Monday, April 26, 2010

diy: Braided Bead Necklace


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
CREATING THE BEAD STRANDS

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!

100 comments:

  1. This is a great tutorial! I've been inspired to take up beading.

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  2. This is on top of my summer to-do list.

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  3. Thanks, Abigail! It's totally worth taking up because it gives a much more immediate gratification than say sewing, baking, upholstery - and sometimes you just want to have something done and not have to a bit 'to do' to get your end result!

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    1. Hi, i have only recently taken up beading, needless to say this is one of my favourite, just one question, i am using tiger tail .45mm i cant seem to braid them as it pulls stiff, what should i be using and or what am i doing wrong?

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    2. Don't use Tiger Tail. It is a beading WIRE so it will be very stiff. Tiger Tail is used for more rigid projects, not for projects with drape or bending around, such as this one. I suggest you use fishing line or beading thread, such as Nymo or Toho. Both of them cost about 2 to 3 dollars or cheaper.

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  4. Great tutorial - easy to follow, beautiful idea.

    I love my new necklace!

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  5. This is amazing! I saw it on another site, and took me forever to realize it had a tutuorial. I'm over the moon!!! Can't wait to make mine. THANK YOU!

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  6. This is gorgeous! I just found your blog via ReadyMade and I'm so excited about this project! I'll be linking to this if you don't mind. Off to explore the rest of the site...

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  7. Thanks everyone! I'm thrilled!

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  8. I adore this necklace! What kind of beads are used (e.g. plastic/glass)?

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  9. This is fantastic. A gorgeous necklace with easy to follow instructions? Definitely going to try making one of these!

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  10. this is beautiful! i love the beads you chose!

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  11. Hola, Gracias por este collar hermoso y fácil, lo voy hacer para mi, me gusto mucho, muchas gracias.

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  12. Love this! Going to try it this weekend for sure!

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  13. This necklace is so attractive! I love the simplicity and beauty of it!

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  14. I tried it...with less beautiful results than yours!!! I have linked your post in my blog...hope you like it!
    http://somechicstuff.blogspot.com/2010/07/diy-o-hazlo-tu-mismo-va-de-joyas.html

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  15. Great idea, beautiful neklace!

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  16. Love the necklace. I'm going to make them for my bridesmaids. What size bead did you use?

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  17. Hi, Carrie!

    So! I actually went back to the bead shop the other weekend to get some more beads and check to see what the size was - and now I've forgotten! They are called Seed beads and the number 8 sticks out to me, it's also written on the bottom of the jar, "8R-E-705." I will make sure to check again when I'm back at the shop! They are larger than what I consider to be the most common little beads, but they're not terribly big - but I'm sure that's not helpful! But hopefully size 8 Seed Bead is!

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  18. Thanks for the info. I used size 6/0. I made my necklaces and they look awesome. I found that twisting the paired strands and then braiding worked pretty well. I've also added a little extras to one side such as a leaf charm and fabric flower. I hope my ladies love them as much as I do.

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  19. Wow, that's nice. Thanks for a great tutorial!

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  20. It's a very pretty and elegant necklace, and I love the colour beads you have chosen.
    Thanks for sharing : )

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  21. What a simple tutorial to create an elegant and glamorous necklace! Thank you for sharing, I am looking forward to making lots of these as presents. :)

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  22. Thank you for making this tutorial! I'm not very good at making jewerly, so I haven't tried much either, but this tutorial makes me wanna try again :)
    Thank you! :)

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  23. Thank YOU so much, ladies! I'm so glad you like it and that the tutorial was clear! I'm never sure if explaining things in the best way!

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  24. thank you so much for your share ı like this

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  25. I had a hank of inexpensive seed beads that were irregular in size so I made this as a bracelet. It was great because braiding does not require uniformity. I attached a jumpring to the ends and a toggle. The color possibilities are endless. Thank you for sharing this project.

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  26. Thanks for sharing! I am a crafter myself and I would love to feature your design at
    http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/

    Would this be okay with you?

    Thanks!
    diylessonsassistant
    http://diylessons.org/

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  27. The top is gorgeous, where did you get it? The necklace and top are perfect with each other.

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  28. Thanks! The top is actually a dress from H&M a while back. But they actually now have a top that has the same top as the dress - and I just bought it a few days ago!

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  29. Merci beaucoup!!!! c'est très très joli!!!

