Single-Strand Necklace with Black Lip Shell Star and Cross Drops

The luster of shell meets gleaming sterling silver in this eye-catching necklace. Mix and match beads to create an endless variety of designs.


For the necklace, make 17 of each component as follows:

Thread a black lip shell flat round on an eyepin. Cut off all but 3/8 inch of the remaining wire and turn a loop right above the bead. Make sure the loops face the same way. If you need to adjust them, grasp one loop with bent chain-nose pliers and the other with chain-nose pliers. Turn the pliers until the jaws are lined up.

Thread a black lip shell star on an eyepin with the pin exiting the star's point, trim the wire to 3/8 inch and make a loop. The loops on the star should face in opposite directions (be at a right angle to each other). Adjust them with pliers as above.

Thread a black lip shell cross on a ball tip headpin, trim the wire to 3/8 inch and make a loop.

For earrings, make 10 more of each component.
Link the components as follows:

Open the loop above a cross sideways with 1 or 2 pairs of chain-nose pliers. Attach it to the loop between two star points, then close the loop by pushing or pulling the wire end back into the plane of the circle with the pliers. Open the loop at the top of the star and link it to a loop on a flat round. Close the loop. You will have 17 linked dangles for the necklace and 10 for the earrings.
For the necklace, cut 17 pieces of 1mm cable chain with the following number of links:
  • 4 pieces with 9 links
  • 4 pieces with 11 links
  • 4 pieces with 13 links
  • 5 pieces with 15 links

To cut chain pieces that are the same length, hang the first piece on a headpin and hang the uncut chain next to it.

Hold the headpin horizontal and cut the link below the correct length.

For the earrings, cut the following pieces of 1mm cable chain.
  • 4 with 6 links
  • 2 with 7 links
Open the loop above the black lip shell flat round and attach it to the end link of a chain piece. Close the loop tightly. Repeat with all the dangles and chain pieces, keeping the pieces grouped by chain length.

To assemble the necklace, first open 17 jumprings. Fold the 18-inch chain in half to find the center link and attach a jumpring to it. Before closing the ring, hang a 15-link chain dangle from the jumpring, then close it tightly. Make sure the neck chain is not twisted as you attach each of the remaining dangles with a jumpring. The dangles should all hang from the bottom side of their respective links. Skip one link on the neck chain between each dangle. On each side of the center dangle, hang:
  • (Two) 15-link dangles
  • (Two) 13-link dangles
  • (Two) 11-link dangles
  • (Two) 9-link dangles
For each earring, hang a 7-link chain dangle from the center loop on the hoop finding, using a jumpring. Hang a 6-link chain dangle on each side of the center dangle. Attach a dangle with no chain to each outer loop with a jumpring.

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.

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