank you

    9.25.12
    Reply
  87. rms wrote:

    Absolutely stunning, but cannot find the indicated size end caps either can you direct me

    9.28.12
    Reply
  88. naomi wrote:

    without a doubt the best DIY website that I have ever seen! Three cheers and five gold stars
    http://www.rawspace.com.au

    9.29.12
    Reply
  89. onnari wrote:

    I love ur DIYs- inspiring.
    http://www.thatssewnaija.blogspot.com

    10.1.12
    Reply
  90. laulu wrote:

    that is very pretty!!! I love this website!! 😀

    10.10.12
    Reply
  91. Marci wrote:

    found all items EXCEPT the end caps.. where can I find.. hard to complete project…and these are awesome. I have tried hardware stores, on line, marine shops, jewelry making store.. even went to jewelry design store… largest I found were 6MM HELP…

    10.20.12
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Marci, you can find the end caps here.

      10.20.12
  92. Meghan wrote:

    The 16mm end caps are “currently unavailable”
    Can you recommend any where else?

    10.24.12
    Reply
  93. Catherine wrote:

    Ouaouuhhh ! Ilove this +++
    thank you

    11.30.12
    Reply
  94. candice wrote:

    All I can say is wowo! Why can’t I think of this! Lol

    Bijoujewelryblog.blogspot.com

    2.16.13
    Reply
  95. Adore this necklace! I linked up to it in my roundup of hardware store jewelry projects here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/hardware-store-jewelry-trend/

    Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    Kelly Spence, Editor
    AllFreeJewelryMaking.com

    5.3.13
    Reply
  96. yeah!! i really like the designs………..
    i wanna try this awesome Necklace

    7.2.13
    Reply
  97. Fantastic! Great design!

    9.16.13
    Reply
  98. mangalagowri wrote:

    wow… beautiful…i really like it… and going to try it out.. thanks a lot

    11.21.13
    Reply
  99. Sarah wrote:

    Awesome design and it’s very easy to make.

    1.31.14
    Reply
  100. Mister Kushin wrote:

    I wouldn’t mind having this in my life
    http://www.goaccredited.biz

    6.19.14
    Reply
  101. Dita Basu wrote:

    This is a great tut. Will give it a try.

    5.4.16
    Reply
  102. carl adam wrote:

    I wouldn’t mind having this in my life love it so much.
    http://viralnewo.com

    2.17.17
    Reply
  103. fogut.com wrote:

    I love this, it is really great. Have a look a some natural home remedies @ http://fogut.com/

    4.6.17
    Reply
  104. Flair wrote:

    wowww thats amazing and iam in love with the necklace….. You made my work easy to make such a beautiful one…. Thanks for sharing dear

    5.29.17
    Reply
  105. Great necklace and you will definitely loves to share that on my blog: http://viralmummy.com/

    1.11.18
    Reply
  106. without a doubt the best DIY website that I have ever seen! Three cheers and five gold stars

    http://uploadarticle.com/

    4.3.18
    Reply
  107. Mustapha wrote:

    I love this, it is really great. Have a look a some natural home remedies

    5.7.18
    Reply
  108. magdeline wrote:

    love it….

    9.5.18
    Reply