Make a Multi-Strand Necklace with Silver Beads and Shells

by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®
Here's an eye-catching design that evokes the bounty of the sea and lost pirate treasures! A fabulous mix of shells, silver, pearls and gemstone beads of all shapes and sizes comes together to make an heirloom quality necklace. This is a complex design, but complete video and text instruction will guide you through to the finish.

: : : Materials : : :

Cut a 6-inch piece of 20-gauge wire. Hold the round-nose pliers so the jaws are horizontal and grasp the piece of wire 1-1/2 inch below one end. 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 now horizontal again, one jaw in the loop and one jaw out and to the right. With chain-nose pliers or your free hand, grasp the tip of the wire and direct it behind the length of wire.

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 below the loop, wrapping for approximately three revolutions. Trim any excess wire and press in the cut end with chain-nose pliers. You've just created a wrapped loop and now have a secure anchor to begin your necklace. Repeat to make 8 wrapped loops.
Cut a length of beading wire, 18-inch long, string one crimp end, nine small Thai-silver beads, and one wrapped loop. Pass the beading wire back through the crimp end until 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch is sticking out past the crimp end. Hold the wires so they are parallel then compress the center section of the crimp end with chain-nose pliers. Press until the wire is secured to the wrapped loop.
String on an assortment of beads for approximately 5 inches. This will be one tassel for below your focal bead.
Repeat to complete 8 tassels.
Pass all eight wires through the focal bead, separate them into 2 groups; four for one side of the necklace, four for the other side.
Begin stringing beads onto one length of wire for approximately 7 inches. Add one crimp bead and nine small Thai-silver beads.
Repeat for all eight strands, stringing beads so they blend well together, i.e. if you've strung a large bead on one strand, string smaller beads on the other strand, to rest opposite the large bead, so they lie well together when worn.
Repeat Step 1 to make 2 more wrapped loops using 8 - 10 inches of wire--the wire should be 3 inches longer than the beads you're using at the top of your strands.

Loop one strand through one wrapped loop and pass the beading wire back through the crimp bead. Crimp the crimp bead using crimping pliers. Repeat, attaching four strands of beading wire to the first wrapped loop. Repeat attaching the remaining four strands to the other wrapped loop.
Add your large bead above the wrapped loop and make another wrapped loop above the bead, trim any excess wire. Repeat, adding a bead to the other half of the necklace.
Cut four lengths of suede lacing, 48 - 60 inches long. Pass one length of lacing through the wrapped loop made in Step 9. Pass another length through the same loop. Repeat, adding two lengths of lacing to the wrapped loop on the other half of the necklace.
Cut a 3-inch piece of 20-gauge wire. Begin wrapping the wire around one nose of the round-nose pliers, creating a small coil. Slide the coil over two lengths of suede lacing. Using chain- or flat-nose pliers, compress the coil gently, securing the lacing to the necklace.
Take one length of suede lacing from each pair joined by the coils in Step 11. Lay 2 inches of satin cord down the lacing, having the tail facing up, away from the necklace. While holding the 3 layers of cord together, begin wrapping the rattail up until you reach the tail. Secure them by compressing another coil around all three cords.
Thread beads onto all the cords as your design dictates. As an added element you can add pieces of coiled wire like a bead.
Add a crimp end with a loop onto the end of one length of lacing. Compress the center section with chain-nose pliers, securing the crimp-end to the lacing. Repeat, adding the crimp end onto as many laces as you'd like.

Thread beads onto a headpin. Begin a wrapped loop, and before making the wrap, open the loop and slide it onto the loop of the crimp end. Finish wrapping the loop, securing the dangle onto the end of the lacing. Repeat, adding as many dangles to the ends as you like.

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