“Bead Soup,” simply put, is a collection of beads. It can be completely random, like saving all your extra beads in a bowl, then seeing what you can do with them. Or they can be planned assortments with contrasting or complementary colors. Usually there’s a interesting mix of shapes, sizes and textures of beads.
Often you’ll find these assortments calling your name at bead shows or in craft stores. (What? Beads don’t call to You?)
This necklace was made from a purple and yellow packet that
leaped into my cart, erm, that is – I just couldn’t resist it.
I decided to keep the project simple by just stringing 4 strands of beads onto beading wire, adding bead caps, a pendant and some chain around back to finish.
You know me, it’s got to be adjustable.
As you’ll see in the video, I had a hard time deciding on a pendant until the beads were strung. Then the choice was obvious. This is a case of following the excellent advice I once heard to “Make visual decision visually.” It seems “duh” but often we try to guess without actually seeing.
Anyhow, enjoy the video, and give it a try for yourself.
WordPress has been having issues lately with embedding videos. So instead of having it here on the blog, today you’ll have to go watch it on my YouTube channel. Sorry for any inconvenience!
Bead Soup Beaded Necklace
- a “bead soup” assortment of small beads (usually in 50-60 gram containers)
- 4 20-inch pieces beading wire
- 2 – 2 inch pieces wire (headpins with the heads cut off work great)
- 8 crimp beads
- 2 bead caps
- 3 or 4 jump rings
- 2 – 3” pieces chain
- lobster clasp
- pendant and jump ring or bail to attach to necklace
- 2 pair chain nose pliers
- round nose pliers
- wire cutters
- crimping tool, if desired
- hemostats, beads bugs or other clamping tool for holding beading wire ends
To make necklace:
- Randomly string 16-inches of beads from assortment onto each 20-inch piece of beading wire.
- Use round or chain nose pliers to make a U-shaped hook in one end of each 2-inch piece of wire.
- Slide a crimp bead onto a wire, then slide the wire back through the crimp, leaving a 1/8-1/4 inch loop of wire. Flatten crimp bead with chain nose pliers or crimp with crimping tool. Repeat with one end of each of remaining three strands of beads. Trim excess wire 1/8-inch from crimp.
- Slide all four loops onto a U-shaped hook, then use chain nose pliers to close U into a loop. Slide end of wire through a bead cap.
- Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap. Bend wire at 90° angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop. Reposition pliers to finish loop. Use wire cutters to trim wire where it crosses beginning of loop.
- Repeat steps 3-5 to add crimp beads, wire hook and bead cap to other ends of bead strands, leaving about 1/8-inch slack in each wire.
- Add 3-inch piece of chain to each end of necklace with a jump ring. Add clasp to one end of chain with a jump ring. Add a jump ring to remaining end of chain if necessary.
- Attach the pendant to one strand of necklace with a large jump ring. (Or use whatever means is appropriate for your pendant. If your bail is closed, you’ll need to slide it onto one of the strands of beads before completing step 6.)