by Laura BlackFeather, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
The New ''Vintage'' Necklace With vintage-style weddings hot on the aisle this season, vintage-inspired bridal jewelry is in demand. From the formal look of the 1940s back to the flapper styles of the roaring '20s, wedding attire is dapper and dramatic, as is bridal jewelry. Brooches combined with oversized pearls and crystal beads are key materials for designing jewelry to fit this timeless look of luxury.
This easy-to-make necklace design features a pendant-brooch with additional loops for attaching beading wire in a triple-strand design.
Here's how Choosing your components Start with a vintage or vintage-like brooch with a filigree setting or side loops for attaching beading wire. The featured pendant-brooch has two hidden top loops on either wing for two strands, however stringing through the side loops works just as well if your brooch does not double as a pendant.
Choose Swarovski crystal pearls or cultured freshwater pearls in your wedding colors, traditional white or matching colors of your brooch. The larger the pearl, the more visually impacting the design, as long as the pearl size is in proportion with the brooch size. Choose Swarovski crystal bicone beads and rondelle spacer beads that are approximately half the size of your pearl beads.
Making the necklace This necklace design can be worn either just below the collarbone or as a choker. For choker-length, cut two 10-inch strands and one 12-inch strand of Accu-Flex® professional-quality beading wire. Using your crimping pliers and crimp tubes, attach each strand to your brooch. For longer lengths, hold the brooch where you want it to hang and measure the length you'll need for the top strand, allowing an extra three to four inches for crimping the ends. The second strand will be approximately a half-inch longer and the third another half-inch longer depending on how far down on the brooch it's strung.
In an alternating pattern, string on rondelle spacer beads, crystal bicone beads and pearls. The featured design idea has a slightly varied pattern for each strand. Experiment with different patterns by placing beads in a double-channel bead board.
Attach strands to clasp ends. Use either a single-strand toggle clasp with large loops or a triple-strand clasp in a style fitting with your brooch.