Spring is here in Northern Texas (I don't mean to brag, but it was 80* out today, and I'm sipping a mojito while I finish writing up this tutorial) and it's time to begin swapping out winter scarves and hats for headbands and necklaces. This elegant multi-tiered necklace is super easy, and fairly quick (I spent about three hours from start to finish), and is the perfect spring and summer accessory!
- Beads! - I prefer glass or stone to plastic. For this necklace I chose three different colors. You'll want a few strands of each color. I happened to purchase all that the store had of all three colors.
- Wire Cutters and Pliers (more on these below)
- Beading Wire - I prefer to use nylon coated wire)
- Crimp Beads
- Multi-Strand Jewelry Clasp (Like this one)
- (Opt.) Clothespins - These can help keep beads from falling of the wire, especially useful when working with so many wires at once.
Along with wire cutters (pink handles), I have two different types of pliers that I like to keep handy whenever I'm making jewelry. One had rounded tips (the ones with the purple handles), and the other is flat-nosed (blue handles). You really only need one or the other for this project though. Also, in a pinch, plain needle nose pliers will work as well.
The first step is to determine the length of the tiers for your necklace. Images like this one can help you decide. I decided on 16", 18" and 20".
Next, cut your wires, leaving plenty of excess wire on each end. I chose to cut all my lengths of wire at the same length, so I wouldn't have to worry about attaching the correct wires to the correct part of the clasp until the end of the project. It's pretty much inevitable that these will get tangled, but try not to tie any into knots, or they might bend the wire. Small bends won't show up in the final product, but large ones might.
To attach the wires to one end of the clasp, string one crimp bead onto the first wire. Then string the wire through the clasp, then back through the crimp bead. Leave about two inches of the wire strung through the clasp and crimp bead, then push the bead as close to the clasp as possible before squeezing it shut.
Repeat with the remaining 5 wires until all the parts of the clasp have two wires attached each.
Next, begin string beads onto each wire, starting with one color. Continue adding beads to the wires until you have used about 3/4 of the first color of beads. Then begin to transition to the second color, trying to keep the pattern you use to integrate the bead colors as random as possible.
At this point, clothespins can be helpful to clamp on the ends of the strands so beads don't fall off of wires when you aren't working with them.
Continue adding beads and measuring the length of your completed strands. Make sure to begin transitioning to the third color (if you choose to use three colors) a few inches before the end of the strand. I chose to complete the shortest strands first, working my way down the necklace to the longest strands. Also, when measuring the length of the strands, keep in mind the length of your clasp. Mine was about an inch long, and so I subtracted an inch from each of the beaded strand lengths.
Once all six strands are complete, it's time to attach the wires to the other half of the clasp. Similarly to the first end, you'll begin by stringing on a crimp bead, then looping the wire through the clasp (making sure that if the wire is looped through the top piece of the clasp on one end, that it is also attached to the top piece of the clasp on the other end), then stringing back through the crimp bead. The difference is that when you're stringing the wire back through the crimp bead, you push the short end of the wire back through the holes of the strung beads. Push the wire back through as many beads as possible, making the loop around the clasp as small as possible before pinching shut the crimp bead. Repeat with the remaining 5 strands of beads, and you're done!
I love the way this necklace turned out, and the way it compliments different shirts with different necklines!
What's your favorite go-to acessory when the weather turns warm? Let me know in the comments!