Here is a necklace I made a few weeks ago. I get loads of comments when I wear it so I thought I'd share with my fellow craftsters.....
The necklace has five strands of beads (more if you want!!) varying in size from seed beads (I chose the square tube beads cause they tended to "shine" or reflect the light better than seed beads) to 10mm beads. Select a colour palette of either one, two or three colours with a variety of shapes, finishes and sizes. I realised after finishing my necklace, that my necklace would have looked better if I had chosen a similar shade
of beads - ie. chosen a dark coloured green rather than the light coloured green. The necklace can be made either collarbone length, about 18 or 19 inches - which is the length I did or mid-chest length, about 26 inches.Template
Firstly, you need to make a template. For the collarbone length (18 inches), you need to cut a 5 1/2 inch diametre circle from foam board (if you have it. If not, I just cut two from fairly thick cardboard and sandwiched two together with mounting tape). You could also use a thick cardboard box. This is then glued to a larger piece of cardboard. Mark the top centre and bottom centre. For the longer length cut a teardrop shape 9 3/4 inches long x 5 inches wide. Here is a picture of my template:Clasp
Tape a clasp to the top centre. I used a toggle clasp but any clasp would work. I also put a jump ring onto the clasp as the clasp hole was only quite small and two or three strands will need to pass through the hole of either the clasp or jump ring. I used plain old fishing line but I guess you could use beading thread or Nymo. If you choose to use thread, you would need to use a beading needle. I used enough line to go round the template 5 times plus I would guess about another 18 inches. Yes, I know that's long but I personally don't like having to attach thread in the middle of a project, but you can do so. Start with a lark's head knot. A lark's head knot is where you fold the end of the thread to form a loop. Pass the loop through the clasp or jump ring, then thread the ends of the thread back through the loop and pull tight. Stringing
The first strand will lay the closest to the edge of the template. String on a bead a little larger than a seed bead (just a nice way to end a strand) then string about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of seed beads. String on a small contrasting bead. Continue in this fashion (ie. 1 to 1 1/2 inches of sead bead then contrasting bead) but with the contrasting beads getting larger as you get towards the front of the necklace and getting smaller as you continue from the front to the back of the necklace. When you get to the other side of the necklace, thread a small bead (like the bead on the other end), then thread through the other clasp end (or jump ring as the case may be) then thread back through the end bead. Continue with the next strand. String on about 1/2 inch of seed beads, a small contrasting bead, and 1/2 inch of seed beads (approx.) or enough to reach the first small bead on the first strand and take your thread through this first small bead on the first strand. Continue doing strands and connecting them to the contrasting bead, again, gradually increasing the size of the "shared" or contrasting beads. Make sure your most important beads are at the front. Below is a close up of the back of the necklace:
There are 5 strands in total but below is a close up of where I threaded the 5th strand into the 4th strand to reduce bulk at the clasp:
Below is a closeup of the front. You can do the front however you like but I liked the look of this:
And here is a picture of the finished necklace on the template:
It is a lot of work but trust me, it is
easy and looks stunning. If you have any questions, please ask!!!