Step 1: Step 1!
you need to decide how big a collar you want, how long it will be, and how it will close.
due to a slight miscalculation, mine is a tight 14" without the ties. with the ties, it can fit many necks.
to make one that looks like mine, you will need ::
8mm Turquoise in 2 shades (i used Chinese Turquoise and dyed Howlite)
6mm thick gold spacer beads
gold teardrop beads (size and shape to your liking. i chose mine to look like carved lotus buds)
gold memory wire
10mm golden glass pearls
3mm faceted glass beads
4-5mm pale pink/blue glass pearls
6mm antiqued gold rounds - more about mine next step.
gemstone strand tassles (ones from upholstery trim will also work well. you can also use more tassles instead of the pale pearls i used for filler)
raw silk or ribbon for ties
pliers - round and flat nose
nippers for the memory wire
lots and lots and lots of patience
note :: i am not giving quantities, as the amounts you need will vary depending on the size collar you make. mine has 30 vertical pieces, so i needed multiples of 30 of everything. you may need more, or less.
Step 2: About My Antiqued Gold Rounds
they started out as pendant holders, meaning that they looked like the picture. they had a hole drilled through and through, but they also had a loop on the bottom to attach something to.
to make my rounds, i cut the loop off with wire cutters and filed it smooth.
you can do something similar if you wish, or you can substitute another bead that's the same size instead.
the second photo shows what they look like after filing. i just turn the filed portion to the inside, and you can't see it unless you're going over the piece with a microscope.
Step 3: Step 2!
mine go like this ::
you can put yours in any order. make sure that, at the open end, you use a pair of round nose pliers to make a closed loop, so that the beads won't fall off.
then take your round nose pliers, and hold the loop between the jaws. take the flat nose pliers and twist the other end of the loop so that the loops face the same way.
when you look at the unit, you want both of them like this :: o o
or like this :: - -
not like this :: o -
either awake or sleeping, not winking! ;D
i do this step as a kind of assembly line. put on a good movie or tv show that you like but don't need to pay super close attention to, and start threading! this is the part that takes the longest, and is the most tedious, hence the movie watching.
remember to take frequent dance breaks!
Step 4: Step 3!
so you've got all eleventy-billion of your units made, right?
time to make a different kind of unit.
this one will be a teardrop and either a tassle or a pale pearl.
my necklace has 8 tassles and 7 groups of pearls (6 sets of 3, 1 set of 4), so my units are ::
you will need 1 per vertical. make as many as you need.
if your pearls are not already on headpins, you will need to put 1 per pin and make a loop in the top for it.
i cheated, mine were already pinned.
Step 5: Step 4!
this is the easy part.
take your memory wire, and cut off a piece that is several rounds of wire (the wire comes coiled, and remembers the coil, hence the name.) USE THE NIPPERS. do not use your regular cutters for memory wire. you will be sad and have dented cutters if you do (ask me how i know. >:[ )
make a loop of some kind in one end. round or squared off, either/or. make it small enough to easily wrap with the raw silk or ribbon, but not too small to fit said wrapping through it. mine are very small, because raw silk is pliable enough that i could squish it through. for squared off, 3mm on a side is plenty large for this.
at this point, that loop is more to hold the beads on the wire, than to be aesthetically pleasing, i promise.
start threading on your verticals and your antiqued gold beads. i used the following pattern ::
until i ran out of verticals. i put one last bead on the end, then looped off the wire nice and tight up to the bead. cut off any extra wire with the nippers. get as close as you can. you don't want the cut ends to show if you can avoid it. if need be, memory wire will bend temporarily, so you can "open" the loop a little to get the nippers closer, then "close" it again easily.
Step 6: Step 5!
cut more memory wire. you want it to be longer than the piece you cut for the first round of stringing, so if you did 2 rounds for that, do 4 or 5 for this. trust me.
make another loop in one end to start.
thread like this ::
glass-pearl-glass-vertical-teardrop - glass-pearl-glass-vertical-teardrop
make sure you get your tassles and pearls in the right order. it helps to set them out before hand.
when you've strung the last vertical and teardrop, do one more glass-pearl-glass set, then loop off the memory wire and cut it as before.
Step 7: Step 6!
at this point, we need to make a closure for this piece.
it's heavy, and if you're like me, your neck is a bit bigger than you thought (or you mathed it wrong! ^^; ), so to keep it on, you'll need a clasp or a tie.
if you're using a clasp, you can make one to suit, by twisting wire into a 2 strand hook and eye. you can also use 2 single-strand clasps (one top and bottom). or if you're like me and have upholstery trims sitting around collecting dust, you can take the easy way out and tie on some raw silk.
i like the silk for several reasons. first, it would actually be culturally accurate for ancient egypt (they had silk from the chinese), second, raw silk is incredibly strong! silk fibres have the tensil strength of steel, so it'll hold for a long time. additionally, i have sensitive skin, so using silk means that it won't irritate me (my gold parts are gold-filled, so they're hypo-allergenic), and the memory wire won't touch your skin with this design, so there's no need to worry about that.
Step 8: YOU ARE DONE!
well, a glass of raisins to you! you made it, and it looks wonderful!
if you've any questions, send me a message.
additionally, if you don't mind a little promo from me, this piece is actually for sale on my website (http://ImpatiensDesigns.com/).