How To Make a Statement Necklace

post by Andrea

I’m quite enamored with just about everything craft related, but I get especially excited when I get to create a piece of jewelry or another type of accessory.  I was so happy when Nicole was open to the idea of me sharing a jewelry-based DIY with you all, and I hope you enjoy it.  And while the idea of making your own jewelry may sound a bit intimidating, I assure that if you’re even somewhat remotely ‘crafty’, you can create something for yourself with just a few basic items you can find at just about any craft  store.

To get started with this particular statement necklace, take a trip to your local Michael’s (or other craft store), which is where I picked up everything you see below, including the beads, and pick up the following items:

Jade colored beads in multiple sizes (I used 3 different sizes), mono-filament jewelry wire (it looks just like fishing line), a package of jewelry chain, an all purpose pack of ‘jewelry findings’, which includes jump rings, crimping beads, lobster claw closures, and pin wires.  You can buy all of these items in separate packages but if you’re a beginner or aren’t doing a lot of jewelry making, this all purpose pack is great.  You also want to have a pair of scissors on hand, as well as a pair of needle nose pliers and wire cutters, which they sell on the cheap at a craft store, or you could always use a pair from your tool chest.  Total supplies, if you include buying the tools, should run you less than $30.  *Note that over the weekend I made this necklace again for a friend and this time I used a jewelry wire called Soft Flex in ultra fine.  It was actually great to work with and because this necklace gets a little heavy, it is really sturdy and should hold up better over time.  It is quite a bit more than mono-filament, but may be worth it in the end.

Begin by cutting a length of your jewelry wire (roughly 18 inches), and string 1 of the crimp beads and a jump ring through the tail end of one side.  Loop the wire over the jump ring and through the crimp bead again, creating a loop that is held together by the crimp bead.  Gently but firmly squeeze the crimp bead shut with your needle nose pliers.  There’s an actual bead crimper that they sell, but I’ve never had a problem closing my crimp beads shut with my pliers.  You’re now ready to begin stringing your beads.  Once you’ve completed one strand, close it off using the same method that you began with, using a crimp bead and jump ring.  Your other 2 strand will now attach to this single jump ring.  Trim the extra jewelry wire.  Note that each strand will be approximately 14-15 inches long when finished.  You don’t want all 3 strands to be exactly the same length so that they lay better on your neck.

Since I’m not an actual jewelry designer and do this for fun, I always try to keep my designs relatively simple.  I always love the look of mixed metals and gems, but I leave the real pattern mixing to the professionals, and stick to similar materials and tonal, or complementary, colors when creating something new.  With this necklace, the only variations I made was to use a slightly different pattern with all three strands.  One strand uses just the 2 smaller sized beads and has tiny gold seed beads spaced between each one.  The other 2 strands contains a mixture of all 3 sizes, but in a slightly varying pattern.

Once the body of your necklace is finished, it’s time to attach your chain.  I think adding the chain creates a more finished look, and it also makes the necklace adjustable.  Snip off 2 pieces of chain with your wire cutters.  My chain is approximately 2.5″ long on each side.  Attach each piece of chain to the jump ring on either side.  A tip when opening and closing your jump rings; if you have 2 sets of small pliers on hand, gently pry each end apart, as shown, and then squeeze shut.  This helps to maintain the shape of the ring, but it’s not necessary. Grab 2 more jump rings and attach it to the end of one chain, and attach it to the lobster claw and chain on the other end.  Now you have your closure.  If you’d like to really lend a finished look to your necklace, you could grab a sapre bead and attach it to one of the pin heads and then run it through a loop of chain and twist it shut, nipping off the end with your wire cutters, but this is not necessary.

You’ve now finished your necklace and are ready to try it on! Total time to complete this necklace is 45 minutes or less, depending on your comfort level with working with the tools and beads.

I tried the necklace on with a white tee, a chambray shirt, and this red dress, and it looked great with all three options, but I really love the way it pops against the red. Jewelry making is one of the most rewarding hobbies I have, and I hope this inspires you to give it a try. Please let me know if you have any questions.

111 Responses to “How To Make a Statement Necklace”

  1. Heather May 23, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Beautiful!! Thanks for the great tutorial and beautiful step by step photos. I’ll definitely try this out soon!

  2. Melissa May 23, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Love this necklace. Now I am tempted to try my hand at making a necklace!

  3. Jules May 23, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Okay, I think I can do this. Maybe we can get together and make one or two?

