Anthro Knockoff – Akela Necklace

Anthropologie is such a great source to steal ideas from for inspiration. One of my favorite things to do late at night is browse through the Anthro site with a cup of hot tea. Gets my brain going.

Much to my delight Anthro just added a darling little fabric and bead necklace that I just had to knockoff!

Here’s the Anthro version:

I love the style of this necklace but the color, not so much. I don’t want anything named “Guacamole” for the color hanging around my neck. I don’t have the style to pull that off.

Second, according to the description, this little baby is 72″ long. That would go down to my knees. No thanks. Never fear. Anthro Knockoff Girl is here!

Ok, that was weird. But the necklace that resulted is pretty darn cute, and a much better fit for me in size and color. The beauty of creating things ourselves – we get it the way WE want it.

One of the other things I like about this necklace is that you don’t need any jewelry hardware or tools. Just a sewing machine. Ready to get started? This one won’t take long, I promise!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric for necklace and ruffles – I used a sort of sheer fabric I had on hand
  • Beads – 3 sizes. Buy the cheapies – they don’t show. The largest bead I used was 1/2″ diameter, then two smaller sizes.
  • Thread to match

Cut your fabric into long pieces – measuring total of around 90″ long by 2″. Mine were 2 pieces that I sewed together in the middle. That’s no big deal, we’ll just hide the seam in a knot.

Cut out your circles – 2 1/2″ diameter. I used 22 but you would want to cut out a few more in case you want it a little rufflier.

Do any piecing of your long strip first. Fold the strip in half, longways, and sew together using a 1/4″ seam. You might need to adjust this if you are using different sized beads. You want your casing to be just a little wider than your largest bead.

Get ready to turn your casing inside out. You can either sew a ribbon in one end, then as you sew your casing, keep the ribbon running through the center so that you can just pull the ribbon to turn it inside out.

Or you can pin a safety pin in one end and feed that through the casing. That is what I did.

Place a large bead inside the casing. Fold your tube in half and move the bead to the bottom center. Make a tight knot on either side of the bead. If you have a seam in the middle, try and put your seam inside the knot so it doesn’t show. You might need to twist the fabric a bit as you knot it to keep the knot as small as possible.

Add a couple large beads on either side of this bead, knotting after them.

Continue adding beads on each side of your center bead, keeping the number of beads on each side even. Here is the pattern I used – feel free to do your own thing. ;)

Center Bead: 3 Large Beads on either side of this: 6 Medium Beads on either side: 3 Small Beads on either side. So 7 Large Beads, 12 Medium Beads & 6 Small Beads for a total of 25.

Turn the ends of your fabric tube to the inside of the tube – sew the ends closed.

Time to sew on your circles! Start by folding a circle in half, then in half again.

(In a weird optical illusion I actually look tan here. Must be the flash.)

Sew the corner of the fold to one of the knots on the right side of the necklace. Mine is started on the knot below the 5th bead on the right side.

Keep sewing folded circles to the fabric over the beads and the knots, keeping them to the front of the necklace so it lays flat. Sew about 12 circles over a space of three beads. Change directions that the ends of the circle point to fill in the area.

Repeat this process on the lower left side of the necklace – start sewing below the 8th bead down on the left side, covering 3 beads of space again.

To finish off the necklace and give it a little more of “store-bought” look, I pressed the ends of the necklace that didn’t have beads into folds, like the Anthro version. I also kind of “smooshed” up the ruffles, so they weren’t so puffy.

Try the necklace on and tie it to the length you’d like. Show off to everyone else so they can see how cool you are.

I made the necklace with what I had on hand – but the bead package I used was originally about 3 dollars and if you bought the fabric you’d need less than a 1/4 of a yard.

A little better than $38 huh??? ;)


  • Reply January 30, 2011


    Its fascinating how ideas get recycled and updated. We were doing this with marbles between knots back in the 80s. The marbles were heavy and all the same size,… got old quick. I love this latest version!

  • Reply March 30, 2011

    Jennivie Wirries

    I need to make this one! I think this is the first I ever saw here,months ago

  • Reply April 18, 2011

    Susie B

    Yours is SO much nicer! Thank you for the tutorial & ideas!

  • Reply April 20, 2011

    Willeke O'Leary

    Well done, and actually prettier than the original IMHO.

  • Reply April 30, 2011

    Tori Bishop

    Oh so cute! What fabulous style! Thank You for sharing!

  • Reply April 30, 2011


    Loved this ncklace and believe this is one of the best tutorials I’ve seen. And yes at 75 this was around with marbles and no flowers AND I never bothered to make it.

  • Reply May 3, 2011


    I made this today! So easy! I hand sewed mine together bc I don’t have my sewing machine yet (buying on one Monday!) Love your blog!

  • Reply June 21, 2011


    Hi there! I LOVE your version of the necklace…I do want to ask you something……I want to make this necklace and give some as gifts, would it be ok with you if I sold them? If so, do you have any conditions? THANK a bunch! :)

  • Reply July 5, 2011


    Such an elegant necklace and so SIMPLE too! Lovely work!

  • Reply July 15, 2011

    Linda Thomas

    This necklace is great ! Feminine, flower-y, perfect to dress up plain summer tank tops and tank dresses, and so easy to make. Thanks very much.

  • Reply August 29, 2011


    Hi! Fantastic tutorial, thanks so much! I’ve linked it up to my post here:

  • Reply October 23, 2011


    I never knew what “anthro” was, but I love it and also the one you made!!!

  • Reply January 26, 2012

    jan b

    I just love this necklace and I plan to make it soon. And I’ve passed the site onto a friend who has just recently started doing some small projects as a relaxing way to keep her hands busy. She loves fashion and I know she’ll love this! Thank you.

  • Reply March 23, 2012



  • Reply June 7, 2012


    Just getting into making jewlrey, so I will making this one today. thanks for the tutorial.

  • Reply July 19, 2012


    I like your better!

  • Reply November 3, 2012


    Thank you for the tutorial; your necklace is beautiful. I am thinking of making one without the ruffles.

  • Reply January 29, 2013


    I remember these in the 80’s made of bandanas (UGLY!) so never made. Yours are lovely.

  • Reply July 2, 2014


    Hi love your version better.
    Do the circles frey?

    • July 3, 2014


      Thanks Paula! They do just a little bit, but not bad. You could treat the edges with fray check to prevent that though! I hope you give it a try!

  • Reply October 23, 2015


    Oh wow, Your version is way too cooler and prettier XD..
    Gotta try this!! THanksss

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