Removable collars have been the must-have-it accessory for the past year now, and I honestly didn’t think there were any more varieties I hadn’t seen.  Bejeweled!  Neon!  Flowered!  Pearl-encrusted!  Leather!

But this metal collar necklace from a newsletter (above) caught my eye – and I was heartbroken to find it was sold out.  (Here’s a similar one if you’re interested.)  “I can make that,” I reasoned, and set about doing it.  (No soldering involved!!)  With just some foam, embossing metal, and jewelry supplies, you too can make your very own chic metallic accessory!  Here’s how:

You Need:

Materials: shirt collar to use as your pattern  / paper  /   sheet of embossing metal (found in many craft stores or online here)  /  sticky-back foam  /  jumprings  / necklace chain  / necklace closure

Tools:  thin pencil  /  scissors  / awl  / pliers / flat tool (like bone folder or butter knife)

How To:

1. Trace the collar piece of a button-down shirt that fits you onto a piece of paper.  We only need one side of it, so fold in half and cut off one side.  Also – subtract 1″ from the smaller end – since the metal necklace can’t go all the way around your neck.  Use this pattern piece to trace 2 pieces onto the front side of the sticky-back foam.  (Flipping the pattern over for the second piece!)

2. Cut those pieces out.

3. Use the pattern again to trace two pieces onto the embossing metal (again, flipping the pattern over for the second piece).  Trace around the pattern about 1/4″, using only the tip of the pencil to make in indented line.

4. Cut out the pieces out of the metal.

5. Use your awl or another sharp instrument to poke a hole in each piece at the top back corner, about 1/4″ from the edges.

6. Peel the back off the foam pieces and stick them onto the back sides of the metal pieces.

7. Use your finger to smooth the front of the metal out onto the foam backing.

8. Using the hole you made in the metal as a guide, stab through the foam so the hole goes all the way through at the top back edges of the collar pieces.

9. Flip the pieces onto their fronts, and fold the excess metal over onto the back sides.  Be careful!  Embossing metal is slightly thicker than foil, and can cut you easily.  Try to make your folds as crisp as possible.

Using your smoothing tool/bone folder/butter knife to press the excess onto the back can also be helpful.

10. Clip the corners in the above manner to help you make nice, crisp corners.  You don’t want them sharp, so after you’ve folded the metal over, rub the corners slightly rounded with your smoothing tool.

Make sure you cut the metal excess so it doesn’t cover up the holes you made when folded over.  I stuck the awl through there to remind me where they were.

11. Cut 2 more pieces of foam using the pattern, and this time, trim about 1/8″ off them all the way around.

12. Cut a long rectangle of metal (or use a scrap).  Mine was just over an inch; in retrospect, probably about 3″ would be better.

13. Twist that metal around into a strong coil.

14. Bend that coil into a V-shape.  This will anchor your two collar pieces together.  You could also potentially poke holes in them and anchor them with a jumpring, or use a piece of wire or a flattened paperclip for more strength.

15. Stick a piece of stick foam onto the back of the collar, sandwiching that coiled piece of metal on the back side.  It should cover up all the sharp edges of the folded-over metal.

16. Do the same for the other piece.

17. Bend the collar pieces carefully so they conform to the shape of your neck.

18. Add the jumprings and necklace chain and closure through the holes you made at the back of the pieces.

And that’s it!!

Hope you guys like it!  It’s a little delicate, and can’t take too much abuse because of the front coil holding everything together, but so far, so good:-)

I’ll also be offering the pattern for this collar in my next release of Chic Steals DIY Patterns: The Shirt Collar!  (coming soon…)

Surprisingly easy, fairly affordable, and will hold up to scrutiny – I’m loving this necklace as a topper for everything from pretty dresses to casual sweater ensembles!

Happy DIY’ing!


~Think of this as my virtual tip jar;-)  If you liked this, or think a friend might, share it and spread the DIY love!~