Introduction: Easy Wire and Bead Jewelry
An easy and beautiful jewelry project, using simple crochet techniques, thin wire, and beads to create a really stunning jewelry piece!
Step 1: Supplies
26 guage or 30 guage craft wire
Necklace closure, such as toggle set, lobster clasp, ribbon, etc.
Wire cutters or scissors
Small tip pliers, such as basic needle nose pliers or jewelry pliers if you have them.
Ruler or tape measure
For the specific pieces that I've made in the photos, I've used the following items:
-26 gge Darlee Craft Designer Permanently Colored Copper Wire, siver plated (for the necklace with blue pearls), or Gun Metal color as shown with the white pearls
-30 pearls for the necklaces (the navy pearls I used were 5mmx7mm, the white pearls are fresh water pearls in assorted sizes up to 10mm)
-12 10mm grey pearls for the bracelet
-small decorative bead caps if desired for covering the ends of your necklace or bracelet
-One metal toggle set with 2 small decorative metal beads for the necklace closure
-US H/ 5.0mm hook used. Size isn't critical, any medium sized hook will work.
-4 feet of 3/4" wide ribbon
Helpful: a bottle to hold your wire while you crochet.
Step 2: Beginning Your Project
Un-wrap or pull about 12" of wire from your spool, and thread all of your decorative beads onto the wire. Push them out of the way, down the length of wire . For the necklace in the photo, I've threaded 30 beads onto the wire. I'm right-handed, so I find it best to keep my spool of wire with the beads pushed back on the wire on my left side, and the open end of wire facing to the right as per the photo.
Step 3: Crochet the Basic Chain Stitch
Following the steps below:
1. Secure the wire with a slip knot. Be sure to leave a 'tail' of wire about 4-6" long. This wire will be used at the end to wrap around your toggle or clasp.
2. Yarn over. This means wrapping the beaded end of wire (not the cut end), from behind the hook up over the top of the chain, and into the "groove" of the hook as per the photo.
3. Pull the wire all the way through the loop on your hook to create a new loop. You have now created your first chain loop.
4. Create as many chain loops as needed to create the length of chain desired. You can lay your length of chains against a ruler to check your progress.
Bracelet: a finished length of 6 1/2" to 7" is a common size. In my case, 20 chains created a 7" bracelet length.
Necklace: 16" to 20" are common lengths. To make a 16" length of chains for a necklace, I created 50 chains.
You can measure your own wrist, favorite necklace, or neck circumference to determine the length of the chains to crochet.
Once you have reached the length you need for your project, this will be called your base chain.
Step 4: Single Crochet
Now you're ready to "single crochet" a new row to the base chain that you created.
To single crochet:
5) Insert the hook into the second chain to the left of your hook. I've pointed out the correct loop in the photo using a pink crochet hook.
6) Yarn over- again, this is when you wrap the beaded end of wire from the back of the hook, over the top of the hook and into the "groove"
7) Pull the wire through the chain loop, but not through the loop on your hook. You will now have two loops on your hook.
8) Yarn over again, and pull the wire through both loops on your hook. Now you have one loop on your hook. You have just completed one single crochet stitch.
To work this row of single crochet stitches, continue by pushing your crochet hook into the next loop to the left of your hook, and repeat steps 6-8 (yarn over, pull the wire through the chain loop only, yarn over again, and pull the wire through both loops on your hook).
For the necklace shown in the diagrams, I added 9 single crochet stitches without beads, and I'm now ready to add my first bead to the next crochet stitch. You obviously can vary the number and placement of beads as you like to suit you design.
Step 5: Adding the Beads
To add a bead to your next single crochet stitch:
9) slide one bead down the wire, and position it behind/ or under your hook
10) Insert the hook into the loop of the next stitch on your chain, yarn over, and pull the wire through the loop. You will now have two loops on your hook.
11) Yarn over again, and pull the wire through both loops on your hook. You will now have one loop on your hook, and will have secured the bead in place.
12) Continue to single crochet stitch across the row, adding beads where you like.
Step 6: Adding Rows
To add additional rows:
13) At the end of your first row of single crochet that you have just completed, make one chain. Turn your work around so that you will be starting a new row, working on the right end of the necklace, with your completed work to the left of the hook.
Row 2: Single crochet into the first loop of your last row completed.
14) Single crochet across the row, adding beads where you like. In the necklace shown in the instructions below, I have added 10 more beads to the second row. This design with have 5 rows in total; one chain, plus four single crochet rows.
15) At the end of your last row, after you have made a single crochet in the last single crochet loop, cut a tail of wire 6" or longer, yarn over, and pull the end of wire through the loop on your hook.
16) Loop your wire tail through your first chain loop, and pull to gather your loops together to form a neat end of your necklace.
Step 7: Finishing
One method for finishing your piece is to add a ribbon bow closure. This gives a pretty and adjustable finish to your necklace or bracelet.
17) Cut two equal lengths of ribbon. I used two 15" lengths of 3/4" ribbon for the necklace in this demonstration. For the bracelet in the photo, I used two 8" lengths of 3/4" ribbon. Place the ribbon end against the crochet wire end, and use your wire "tail" to wrap around the ribbon, enclosing both the ends of ribbon and the end of your crochet necklace or bracelet.
if you want a thicker wire-wrapped end, you can easily cut one additional 12" length of wire, thread it through the loops where your ribbon and crochet wire meet, and wrap it around to make a nice, neat end.
At this point you can refine the shape of your necklace by squishing the loops tighter together on the ends to compact the wires. You can pull the necklace to be slightly longer by grasping an end in each hand and pulling to stretch the loops lengthwise. You can bend it along the length of the necklace to form more of a tube shape, which is what i have done for the necklace in this example.
Step 8: Necklace Variation
Variation: Thinner/shorter necklace with chain and toggle closure:
18) Following steps 1-12, make 45 chains rather than 50, and 2 rows of single crochet with beads rather than 4 rows of single crochet with beads.
To create a chain and toggle closure, follow the photo diagram:
a) Thread a medium bead such as the silver one in the photo down over your wire tail on the end of your crochet necklace or bracelet.
b) Thread the wire through a silver jump ring, back down through the silver bead, and wrap neatly around your crochet wire end.
c) Using small tip pliers (such as needle nose pliers or jewelry pliers) open one jump ring, add your 1" of chain to the ring, and close the jump ring securely.
d) Open a second jump ring, add it to the end of the chain, add one half of your toggle closure set, and close the jump ring securely.
e) Do the same steps a) through d) on the other end of your crochet necklace
Step 9: Bracelet Variation
For a quick and easy bracelet, you can simply add beads to your chain row.
To make the bracelet in this diagram:
a). Thread 12 10mm pearls or beads onto your wire.
b). Secure the wire with a slip knot. Be sure to leave a 'tail' of wire about 4-6" long. This wire will be used at the end to wrap around your toggle or clasp.
c). Yarn over.
d). Pull the wire all the way through the loop on your hook to create a new loop. You have now created your first chain loop.
e). Slide your first bead down the wire, resting under your hook. (reference the photo in step 9 if needed) Yarn over, and pull the wire through your first chain loop. You have now secured the bead and are ready to make the next chain.
Repeat step 4 until you have 18 chains or the length and spacing of beads desired.
f) Cut the wire leaving a 6" or longer tail, and secure a ribbon to the ends of your crochet by wrapping the wire as per step 17.