DIY: Seed Bead Necklace

February 22, 2012

I saw Andrea’s gorgeous seed bead necklace and asked her to come up with another seed bead creation especially for Design Mom Readers. I adore seed beads, and I love the color scheme she picked. Happy beading! — Gabrielle

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I’ve been playing with jewelry since I was a teenager; nothing too complicated or fancy. I mainly stick to pretty materials and simple designs, which is why seed beads are one of my favorite things to work with.  They’re available in a huge assortment of colors, from the palest pinks to the brightest neons, and the finishes are just as diverse. Now, you can get fancy with seed beads and weave intricate patterns and designs, but I prefer to keep mine on the rather clean side and just string a lot of lovely coordinating colors together. Stringing seed beads is not complicated, it just requires a bit of patience, so let me show you. Happy creating!

Materials (available at any large craft store like Michaels): Assorted colors of Seed Beads, Jewelry Spacers, Monofilament Wire (looks like fishing line), 6 Jump Rings in 3 sizes – 4mm (qty 1), 6mm (qty 3) and 8mm (qty 2), Crimp Beads (1.8mm recommended), 1 Lobster Claw closure, Chain.

Scissors, Wire Cutters & Needle nose Pliers are also needed.  *Take note, at Michaels they sell a package of jump rings in assorted sizes that will contain all 3 sizes that you need.

Begin by cutting a length of filament wire approximately 24” in length.

Place your crimp bead and then your larger size jump ring on one end of the wire, leaving about 2 inches free on one end.

Take that free end of wire and loop it over the jump ring and through the crimp bead to hold it in place.

Make sure the crimp bead is slid all the way up to the edge of the jump ring so it’s nice and secure, and then simply squeeze the bead with your pliers to lock it in place. Your string is now secure and you can start beading. Trim the extra wire off with scissors. Take note, you will be repeating this step over and over.

Start stringing your beads in whatever pattern you like. I personally liked all one color on one strand for this piece, but I’ve done it mixed before and it also creates a cool effect. A tip for stringing, lightly moisten the tip of your finger with a wet sponge and then dip your finger into your bowl of beads so that a few stick to them, and then string. This limits the amount of times you dip your hand in to grab a bead.

Once you’ve created a string of beads, finish it off by attaching a crimp bead to a jump ring exactly as you did in the first step, and close the crimp bead shut. You now have your two ends of jump rings in place and will just be attaching your strung beads to these from here on out.  Note, the strung beads end up measuring about 20” in length, but you can make yours longer or shorter as you wish.




You repeat the stringing process again and again, adding in your different colors in whatever pretty pattern you wish. You will see that I also added in a few of the jewelry spacers throughout to add some interest to the necklace. I didn’t add them on each strand or in the same exact pattern, but just added them when and where I thought they looked pretty. In total this necklace consists of 12 strings of beads of approximately 20-21 inches in length.

With all your strings of beads securely in place, it’s time to finish it off. Gently pry open your mid-size 6mm jump ring with your needle nose pliers and attach it to an 8 inch length of chain, and then attach that to your larger jump ring, gently squeezing the jump ring shut.

With your wire cutters, snip the chain in half, repeating the same process on the other side. I like to add the extra length of chain to my pieces because then it gives me the option to lengthen or shorten the necklace as needed.

Finally, take your lobster claw closure and to secure it to your chain, attach it to the smallest jump ring, and then attach that to the end of your chain.  Take your 3rd 6mm jump ring and attach it to the other end of chain to complete your closure.

You are now officially finished! In all this necklace took me about 3 hours to create, the stringing obviously taking the most time. I usually just sit on the couch and string at night when watching TV. I love the simple statement these strung beads make. Layered over a tee or a great chambray shirt, it gives just the pop of color you need to complete your look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adventures in Babywearing February 22, 2012 at 4:32 am

That one is so pretty. I got a couple seed bead necklaces and bracelets that I love from a museum gift shop in Grand Rapids! Would love to make my own.

Steph

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2 Emily February 22, 2012 at 4:47 am

How lovely! I love the look of so many strands together in one necklace – and I really like the longer gold beads mixed in.

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3 Ana February 22, 2012 at 5:08 am

Holy smokes! If only I had the patience. This is truly lovely.

