GreenCraft: Making an Upcycled Suede Necklace

It's an honor to have my suede fringe necklace featured in this month's GreenCraft Magazine! This is one of my favorite jewelry projects to make, and it's a great way to use up a variety of miscellaneous suede and leather scraps (which I happen to have a lot of around the studio). My whole handmade jewelry business Once Again Sam is centered around using recycled materials, and leather has always been the most dear to me. I enjoy searching for outdated suede clothing at the thrift store, and giving it new life, once again, in a whole new way as bold but wearable jewelry. 

Below is a step by step tutorial on how to make the statement necklace shown in the GreenCraft article, as well as a #MakersEyeView sharing a time-lapse video of the process from start to finish. Enjoy, and happy crafting!

How to make a suede fringe necklace: 

1. Gather material: I use thrift store clothing as my suede and leather source, but just about anything will work as long as it doesn't fray when cut. 

2. Cut strips: use scissors to cut an assortment of 1/4" wide strips (the length is up to you, mine are about 2 1/2 to 3"). The necklace in the photo used over 150 pieces total, in 20 different colors. 

3. Create pointed ends: give one end of each piece a pointed shape, so they'll have that "fringe" look when strung together. They don't have to be perfect!

4. Punch holes: use an 1/8" circle leather punch to punch a small hole through the top of each piece (the flat end, not the end with the point).

5. Make your chain: cut a length of thin chain around 18-20" (depending on where you want the necklace to lay on your chest), then add a clasp to one end so the leather pieces wont fall off once you begin stringing them on. The chain needs to be thin enough to go through the punched holes. I attached a needle to the end of my chain to make threading easier, because my punched hole was just barely big enough to accept the chain.

6. Start stringing: once you have your colors in the order you want them, begin adding your suede strips one by one until you're happy with the overall size.

GreenCraft has featured two of my upcycled jewelry projects in the past, and those tutorials can also be found on my blog:

Click HERE for suede fringe earring project

Click HERE for suede cuff project

GreenCraft Article Published

Writing and crafting: two of my favorite things. I'm excited to announce my second DIY article was recently published in GreenCraft Magazine! I so enjoy reading this magazine, it appeals to my love of up-cycling and repurposing, and I always find inspiration for new eco-friendly projects with every issue. It's a complete honor to be able to contribute my DIY guide to making suede fringe earrings to the Autumn issue of GreenCraft. 

I would say 99% of my writing is fiction, but once in awhile I get the itch to share facts and real life experiences, and I'm lucky enough that GreenCraft has allowed me the opportunity to share this DIY article with them and their readers. I hope you enjoy the magazine, there are so many great projects in the Autumn issue!


Suede Fringe Earring: A DIY Guide by Sarah Mandell
Autumn Issue of GreenCraft Magazine

My Worlds Have Officially Collided

I write. I make things. This is the first time I’ve written about making things.

My worlds have officially collided! For the first time ever, I’ve combined my love of writing with my addiction to all things handmade. Once Again Sam, my indie craft business, is where most of my time and creativity are invested. I enjoy working with my hands from sun up to sundown, all the while letting my mind dream up my next novel. Though I may be lost in the clouds thinking up new stories to write about later on, I’ve got a story right in front of me, in my hands. Each piece of jewelry I make has a story behind it, but I’ve never shared that until now.

My very first article was published in GreenCraft Magazine recently, and it tells the story of how I turn thrift store clothing into funky suede cuffs. In the article, you’ll get a little glimpse into how I started making jewelry with repurposed materials, as well as a step-by-step tutorial.


Now, for the story behind the story:

I never dreamed of writing for a magazine. Pitching my article to an editor and getting this kind of national press for my small business seemed way out of my league. It was a lot more daunting than when I first started shopping my novel around to literary agents and publishers. Fortunately, with just the right mix of information and motivation, it all came together beautifully.  

Last February I attended The Makers Summit here in Greenville, SC and heard all kinds of amazing advice from a wide range of industry experts. One speaker in particular, Amy Flurry, author of Recipe for Press, really stuck with me. She had so much to share about her experience in the magazine world, and what editors are looking for in a pitch. I purchased her book, read it 3 times through, and took a step I never thought I could take. I crafted my first magazine pitch, submitted that, along with a step-by-step how-to for making a suede cuff out of thrift store clothing, and sent it off to GreenCraft Magazine. I never expected to hear back from them. This week, I held the winter issue of GreenCraft Magazine and slowly read through my 4 page spread. I cannot express how amazing that felt!