Have you ever picked up a strand of beautiful beads at the craft store and wished you know what to do with them? You are not alone. The top three questions we get are:
- How do I turn beads into a necklace?
- What should I string the beads on?
- How do I put on a clasp?
These are great questions. And we’re going to answer them while we show you how to make this easy beaded necklace. We’re going to tell you how many strands of beads to buy and what wire to use. Then we’ll show you step by step how to string the beads into a pretty necklace and how to finish the ends and put on the clasp.
Here’s a video we made showing all the materials and all the steps to make this beaded necklace. Follow along to see how it’s done, then gather your materials and use the steps below to make your own necklace.
How To Make A Beaded Necklace
3 Strands of beads (each strand we used was about 7″ long)
Bead stringing wire, 49-strand Bright
Toggle clasp, silver or silver-plate
2 Clam shell bead tips, silver or silver-plate
2 Crimp beads, silver or silver-plate
2 Jump rings, silver or silver-plate
*This is the basic trio you will need to make jewelry. Here’s a blog post we did describing these tools and what each is used for. You can buy all three for about $15 total.
First things first. Let’s go shopping for beads and materials. This is the fun part!
We like to mix sizes of beads and that’s what we did in this necklace. We chose three strands (we added their lengths together to make sure we had 18″ of beads). You could make this necklace with all the same beads. It’s up to you!
You may find beads already on strands hanging at the craft store. These are “temporarily strung.” You will snip the plastic fishing line or string the beads are strung on and throw that away. Other times you can find beads in clear plastic baggies, in small boxes, or even buy them individually at bead stores or bead shows.
To restring the beads you’ll need bead stringing wire. It is a very soft, coated wire that doesn’t kink like regular wire. And it is much stronger than thread. You can find it at the craft store with the beads. It comes in three thicknesses 7-strand, 19-strand, and 49-strand. Here’s a little video we made explaining bead stringing wire:
For the clasp, we used a very pretty toggle clasp. The nice thing about a clasp like this is that it can be worn in front as part of the necklace. Very pretty. You can use whatever clasp you like. If you aren’t too sure what kind of clasp goes with what kind of jewelry making project, we made a little video all about clasps. Click here to watch it on YouTube.
The findings are the jump rings, the crimp beads, and clam shell bead tips. Crimp beads are small tubes of metal you can slide onto the bead stringing wire, then crush with chain nose pliers. They crimp onto the wire and stay where you crimp them. The clam shell bead tip is a metal clam shell with a hole at the clam hinge. We’ll show you how to you use.
How To Make The Necklace
1. To make your necklace, start by cutting the beads off any temporary string. If you have a design in mind, go ahead and line the beads up in the order you want them on the necklace. We made ours random, so we just placed them in cups. Cut a 20″ length of bead stringing wire with your wire cutters. Place a piece of masking tape at one end to keep the beads from sliding off. Then start sliding on the beads.
2. Fill the wire with 16 to 18 inches of beads. (Depending on how long you want your necklace to be and keeping in mind the findings plus clasp will add about 1.5 to 2 inches to the length.)
3. To finish the end, feed the wire into the clam shell bead tip. Then slide on a crimp bead.
Nestle it inside the clam shell bead tip. Smash the crimp bead with your chain nose pliers. Trim the end of the wire. Close the clam shell bead tip over the crimp bead with the chain nose pliers. If your loop on the clam shell bead tip is open, close it. Slide a jump ring into the loop, then slide the clasp onto the jump ring.
Close the jump ring. Tada! One side finished!
4. Slide the beads toward the finished end. Remove the masking tape.
Repeat step 3, sliding on the clam shell bead tip and then the crimp bead. Slide the beads together with the clam shell bead tip so there’s no slack, then crimp the crimp bead. Trim the wire, close the clam shell, and close the loop.
Use a jump ring to attach the other end of the clasp to this end of the necklace. You did it!
Remember if you have any questions at all, just ask in the comments. We are here to help!
Happy Jewelry Making!
Jennifer & Kitty
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