If you're looking for a project to use up a stash of old beads, this
one's just for you! In my case, I wanted to make something summery
and vibrant, so I picked a range of dyed Magnesite chip beads in
a variety of bright colours.
To begin, decide how many strands you want to make and how
long you wish the necklace to be and then separate your beads into
rows and colour combinations. It's always best to keep the larger
and heavier beads for the final layer and the smaller beads for the
Here's how to create the bead STRAND SEPARATORS:
Using 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire, work from the end of a spool
and make one small circle. (I used my step pliers, but round
nosed pliers work just as well).
Place your step or round nosed pliers next to the first link and
create a second circle next to it, straightening the wire out to the
side. (I chose to make a 4 strand necklace, but you can stop at 3,
or more. It's up to you!).
Once you have made your row of links, cut the wire from the
spool. You will need 2 of these units for each side of the necklace.
Next, create the hanger for your row of loops.
For my 4 looped rows, I cut 2 x 0.8mm wires, approximately 2.5"
(64mm) in length. I placed my round nosed pliers at the centre of
each length and crossed the wires over to form a central link.
Curl the ends of the crossed over wires on each side into spiral
links, as shown above. Check that the width of the hangers
correspond to the length of your row of links.
Using 2 jump rings for each unit, connect the outer spiral links
of your hangers to the outer row of loops.
Making Bead Links
You could choose to thread your beads directly onto beading filament
and use crimps to hold each strand in place, OR, (as above) thread each
of your beads with 0.8mm wire and form links on either side.
If you're using semi-precious chips, or freshwater pearls, you might
find that 0.8mm wire is too thick to thread through the small drilled
holes. In that case, try using 0.6mm or 0.4mm gauges and make wrapped
links as extra security.
Wire Coil Beads
If you wish to space your beads out, or create longer strands,
you can always make your own coiled beads. This works well
if you have a Coiling Gizmo, otherwise, use a knitting needle or
your round nosed pliers and thread the coils, just as you would
thread a bead.
Once you've made links on all your beads, connect them together in
'rosary' linked chains using jump rings.
Creating more bead strands ...
For extra length, I have added a few extra black contrasting beads.
Connecting the Strand Separator Units:
Once you have laid out your beads in strand layers and lengths, use
jump rings to connect each end of the different bead strands to the
links in your corresponding looped rows.
For this particular piece, I decided to add a tie cord for the sides
and back of my necklace so that it could have an adjustable length
for a variety of outfits. However, a simple chain and clasp will
do just as well!
And there you have it! A multi-strand necklace in all it's glory!
*Optional: If you would rather not have a 'rosary chain' look, you
can just follow, Steps 1 - to - 6 and thread your beads directly
onto beading thread, using crimps to secure the ends. Just as I
have done in the image below.
I hope that's inspired you to make your own! A cheer up for
Other news ...
To keep financially afloat in these difficult times, I have just set up
an online shop, so please do spread the word to anyone who wants
a special commission or gift!
You will find me on:
Plus, here's a note for your diary:
July 6th, I will be appearing on JEWELLERY MAKER TV
with lots of inspiration and demonstrations! Until then ...