Going Tribal: DIY Mix Media Fringe Necklace

By: Roseann

I am excited to see the tribal trend taking off this summer.  The look is comprised of bold graphic prints paired with warm tones and natural accents.  This can be a tricky look to pull off, so couple of tips.  When mixing patterns and textures, be sure each piece has one or two colors in common.  Oversized patterns can easily be over whelming, so these dresses and skirts should be short and simple in shape.  When in doubt go for mini, that’s always my motto.  When turning the volume on your outfit up, with bright colors such as orange and fuchsia, turn your makeup down.  Wear a natural eye or lip.  And finally pile on the great accessories.  Load your arm up with wooden bangles or add a mix media necklace over a daring graphic tee.



  1. Decide on a comfortable length for your necklace to be.  I chose 12 inches.
  2. Cut your 17mm chain to the measurement you’ve decided.
  3. cut your leathers down into 24 inch pieces
  4. Using pieces of tape or string mark the center 6 inches of your 17mm chain.  You want to work with in this space only.
  5. Starting with the wider pieces of leather you are going to begin attaching them to your necklace.  Fold leather in half then push the folded center through a link of chain and pull the tail ends of the leather through the loop.  Pull tight to secure.
  6. Repeat step 5 with the 1mm cord, but attach two pieces together.
  7. Cut 9mm chain into four 9 inch pieces.  Attach to necklace using the jump rings.

22 thoughts on “Going Tribal: DIY Mix Media Fringe Necklace

  1. Very cool. Looks like it’s pretty easy to make too, but then again it’s easier said than done. Great job!

  2. i don’t really understand this use of the word “tribal” here, or your enthusiasm about the “tribal trend” taking off. to me, it simply looks like a bold statement piece necklace, and describing it using a referentially empty (yet racialized) term like “tribal” rubs me the wrong way.

    1. The great thing about fashion is that it is fun and not to be taken too seriously. However, I am serious about keeping up with all current trends from the streets to the runways. The current trend that I spoke of in this post is related to a style comprised of pieces that have been influenced and inspired by many different cultures. Being inspired by other cultures, in my mind, is solely complimentary. If one prefers we could call this the “globalization trend”. To those who believe the word “tribal” has been used too loosely, I appologize. It was simply meant to sum up “influenced by other cultures”.

      1. Did you have any specific cultures in mind, or do you just mean the culture of the Other? Be advised that people from “other cultures” may not feel complimented by your context-free borrowing.

      2. This is an absolutely fabulous piece. I find it daunting that anyone would try to dissect the written word to create false perceptions of the artist.

      3. thanks for responding. i suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree in that case, though, because as a fashion culture blogger, i’m constantly arguing that fashion is far more than simply fun and “not to be taken too seriously.” i think your concerns about wanting to keep up with current trends have more to do with capital and income source than it has to do with creativity and uniqueness, but that’s my own perspective.

        a lot of fashion consumers and fans are really concerned right now about this “current trend” of borrowing from other cultures without thinking about all the power dynamics going on there. i wrote about this in more detail in april if you’re geuninely interested in reading about my perspective: http://alagarconniere.blogspot.com/2010/04/critical-fashion-lovers-basic-guide-to.html#comments

        but i honestly mean it when i say i’m thankful you at least took the time to respectfully address my question. i do strongly disagree though, that “being inspired” by other cultures is solely complimentary. as an anti-globalization activist, i hardly prefer that we call this the globalization trend instead. ESPECIALLY seeing as (if you are located in north america/south america) this specific “tribal” trend is hardly global; we live on stolen native land, where native people still exist (myself included).

        and in response to carly, who i can’t reply to for some reason, i wasn’t trying to “create false perceptions” of the artist; rather, the fact that i chose to comment here in the first place shows that i was curious enough to want to understand and hear from the artist themselves about their intention, instead of simply making assumptions.

    2. Julia, I understand your position and again I have appologized for using a term that has obviously offended you. The necklace is made using materials such as leather and bone tubes and held together by simple knots. It is just something that came out of me as most of my projects do. To pin point a single source of inspiration is always a bit vague since I have been all over the place and try to take in all of the beauty and lessons I can from these places and the people I have met. Since I am orginally from the southwest a lot of my aesthetic is influenced by my first love and home. If you have seen any of my other posts I would like to think that this would be very apparent. Your statement regarding “capital and income source” is a bit harsh and offensive. I do work for a company that provides goods to designers and artists a like (we are fulfilling a need) but my projects for this blog are merely a side note. I do not get paid extra for this and all of my designs and ideas come from the heart and are free to anyone who would like to try them. I also believe that they should be used as a source of inspiration and always incourage our readesr to be adventurous and creative. This does not have to be a battle. I realize now that there are people who are not taking things so lightly and our aim is not to be offensive. Again, I believe that personal style should be fun and expressive, not hurtful and meaningless. In my future posts I will try be more concientious so that we may all move forward from here. I wish you the best of luck in crusade.

      -from the artist herself

  3. Keely, what “other cultures” do YOU have in mind exactly? Who is implying what at this point? How dare you try to convey a theft of identity by being so vague yourself! “context free borrowing”? Enough!

    Julia, “racialized”??!?!! That is quite a stretch. This isn’t a headdress. Get over yourself!! The last thing me or my people need are another white spokesperson looking out for the better interest of the poor helpless “culture”.

    My tribe supplies M&J with quite a few products. Produced in the U.S. by “Real Americans”. We do not rely on gambling! We do not rely on selling roadside goods. We work hard and are proud of our product. All we can hope is others being inspired by our culture and showing their appreciation. End of story.


