post by Andrea
I come across beads and baubles that I love on a constant basis, and in fact need to stop buying beads at will — only when the need arises. This past weekend, in an effort to try and organize my growing collection of beads, I came across these beauties and was finally struck with some inspiration. I had originally planned to string the black beads together in a tight, almost choker-like necklace, but then thought it might be too limiting to nighttime wear. But when just a few are added to a simple hematite colored chain, it’s the perfect look for day or night. I wore my new chain with a white tank and pair of boyfriend jeans for a simple, yet dressed up feel. Here’s the how-to so you can make your own simple bauble necklace.
You’ll need a piece of chain (my piece was 22″ in length, snipped in half to make 2 11″ pieces), baubles of your liking, 2 jump rings, a lobster claw closure, 2 wire guards (or 2 additional jump rings if you can’t find wire guards), 2 crimp beads, soft flex or mono-filament wire, scissors and needle nosed pliers.
You’re going to start by attaching your wire guard (or jump ring) to one end of your chain, and then string your wire through the guard, making a loop, and sticking both pieces of wire through your crimp bead. You then pry your crimp bead shut with a pair of needle nosed pliers. You now have securely attached your wire to your chain so you can start stringing. *A note about wire guards vs. jump rings. My local jewelry supplier suggested these wire guards because on occasion my wire would slip through my jump ring if the ends were not clamped shut tight enough, very frustrating if I had strung tons of beads. These wire guards work brilliantly and take the place of a standard jump ring (which I used in making this statement necklace). The wire guards are not always easily found though, so feel free to use jump rings instead, but always make sure you close the jump rings tightly.
Now that your wire is firmly attached to your chain, start stringing your beads. These were rather large beads, so I only needed to string 5 black ones and the 1 sparkly one. I didn’t want it to be too busy or fussy. Once done stringing, add another wire guard and crimp bead to secure the other end to your chain.
You’re now ready to attach your closure. On one end attach a jump ring to your lobster claw closure, and then to the chain. On the other end, just attach one jump ring for your closure to attach to. A tip about working with jump rings. I have found that if I gently pry them apart with 2 pairs of pliers, attach to my chain, and then clamp them shut, they close up much better than if I just try to pry them apart and closed with 1 pair. After you’ve attached your closure, you’re done! Total time from start to finish is about 30 minutes or less, depending on your comfort level with working with the tools. Total length of my necklace is 28″, with the chain being 22″ and the beaded center being 6″. Feel free to adjust to whatever length you need though.