I’m not usually one to jump on the fashion bandwagon, but I do love accessories– namely ones that will help pump up my usual wardrobe of solid colored shirts and sweaters. In the fall/winter, you will usually see me with a scarf to match, but lately, I’ve fallen in love with the beaded statement necklace trend- problem is, most of them come in gold (I guess that’s the new “in” color?) and I can’t stand gold. While in JoAnn’s (Fabric/Craft store) the other day, I noticed that most of the beads were on sale, so I picked up 2 strings of bright pink teardrop beads and a few other supplies and set out to make my own bib necklace.
*Note- this project is not for the faint of heart- I’m sure many seasoned beaders could make quick work of this, but for me, it was a fairly tedious project! It just makes me all the more proud of the final product 😉
So, to make my necklace, I grabbed the following items- beads (my pattern takes 40 beads, measuring about a half inch long), a chain to finish the necklace off, eye pins (and one plain nail head pin), jump rings (I had these, so I used what I had- two different sizes worked best, large and small), some sort of clasp to close your necklace, and pliers- you’ll need a pair of clippers depending on how long your eye pins are and needle nose pliers. To make it even easier, get two pairs of needle nose pliers- one for each hand– makes a world of difference!
Total cost? Less than $10 (not including the pliers which I already had). The whole bead department was 25%-50% off, which really made a huge difference in the final cost. I’m really excited about how much it came out to be considering that most of the bib/statement necklaces I see in the store run upwards of $30-$40!
Step 1: To prepare your beads, string an eye pin through each bead. Bend the end at a 90* angle, and then, using your needle nose pliers, loop the bent end around into a loop so that you have a loop coming out of each end of the bead.
Next, lay out your beads. I drew up this sketch to decide how I wanted to use my beads (and to make sure I had enough to complete the pattern I had come up with in my head.)
If you look in my sketch above, I used pink pen to mark off where all the jump rings will go. Carefully open your jump ring, and start at one end and start joining beads together. Work slowly and carefully, and use those needle nose pliers to hold the jump ring so your fingers don’t get in the way. Make sure you work methodically so that each bead goes on in order. After you close the jump ring back up, lay the beads down so that you make sure everything is perfect before moving on. In the photo below, you can see that I started working on the top right hand side (and worked toward the middle). I started on the right and worked inward until I got to the middle, and then went up to the left and worked inward. I joined the center circle of beads last.
In this picture, you can see that I used large jump rings on majority of the necklace except for a few of the connections along the bottom edge. If only two beads were connecting, I used a small jump ring.
Also, when I held it up, I noticed that there was a “gap”, so I strung up my last two beads and added them in. If something isn’t working for you (as it may not depending on the size and shape of your beads) just re-work it until it does!
Stand back and admire your finished piece and find some place to go so you can show it off!
If this is too complicated for you, fear not – JoAnn’s now carries pre-made necklace parts – this is literally two parts – the chain and the beading itself. They have all these beaded bottoms and you can mix/match them with different chains and accessories. This isn’t an affiliate post – I just think they’re awesome! This necklace took about 5 minutes to put together!