I mentioned in my last post that I frequented the local bead store this weekend. This place is a crafter’s heaven! Beads & Things is owned and operated by an amusing, free-spirited couple that keep you entertained and make you feel at home while you sit and craft. I spent 3 hours there on Saturday creating a version of a necklace I have been coveting for quite some time. Anthropologie sold a necklace awhile back that was just calling my name, almost convincing me to shell out 60 bucks for the thing. Fortunately, my frugalness kicked in assuring myself, “You can make that!” So I did. (My own version, at least.)
Here is the Anthropologie version:
To make my own version I needed the following:
- An assortment of mismatched beads
- 22-gauge flex wire (or a thiner soft flex wire for the lightweight beads)
- Head pins
- A toggle clasp if you make a shorter necklace
- A pair of rounded, needle-nose pliers
- A pair of flat pliers
- A wire cutter or scissors
Since I chose heavier beads for part of the necklace I needed a larger gauge wire to secure and link the beads (or as the owner and my beading coach tells me, it keeps the necklace strong so you can still “throw down” in it…needless to say she is awesome). To do this, create a loop with the help of the needle-nose pliers then wrap the wire around the base of the loop to secure it. Cut the wire when you are done wrapping then pinch with the flat pliers so the end doesn’t poke out. Thread the wire through the loop and attach the next bead. Repeat the process so that the loops are linked between each bead. You may only need to do this for the beads you want to be less-flexible and more secure.
For my black, square bead (or any bead you use that is see-through and you don’t want the wires to show) use head pins, they are straight wires with a bud at the end that allows it to hold itself in place on the bead. Create a loop with the remainder of your wire head pin then thread your flex wire through the loop and create another loop so you can attach to your next set of beads.
Use soft flex wire for the lightweight beads and ones that have small holes for threading. In this case I used the soft flex wire for the round wooden beads and the green sea glass beads. This kept them flexible so the necklace doesn’t appear stiff while I’m wearing it. Loop the wire at the end of the sequence of beads and secure with crimps at the base of the loop by threading the crimp on then pressing it flat with the flat pliers.
To complete the necklace I created more loops with the 22-gauge flex wire to add the chain at the top of the necklace. I spent a total of $26 on all the beads and supplies; a kinder amount to my bank account than Anthropologie’s pricey piece. And the finished product is….