Topics: Beads, Wood, Natural

I made a necklace that was almost entirely wood beads. I made it in the winter. This summer the wood swelled and the necklace was too tight to hang right. Now it is winter again and the beads have shrunk back and the necklace is wearable. Any way to address this issue? It is making me shy away from using wood beads.
- Martha
When designing a beaded necklace, the stringing medium you use will require a little slack to accommodate the drape of the necklace. Regardless of the shape, size and variety of beads you plan to string, the beads need room to move with the curve of the neckline. Because of gravity, any exposed wire will sit at the back near the clasp and will not be noticeable. For expanding and contracting wood beads, you might consider using a complementary colored stringing wire so that the slack will blend in with the colors of the necklace.

If the bead holes are large enough, beading chain, is a good alternative to flexible stringing wire. The exposed metal chain would be at the ends of the necklace and blend with the metal clasp.

For very large-holed beads, a 3mm caprice chain with removable caps and clasp will allow the wood beads to expand and contract on an attractive chain, as well as offer you the flexibility of changing the beads within your design as you like.

- Sandra Lupo, Metalsmith, Jewelry Artist and Instructor

Materials Resources

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