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Girl Scout Fabric Swap Necklace

These necklaces are popular in our area. They are great for wearing and displaying swaps from International Festivals and camping trips. Since I could not find a description of how to make them to share with a new troop, I decided to add one.While preparing the sample, I "used resources wisely" and did not purchase any new material. The animal print fabric is originally from a Halloween costume. The fiberfill stuffing came from an old pillow. My original necklace used large wooden beads. Since I did not have any beads at home, I improvised and made cork beads. You could also use cut up straws.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

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fabric piece (3" x 40"-45"), avoid large print fabrics
4 corks or 7 large wooden beads
fiberfill stuffing
tape, masking or electrical
seam gauge
pinking shears
sewing machine
tube turning tool or ~6" piece of 1/2" plastic pipe, optional
serrated bread knife
small flat head screwdriver
large flat head screwdriver


Step 2: Cut Fabric

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Cut a piece of fabric 3" x (40"-45")
If the 3" sides are not selvage edges, cut them with pinking shears to prevent fabric fraying.

Step 3: Fold Fabric in Half

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Fold fabric in half, right sides together, and press.

Step 4: Sew Tube

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Sew a 3/8" seam along the fabric edge creating a tube.

Step 5: Turn Tube

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Manually or using a tube turning tube, turn the tube right side out. If you do not have a tube turning tool, you could use a piece of  plastic pipe and chopstick to help with turning.

Step 6: Cut Cork Beads

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Cut 7 5/8" cork beads using a serrated bread knife.

Step 7: Make Holes in Cork Beads

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Using first a small flat head screwdriver and then a larger flat head screwdriver, make a 1/4" hole in the center of each cork bead. Our garage was cold this morning and I could not find our electric drill, but you could probably use an electric drill/screwdriver/dremel tool for this step.

Step 8: Put First Bead on Necklace

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Put the first bead on the necklace, centering it in the middle of fabric tube. You might need to put electrical or masking tape around the fabric end to get bead on, depending on the size of the hole in your bead.

Step 9: Divide Fiberfill

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Get 6 fist sizes bunches of fiberfill. Try and make the piles equal. You want each stuffed section to be about 1 1/2" long. It is difficult to remove stuffing if you add too much in one section, so start with smaller bunches and add more fiberfill if needed.

Step 10: Complete First Stuffed Section

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Using a chopstick, insert one of the fiberfill bunches into the fabric tube until it is next to first bead. If needed, add more fiberfill until you have a 1 1/2 " long stuffed section. Then insert another bead.

Step 11: Complete Remaining 5 Stuffed Sections

Continue stuffing sections and adding beads until you have a necklace of 6 stuffed 1 1/2' sections separated by beads. When finished, you should have 3 stuffed sections on each side of the center bead.