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  30. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing this tutorial. I found you through Pinterest, repinning now to one of my boards. I can't wait to look through more of your blog, too. ;)

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  31. made this last weekend and thought it turned out way cute. thanks for the tutorial!

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  32. great job, now I'm going to buy necessary stuff and do this =)

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  33. I made this over the weekend and absolutely love the outcome. So thank you so much for sharing! xo

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  34. I lost my inspiration,this tutorial it's a good one,thanks for it.
    Greetings from Budapest,meli-beads

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  35. Where do the two small jump rings fit into this tutorial? I can't wait to make these as x-mas presents! So excited!

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  36. Hi!

    At each end of the braid the three hooks come together on a jump ring. You can see them in the photograph, second from the bottom.

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  37. Just made mine and I love it! I had a hard time getting the knots close to the bead tips. Any tips? It still came out beautiful. Thank you for this lovely tutorial

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  38. @Maddy W.: I just made my first necklace as well. It will be a christmas present. As a tip I would advise you to keep the knot very big while still pushing it close to the beads and then holding on to it with one or if you have even two pairs of pliers. Don`t be scared, the thread can be pulled quite strongly.

    Thank you very much for the wonderful tutorial! It was fun (except for my manicure :P ) and looks so, so, so pretty!

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  39. this is an amazing hand-made gift idea! my mom actually has super sensitive skin *allergic to things like nickel* do you think this gift would work for her?

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  40. Thanks, Bianca!

    I imagine as long as you used nickel-free metal pieces the necklace would work great for your Mom.

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  41. Maddy, I try and use my fingernails to keep the knot close to the bead while pulling it tight.

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  42. Just wanted to let you know that I featured your cute necklace on my blog!

    www.sweet-raisins.blogspot.com

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  43. You have a lovely blog and I love this tutorial. I have featured you in my post on spring projects: http://killthemwithcraftiness.blogspot.com/2012/03/friday-favorites-spring-projects.html

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  44. In response to Bianca--I have to use nickel-free findings and www.consumercrafts.com is an excellent source for them. They even have boxes with an assortment of findins in silver and goldtone. Also Antique silver and copper findings. And very reasonable prices. Great people to deal with. Hope this helps. Can't wait to make the necklace.

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  45. Silly me bought some of the wrong things, but I managed to make it work and now I have a very pretty necklace!

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  46. great tutorial ! thank you !

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  47. Love the necklace. Can't wait to make one. I'm thinking about not using the chain (make it all beads). Can you tell me how long the string of beads were before and after braiding? Thank you.

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  48. I love this necklace!!!! Thanks for the tutorial, can't wait to try it!

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  49. Just got done making this!its so cute i love it, thanks so much:)

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  50. I love this! Attempting to make as we speak... But 5.5" seems so short!

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  51. I saved this tutorial in my bookmarks forever ago! I finally had some time to create this necklace for myself. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    I hope you don't mind...I posted on my blog about your tutorial and linked to you. You can find it here if you are interested:

    http://unchartedchicago.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/filling-up-my-free-time/

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  52. I made this necklace today for my mother on mothers day I was in formed about your necklace design through http://meetmeatmikes.blogspot.com.au/ and here is a picture of the necklace http://indifferentphotos.deviantart.com/#/d4zplm8, Thank you so much for the design it was a lot of fun making, I didn't copy to your measurements, actually to be honest I didn't really measure it, I just threaded a whole packed of 3.6mm seed beads(25g)then halfed it and halfed it again to get the size once they were all on the wire/string I used xD it was a lot of fun. :)

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  53. Mine turned out great! I shortened the chain to 8" but other than that the dimensions were good. I found that JoAnn Fabrics had the widest selection of this kind of beads if folks are having trouble finding the right ones.

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  54. EEEeeee I love my new necklace :)

    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

    http://queenoftheplushies.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/bling-bling.html

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  55. I can't wait to make this necklace! I have a ton of seed beads I've been trying to find a use for. I think I will attach the braid to the chain with a decorative clasp so I can wear it as a bracelet too.

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  56. Sooo lovely! I'll share this on my blog!

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  57. LOVE IT! Just curious about how much it cost you to make it.

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  58. Hi, LJE! I don't quite remember, it was about 2 years ago, but maybe around $10? A big factor would be the quality of chain you buy, I think the beads were around $6-7.

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  59. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! I started this necklace yesterday afternoon. After staying up until 3am and working on it a little today, I was so happy to be able to wear it out tonight! Thanks again!

