Patchwork Necklace #1: How to make a patchwork necklace

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Blog entry by MrsN posted 11-24-2010 06:28 AM 11332 reads 7 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So I sprained my foot last week, and my doctor has told me that I need to keep off it as much as possible and keep it elevated as much as possible. I can still sort of scroll, but I look a little funny with a pillow under my bench resting my foot, so I decided to look though my photos to see if I had anything I could blog about.
I ran across some photos of a How-to make a patchwork necklace that I had thought about doing once. So instead of actually building something today, I will teach the world to build something.

This is they type of thing I will explain how to make.

It is a wonderful use of small scraps, and makes a great gift. They look complicated and very different, but are simpler then you think.

You will need a scroll saw, or suitable small blade on a band saw. Something that will allow you to make smallish curves. A larger blade will work in a similar fashion, but you wont get as wavy a pattern in the end.
You will also need a way to sand the pieces flat. I use a spindle sander. If you are careful a belt sander will work, and if you have time a random-orbital sander or a piece of sand paper will also do the trick

Start with a few pieces of wood that are close to the same size. I like to shoot for something about 2”x3” (50mm x 75mm for those other folks :) ) That size will allow you to do the most with your finished necklace, most shapes you might want will work. For this demo my pieces are scrap from some Christmas ornaments I made Maple, Cherry and Mahogany. I am using 1/8” thick material, but 1/4 will also work well. Thicker stuff can get heavy. You can use more then 3 pieces if you like.

How To…
Stack the pieces together, and tape the stack to hold it all together. If you like to plan ahead draw some squiggles on the tape, but you can improvise if you like.

The tighter your curves the more attention you will have to pay to your blade. If you turn too tightly your blade may want to start stretching and not be square to your table. This is even more evident if you have a thicker stack of pieces, the top and bottom may not fit together nicely.

Cut the curves, and separate the pieces. Lay them out so you can see what you have.

Then mix up your pieces so they look cool.

Next is the glue up. I use super glue, but regular wood glue will work also.
My favorite clamp for this is a pair of old square corner clamps I got at a thrift sale last summer. I line the bottom with tape or wax paper so the piece doesn’t stick. It helps keep the pieces flat, which means less sanding later :)

Tape also works really well, but it will take longer to dry. Glue doesn’t cure when it is all sealed in.

Sanding! once the pieces are glued together you need to sand them flat. If you are going to stop here, you will want to sand them completely smooth. If you are going to keep going, you just need them flat, they can still be rough.
I use a spindle sander most of the time. It works pretty well and keeps my knuckles out of the sand paper.

Here are some examples of pieces that stopped at this point.

This is another example using just two woods

You can also notice the difference the final shape can have on the look of the necklace

Stay tuned and we will make it look even cooler….

8 comments so far

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 4136 days

#1 posted 11-24-2010 07:43 AM

These are really neat. I guess I’ll have to try one or ten….

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4358 days

#2 posted 11-24-2010 08:03 AM

interressting to use a round sander to get things flat…well glad I learned a new thing there :-)
and I Like the creative use of the clamp , first I thought I read it wrong and then the picture came up
never thought using this kind of clamp as a single
I always try to learn three new things every day so its deffently a great blog three things in one
thank you MrsN
and I realy look forward to the next one I always thought your earings was something

I´m sorry to hear about the foot (thow must smile with the picture of you with a pillow under the foot
using a tool) hope you heal fast


View TJ65's profile


1427 posts in 4292 days

#3 posted 11-24-2010 10:28 AM

Hey good idea. I have lots of small scrolled pieces just waiting for something like this.
Sorry to hear about your foot—well no I am not, as you would not have done this.
God works in mysterious ways!!! :-)
You finished this one quick enough, so whats the next instalment while the foot is out of action????

-- Theresa,

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4081 days

#4 posted 11-24-2010 11:10 AM

Girl- Nice blog- but… a lesson to learn in your youth: When you are a teacher who is off on workers comp- you should be reading a great book and drinking good coffee and doing anything BUT TEACH. Especially when Thanksgiving is but 2 days away. So that being said…... DRINK UP! :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4131 days

#5 posted 11-24-2010 02:59 PM

Another one for my favorites file! Thanks.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 4965 days

#6 posted 11-24-2010 03:35 PM

These look great! It’s good to see you’re being creative while healing, but does your doctor know you’re having this much fun?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4293 days

#7 posted 11-24-2010 04:55 PM

Once a teacher, always a teacher, right? My mother has been a teacher for 30+years now and will undoubtedly continue teaching in one facet or another after she retires.

Nice blog post with the corresponding pictures as well.

I think I’m going to set aside a special little box for tiny offcuts and scraps to save for things like this.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View S2artDesigns's profile


112 posts in 3730 days

#8 posted 08-06-2011 06:05 AM

Man thats awesome. I wish I had the equipment for this. Those things are beautiful!

-- Visit my Etsy site to see my burl wood jewelry at

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