DIY statement neckpiece/harness

I’ve been mentioning lately how taken I am with shouder harnesses and neckpieces, as well as the tribal trend. I’ve seen a few harnesses that are basically statement neckpieces with strapping, that are DIYable.

Some inspiration came from Sass & Bide – but so much beading!
Then there’s the ones from Metallic Dreamer – these are definitely DIYable
What they are, basically, is a centrepiece shape that is embellished with metallic beading or feathers, say, and with straps coming out from it to tie around your body.  I had a look around my craft supplies and accessories and came up with an idea.
Here is my DIY Harness
a sneak peek of which you see here, with one of my own crazy tribal hats
What you need

* A centre shape – I used one of those bib necklaces that have been around a lot this season, in felt, with the beading already on it. Mine came from Primark in the UK last year, but I’ve seen similar ones in Sportsgirl here in Australia.

* Feathers to surround the shape, to give it oomph and lend a tribal feel.  There are some great ones available here at, although I got my spotted feathers from the US, at Decorating Studio.  Or you could use some other type of trim, such as pleated ribbon, lace…or even pompoms!
* Something to attach the harness to your body. It could be ribbon, cord, chain, leather thonging or whatever, but I chose to use that metallic-looking sheet of beading I bought in Japan.

* Needle and thread (or glue)

What to do
* Choose your centre shape.
* Get your feathers, preferably already attached to ribbon to make them easier to sew on. Measure around your shape to see how long you need to cut the feathered trim, and then cut a little more (just in case).
* Sew the feathered trim to the back of the shape. You could glue it, but sewing is more permanent. You’ll find you have to gather the ribbon a litle as you sew, if you are making it fit around curves, as I am here (this is the back view).
And here’s a close-up to show the slight gathering
 * Check your finished shape from the front to see if you’re happy with it. It may need another row of feathers or trim to fill it out.
* Decide how long you want the harness centrepiece to hang down. Measure your cord or ribbon accordingly, looping it around your neck, or allowing enough to tie behind your neck. In my case, I cut the strip of metallic beading from the sheet.
* Double-check the length is right, then sew it to the shape.
* Then measure around your back, for the length of the piece of ribbon that ties around your body. Sew this on either side of the shape.
* Voila! Your harness is ready.
* Now you just have to look for items in your wardrobe that it would work with.
   I tried it with this ikat inspired dress and fur
and then with my Sass & Bide dress, and Lucette harness (and military cap!)
Actually that look was a bit busy, but I’ll be trying out more in weeks to come.
I hope I’ve shown how easy it is…anyone else going to try their own version?


  1. Wow great job! It looks amazing with both outfits! I love your tutorials!!

  2. i love the hat with the skulls!!!!! want want want….

  3. Thanks so much Hex! Will defo keep them coming 🙂

    Cat – I'll have to show the hat off properly in another post – thank you for the compliment 🙂

  4. Aww, thanks Valerie 🙂 The thing is, you have to make enough things to put in a store, and I just make one of a thing for myself, then move onto something else.

  5. gorgeus, i will have to try this some time 🙂

    x courtney

  6. C&B; – drop me a note when you do 🙂

  7. This is brilliant! Great job! xo

  8. Oh thank you so much Alicia!

  9. Yay awesome tutorial again! I love it with the Sass and Bide dress!

  10. Thanks again 🙂 I want to try to do more DIY's of things that are "on-trend", since so many designer items are ridiculously expensive.

  11. Cool tutorial! Why buy when you can DIY?! Loving that hat!


  1. […] harness to Sass & Bide’s in Sportsgirl!  (See my Sass & Bide post here, and DIY statement neckpiece/harness here). Despite the fact it was really last summer’s look, I had to have it. Compare the two […]