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  60. Made this last night in just an hour or two (a little longer because I dropped a strand on the floor and had to find the million beads that went with it :), and LOVE it! I want to make more in a rainbow of colors! So pretty! Thanks!

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  61. WOW! this is a super fabulous DIY! love your blog, you have a new fan!!!!

    xoxo Julieta
    www.vjuliet.com

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  62. Just made this last night. Amazing necklace, just hope my knots don't slip through the bead tips!

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  63. Your tutorial is fantastic. I’m writing from bulbinblue.com, an up-and coming, dynamic, non-profit website for creative ideas and crafts. We’d love to feature your tutorial (text and pictures too). We are very keen to set up new partnerships with experienced and creative bloggers; we will make sure it's an easy process and provide your blog with lots of new followers. We would like also to translate the tutorial into French and German for our mother and sister sites, and link the tutorial to your blog. Our mother site bluemarguerite.com welcomes more than 200,000 visitors a month. Would you be interested? Please reply to us at blueteam@bulbinblue.com!

    Jeanny

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  64. Love this!!! Thanks for the inspiration! We feature DIY projects on our blog every Monday and we are featuring you tomorrow! If you would like to check out your feature our website is www.nevernola.com- Thanks again!

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  65. Hello,

    I work for the french magazine "marie claire idées" and I would like to write an article about your do it yourself. Are you agree? to give you an idea about what we make with DIY: http://www.marieclaireidees.com/,un-bandeau-pour-les-yeux-brode-facon-colis-postal,2610262,93672.asp

    If you accept, your article and your photos will be integrated(joined) on the site of marie claire idées and we shall put a link towards your blog.

    Looking forward to an answer from you,

    Emmanuelle

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    Replies
    1. Please reply at emmanuelle.watier.mci@gmail.com

      Delete
  66. Thanks for this great idea! I mentioned your post on my blog (http://www.pearlsinacup.be/braided-bead-necklace/). You can see there my versions!

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  67. just made this! i did used a thin wire instead of upholstry thread, but i wish i had just used the thread. i also use 3 different beads. i'm pretty happy with how it came out. considering how professional it looks, it was pretty simple to make!

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  68. This is beautiful! As a semi-experienced beadweaver, I suggest you add a dab of jewelery glue (like E6000) in the step where you add the knotted strands of thread into the clamshell bead tip -- just for some extra security. It's so strong you only need a teensy tiny amount, a toothpick works great for application directly onto the knots before closing the clamshell beadtips tight - just don't get it on your skin or your tools! You can find it at places like ac moore or wherever you buy your beads.

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  69. What a great idea to braid the beads! I actually made a couple for gifts this Christmas, and my sisters-in-law loved them! I featured it on my blog, http://www.mommasbestshot.blogspot.com/2012/12/at-jewelry-making.html I also made myself a 5 strand braided bracelet on stretchy cord inspired by your necklace. I love it! My 3 year old helped me by holding the end tight for me :) Thanks again!

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  70. What a lovely idea. It has given me several more ideas for new jewelry pieces. Thank you!

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  71. Whats up with all the people who misuse the comments here to advertise their own blog? Anyway, I tried this too, only with smaller pearls and I think it turned out great. Thanks for this great tutorial :)

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  72. What size beads did you use?
    I love this necklace!
    I want to make it, I'm new to jewelry so I need extra details. :o)
    Beautiful necklace!
    Blessings,
    Denise

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  73. Love this necklace and will try it also. I think this would look good in black and white or red, white & blue!

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  74. This is just like the necklace I made with my mother back in 1969. We made it in red, white & blue for the 4th of July. Thank you for the good memories you brought back.

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  75. Nice idea! :)
    xoxo

    p-and-p-style.blogspot.com - Check this DIY-Fashion blog out!

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  76. Thanks for the great idea. www.jordansjewelrydesigns.com

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  77. I just love how this post is named after an Arrested Development episode

    Baby Buster would be proud <3

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  78. molto bello!!
    candiedfruits.wordpress.com

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  79. Beautiful! And such a great tutorial, Thanks for sharing!

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  80. Love it! Keep up the good work. Your stuff is great.

    Best,
    Jo

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  81. Super cute idea!

    PS I love the name of your blog!

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  82. Thanks for sharing your tutorial explains it well. I wonder if hanks of seed beeds might work also but they are usually on VERY cord/thread. Maybe after the first of the year I will try some I have. Too busy with the season for now.

    The best to you and thanks for sharing.

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  83. Too good excellent tutorial, have become fan of ur simple way of teaching

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