by Laura BlackFeather, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Tuxedo Pearls: Black and White and Glamour All Over One of the hottest color duos for weddings, black and white tuxedo-style bridal jewelry is steeped in traditional elegance. This versatile multi-strand design can be modified into a choker, with strands of equal length, or into a long, layered necklace with strands varying from 18 to 36 inches, depending on the neckline of your dress.
A striking combination featuring lustrous Crystal Passions® pearls, faceted quartz nuggets, jet crystals and gold-plated cable chain, the Tuxedo Pearls design requires only basic stringing techniques so jewelry-makers of all skill levels can make it.
Here's how Choosing the clasp Decide on the lengths and number of strands you'd like the necklace to be, and choose a corresponding multi-strand clasp in the precious metal of your choice. Use brass or 24Kt gold-plated Accu-Flex® professional-quality beading wire for gold designs and sterling silver or stainless steel Accu-Flex for silver designs. Make a dangle using 3mm cable chain and an eyepin to attach a crystal briolette bead and a mix of Crystal Passions bicone beads, rondelle spacer beads and a crystal pearl bead. Attach chain to one end of the clasp with a jumpring.
Making the focals Before stringing, make your Crystal Passions sew-on component focal pieces by attaching two 9mm jumprings to each end of the two sew-on components.
Attaching chain and stringing the beads Attach your shortest strand, either chain or pearl and crystal combination, to the opposite end of the clasp from your chain dangle. If starting with chain, cut to your desired length and attach both ends with jumprings. String a combination similar to the pearl, bicone and spacer bead dangle and continue for approximately 5 inches for pearl strand, or to your desired length for the first sew-on component and quartz nugget focal. String on a faceted quartz crystal nugget, framed by spacer rondelle beads and bicone beads. Attach strand to all three jumprings connected to the large sew-on component and crimp. Cut excess beading wire and attach a new strand of Accu-Flex to the other end of the sew-on component. String on another quartz nugget framed by spacers and bicones and continue stringing your pattern for the remainder of the strand and attach to the clasp.
For your other pearl strand, skip a loop on the clasp and string the same pattern or a variation of your original strand, leaving your sew-on components on the same side and approximately two to three inches longer. Focals should be slightly asymmetrical but balanced in the design. String a quartz nugget on either side of the sew-ons. Your alternating chain and pearl strands should increase an inch or two in length between each layer.