I couldn't have predicted so many jewelry posts. What can I say? I get on kicks. I saw a necklace like this in a store but it was shorter and the braid contained different kinds of beads. I wanted it longer with one type of bead. Tada, the braided bead necklace.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- An amount of beads, it's hard to say how many, I used about 4 more beads than this jar holds. Just get more than you'll think you need, this is the best I can tell you.
- Chain, about 20"-22" depending on the length you want.
- Jump rings, 2 large and 2 small (or medium, they're easier than small, though less discrete)
- Clasp, 1 (see note at bottom)
- Bead tips, 6
- Scissors and pliers
- Heavy thread, I used grey upholstery weight thread, probably 2 yards worth
Cut 6 pieces of thread at about 10" or so in length (much longer than you'll need, but this makes it safer - and safety first) and thread onto each string 5.5" of beads. Here's what beads on a string looks like.
Next, take two strands of beads and thread the two threads through one bead tip. Tie a double (or triple, why knot?!) knot in the two strings and trim the tail. Slide the bead tip up to the knot and use pliers to clamp the little clam shells over the knot.
Repeat for each pair and then repeat on the opposite end, making sure to get the knot as close to the bead tip as possible.
ATTACHING THE CHAIN & MAKING THE BRAID
Clamp three of the ends to one large jump ring. Connect that jump ring to you chain, a piece about 10" long, and then connect the remaining end of the chain to your clasp (see note at bottom). Prepare the other half of your chain by connecting one end to the other end of the clasp and the other to another large jump ring.
The braiding part is a little tricky if you don't secure your beads strands to something. You may want to tape them down to the edge of a table or pin the to a pin cushion that won't move (or if you want it to take longer, a pin cushion that does move, like I did). Once it's secure, braid your three pairs. When you get to the end, be sure to secure the clamps on the jump ring in an order so that i doesn't unravel the last braid. Then you're done! And you're fabulous!
*Finally, the note about the clasp. As shown in these photos, I originally used a screw clasp. But being the fickle lady I am, I often need to create an adaptable piece to suit this trait (see posts of jewelry switch outs here). I split my second chain into two and rejoined them with another large jump ring. I then switched the screw clasp for a standard round-open clasp so that should I change my mind about what length I want this necklace, I am free to do so. Whew!