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Multi-Strand Necklace with Czech Pressed Glass Beads, Gemstone Beads and Fabric

This necklace is made using simple stringing and knotting techniques, wire-wrapping and basic gluing of fabrics, feathers and fibers. The choker portion of the piece is strung on five strands of three-ply nylon cord in two colors. Each stone and bead is strung individually and the strands interwoven to create physical balance and visual appeal. Sterling silver spacer bars provide structural support.

The clasp is a five-strand sterling silver slide, and the chain fringe is graduated in length and formed using multiple links attached to the last strand of the choker with copper jumprings, giving the piece maximum movement. The color palette subtly shifts from copper to gold and amber to violet.

Total length: 15-1/2 inches (39cm) with graduated fringe 5 inches (13cm) long at center of neckpiece.

STEP 1
Determine your desired length for finished piece. (i.e. 15-1/2 inches or 39cm)
STEP 2
Cut three lengths of Silkon cord in light brown, each approximately 3 times desired finished length. (i.e. 39cm x 3 = 117cm) Cut two more lengths of cord in dark brown.
STEP 3
Coat approximately 1cm of the cord end with a dab of G-S Hypo Cement and dry. This will enable you to use the strand as a ''needle'' to go through smaller seed beads.
STEP 4
On your work board, lay out the clasp ends and pin in place with T-pins. (i.e. left clasp end at the ''0 cm'' and right clasp end at ''39cm'')
STEP 5
Divide neck measurement by five for four spacer bars, i.e. 39cm divided by five equals 7.8cm on center for each spacer bar.
STEP 6
Place spacer bars at 7.8cm intervals between clasp ends.
STEP 7
Position large (10-12mm size) beads between the clasp ends and spacers. Focal points and very special beads should be towards the center of the piece.
STEP 8
Place medium (6-9mm size) beads to accent and complement the large beads. Then place the small (4-6mm size) beads to bring visual harmony to the composition.
STEP 9
Set out the seed beads, heishes, small accent beads (3-4mm), flowers, etc. This is your color palette that will be mixed and randomly strung as you weave through and around the larger beads you have already placed on your design board.
STEP 10
Select a cord and hold the ends in one hand. Fold the cord in half to find the center point and mark it with a small bonding clip. Using the layout of beads as a reference guide, begin in the center of the piece and work towards either end. If you are right handed, you may want to work toward the left end first. Start with whichever end is most comfortable.
STEP 11
String a bead and slide it to the center of the cord. String on several more beads of various sizes, shapes and colors to form a pleasing composition. I recommend working about 1.5-2cm at a time.

Place a small bonding clip on the cord next to the last bead to prevent slipping.
STEP 12
Repeat Step 11 on each of your strands of cord, working from the center of each cord outward. Lay the cords flat on your work board, from top to bottom, as you string your beads.
STEP 13
Begin to weave cords into larger beads as you continue to string one cord then another, progressing about 1.5-2cm at a time.

Tips:
  • String two strands of cord through a large or medium bead. This will strengthen and stabilize to your piece.
  • Fill large-hole beads with size 11/0 seed beads to reduce stress and abrasion on the cord.
  • Use a floss puller to thread multiple cords through large beads or to thread through hollow or filigree beads more easily.
  • Use T-pins to anchor your work in place.
STEP 14
Check layout for visual and physical balance and color placement as you string and weave. Be flexible; add colors, textures and sizes as you progress. Size 11/0 seed beads make great ''bridges'' over larger beads on adjacent cords.

Keep stringing and weaving cords through beads until your piece reaches the correct length for the center section. The example shown was 7.8cm on center between spacer bars.
STEP 15
Knot each cord close to the last bead on each cord.

Tip: To knot, form a loop in the cord then pass the cord end through the loop. Position tweezers inside the loop and grasp the end of the cord as it exits from the last bead. Pull cord gently to slide loop into place next to the bead. Pull knot tightly.
STEP 16
Thread cords into the holes in the spacer bar and slide bar next to strung section. Form knots as above on each cord as it exits from the spacer bar. Repeat for the other bar.