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4 Stephanie@GlassPeacock February 22, 2012 at 6:33 am

Gorgeous & beautiful! I love making jewelry. I’m blind as a bat so I have a little trouble with the teeny tiny seed beads…but this is so lovely I may have to break down & get a magnifying glass! I just love the simplicity, the texture, the color…everything. Thanks for sharing!

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5 Danielle February 22, 2012 at 7:39 am

So pretty! I’ve always wanted to try jewelry making and this simple tutorial is the inspiration I need!

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6 Jules February 22, 2012 at 8:14 am

Yay! I love Andrea. She is as nice as she is stylish.

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7 Mary February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

I’ve seen this necklace in person and it is even prettier! I loved the color combinations of the original, but this one is lovely too. I am going to have to pick up some seed beads and make my one myself .

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8 Estelle February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

love it!! simple and amazing!!
citygirltoday.blogspot.com

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9 KateB February 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

What a beautiful necklace!!!

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10 Greta February 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I love those seed beads.
What a beautiful necklace, Andrea!
Love from,
Greta

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11 Emily Rolfing February 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

This is such a beautiful necklace. I used to make something like this with my grandmother when I was little. I love the gold accent!

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12 hannah singer February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

beautiful tutorial, lovely necklace!
thanks, andrea, love you!

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13 Miranda February 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

Love the colors you used here – so fresh for spring. just lovely!

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14 Kristin February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

I need to convince my much craftier sister to make this for me! Ha! Fabulous job!

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15 Judy March 12, 2012 at 7:26 am

This is beautiful and looks so easy! Now I have a use for the tons of seed beads I’ve been accumulating!!

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16 Jessica March 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Beautiful! About how many tubes of seed beads were needed? Just one tube per bead color?

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17 Sam June 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Ohhhh thank god you posted this! I’ve been struggling to find a necklace that will work with a pretty dress for an upcoming wedding and this is it!!! Can I ask what weight of beads each strand took to make? My stockist sells them by weight.

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18 Donna Huisinga July 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

Very nice tutorial. Easy to understand and good pictures. I have pinned it. Thanks.

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19 debbie July 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

this is so lovely and simply. i have always had issues doing multiple strands beads, but with this, i am so happy.

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20 Tricia February 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Very pretty, I love it. What size and color seed beads did you use? There are so many.

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21 June February 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm

This is great, thank you so much for sharing, was never clear before on how to join the strands all together, but this is so simple and looks fabulous

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22 Caroline Fay February 14, 2013 at 7:14 am

Very nice! I have worked with seed beads for years making earrings. I have a lot of beads left over and this is a great pattern to use some of them up. The color combination choices can be endless. Thanks for the tutorial.

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23 Briana March 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm

How many seed beads did you use? I’ve seen these kind of necklaces before and I really like them.

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24 Robin Osborn March 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I finally found a Tutorial I could understand. Thanks

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25 Cateranne March 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Very pretty. Have you tried an ombré color on each strand with small variations in the strand colors? It sounds pretty in my head, but I am wondering if it really would be.

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26 Ellen March 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

Beautiful! I am going to attempt to make some of these for our upcoming family reunion. All of the adult women exchange gifts. Perfect!

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27 Nancy Hashka May 15, 2013 at 8:10 am

The color combination is lovely. I make a necklace quite similar but, instead of large jump rings, I use head pins and end caps to cover the crimps. Still, I love this pattern.

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28 D.J. White May 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I’m making me one of these, just beautiful! Thanks!

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29 Tanya May 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hi. Do you have an etsy store? I love this necklace but would never have the patience or the eye for color to make it.

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30 Jean December 30, 2013 at 5:33 am

This is gorgeous. I want to try it!

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31 penster47 February 15, 2014 at 9:39 am

Love the necklace, it would be great with the stackable seed bead bracelets!

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32 judy caessens April 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

i am just thinking of trying my luck bead work. this is a beautiful necklace.

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33 Zurina May 28, 2014 at 8:50 am

Great dyi tutorial! Beautiful color scheme, the gold beads really give the necklace a luxe feel. The chain detail is well executed and adds a wonderful finish. Beautiful jewelry is so often given more depth with those details! This design is so versatile, you can play with so many elements to make it your own. I hope everyone has fun playing around with this!

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34 Donna July 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I have problems with my filament “sneaking” out of the jump ring gap. Any tips?

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