Jewellery Making Project: Make a Bead and Chain Necklace

Follow our 9-step project to making you own stunning bead and chain necklace…

You will need:  
  • Beads; Large faceted onyx drops (1 strand), round micro-faceted fuchsia/purple agate 8mm (1 Strand), Matte Metallic Gold Multifaceted Round Firepolished Glass Beads, 4 mm (approx. 10 beads).
  • Tigertail Wire
  • Selection of three different sized gold plated chains (approx 50cm of each)
  • 1mm gold plated wire
  • Small gold plated crimps x 4
  • Medium Sized gold plated lobster clasp
  • 6mm Gold plated jumprings x 4
  • Chain nosed pliers
  • Side cutters
  • Round nosed pliers

Step 1: Cut a piece of tigertail approx 50cm long. Thread your beads onto the strand alternating the black onyx drops with the round pink agate. Until it has reached the desired length for the front of your necklace, approx. 25cm-30cm.

Step 2: Repeat the process with a second strand of tigertail, this time using just the round pink agate beads, for a slightly different look you could use different coloured beads the most important thing to maintain the style of the necklace is the shape of the beads i.e. round and drop shaped.

Step 3: Crimp both ends of each strand individually to secure the beads in place using a total of four small gold plated crimp beads. Be sure to leave a small loop, big enough to fit 1mm wire through at each crimped end. Also allow the beads a bit of breathing space as they will be curved when on the neck. Finally, make sure the strand containing only the round beads is slightly shorter than the other as it will be placed higher up on the necklace.

Step 4: Cut 4 strands of gold plated chain, using two slightly different types. They will need to be approximately the same size as the beaded strands but make them slightly larger at this stage and you can cut them down later. Thread the chain and beaded wires on to a piece of 1mm gold plated wire, using the small golden beads to create a space between each strand.

Step 5: Using your chain nosed pliers, bend each end of the gold plated wire to create a triangular shape where the two ends of the wire cross at the top. Once you have done this on one side, thread all the strands and chain on to a new piece of 1mm gold plated wire, placing the small gold beads in-between as spacers. At this stage you will need to do some measuring by eye and cut the gold plated chain down so that all of the wires/ chain sit nicely in place.

Step 6: Wrap one end of the gold-plated wire around the other 2-3 times and cut the end off with your side cutters. Be sure to tuck the sharp end in with your chain nosed pliers to finish and leave the remaining, longer end of wire out straight in front ready to make a loop with.

Step 7: Using round nosed pliers, create a secure loop with the remaining piece of wire. Be sure to wrap the end around the base of the loop a few times before cutting and tucking the wire end in as before. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the other end so that is it symmetrical.

Step 8: Using a gold plated jumpring, attache three strands of gold plated chain to the loop at one end of the necklace; the chain strands will need to be approx. 15cm long depending on where you want to the necklace to sit. Hold it up to your neck to test the length before cutting them. Repeat the same process on the other side of the necklace.

Step 9: At either end of the necklace, join the three chains together using a gold-plated jumpring. On one side, attach your gold plated lobster clasp and on the other side attach a short piece of thicker, gold plated chain to provide an adjustable length. Ensure that the chain is thin enough to fit in the clasp.
If you like this project and would like to learn more fashion jewellery techniques take a look at our bead and wire jewellery making classes
Until next time,
Happy making LJS x

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