Triple-Strand Necklace with Cultured Freshwater Pearls, Gold-Plated French Wire and Gold-Filled Chain

French wire is a great way to finish off the junction of your beading wire and your clasp (or any other point of attachment). French wire is a supple, fine-wire coil, available in several finishes and diameters. This striking pearl necklace makes great use of French wire as well as illustrating a classically elegant combination of pearls and gold.

Strand 1

Place a pearl and a bead cap onto a headpin. Finish with a basic wire-wrapped loop.

Trim any excess wire then press in the cut end with chain-nose pliers.

Repeat to create a total of 54 pearl components. Set three pearl components aside for use later.
Using flush-cutters, cut a 25-inch length of chain.
Open a jumpring sideways and attach it to the link in the center of the chain. Slip on the top loop of three pearl components. Close the jumpring.
Repeat Step 3, adding two pearl components to every other link of chain, placing 12 pairs evenly on both sides of the center link; there should be a total of 25 sets of pearls added to the chain.
Open one jumpring, then add three closed jumprings and the loop on the round portion of the clasp. Close the jumpring. Each of the three jumprings will hold a strand to the clasp.
Open one of the three jumprings attached to the clasp. Attach the last link of the chain with pearls attached, then close the jumpring.
The stick pearl will be used as the bar portion of the clasp. To make this component, put a stick pearl on a headpin and finish with a wire wrapped loop.

Open one jumpring, then add three jumprings and the top loop of the stick-pearl component. Close the jumpring. Open one of the three jumprings and attach the last link from the other end of the chain with pearls, as well as the three pearl dangles set aside in Step 1; close the jumpring.

Strand 2

Using sharp scissors, cut the French wire into 1-inch lengths--they will be used as tube beads. Cut a 30-inch length of thread and add your needle. String two 3mm gold-plated beads, one piece of French wire and one pearl. Continue stringing French wire and pearls until you've added a total of 18 tube beads and 17 pearls.

Add two more 3mm beads.
Cut a very short piece of French wire, approximately 1/4 inch long. String it onto your thread. Run the needle and thread through the second of the three jumprings attached to the clasp, and back through one 3mm bead. Center the piece of French wire on the jumpring, making sure that the wire stays centered as you pull the thread tight. The French wire will form a loop around the jumpring as you tighten the thread.

Tie a knot then go through the next 3mm bead and make another knot. Trim your thread-end close to the knot.
Thread your needle onto the other end of thread. Repeat Step 9, attaching the end to the second jumpring on the stick-pearl toggle bar.

Strand 3

Cut a 20-inch length of chain. Open the third jumpring on the clasp loop and add the last link of the chain to one end; close the jumpring. Repeat, adding the other end of the chain to the toggle half of the clasp.

Making a wrapped loop:

Hold the round-nose pliers horizontal and grasp the piece of wire right above the bead. With your free hand, bend the tip of the wire to a 90 degree angle. Place the pliers so the jaws are now vertical, with one jaw above and the other below the angled section of wire. Bring the tip of the wire up and over the top jaw of the pliers so it is now facing down at about an 80 degree angle. Place the pliers so they are horizontal again, one jaw in the loop and one jaw out and to the right. With chain-nose pliers or flat-nose pliers or your free hand, grasp the tip of the wire and direct it behind the length of wire above the bead.

Grasp the loop with chain-nose pliers. Grasp the tip of the wire with flat-nose pliers and wrap it around the straight length of wire above the bead, making approximately 3 revolutions. Trim any excess wire then press in the cut end with chain-nose pliers.

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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