I love DIY. Whether it be something for the house or something to wear. Creating makes me happy. In fact, it was a big part of my childhood. Many Christmases would bring gifts of craft supplies and endless projects to be completed. And I was always dabbling…I’d try my hand at painting, knitting, sculpting, drawing…you name it. While I would not classify myself as some artistic genius, I always managed to construct a reasonably decent project. And most of all…it was fun.
I’ve stifled this for a long time and this past year, this blog has helped reignite the creative side of me. It’s been serving as an outlet for all the stresses of adult life and I’m finding that creative kid in me again.
So, let’s set the scene…of course, I was at Michael’s craft store…and I happened to wander into the beading section. As you know, I love jewelry (hey, jewelry ALWAYS fits) and the desire to create something myself started brewing. Problem was, I had no idea what I was looking at…what materials to choose, what tools did I need, could I even construct something half decent? So, I just explored, I took mental note of materials that appealed to me and I found myself in the book section giving myself a crash course in jewelry construction over the course of about 30 minutes. I read pretty fast and have a pretty photographic memory so I flipped through a book (sorry, don’t recall which one) on basic jewelry projects to get a handle on basic tools, and materials. I mean, what the heck were crimp beads and jump rings anyway. Then, I went home and took a peak at some jewelry I already own for inspiration. In fact, I have a necklace or two from LOFT that is very similar in construction to this one that I crafted. Studying the piece, I got a general handle on construction and then was sort of able to make it up from there. I returned to Michael’s, purchased my supplies, and hoped for the best. Here’s how:
DIY Three Strand Beaded Statement Necklace
For this project, I chose jade green beads. Because I wanted the necklace to be cooler in tone, the metal accents I chose were silver.
Monofilament Illusion Cord .012 in
Variety of Beads (I chose two sizes a slightly larger diameter for the bottom strand with matching smaller diameter beads for the other two)
Spacer Beads (each package had two different sizes (one slightly larger and one smaller)
Chain Nose Pliers
Flat Nosed Pliers
I also purchased a small storage case as I plan to make more jewelry in the future and wanted an inexpensive way to keep my tools organized.
First, you’ll begin by stringing beads for each of the three strands. You’ll want three different lengths of monofilament, each progressively shorter, so the strands lay in a tiered fashion when worn. I cut each strand of monofilament at 20, 18, and 16 inches respectively.
To start a strand of beads, string one jump ring and one crimp bead onto the monofilment.
Loop one end over the jump ring and back through the crimp bead for form a loop leaving about one inch of monofilament as a little tail. Using either chain nose of flat nose pliers (doesn’t really matter) squeeze the crimp bead tight to secure. You are now ready to begin stringing beads.
(TIP: I found the monofilament to be at risk for sliding back through the crimp bead. I had to be sure to squeeze tight to secure. While I’m not an expert, next time, I may choose a very thin metal wire to string the beads as I assume it may provide a little more grip and security against the metal of the crimp bead. Thoughts? I’d love to hear your recommendations/experiences if you’ve done something similar.) Either way, it seems secure enough so I began stringing beads.
I began with my larger green beads and alternated green with a silver spacer bead. I continued stringing until I had approximately 3 inches of monofilament left. Then, add another crimp bead and jump ring and repeat the first procedure to finish the strand. Be sure to pull the crimp bead and jump ring close enough to the last bead. You can then either string the remaining monofilament back through the beads or trim it off.
All three strands of beads will be attached to the one jump ring on either end. Once secure, I completed the same beading pattern, this time, using my smaller diameter green beads and smaller spacer beads. Complete the strand, attaching to the opposite jump ring in the same fashion. Finally, complete your last and shortest strand in the same manner. For the shortest strand, I threaded my smaller diameter beads without the use of spacer beads. As you work. it’s helpful to lay the necklace out on your workspace or hold it up to you neck to be sure the lengths of your strands are laying in the desired fashion. It actually worked out very well and I hardly had to adjust measurements at all.Here are what your completed strands will look like.
The next step is to attach some jewelry chain and your clasp. You will need 2, 4.5 inch lengths of jewelry chain (shorter or longer depending on how you would like your necklace to look), 3 more jump rings, and a lobster clasp. Also, you may need to use two sets of flat nosed pliers for this step…just raid your toolbox for an extra pair. Using wire cutters, trim your chain to the desired length.
Gently pry open a jump ring with two sets of flat nosed pliers. Attach an additional jump ring to each ring on either end of your beads and then attach a loop of jewelry chain to the jump ring. Close with the pliers once again.
Finally, on one side of the necklace, open a final jump ring and attach through the last loop of jewelry chain on that side along with a lobster clasp before gently closing using the pliers. The lobster clasp will easily attach to a loop of jewelry chain on the opposite side.
I completed this project this past Friday and yesterday, I wore it most of the day to a bridal shower, church, and then out to dinner with the husband for an early Valentine’s Day date. It held up beautifully! I had visions of one of the strands breaking loose, beads flying everywhere, and slipping and falling on rogue beads. Luckily, no disasters occurred.
Overall, this project was super fun to make and I have all sorts of jewelry projects I’m designing in my head and would love to try. Overall, the materials cost me approximately $25.00. I downloaded the Michael’s App on my iPhone and had a 25% off coupon so I saved some money too! While I agree it’s just as easy to go out and purchase something similar for the same price, I get a lot of satisfaction creating something of my own and the process is very relaxing for me so for that reason alone, the project is worth it.
Of course, you know what I want…I wanna hear if you’ve tried a DIY jewelry project! Try your hand at some statement jewelry on a whim? Or, if you are a regular DIY jewelry master, lead me to your favorite resources, projects, you name it. I’m all ears!
Note: I was not compensated nor did I partner with any product or company mentioned in this post. I practically live at Michael’s because it is essentially the only craft store in my town