How to Make a Beaded Necklace...Ten easy steps for creating stunning beaded necklace designs!
Successful handcrafted beaded necklaces start with a little planning. Yes, you must have a plan!
But have no fear, follow my easy jewelry making instructions. The planning has been done for you. That's the beauty of most of the beading projects found on making-beaded-jewelry.com!
Follow these steps and let your imagination guide you to create unique beaded necklaces that reflect your personality.
The steps are usually done in this order. But not always. Think of the steps as what needs to be done to make a beaded necklace.
More often than not, I will first find wonderful beads that I want to design around.
Other times, I know what jewelry making technique I want to use or which necklace style I want to make before I know what beads I'll use.
So, you're not limited to doing the first three steps in order.
To ensure that you will have what you will need to complete a bead jewelry design, it is best to gather your jewelry making supplies (Step 4) after you know what you're going to make.
Next, the jewelry making instructions that you're using will usually guide you through Steps Five to Ten.
1. Decide on a Beaded Jewelry Making Technique
There are many jewelry making techniques - stringing beads, making wire jewelry, beadwork and bead crochet to name a few.
Decide which one you'll use to make your beaded necklace. Most of the bead jewelry projects on this site are made using bead stringing, wire jewelry techniques and knotting jewelry techniques.
To keep things interesting, over time I may throw in a few other jewelry techniques.
Each beading project will list which jewelry making technique and which specific beading technique is being used to complete it.
2. Choose a Necklace Style
Of course there are many necklace styles, and variations of a necklace style, to choose from and we all have our preferences...
When choosing a necklace style consider how long you want your necklace to be and determine its finished length.
The finished length of a necklace includes the beads you've strung plus the length of the jewelry clasp you've chosen to use.
Collar 12-13 inches
Choker 14-16 inches
Princess 17-19 inches
Matinee 20-14 inches
Opera 28-34 inches
Rope or Lariat 45 inches and over
Cut your beading wire or string about six inches (approx 15 cm) longer the planned
finished length of your necklace (or bracelet).
For example, if you plan to make an 18 inch (45 cm) necklace, cut 24 inches (60 cm) of beading wire or string.
3. Select your Jewelry Making Beads
Personally, I like to start most of my bead jewelry designs with beads that I like, whether it's a strand or many individual beads. Then, I decide on a beading technique to use to actually make the beads into jewelry.
Here, you'll find some great ideas for jewelry making beads to use in necklace designs.
4. Gather Jewelry Making Supplies and Tools
Of course by now you know these include jewelry making pliers, jewelry findings and a host of other supplies.
But if you need it, here you can review jewelry making supplies used in beading techniques.
5. Layout the Bead Jewelry Design
On your work surface, layout and arrange your beads in an eye pleasing necklace design. If you're using a focal bead, place it first. Then place the secondary beads and spacer beads.
You may try a few different arrangements before deciding on one. Here, take a look at how a beading board can aid your jewelry design efforts.
Are you getting a feel of how to make a beaded necklace?
6. Make the Necklace
Use the jewelry making technique you've chosen to make the necklace.
In this step you actually make the beaded necklace. If you're stringing beads, you'll string beads. If you're knotting pearls, you'll knot the pearls until you have knotted a pearl necklace.
If you're working on beginning wire jewelry making techniques, you'll make the wire loops and wrapped loops.
This is a good time for a first check on the length of beads strung without the clasp. Use a ruler to measure the length. Your length should be within about 1 or 1 1/2" (2.5 - 3.8 cm) of your planned finished length.
The clasp will fill the 1 or 1 1/2" (2.5 - 3.8 cm) of space.
Make any necessary adjustments to the length of your piece. If needed, string more beads. If you've strung too many beads, remove a few.
7. Attach Clasp
String or attach the jewelry clasp, but do not secure it yet. Always check your fit before securing a clasp.
A clasp can be a simple split ring and lobster claw, a toggle clasp or a multi-strand clasp. You have many options for selecting jewelry clasps.
8. Check the Fit of the Jewelry on Yourself
In the jewelry making instructions, there's no picture for this specific task.
Gently pick up your necklace by both ends and go to a mirror. Facing the mirror, clasp the necklace around your neck.
See where and how it rests against your neck. Does the necklace fit you as you would like? If not, move on to Step 9 and make adjustments.
9. Make Any Adjustments to the Fit
If your necklace is not long or short enough or you don't like the design once you've strung the beads, you'll need to undo a step or two.
You can string more or fewer beads, or add more or remove wrapped loop bead units, and then redo a step or two.
10. Secure the Jewelry Clasp
To secure a jewelry clasp, actually crimp the crimp tube bead or fold a crimp end to secure the necklace ends for wearing.
The specific beading technique used will vary depending on the jewelry making technique and jewelry clasp being used.
If additional instructions are needed to secure a clasp, a link to its step by step instructions will be provided.
Here, learn a couple of ways to attach clasps to beading wire.
That's it! Ten Easy Steps on How to Make a Beaded Necklace.
At some point, these Ten Steps on How to Make a Beaded Necklace become second nature. You'll find short cuts and do them without thinking much about them. Just like driving a car, only more fun!