Floating Illusion Necklace

Looking for a bead jewelry project? Make a floating illusion necklace. Use beads, illusion cord and step by step beading instructions to make a beautiful necklace!

Illusion Necklace Instructions

Here, I strung tiny 3mm potato pearls on transparent illusion cord.

The result is a long necklace that is worn doubled for an elegant multi-strand look.

The necklace is very light weight and has a delicate feel.

Floating Illusion Necklace

Illusion Cord

The barely there transparent illusion cord is a monofilament stringing material much like fishing line.

Picture of illusion cord used in jewelry making.

It is made specifically for jewelry making and is softer than its commonly used counterpart - monofilament fishing line.

For this bead jewelry project, I used size .012 inch (.30mm) diameter size illusion cord, which is very, very thin. It is available in other diameter sizes, but this is the size I had on hand.

Two Ways to Make Illusion Necklaces

You can make an illusion necklace with or without crimp beads. The crimp beads will hold the beads in place along the length of the illusion cord.

This pearl illusion necklace is made without crimp beads. To make this happen, the thickness of the illusion cord and the bead hole size are important. Read on!...

Buying the Correct Size Illusion Cord

A 3mm size pearl (used to make this floating illusion necklace) is very small, and its hole is even smaller. One strand of illusion cord was not thick enough for the pearls not to slide up and down the cord on their own.

I used three strands of illusion cord, the equivalent of a .036 inch (.90mm) thick single cord. (This is one and a half times the thickness of .024 diameter beading wire.)

If you use a thicker cord, you will not need as many strands. Simply choose the beads that you want to use. Test the illusion cord through the hole of one bead before buying the cord.

If the bead easily slides up and down the cord or falls off the cord, the hole in the bead is too big for a single strand of cord. Either buy a larger diameter size cord, or buy smaller holed beads or use multiple strands of cord.

It is a good idea to use lightweight beads such as crystals, seed beads, resin beads, pearls or small glass beads.

Okay, let's make an illusion necklace that floats!

Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions

Skill Level:
Beginning Jewelry Making

Prerequisite Beading Techniques:

If you are new to jewelry making, learn and practice this jewelry making technique first...

How to Use Fold Over Cord, or Crimp, Ends

Jewelry Making Supplies

  • one strand of beads (pearls)
  • two fold over cord ends (very small)
  • two split rings (or jump rings)
  • one lobster claw clasp
  • illusion cord

Bead Jewelry Making Tools and/or Pliers

  • chain nose pliers (two pair is very helpful)
  • wire cutters
  • split ring pliers

Here is an explanation and pictures of jewelry pliers used in bead jewelry projects.

Pearl Floating Illusion Necklace
Jewelry Making Instructions

1. Double check the hole in your beads against the illusion cord.

If the bead easily slides up and down the cord or falls off the cord end, the hole in the bead is too big for a single strand of cord. Use multiple strands of cord.

Step 1 - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Test Fit of Illusion Cord in Bead Hole.

2. Using the wire cutters, cut one or more strands of cord to a length of 37 inches (94 cm), or long enough to double around your neck plus 2 or 3 inches (5.1 or 7.6 cm).

I used three strands of 37 inch (94 cm) illusion cord to string on 3mm size pearls. It doubles around my neck to hang like an 18 inch (45.7 cm) necklace.

To actually string the pearls onto the cord, I staggered the illusion cord and put one strand at a time through the hole in the bead.

Step 2 - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Cut illusion cord lengths and begin to string beads.

3. String all the pearls or beads onto the strands of illusion cord.

Stagger the beads along the length of the cord to you liking.

Step 3 - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: String all the beads.

Instructions for Making a Floating Illusion Necklace Continued

4. Attach the fold over cord end to the end of the strands of illusion cord.

Since the fold over cord ends are so tiny, what worked for me was to grasp the ring on the fold over cord end with one pair of chain nose pliers and squeeze the sides of the fold over cord end together to meet at the top like a triangle.

Step 4 - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Attach the fold over cord end.

Then I flattened the fold over cord end between the jaws of the chain nose pliers.

Step 4A - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Attach the fold over cord end.

Flattened and closed fold over cord end capturing all three strands of illusion cord.

Step 4B - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Attach the fold over cord end.

5. Using the wire cutters, trim the excess illusion cord ends close to the top of the fold over cord end.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for the second end of the illusion necklace.

Step 5 - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Trim the excess illusion cord.

6. Attach the split rings and lobster claw clasp to the fold over crimp ends.

Using the crimping pliers, open a split ring and slide it into the ring of one fold over crimp end.

Repeat for the second fold over crimp end, but also slide on the lobster claw clasp to the split ring.

Step 6 - Floating Illusion Necklace Instructions: Attach the split rings and lobster claw clasp.

Finished Floating Pearl Illusion Necklace

You have completed your floating illusion necklace.

Picture of floating illusion necklace.

And here's how it looks on a live model. Beautiful, yes!

Picture of completed floating illusion necklace on live a model.

Have fun beading your own illusion necklace!

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Back to How to Make a Necklace

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