I named today’s project after the dogwood tree that will be blooming soon in my yard. Every year in early May I so enjoy its beautiful pink and white blossoms. These pink ceramic beads, white crystal and crackled beads and the white enameled metal focal all bring to mind the springtime beauty of the dogwood.
This necklace design began with a photo I found online. My apologies, but I cannot find the original source. It appears to be from a catalog, and not a jewelry designer, though. If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give proper credit.
I was intrigued by the way the largest beads are not at the usual center front position. My version is a little bit more asymmetrical than the inspiration piece. Even if I did have two of those white metal flowers, I’m not sure that I would have used them both. The almost perfectly balanced design is more interesting, I think, than complete symmetry.
This piece goes together quickly, especially if you use the One Step Looper tool. Be sure to double check the security of all your loop and chain connections.
For this week’s jewelry project I show you how to take any two colors of seed beads and blend them together into a beautiful necklace. I’ve been on a turquoise and copper kick lately and I absolutely LOVE how this came out.
If you were to use two colors next to each other on the color wheel (such as blue and green) the effect would be subtle and lovely. Use colors opposite each other (such as purple and yellow) for a dramatic look.
The bead stringing takes a little bit of time, but if you watched my Bead Spinner video last week you’ll know how you can do this much faster.
Here’s the chart that I showed in the video, just help clarify the order of things.
You could do this on a smaller scale for a bracelet, or change any of the section lengths to suit your needs.
And here’s a bonus tip that I discovered. The beaded portion of this necklace is quite long, about 27 inches. If you want to shorten it a bit, a fun way to do that is to tie a loose knot with all the strands. I put mine slightly off center and think I’m going to love wearing it this way.
These little 2-hole sliders make it easy to put together a double strand necklace. You could also use them to make multi-strand bracelets.
What creates the scallops is that you use more beads on the lower strand than on the upper. You can design them to be as shallow or as deep as you’d like, just be sure to create proportions that are pleasing.
The little heart pendant is a whimsical touch that you can leave off if you want. Keep in mind that if you add a very heavy pendant, it will change the shape of your scallop.
Cut the fine gauge chain into 1 inch pieces. Reconnect the pieces with 4mm jump rings to make chains the length you need.
Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your piece of chain to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
Slide a spacer bead onto your wire. Add all your lightest color beads, each separated by a spacer bead. Continue to add beads from lightest to darkest, each separated by a spacer bead. End with a spacer bead.
Repeat step 2 to finish end, adding a lobster clasp to end of one of piece of chain.
Here’s another necklace I’ll be teaching soon at my local Joann’s. We’ll be focusing on the basics of bead stringing.
As I mention in the video, the stringing of beads is the easy part. Just use the wire like a needle & thread and slide on your beads. The real work is in the arranging, designing and of course, making sure you have secure closures.
We start out by using quite inexpensive beads (would you believe most of those purple ones are plastic?) but you can still get a pretty piece of jewelry. Plus it’s good to learn on something that won’t break your heart if the closures let go. 🙂
You might remember these fancy jasper beads I picked up at a bead show last fall. (Of course unless if you’re like me… I can barely recall what I did yesterday, ha.)
Gotta love these little brass beads, I think they work perfectly. The stone dagger beads had so much presence that it seemed like they needed to not stand alone, but be accented by multiple strands.
This technique of going from several strands into a bead cap and down to just a single chain not only makes the necklace lighter and more comfortable to wear, but it helps conserve your precious beads.
Click on any of the pics to see them bigger.
Hope you find some pretty beads you love and give this a try yourself. Send me pics of what you’ve done, if you have a sec. 🙂
String 16 inches of beads onto each 20 inch piece of beading wire, securing ends with bead bugs.
Arrange strands in desired order and slip one wire end of each strand through a spacer bar, keeping strands in order.
Add ½ inch of seed beads or small beads to each strand coming out of spacer bar.
Slide each wire end through a crimp bead, then feed wire back through the crimp bead, leaving a small loop of wire. Crimp with crimping pliers or flatten with chain nose pliers, testing to be sure crimp is secure. Trim off excess wire.
Open loop of an eye pin. Place each wire loop onto eye of eye pin. Close eye pin securely and feed 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. Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose or crimping pliers to tuck in end.
Arrange other ends of bead strands in necklace shape. Determine desired spacing of strands, then remove excess beads as needed and repeat steps 2-6 to finish.
Attach a piece of 6 inch chain to each wrapped loop, using jump rings, if necessary.
Attach lobster clasp to end of one chain with a jump ring.
If needed, attach a jump ring to remaining end of chain.
This necklace is a remake of a favorite I’ve had for years. I think I love it so much because it’s simple, yet funky and it goes with everything.
Stringing bead dangles onto a ring is a great way to use up single, perhaps orphan beads. (You know, those beads that you love, but don’t know what to do with and can’t bear to part with?)
Just pull together an assortment of sizes, shapes and colors that you like and you’ve got something very cool. (In fact, the more assorted the beads, the better it looks.)
36-inches rat tail cord
two “cord grabber” findings
1-inch metal ring
three jump rings
three head pins
four focal beads with 10-12 assorted accent beads
chain nose pliers
round nose pliers
Set aside one focal bead and two accent beads with large holes to decorate cord of necklace.
Arrange remaining beads into three groups of bead dangles. Slide each set of bead dangles onto a head pin. To make each head pin into a dangle, grasp wire with chain nose pliers just where it exits last bead and bend wire end at 90-degree angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and begin to form a loop. Reposition round nose pliers and complete loop. Wrap remaining wire several times around wire exiting bead. Trim excess wire with wire cutters and tuck in cut end with chain nose pliers.
Fold rat tail cord in half and slide remaining large hole accent bead, focal bead, and accent bead onto cord. Slide loop of cord into1-inch metal ring; then pull ends of cord through loop. Position beads over knot just made. Tie an overhand knot in cords above beads.
Use jump rings to attach three bead dangles to metal ring.
Attach “cord grabber” findings to ends of rat tail cord and flatten with pliers to secure. Attach lobster clasp to one end to complete necklace.