Thanks to Bead & Button Company for sponsoring this post!
Yesterday I shared a tutorial for making a bib statement necklace with buttons. I love the wood buttons for daytime, but Bead & Button Company also had so many pretty, sparkly pieces that I just had to make a more glamorous, evening statement necklace as well!
This project also incorporates the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014, Radiant Orchid, but it’s a much more romantic style than yesterday’s boho chic bib necklace made with wooden buttons.
Are you ready? I know it looks intimidating, but you just need to know a few basic wire and bead techniques to make this work. Let’s make it!
Beaded Statement Necklace Tutorial
The beads and buttons I used for this project were:
Flower Glass Lampwork Beads, 13x8mm
Acrylic Pearl Imitation Beads Round Rose Gold, 12mm
Copper Acrylic Ball Beads Shamballa Style, 12mm
Crystal Look Silver Plated Acrylic Buttons, 13mm
Purple Mother of Pearl Shell, 34mm
Purple bicone or seed beads, 2-4mm
And these tools:
Flat nosed pliers
Round nosed pliers
The easiest way to explain how to make this necklace it to break it down into parts. We’ll make the individual sections, then use open jump rings to connect those sections. Then, finally, add a few embellishments to balance out the necklace.
First up, we’ll string together the glass beads:
String three glass beads onto an eye pin. Use round nose pliers to make an eye on the open end of the wire. To do this, grasp the wire with the round nose pliers right at the top bead. Then use your finger to bend the wire at a 90 degree angle. Now loosen your pliers and give them a quarter twist so they are grasping the wire where you just bent it. Use your finger to push the wire back and around the round nose pliers. Snip of excess with wire cutters. (If you are having trouble visualizing this, see the next section. This is basically steps 1-4).
Next, we’re going to hang several pearl and metal beads off of head pins. You’ll need 15-20 of these:
Here’s how to make one:
(1) String a purple bicone or seed beed onto a head pin. Then add the main bead (either a rose pearl or copper shamballa). (2) Grasp the wire at the top of the bead with a pair of round nosed pliers. Use your finger to press the wire to a 90 degree angle. (3) Loosen the pliers and give them a quarter turn so you are grasping the piece of the wire you just bent. (4) Use your finger to now push the wire back again, over the round-nosed pliers. (6) Adjust your pliers agian, if needed, then pull the wire so it makes a full circle around the pliers. Then, wrap the wire around itself under the circle you just made. Wrap once or twice, then snip with wire cutters as close as possible. (6) Use flat-nosed pliers to squeeze the rough edge flat against the wire, and to straighten and adjust the loop.
Make 15-20 bead charms with headpin loops.
Still with me? You’ve got this! Now we’re going to make the three chain section that we will attach these beads to.
Use wire cutters to cut three pieces of chain. The smallest piece should be about 2.5″-3″ and then make two more, each slightly longer (maybe 3/4″ longer, but it depends on your chain) than the last.
Use open jump rings to attach the three chains together.
Use open jump rings to attach the bead charms on headpins to the chain. I put the beads on randomly, sometimes adding two beads to one jump ring and attaching the pair to the wire. You can be very symmetrical or attach beads randomly. The important thing is to hold it up by the end jump rings after you add each bead to see how it falls and check the balance. Once it looks full enough for your taste and fairly balanced when you hold it up, you can go n to the next step.
Time to add buttons:
Use a strong but flexible beading wire and string it through the button holes, overlapping as desired.
Use round-nosed pliers to make loops in the ends of the wires.
To turn smaller buttons into hanging charms, pull wire through the holes and bring the wire up back. Loop both ends together around round-nosed pliers.
Now we can attach all of our sections together using jump rings. Lay out the necklace as shown and use jump rings to attach.
Look at your piece. Hold it up against your neck and decide if you need to add more embellishments to it to create a balanced piece. I added more bead and button charms to the new jump rings. I also added a small purple bow between the large purple buttons and the chain section.
To add the bow, I simply inserted a ribbon through one of the jump rings, then tied a tiny bow. To keep the bow from unraveling, I added a small dot of fabric glue into the knot. I also used a lighter to quickly burn the cut ends so they would not fray (this only works on 100% polyester ribbon).
The final step is to add the chain and lobster claw clasp. To do this, cut the chain to the appropriate length, then attach to the loops using open jump rings. Attach lobster claw clasp and a jump ring to the end of the chain to finish the piece.
Did you catch yesterday’s tutorial for a bib necklace made with wooden buttons?
Check out the next post for a chance to win these necklaces and a $50 gift certificate to use at Bead & Button Company!