Some people seemingly have all the money in the world to spend on clothing, jewelry and addition accessories. Others end up with only a handful of outfits suitable for a special occasion. When an invite comes along, and you just don’t have the funds for a new ensemble, it can make you consider turning down the invitation simply because you can’t afford to go. If you’ve got an upcoming event to attend, and you don’t want to show up with the same outfit they’ve all seen you in, you can change the entire look by creating an easy choker-style necklace and matching belt. The design is simplistic yet elegant and can be made with or without sewing it. It can be worn with a variety of dresses, blouses and dress-up outfits or it can be worn in a more casual manner.
Craft stores carry an assortment of brass-type rings that are perfect for creating the choker and belt set. The rings are commonly found in colors of gold or silver and sometimes found in colors of blue, pink or other colors. Choose a small to medium-size ring to make the choker and a small, medium or large ring to make the belt. In addition to the rings you’ll need to choose the fabric or material you want to use. Although most craft stores don’t carry a wide variety of fabrics they do sell felt and similar materials that can be used for the choker and belt set. A fabric store will offer you a wider selection of appropriate fabrics, like velvet, satin, fake fur or similar materials that will look beautiful on your new choker and belt.
If you choose a fabric that sheds after cutting – like velvet or fake fur – it’s necessary to treat the material with a no-fray solution. You’ll find the liquid at any fabric store and some craft stores. After cutting the fabric just follow the label directions and apply the liquid to the cut edges of the material. This will prevent the necklace and belt from further fraying or shedding. Materials like felt will not need this application. In fact, felt doesn’t even require you to hem it! If you’re looking for a quick way to create the new ensemble, and you don’t sew, felt is the perfect choice.
Measure around your neck and write down that number. Measure the ring and subtract that number. For example, if the ring is four inches in diameter, subtract four inches from the original measurement. Now add two inches to the final measurement to allow enough fabric to fit nicely around the neck but not too tightly. Do the same for the belt: measure the waist, subtract the amount of the ring, then add two inches to the final number. Cut the fabric to this length. The width of the fabric is up to you. You decide how wide you want the choker to be and how wide you want the belt. Cut your fabric accordingly.
Keep one thing in mind while cutting the width of the fabric: the size ring you use is directly relevant to the width you can choose for the choker or belt. That is, if you choose a small ring, then try to use a wide piece of fabric through it, you’ll find that the ends of the fabric will wrinkle up and look bad. It’s a good idea to cut the fabric, place it through the ring, and you can see how it will look after permanently sewn or glued. If you need to, you can cut the width down a little, so you’ll get a smoother look at the ends.
Once you’ve cut the single piece of fabric the choker and belt are very easy to assemble. Take the end of the fabric and put it through the ring. Bring it over the ring and glue or sew it to the fabric. The end should be folded over the ring with a mere inch leftover to sew or glue. At the opposite end of the fabric simply sew or glue on a piece of velcro. Whenever you want to wear the choker or belt just position the ring at the throat or waist, wrap the fabric around the neck or waistline, then put the end through the ring and velcro it.
You can use a different shaped ring, like an oval or a square, to make a completely different type of choker and belt set. Or, you can enhance the finished piece by using a small piece of wire. Dangle a jewelry charm from the wire and twist it into place on the brass ring. It’s an easy way to create something dazzling without spending a lot of money. Wear the choker and belt together or separately. Wear them for an elegant event or for a casual day. It’s the perfect ensemble for someone who has little money but still wants to look great!