    • Andrea Howe May 23, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      Jules, you know you don’t even have to ask. Any excuse to see you my friend! :)

  4. Shalini Rajkumar May 23, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Lovely necklace! I dabbled with jewelery making a long time ago, mostly earrings but I was never happy with the quality of wires I got from Micheal’s. Do you know of any online resource? I am motivated to get back into making some jewelery for myself.

    • Andrea Howe May 23, 2012 at 11:39 am #

      Excellent question! Yes, sometimes the Michael’s supplies aren’t of the highest quality. I used them as a reference here because for a novice trying to just find things all in one place, they are a good resource. But if you’re looking for professional grade, I hear Fusion Beads is great. I personally haven’t shopped there but I know a few friends that have and like it quite a lot. I’m lucky enough that we have a fantastic family owned bead shop minutes from my house that I can go into if I need real high quality materials. good luck! http://www.fusionbeads.com/index.php

      • Amanda May 29, 2012 at 9:30 am #

        Beautiful tutorial with lovely photos! Love the green. I read this question and also wanted to suggest etsy.com as a source for jewelry supplies. I’ve found some unique stuff and the prices are about as competitive as anywhere else!

      • Michele June 24, 2012 at 8:58 am #

        Hello! Love this piece. Did u say where u got the beads? I am only finding 2 sizes not three :(

      • Michele June 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

        Hello! Love this piece. Did u say where u got the beads? I am only finding 2 sizes not three :(

      • Sara G July 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

        LOVE LOVE LOVE this necklace! I was just at Michaels today and had these exact beads in my hand but decided to research how to make a neclace first and then i happen to come across your blog!
        Questions: I also only found one size in those beads, did you get them all at Michaels? Also, how many strands of each size of beads do you think i need to make this?

  5. Valerie Olsz May 23, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Love at first sight! So do tell, are you selling this particular piece? I’d love to own it or one like it. Pretty sure I’m not equipped to make one as superior myself……

    • Andrea Howe May 23, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      Oh I wish I had the time right now to open a shop! But with 2 blogs going, and baby #3 on the way I’m afraid not :) Maybe someday soon though! I promise this is very easy to make though!

  6. Erin May 23, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    This might just be doable for a novice like me. And it’s gorgeous. Also, where is the red dress from? The detailing looks beautiful.

    • Andrea Howe May 23, 2012 at 11:41 am #

      It’s from ASOS. It’s from their maternity line, but I do believe they did a non maternity version as well. You can pop on over to see the full outfit shot if you’d like on my blog :)

  7. mandie May 23, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I, too, love how it pops against the red!!! I’d love to make some of these!!

  8. Tiffany May 23, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    I love this. Hopefully I can do it . Lol

  9. Sarah May 23, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I’ve only made 3 bracelets so far! Super simple ones, I like that when you get started it begins to get cheaper as you already have the bits and pieces so you don’t have to keep buying pliers etc.

    Really want to make earrings!

  10. Allison May 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I love your nail color (especially in contrast to the green beads). I’ve been wanting to find a nice orangey red. Can you share the shade if you know it?

    • Andrea Howe May 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      It’s called Geranium by Essie. It’s a great shade. If you can’t find Geranium, get Fifth Avenue. It’s almost identical. I know because I bought Geranium the other day thinking it was so different from Fifth Avenue, which I already had at home, but nope, only the tiniest bit of a color difference. Both are really pretty orangey reds :)

      • Allison May 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

        Thanks!

  11. Phoebe May 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Love this project! Where did you get the beads? I have the toughest time trying to find beads in pretty colors.

  12. Uncle Beefy May 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Okay, so not a look I’m gonna pull off. Well, at least not without plenty of raised eyebrows. But, what a fantastic DIY! Reasonably easy and super chic. Awesome!

  13. Ashley {GirlyObsessions} May 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    This is a great tutorial! I have a container full of jewelry supplies, and new beads that I’ve had since Christmas and I can’t find the motivation to make something for myself!!! I think this post may have done the trick! (I also love Fusion Beads!)

  14. Kelli May 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    I love this necklace. I have been looking for something like this to make to go along with a maxi skirt that I am making. I will be making this for sure and will let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

  15. Holly May 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    I LOVE this necklace!! Can’t wait to try one just like it!! Could you give us an estimate of the cost? Thanks so much for your lovely post!*:.

  16. Courtney May 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Love it! Totally attempting. I second the nail polish inquiry.

  17. Danielle May 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Soo pretty! I’ve always wanted to try jewelry making and I think this might give me the push I’ve been needing!

