Most of the planets are very simple: choose a bead from the package or strand, thread onto a headpin, cut to whatever length you desire. At the top of the headpin, create an ''eye'' or loop (as on an eyepin).
Use a 14mm gold-filled bead for the Sun, an 8mm mahogany obsidian bead for Mercury, a 12mm green aventurine bead for Venus, a 12mm red jasper bead for Mars, a 12mm moss agate bead for Neptune and an 8mm snowflake obsidian bead for Pluto.
The Jupiter bead can be cleverly realistic. Red-and-white banded sardonyx often has red dots--a little careful observation can locate a bead to mimic Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot.
A black-and-white banded sardonyx bead will be used for Saturn. To create Saturn's ring (with moon), thread the chosen bead on a headpin.
At the top of the bead, bend the headpin 90 degrees.
Curve downward, following the shape of the bead to its ''equator.''
At the ''equator,'' bend the headpin another 90 degrees--it will now be perpendicular to the drill hole. Thread a 4mm tiger iron ''moon'' onto the headpin.
Bend the headpin around the bead, following its curve, until the headpin ''ring'' extends all the way around to the back of the bead again.
Run the headpin under the original bend and bend until planet hangs vertically.
Then add an eye to the top of the hanger. Twist eye sideways so planet hangs flat.
Use a 12mm moss agate bead for Uranus. The planet Uranus has a different rotation and pole than the rest of the solar system.
Thread the bead onto a headpin, snip off the head and form two eyes, one on each end.
Take another headpin, snip off the head and bend in half. Form two eyes, one on each end, and attach to the eyes on the beaded eyepin.
Create ''shoulders'' in the long pin, hold with pliers and twist. Open the top of the twist to form an eye. Twist eye sideways so planet hangs flat.
The Asteroid Belt
The asteroid belt hangs between Mars and Jupiter. To show the variety of asteroids, some made of rock and some made of ice, it is made of a series of headpins and eyepins and is assembled quite at random, using Swarovski crystal, mother-of-pearl, tiger iron and square beads. Some asteroids, such as Vesta, are rather large rocky masses, represented by tiger iron. Others are small, icy bodies, best imitated by transparent square seed beads.
The Milky Way
The solar system hangs in the Milky Way, made here with 4mm mother-of-pearl beads on 1-inch eyepins.
For links without planets, string 3 mother-of-pearl beads onto an eyepin and create a matching eye at the other end.
For links with planets, string 1 mother-of-pearl bead onto an eyepin, string the planet by the eye, string another mother-of-pearl bead and create a matching eye at the other end.
Each link with a planet alternates with a link without a planet. These can be strung left to right or right to left. When you have finished stringing the solar system, you're ready to finish the necklace.
Finishing the Necklace
You have three choices to consider when finishing off the solar system necklace:
Finish the necklace with more mother-of-pearl links and a gold-plated bar-and-ring clasp.
Finish the necklace with a gold-plated heavy cable chain. Cut the chain in half and attach to the last links at the eye, using the existing clasp.
Finish the necklace with dark blue crinkled silk cord and a gold-plated bar-and-ring clasp.
From the Earth to the Moon!
Want to use those extra Earths?
Create a Terran system, using the same technique described for displaying Saturn.
Hang the 20mm gemstone inlaid globe with an 8mm mother-of-pearl bead "moon".
Hang the 12mm gemstone inlaid globe with a 4mm mother-of-pearl bead ''moon''.
String both on extra gold-plated chains for unique mother-daughter pendants--or anyone who means the world to you.
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