Tip: Knotting spacer bars into place keeps them vertical and prevents shifting. The knots can be a decorative element in your design or they can be hidden by placing a large-hole bead next to the spacer bar to cover the knot (size 6/0 or 8/0 seed beads work well).
STEP 17
Continue stringing beads onto the cords and weaving into larger beads in remaining sections to the left and right of the center sections you have completed. Use a large-hole bead next to the clasp to allow the strand to be woven back through in the finishing process.

Finishing

STEP 18
Slide a crimp bead onto one of the cords. Pass the cord through the loop on the clasp and back through the crimp bead. Pull the cord gently and tightly, then tie a knot next to the crimp bead. Do not cut the cord yet!
STEP 19
Put a dab of G-S Hypo Cement on the knot and let dry. Use a floss-puller to thread the cord end back through the large-hole bead next to the clasp.
STEP 20
Crimp with crimping pliers.
STEP 21
Cut the end of the cord to about 5mm. Touch the end of the cord with the end of a lit stick of incense to seal. Be careful to only melt the ends!
STEP 22
Cover the crimp bead with a sterling silver crimp cover for a professional-looking finish.

Repeat Steps 18 - 22 on all remaining cords.

Chain Fringe Instructions

STEP 1
Determine the length of fringe you would like at the center of the piece (i.e. 5 inches or 13cm). On a piece of paper, draw a vertical line 13cm long.
STEP 2
Determine the width of the chain fringe (i.e. 5 inches or 13cm). Draw this line on your paper at the top of the first line, extending 6.5cm to left and right of center to form a ''T.''
STEP 3
Determine the length of the chain fringe at each end (i.e. 1-3/4 inches or 4cm). Draw each of these lines at the ends of the top line of the ''T,'' extending downward (parallel with the first line you drew). Connect the ends with the lines to form a modified ''V'' shape. This will give you a pattern to gauge the length of each link of the fringe. Lay the pattern next to the completed choker, matching the center lines.
STEP 4
Cut 20 to 30 pieces of wire, each approximately 9cm long, and set aside. You will use these links on the ends and for the chain fringe.
STEP 5
To form an end-link section of chain fringe, pick up one piece of wire from step 4. Coil one end of the wire by forming over round-nose pliers, using either a Thing-A-Ma-Jig or forming the wire with your fingers. Flatten the decorative end by setting on an anvil or steel plate and tapping with a small hammer.
STEP 6
String varying sizes and colors of beads, stones and heishes onto wire.
STEP 7
Form an eye-loop on the other end to complete one end-link.

Tip: To form consistent eye-loops, mark your round-nose pliers with a permanent marker.
STEP 8
Fold the end to form an ''L'' shape close to the last bead on the link.
STEP 9
Place the inside corner of the ''L'' on the mark of your round-nose pliers, between the jaws.
STEP 10
Hold the pliers with the 2.5cm end away from you, and wrap the end over the top jaw of the pliers, working towards you. Stop when the wire is halfway around.
STEP 11
Remove the pliers from the half-loop and then re-insert them with the bottom jaw in the half-loop.
STEP 12
Continue to wrap the wire around the pliers for the remaining half-turn.
STEP 13
Remove the pliers and grasp the eye with your flat-nose pliers with the tail extending at a right angle.
STEP 14
Grasp the end with chain-nose pliers and wrap towards you, around the wire 2 or 3 times. Keep wraps close to the edge of the flat-nose pliers.
STEP 15
Clip the end of the tail with wire cutters.

Tip: Instead of hammering wire ends to begin an end-link, form an eye-loop and add a dangle.
STEP 16
For the fringe links, repeat steps 8 through 12 to partially form an eye-loop. Add an end-link and repeat steps 13 through 15 to complete the eye-loop.
STEP 17
Repeat step 16 to desired length of chain fringe.
STEP 18
Continue forming end-links and fringe links, working from the center towards each end, decreasing the lengths to match your ''V'' diagram. Experiment with color, size and texture of beads on your links.
STEP 19
Attach each link section to the bottom strand of the choker with jumprings.
STEP 20
Glue bits of fiber, fabrics and/or feathers into a brass cone and attach with a jumpring to complete. You're done!

The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.

Have a question regarding this design idea? Email Customer Service.

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