    1. with my use of the term “racialized,” which last time i checked was not a dirty word, i was referring to the term tribal, which roseann chose to employ to describe this necklace (not me). here’s a good definition of how the term is used in fashion, via threadbared:

      “the term “tribal” is both referentially empty (there is no “there,” no truth to be found and its lumping together of distinct peoples under the “tribal”) and at the same time overflowing with multiple forms of alienation that often forcibly estrange a people from themselves, from history, from life. To be made “tribal” via these forms of alienation is far too often to be “out of time,” uncivilized, antimodern, backwards, dead or might-as-well-be-dead.”

      i’m not necessarily saying that this necklace represents all things that are wrong with the word tribal, i was mostly just curious in why the person who made this necklace chose to name it “tribal” as opposed to a more descriptive and appropriate term. if you say that your tribe supplies quite a few products, wouldn’t you want your tribe named as opposed to just being some vague, empty term?

      and honestly, i’m really not quite sure what your point is in your last paragraph, and i find your insinuations quite messed up to be honest. implying that most, if not all, “tribes” rely on gambling, selling roadside goods (i don’t understand why that would be a problem?) or that they, as opposed to you, don’t work hard and don’t have pride, is really hard for me to wrap my head around. please tell me i am misinterpreting your words.

      finally: we all know the best way to have civil, level-headed online discussions is to employ excessive use of the exclamation mark and all caps. i’m just trying to express my opinion here and i’d appreciate it if we could keep a respectful tone.

    2. also, for the record: i am french canadian/abénaki, not another “white spokesperson” looking out for the poor “helpless” culture. nor do i think native people or other “tribal” people need some white person to claim to speak for them. i’ve also done a lot of work as an ally with other native communities, which i can go into detail if you really want to question my motives.

      way to make assumptions instead of asking questions.

  4. i love it! I think it looks great! definitely on my to-do list.

    i agree with Carly’s comment. i don’t think there was any intention of being racial in regards to the tribal term.

  5. Intent is irrelevant. Effect is tantamount.

    It doesn’t matter what people intend to do. Most racism isn’t intentional. The effects on the disenfranchised group is what matters. It’s not just fashion. It’s a living breathing multiplicity of cultures unceremoniously rolled into one.

    Read up on it: http://www.mycultureisnotatrend.tumblr.com or nativeappropriations.blogspot.com

  6. This is a beautiful necklace. I don’t know why people would consider the word “tribal” to be racial…Unless the person is racist himself. I believe the term “tribal trend” is completely appropiate. I would have used the term the same way…and i myself am an existing native. As for Julia, Ms. Fashion culture blogger/anti-globalization activist, i really think you should put a sock in it. You are so full of it. You said you were curious about why the person who made this necklace chose to name it “tribal”. Why didn’t you ask that question in the first place? Why would you create false perceptions of Roseann? How the hell do you know Roseann’s concerns about wanting to keep up with current trends have more to do with capital and income source than it has to do with creativity and uniqueness? What? Are you a psychic reader now? How dare you disrespect the artist. Seriously Julia…i think your opinion smells. Come on…we’re in the year 2010.

    1. are you reading the same discussion i’ve been participating in? as far as i have seen, roseann (the artist in question) and i have engaged in nothing but cordial and respectful ways, and i did in fact begin by asking her why she chose to use the word “tribal” (see comment 2. julia: June 15, 2010 at 2:47 PM, if you just scroll up a wee bit).

      roseann has defended and explained her reasons, and i respectfully disagreed and tried to explain why as clearly as possible. she has been nothing but civil, as opposed to other overly defensive commentors such as yourself and singing bird.

      it might be shocking to you, but i really do think “in the year 2010” you can question an artist about their intentions without it being a case of “how dare you disrespect the artist.” asking a question is disrespect? really? i didn’t say anything about the piece in question, i simply asked a question about the words used to describe it. you’d think we were talking about a fucking picasso title or something. i also really do think you can raise questions about racism without being a racist (who are you, glenn beck?), and just because you state that something is “racial” or “racialized” doesn’t make it racist. i know it might be confusing seeing as they all start with the same four letters and all, but dictionaries are very helpful in these kinds of cases if you find yourself confused.

      but to my point: i’m quite convinced, based on this short comment of yours, ms tink, that you have absolutely zero desire to try to understand where i’m coming from, and why i raised my concerns in the first place (since you’ve decided to completely miscontrue them, and have been blown completely out of proportion). seeing as that is the case, my words are wasted here and i think it would be best to end things at that. thank you for your selective interpretation and your shoving of words into my mouth before attempting to insert a sock. i really do prefer my socks marinated and sautéed a bit first, though.

  7. Wow, just read this discussion and while Ms. Tink’s comments are so all-over the place that I can’t summarize one disdainful thought for all of them (although the “you need a man” comment I found particularly out of left field. You, Ms. Tink, need a BAN- on commenting until you can prove your brain came back from whatever all-important man-hunting expedition I suppose it has gone on), I found the rest of the discussion very enlightening and super interesting!

    Also, regardless of words used, I would like to compliment the artist and say that I think the necklace is cool! Definitely an awesome statement piece!

    1. Banned? I believe Julia was the one who used the word f**k in our conversations. There are children who see these blogs too you know. You, Ms. emma need to shut your pie hole. My opinion is as good as everyone else’s here. You need to get laid.

  8. op- probably I’d leave the horn out though as I’m a vegetarian. Is there an alternative you’d suggest?

  9. Thank you emma, I think wood beading or tube is a great subsitute. Conveys the same feeling.

  10. Thanks Julia… I was just going to leave this because I think this person is a troll and lacks other things to do than to sit on the internet and attempt to get under people’s skins (I am picturing a comic-book guy from the Simpson’s character here), but you make several good points. Have a good one!

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