Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY: Easy Vintage-Style Beaded Necklace Tutorial

Back story: I found these avocado green beads at Micheal's one day and they immediately spurred my creativity. Their shape and color just seemed so vintage to me that I knew I had to turn them into a necklace. Now, does this necklace look vintage? Eh, maybe not so much. Either way, I like the way it turned out. Since you can easily change out the materials in this tutorial to make your own version, I wanted to share it with you all so you can DIY your own simple beaded necklace. But, fear not, if you are not the DIY type and still love the necklace you can pick it up in my Jewelry Shop!

Notes: I only bought one string of green beads because I wanted to finished it off with the chain. If you want to make a necklace that is just beads all around, you can layout your full design and measure the stringing wire around your neck to get the length you want. Add about six inches to the length you want to have plenty of room to create a loop at each end.

Bead stringing wire
String of colored beads
String of metal spacer beads
1 length of chain
2 crimp beads
3 jump rings
Wire cutters
Flat nose pliers

  1. Lay out your beads in the pattern that you want to string them. I simply started with a metal spacer bead then followed with a green bead and repeated until I ran out of green beads.
  2. Measure your bead stringing wire against this pattern and add about three inches to each end. Cut your wire. You are adding length to the wire because you will need to create a loop at each end and then thread the extra wire through the strung beads. If you cut too little wire, it will be hard to finish the necklace.
  3.  String a crimp bead onto one end of the wire and then slide the end of the wire back through the crimp bead to create a loop at one end. Leave about two inches of tails sticking out from the crimp bead. Push the bead up close to your loop to make it smaller. You only need enough loop to stick a jump ring through.
  4. Now, you should really be using crimping pliers for this, but I don't have any so....take your flat nose pliers and flatten the crimp bead. Turn it And flatten it again so that it folds over itself. I usually smoosh it a few times to be sure that the wire won't move out of the bead.
  5. You're ready to string on your beads! The crimp bead will act as a stopper so that your beads don't fall off. It's a really handy thing that crimp bead.
  6. Once you've strung on all your beads, add the second crimp bead on the other side the same way we added the first. After you do this you'll notice you have some tail sticking out. This is good.
  7. Take the tail and weave it in through 5 or 6 beads. This will make sure that your wire doesn't slip out of the crimp bead. Once you've gotten it through several bead you can trim the excess wire with your wire cutters.

  8. Measure out how long you would like your chain to be. I made mine pretty short, each side is about 4 inches long. Once you have cut your chain to the length you want, fold it in half and cut it right in the middle with your wire cutters so that you have two equal parts.
  9. Now it's time to attach the chain to our necklace! Take a jump ring and open it by holding one end with your pliers and the other with your fingers at the opening. Bend the two parts in opposite directions to open the ring. DO NOT pull the wire apart to open. Once you've opened one put it on one end of your beaded string and attach one of your chain to it as well. Close your jump ring the same way you opened it. Do the same thing with another jump ring and the second chain on the other side.
  10. Almost done! Now take the last jump ring and open it up and attach it to one end of your chain. Put the clasp on this jump ring and close it. And you're done! Your clasp should be able to easily open and close around the other end of your chain, but if doesn't you can attach one more jump ring to the other end and your clasp will be able to open and close around that. 

Phew! And we're done! Enjoy your brand new necklace!

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