Beat the Heat: How to Make Lightweight, Colorful, Affordable Soutache Jewelry for Summer
Now that summer is here, I’m officially switching into my summertime trying-not-to-melt uniform: tees, skirts, sandals. Unfortunately it can get too hot for jewelry, as much as it pains me to admit it, but I think I’ve found a solution this year: fiber jewelry, specifically soutache jewelry!
Lightweight, colorful, and affordable, soutache jewelry is perfect for summer (and for anytime, really), and you can find 15 soutache jewelry projects in Csilla Papp’s new book, Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making. I love how versatile the projects are; because they’re so lightweight, you can make two of the pendants and turn them into eye-catching, ponytail-perfect earrings–or make one of the earrings and use it as a pendant. I plan to make three different components in the same colorway and use them together on a necklace. Modifying the already beautiful designs for your own one-of-a-kind jewelry is easy with these versatile projects, and they’re great for beginning jewelry makers, including teens!
I think the most important part of making soutache jewelry is how to attach and build the soutache braid around a focal piece or incorporate components into the braid, especially when they have no holes. Here’s a snippet of how that’s done.
Attaching Soutache Around Components
By Csilla Papp, from Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making
- After you’ve applied the beading foundation [with glue, shown in detail in the book], thread your needle, cut the thread into a comfortable length, and tie a knot at one end. Cut the soutache braids to the length specified in the instructions. Align one piece of braid with the bead on one side, leaving a tail roughly 2″ long or the length given in the project. Insert the needle into the foundation and sew through the groove of the soutache braid.
- Stitch down approximately 1/8″ from the previous spot and go back through the braid and the foundation.
- Work down one side of the bead, stitching the soutache in the same way. Always place your stitches in the groove of the soutache and make sure your needle enters the beading foundation at a slight angle. —CP
With that basic technique, you’re on your way to creating soutache jewelry. Csilla continues with how to add more soutache braids to the piece, how to modify the technique if your component has a hole, how to attach the braids around an open ring to create interesting negative space in your projects, and everything else you need to know about soutache jewelry making–including 15 pretty projects!
You can master this fun, summer-friendly technique in our Sensational Soutache Collection. In this special-value bundle, you’ll get the Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making digital book by Csilla Papp, access to the on-demand webinar on how to make soutache jewelry, and three digital soutache jewelry projects for even more soutache style!
P.S. Learn more about soutache jewelry and see some of the beautiful projects from this book in this blog.