Ankara is a beautiful African fabric and you can make your own fashionable accessories out of it. No need to spend much for buying. Learn the DIY way.
Ankara is one of the trendiest fabrics in Nigeria. No wonder it is, because it has a great variety of color and pattern styles. If you want to stay trendy, learn how to make Ankara accessories in a DIY fashion. Moreover, that in today’s industrial world handmade jewelry is highly appreciated and is expensive.
Here are the 3 best projects for Nigerian ladies. You can learn how to do them at home and make your friends jealous of your cute outfits. Plus, you can make the unlimited number of accessories in a very cost effective manner.
1. DIY Ankara necklace
One of the ways to do that is to use old buttons. Once you throw away an old dress or shirt, make sure to cut off the buttons (even the ugly ones). You can use them as the foundation for your necklace or earrings. You can even make a set of Ankara accessories, if you want to. If you do not have any old buttons, you can use small flat rocks or fruit stones instead. It does not really matter, as no one would see what is inside. You can even use various size coins for this purpose. Now, here is the list of things needed for this Ankara DIY project.
- Hot glue gun
- Foundation fabric (black or any other color)
- A clasp
- Beads (optional)
How to make ankara necklace
Be sure to pick the buttons, stones or whatever of different sizes. Now sort them by size. Take one and sort of measure it against the fabric. What you need is to be able to roll the fabric piece over the top of the button and to its back. Now, fold the Ankara into several layers (so you would not have to cut each piece separately) and cut out round bits of it. This way you can get at least five a time and speed up the process.
Cut out as many, as you like. Now, use your hot glue gun (or instant glue) to cover the buttons with the fabric. You place little glue on the top of the button, apply the middle of the fabric circle on it and press down a bit. Then you turn the button over. You see the loose ends of the fabric. Put the glue on the other side of the button and glue them up. It really does not matter how the backend of the rock or stone looks.
No one would see it anyways. Make up to 30+ of such buttons. If you wish to create a really massive neck piece, get up to 100+ of them. You may use different colors of Ankara in one necklace, too.
Once you are done with that, you can start putting the accessory together. Cut out a piece of foundation fabric. You may also use a piece of card board or plastic and cover it with Ankara.
It should be round up to fit your neck (tight or loose). Attach the ribbons on two sides of it to go around your neck. You may tie them or use a clasp. Try it on first with no buttons to see how it fits you. Now start gluing the covered buttons on. You may place the larger ones in the middle and smaller ones on the sides. Arrange them any way you want. You sort of make a whole cluster of them.
You can also use colorful or glitter beads to decorate it on and off. Here you go. You got a very pretty Ankara neck piece to match your Ankara shoes or purse.
2. DIY Ankara bangle
This is a very easy and fun project. You may use your old bangle as the foundation for it. In case you have none, do not worry, you can use simple things from your home to create the bangle not having to spend a naira on it.
Let’s follow the entire process. Got a plastic bottle from the soda? Great. That is just what we need. Cut out a piece of it. Remove the cup and cut out a circle (your bracelet foundation) of the bottle. You can make it pretty broad if you like massive bangles, or a narrow one. If the bottle is large and the foundation slips of your hand, just cut out a piece of it. Now instead of a circle you got a plastic strip.
- Ankara fabric
- Piece of thick fabric or foam used underneath the laminated flooring (you can also use the bubble wrap)
- Hot glue gun or instant glue
How to make ankara bangles
Now, glue that thick fabric (bubble wrap or foam) on the top of the plastic foundation or strip. Just measure it against the foundation and cut out a similar strip. Glue it on the top of it. It is done to create more volume for your bangle, so it would not be hard and look flat.
Here is the fun part. You need to cover your bangle with the Ankara. There are two basic ways of doing it. You may cut off a long strip of fabric and start rolling it around the plastic bracelet. You go in circles from one end to the other or all the way around the circle. Time to time use some glue to keep the fabric in place.
Or you can cut off a strip of fabric wide enough to go over the edges of the bangle.
You put it on, just like you did with the buttons, and wrap to the other side. The inside of the bracelet is your backend. Glue it tightly in. Now the back end does not look so good. Cut out another strip to fit the inner circle of the bangle. Cover the uncanny edges with it and adjust with rubber. You get a pretty Ankara covered accessory. You can easily decorate it with fabric rolled flowers. See, how to make them in our next project.
If you have cut the circle and make a plastic strip to fit your arm, then you can attach ribbons to tie them up, so the bangle stays on your hand well.
3. DIY Ankara earrings
You could make them by covering the buttons or stones with the fabric, just like with the neck piece. They could be the part of your Ankara set. But since you already know how to do that, we will look at a different way.
- Ankara fabric
- Hot glue gun
How to make ankara earrings:
You may use the earlet from your old earrings or buy the new ones. We start by cutting off a long (15 cm) and narrow (2-3 cm) strip of Ankara fabric. Heat up your glue gun. Now things start to roll. Take the end of the strip in your fingers and fold in half. Then bend in the folded end in and glue it. This would be the center of your flower. Now you keep on rolling and twisting, rolling and twisting the stip. Make 1-2 rolls and twist the fabric over, repeat, etc.
Every time you make a twist fasten the fabric to the rolled flower using glue. You go in circles from the center and make a pretty flat and wide flower. It resembles the rose in looks. When you twist, you create the edges of the petals. You may roll and press it together hard to make a flatter flower (which is good for an earring), or you could make a puffy one for your necklace or bangle. READ ALSO: How to make Ankara shoes in 7 easy steps.
These flowers are very easy and fun to make. They can be used as the earrings (just attach the earlet in). You can make pins or hair clips of them. You can put it on the headband or decorate your gele with them. You can also use them for scrapbooking projects or to decorate your gift packages. Indeed, they are multipurpose. Here is a great video tutorial for you on rolled flowers:
Nigerian fashion keeps on introducing new concepts. Your outfits or accessories may come out of fashion quickly, but if you know how to make Ankara accessories, you can easily replace them with the new ones. Besides, yours would be handmade and unique! So, get stocked up with Ankara and start crafting.