  18. Summer // House&Hold May 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    really incredibly beautiful!
    excellent tutorial – this will help me re-string some of the broken down vintage beads/necklaces from my grandma too!

  19. See May 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    I love this idea. i love everything about it – i’m totally going to spend the weekend making some statement necklances!!!! i’ll post some pics so you can see.

  20. the domestic fringe May 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    I love it!!! Such a beautiful color.

    ~FringeGirl

  21. shortsweetseason May 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    I LOVE this necklace and I never feel inspired to DIY jewelry, but I am going to make this. It’s beautiful!

  22. Meredith May 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    I love this necklace! Thanks for the tutorial! I am going to have to make a few of these for summer!

  23. Nancy May 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Nicole, you look so fit! I know a while back you did some posts that included how you were changing your diet. I wish you would do an update. I like that you had a sensible approach, and would love to know how you fit fitness and healthy eating into your daily life. Especially since you are so busy!

    • Nancy May 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      Oops! Forgot to mention that I love that necklace! I am inspired to try and make one myself.

  24. Heather @ Interior Groupie May 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Wow! Great tutorial and I LOVE the finished product!

  25. Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    I’ve been meaning to give jewelry making a try since my love of statement jewelry doesn’t exactly jive with my bank account balance… this post just pushed me over the edge and I’ll be hitting the craft store tomorrow to pick up any missing supplies.

  26. Linda May 24, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Hello Andrea, this is a lovely necklace tutorial and I saw it on Pinterest. I have a question, I want to know what type of bead you used as the spacer-beads between the jade colored beads? Was it a seed bead or is it metallic, or metal? Thanks so much and congratulations on your new little one coming soon! ;D

    • Andrea Howe May 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi Linda! Thank you for the well wishes! Yes, the beads in between were gold seed beads, available just about anywhere :) I only used them between the small and medium size beads because they just got swallowed up by the larger bead. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

      • Amanda July 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        I am trying to make this but went to two Michael’s and could only find two sizes of beads. 14mm and 10mm. Any idea where I might be able to find the 12mm or are they sold only at Michael’s?

  27. katrina May 24, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    this is PERFECT!

  28. Amanda May 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    This looks pretty! I’ve been making my own jewelry for quite some time, and i learned a few new ideas. Awesome! and thanks! :)

  29. Jess May 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Oooooh I love! Def going to be making this next week while I am on stay-cation!

  30. Miranda May 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Looks amazing and I LOVE it with the red top, great color combo!

  31. Adventures in Dressmaking May 26, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Wow, I’m impressed! Love the colors, and this looks AWESOME and maaaaaybe like something I could do. I almost never make jewelry but would love one of these! And I’m hitting up JoAnn today, so I’ll take a look at the bead aisle and see how intimidated I get…. thanks for the lovely tutorial!

  32. Mei May 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful project,Where did you bought the beautiful color beads?? Can you sharing a place where we can buy online? Thanks so much!

  33. Sara Russell Interiors May 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    This certainly is a statement necklace and perfect for the summer! Thanks for teaching me how to make one!

    xo Sara

  34. Brave Beltworks May 28, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    This is such a stunning necklace – great colour!

  35. Kali May 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I remember making necklaces when I was a kid and how fun it was. Although mine were much more simple I agree they are super easy! Once you’ve made one your possibilities are unlimited! This one is beautiful and goes with just about any color. One great thing about buying the supplies at Michaels is the great coupon offers they have. You can get just about everything for half price. Thanks for reinspiring me to make beautiful necklaces again!

  36. Gina May 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Mine took me closer to 2 hours, but for a novice, it was an easy project & now I have the confidence (& supplies)to try making more jewelry! Thank you for sharing!

  37. Jill June 6, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Thanks so much!! I made this yesterday and it turned out FANTASTIC!! I love it so much!! However, it took way longer than 45 minutes (at least 2 hours) but so worth it!! I haven’t done any beading for more than 15 years and that was all super basic, what a great introduction I’m sure I’ll be making more!

    Jill

  38. Erica W June 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I just finished making this, took about an hour. To anyone who doesn’t think they have the skills, I have one hand (seriously) and I did it! I found that it helped to have long fingernails to better catch the crimps & other small bits. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Andrea Howe June 8, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      That is amazing Erica. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  39. Mary June 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    That is SOO gorgeous! Mind making one for me?? =)
    Thanks for the tutorial. Maybe someday I’ll make one!

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