The sun is shining in London and I’m taking it as an opportunity to add some sunshine to my outfits. I love wearing white in summer (though this year with Jasmine that’s proving a little hit and miss!) and I find white dresses and pretty white blouses are the perfect backdrop for a chunky statement necklace. I created this gorgeous one with jewellery queen Charlotte from Lotts and Lots, and below we’re showing you how to make one too!
Step 1. First select your beads. You are looking for a range of sizes from fairly small (around 4mm) to fairly large (these yellow statement beads are 3cm long). You also want to go for a mix of shapes, colours and textures to make the necklace interesting. I have included links where I can for the beads but some come from broken pieces of jewellery and others I’ve collected on my travels – I really encourage you to visit a bead shop and buy what excites you and what you love.
A basic guide I used for this necklace is as follows:
10 x spacer beads (7mm)
5 x statement beads (3cm long)
4 x droplets each made up of 1 x glass bead (8mm), 2 x teardrop beads (3cm long) 1 x metal star (1cm)and 2 x glass beads (4mm).
Step 2. Start to create your droplets. Add your small and star beads on to a head pin. Leave just under 1 cm of wire sticking out the end of the last bead and snip off the rest. Take the end of the wire (the end with no stopper) between a pair of round nose pliers – make sure there is no wire sticking out the top. Take the bead and wire securely in one hand and pliers and wire in another twist the wire around the pliers creating a loop. You might need to reinsert the pliers when you can’t twist anymore to create a complete loop. You can see up close photos in the colourful tassel earring post.
Step 3. Add a 8mm round bead onto an eyepin and like in step 2, create a loop at the top.
Add a jump ring to each of the teardrop beads and to the star droplet. To open and close a jump ring, take a jump ring between of pair of pliers with the opening facing upwards. With another pair of pliers gently twist the jump ring open, to close twist the other direction.
I used a 4mm jump ring but this could vary depending on the size of your bead, if you have selected beads with a hole running the length of the bead then add to a headpin (like step 2) and then add a jump ring.
Add the teardrop beads and star droplet to one end of the round bead – open the loop as you would a jump ring.
Step 4. Take a length of tiger tail approximately 50cm long – it’s much easier to work with a longer length as it stops you losing beads! Start to thread your beads, working from the central bead outwards. The pattern here was statement bead, spacer bead, droplet, spacer bead, statement bead and so on.
Step 5. Keep your beads in the centre of the tiger tail; they’ll be getting heaving and want to whizz around. Thread a crimp to either end and squeeze flat with a pair of pliers. Before you squeeze make sure there are no big gaps between the beads (I find it best to secure a crimp to one end of the beads, gently lift the other non secured end, then secure the second crimp – gravity naturally makes the beads fall next to each other without being too tight or too loose).
Next thread on a crimp cover and crimp. Make sure the crimp is sitting within cups of the crimp cover and tightly squeeze close with a pair of pliers. Give the crimp a good pull to make sure it’s securely fastened, snip off the excess tiger tail and the gently close the cups of the crimp cover to hide the crimp. Repeat on the other side.
Step 6. Take one piece of ribbon, place one end between the teeth of a 1.6cm ribbon end and squeeze closed. (I like to add a tiny dot of glue between the teeth before I insert the ribbon for added security, but you don’t have too.) Then fasten the ribbon end to the beads with a jump ring.
And you’re done! Have you ever seen anything more summery?? This necklace makes the perfect piece for an evening stroll along the French Riviera, or cocktails in the sunlit streets of LA. Or on Hackney Downs, which is where I’ll be wearing mine this summer!
Happy making everyone. Don’t forget to share yours on Instagram – I’m living vicariously through you lot at the moment so the more glam the setting the better!