I'm very much into long necklaces with a bold yet subtle (huh?) center piece. Why not have one long chain and make multiple centerpieces? Exactly, there's no reason not to. Like I do with earrings, I create pieces that can be swapped out on a simple chain. I had a vision, inspired by a similar, but smaller, cluster necklace I saw in a magazine. I wanted this to be a little bigger and red. Red, red, red.
This tutorial also follows my process in making this because I was making it up as I went along. Above are the tools you'll need, shown are the amounts of beads, pins and jump rings I started with to make sure I had more than enough.
To make this cluster you'll need:
- 9 head pins
- 9 beads
- 8 small jump rings
- 1 medium jump ring (you'll use this at the end)
In the photo below, you can see how I first thought it would work out (a). A single bed hangs from the bottom jump ring and I progressively add more beads to each jump ring, making up the 'spine' of the cluster. After trying this (d), I realized the single bottom bead would need to be on a longer head pin, 2.25mm (c) and the rest would be 1.5mm (b).
The next photos illustrate how it ended up working out. The longer head-pin single-bead would hang from a single jump ring. From the next jump ring up there would be two jump rings with two beads on each.
Remember, when working with jump rings always bend them sideways and not out, this makes the ring easier to close and does not warp it's shape or weaken the metal as much.
Attach another jump ring to the 'spine' and again two jump rings off of it with with two beads each. At this point things start to get pretty small and pretty clustered. I should have warned earlier, check your caffeine to solid foods ratio before attempting this. Learn from my mistakes, friends.
Now, to finish, add one more jump ring to the spine and then your medium jump ring to that. This way your last jump ring is large enough to slide onto your chain. Slide it onto your chain and you're done!