Monday 4 August 2014

How to Make a Plaited Bead Necklace

I'm really new to making my own jewellery - and I've used simple techniques to create some bracelets [here and here] and a necklace [here] - today, I have something even more simple but something that can be adapted to any colour, size and style - a bead plait necklace.

What I Used:
Beading Wire
Tweezers / Scissors

The basic method is really simple - measure your beading wire to the length that will suit your necklace 
and add on another 4cm of length either end for securing the beads later.  At one end, create a loop to prevent the beads from falling off and simply add your chosen colour, shape and style of beads.  To
 prevent the whole 'bead that won't thread on to the needle' hoopla, don't bother with this and just 
thread them straight on to the wire.  Keep going, until you have completed the length of your wire:
...and then repeat with as many other lengths as you want included in your plait [I kept it 
super-simple and went for three lengths of wire for this first attempt]:
...and secure at one end, the wire together to then begin your plait or design:
The wire will allow you to create designs as tight or open as you like, so continue to work the wire in the shape you want to create as you complete the design - any overlapping will also move the beads around, so don't forget to check as you complete the design to ensure the beads are tight and don't create any gaps.
Continue for the length of your beaded wire and then have a final check of how the length works for your necklace - the plaiting will cause the length to shorten a little - so add more beads to the extra length if required [but don't forget that the necklace attachments will also add some length:
Once your length and plaiting is complete, we can tidy up the ends of the beading wire to create
secure loops for the necklace attachments to fix to:
I started by lining up the end of the beads at the three ends of wire:
...and then with one wire, wrapped this tightly at the line around the other two wires as tightly as possible [I used some old tweezers to help me along]:
After a few wraps, create a small loop with the same length of wire:
...and then trim the ends of the two lengths of wire that are not being used.  Continue to wrap around
 the bottom of the loop to secure everything in place tightly. 
Trim the end and ensure that this is tightly flattened [jewellery pliers will make this very easy if you have them, otherwise, tweezers will help achieve the same effect.
Repeat at the same stages at the opposite end:
I recycled an old necklace attachment that would allow me to vary the length of the necklace and
attached at either end:
...and you're done.  Completed in less than an hour - if you have an outfit that needs a little something
extra, or want to create a beaded collar for t-shirt or jumper - this is a really simple way to update it.
see you next time x

1 comment

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