This was kind of a request project which I only half answered. I was asked for a long strand pearl necklace WITHOUT clasp. This Instructable uses clasps. I will make a follow up Instructable where I will knot after each pearl and not use clasps. When I saw these beads at Micheal's I was literally inspired for this design.
I am approaching this project as a jewelry design for the first time jewelry maker. It does not require any special tools such as crimpers and bead boards. If, after you make this project, you decide you MUST make more jewelry then go out and buy the specialty tools.
The request also asked for a necklace that could be wrapped twice around the neck. In that case the necklace would have to be REALLY long and can get uncomfortable to wear. We all know how necklaces work their way around our necks ending up where we don't want them to be. When you double wrap a necklace, there can be double the issues with where that necklace is going.
Also PLEASE - if you are making jewelry for a child - be aware that a double wrap-around necklace is a choking/strangulation hazard. It is so easy to get the long strand caught on something and pull the strand around the neck tight - turning it into essentially a noose.
Always use caution in making jewelry for children that you are using products that cannot be swallowed, that do not contain poisonous materials (be careful with metal looking products from Asia), and just are not hazardous in general. Little girls can use jewelry and dress up but please make sure the design is age appropriate. Thank you.
Step 1: Tools?
I am making this project as a "first time" jewelry making project. So I am avoiding telling you that you have to buy tools. If you decide that you are in love with jewelry making after this project - by all means go out and get the tools.
So many people use "bead boards." These are must haves IF you are going to make more than this one necklace. For this necklace I am telling you how many of what bead to use and developing the design for you.
If you were creating a design on your own, the bead board is a must have. You can look at your design before the actual stringing. It helps in choosing the bead design and where to place them. Many also have a "gutter" place to design bracelets.
The other tool is a cutter. This cutter can be used to cut/snip thread, Beadalon stringing material, and wire with gauges thinner than 10. For this project you can use a pair of sharp scissors. But, again, if you are going to continue making jewelry get these cutters.
Step 2: And More Tools ...
I do suggest having some sort of small pliers (do not get the humongous pliers out of the house tool box). The pliers should have flat jaws. They can have either pointed or square/flat tips. For this project I prefer the pointed. If you do not continue with your jewelry career, you can always use these to repair your broken jewelry or chains that have come apart.
Make sure the pliers do not have any serrations on the jaws. Many times hobby stores sell inexpensive tools on the jewelry aisle that are not really for jewelry. I do not endorse any special name brand but if you buy tools with the Beadalon brand you can be sure they are designed for jewelry.
Many of these types of pliers if you look in the jaws, you will see little ridges. These pliers are for holding and gripping things. They will damage any wire you use them on. Do not get this type of pliers for jewelry making.
Step 3: And Then Supplies ...
I purchased the beads in this project from Michael's. I used a 6mm size in pink. I also purchased 6mm Crystal. They were on sale when I purchased them but you can check for a 40% off ad too.
I used "delica" or "seed" beads for accent beads. Get a color that complements the larger beads bringing out the larger beads color and sparkle.
You can use less expensive beads but to follow the project they should be 6mm in size.
I used Stretch Magic elastic for the bracelet.
Step 4: And More Supplies ...
Beading string comes in all different varieties. Some are more durable than others. You can even use a thicker sewing thread if it fits through the bead hole. If you are going to use a wire based stringing material such as Beadalon, you will need to purchase crimps and crimping pliers. Using thread you will not need any specialty tools.
I also use clear nail polish to keep the thread from fraying.
You will need clam shell bead tips as pictured and a couple of jump rings and lobster claws. If you have old jewelry that you're not using, you can easily take the jump rings and lobster claws off of them rather than buying an entire package.
Step 5: Let's Get Started.
You do not have to cut any length of the string. Take the end and dip in the clear nail polish and allow to dry. This will make the end of the thread stiff like a needle. You do not need to buy stringing needles unless you want to. But remember, using a needle you will be doubling the thread over. This will mean you will have a double thickness going through the bead.
Sometimes - especially on lower cost beads - one end of a bead will be larger than the other. If your thread is not going through, carefully file the opening of the bead hole. There is no need for intense pressure. You just need to remove a small amount to make a difference.
Step 6: Stringing Along ...
In place of the bead board, I'm using a tape measure to measure the necklace. If you are using different beads, the style may make some difference in the measurement. This is not really important. As long as you follow the number of beads strung, your design will look fine.
If you are not using 6mm beads, then you will have to make sizing adjustments. Just remember that the center of the 16 inch short necklace will land at 8 inches. The center of the 22 inch long necklace will be at about 11 inches.
Step 7: Continue Stringing
There is no limit to the designs you can make. Remember a 16 inch choker includes the clasps. The necklace will measure 16 inches from one end of clasp to another. So there is not 16 inches of beads necessarily.
This is why making your own necklace is so wonderful. You can make it exactly how long or short you want it. Using a bead board will help you to design your necklace with intricate and complex designs.
Step 8: It's the End of One.
At the end of the necklace, thread the string through the clam shell bead tip.
If you are wanting to make this necklace without a clasp, just keep stringing 6mm beads until you get to the length you need. Then just "square knot" the two ends together. Always dab a little clear nail polish to seal the knot.
Step 9: Almost There.
Cut off the polished part of the thread and split the thread in two. Take the two strands and tie a square knot tight within the clam shell bead tip.
Dab some clear nail polish to seal the knot.
Some people use "crazy glue" to seal knots. I have found that the glue will actually eat through some threads and your necklace can fall apart. Also some people may have an allergic reaction to "crazy glue" if it touches their skin.
Step 10: Close It Up.
Snip the ends of the thread close to the knot. Seal the clam shell shut with your pliers. Do not smash the shell together. Just close down until it touches the other half.
Step 11: Add the Findings.
Place the jump ring on the hook at the end of the clam shell bead tip. Close the loop with your pliers. Do not squash. Just close until touching.
Step 12: Attach the Lobster Claw and Your Done With One.
Attach the lobster claw clasp the same way as you did the jump ring. You are done with the 16 inch necklace.
Step 13: The 22 Inch Necklace.
If that was fun and you want to move on - let's make the 22 inch necklace in the same way. Polish one end of the string and start stringing the beads.
I use the "delica" or "seed" beads as accent beads on this one. They keep the longer necklace from getting too heavy and also keep the cost down on buying the larger beads.
Just follow the outline in the file for the number of beads at what times.
Step 14: Almost There.
End the necklace off the same way as with the shorter 16 inch necklace. Again, if you wish this necklace longer and without clasps, just keep adding beads and tie the two ends together.
Step 15: The Bracelet.
You can make the bracelet longer or shorter as you need. This design is for an approximately 7 inch bracelet which is the "normal" size in retail.
You must tie off the elastic with a "square" knot. Any other knot will not hold in the elastic. Make the knot tight and seal with clear nail polish. Again, if you use "super glue" to seal you run the risk of the elastic breaking or the wearer being sensitive to the touch of the glue on their skin.
Step 16: Wow, It's Beautiful.
You have multiple ways to wear this design. You can wear both necklaces or only one. The 22 inch is just long enough for some autumn sweaters. The 16 inch choker is great with lower necklines. And the bracelet goes with everything.
Thanks for reading my tutorial. I will be posting another where I will knot between each bead and not use a closure.
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