new adventures in beading

28 Oct

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with seed beads, I mean a loooong time. But I’ve been wanting to make a multi-strand seed bead necklace for awhile now. Every time I go into my local bead shop and see the hanks (groups of single strands sold as a unit) hanging on display I think how beautiful and luxurious a necklace like that would be. So I finally gave in and picked up a few different colors to make something beautiful; I sat down last night after dinner and started beading…

stringing beads

So far, outside of using a bead spinner, I found the best way to get seed beads from their threaded strands to a sturdier beading wire is to hold the thread taught while inserting the beading wire in the opposite direction of the open end of the thread. I used a clip to keep more tension on the thread while I was transferring beads to the wire. It worked out pretty well, I was able to get large chunks of beads on the wire at a time rather than having a pile of beads I had to string one at a time (I remember those days).

It took a couple of hours, but I finally got all 6 strands (2 in each color) strung. Now what? I had never made a multi-strand necklace before, and I wasn’t quite sure how to finish it. I had bead cones and a bunch of 2×2 crimps but I wasn’t convinced that was the best way to go about it.

in process

in process

Turns out the advice I had been given at the shop is just about the only way to neatly finish a multi-strand necklace like this, with the findings I had. I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive about it, I didn’t want to screw something up and have to start all over again. So I went about turning my wire circles and wire wrapping to hang the beading wire from inside the cone,

crimps

lots of stuff

but when I tried it out for fit…

failed cones

Uh oh. I’m going to need some much bigger cones for this! I looked around in my bags of recently purchased goodies and came up with these:

successful cones

Hooray! They fit! I was planning to use these as a caps for some dainty pearl earrings, but I wanted to get this necklace finished, so I decided this was the best decision. But then…

Since I hadn’t bought these to use in this way, I never checked to see if the holes were around the same size. I had already finished one end completely, so unless I wanted to do the wire wrapping all over again, I was going to have to go back to the shop and find another cone with a smaller hole. (Note to self: check this stuff when you’re buying! You never know what you might end up using it for) I wasn’t about to use two different sized silver rounds to finish this baby off; even if it is the clasp, it should look clean and professional. So off to the store I go…

necklace complete

clasp

strands

And voilá! She is complete! As time consuming as a project like this is, even for simple strands without some kind of pattern, I can’t wait to make another one! I ended up with a lot more strands left than I first thought I’d have, so I will be experimenting with number of strands, color combinations and ways to twist, braid and layer multi-strand necklaces.

You can purchase this here

Next up, twisted pearls!

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