Make two necklaces with one custom bead mix

Each container of our bead mix yields enough glass beads to create a collarbone length necklace and a long necklace. Your kit includes the following items: five feet of 49-strand, .015 bead cable; two clasp sets; crimps and a pendant array with three pair of leaf beads. Glass bead mix color shown: Tourmaline.

Before you start, have the following items on hand: wash cloth on which to place beads or work; needle-nose pliers for crimping; scissors; tape measure; light source; sight aids as needed; small shallow bowl for bead mix. Skill needed: ability to finish a strung necklace with crimps. If you need a refresher course on crimping, search for and review an online tutorial before undertaking this project.

Begin choosing and stringing beads from the mix bowl
Pendant and pairs of leaves in necklace front

First, make a short necklace

Pour your mix into a small shallow bowl. We’ll begin by making a short necklace with a central pendant and leaf elements. For a 17″ to 18″ long necklace, cut a cable length of 24 inches — that’s the necklace length plus 3 inches on both sides for finishing. Start by threading the central pendant by its jumpring, then, on either side, add beads of equal size, smallest leaves, equal size beads, large leaves, equal size beads, medium leaves. Check carefully that each side of this central arrangement is of equal length and that the leaves face the same way on both sides. (I confess that when I was preparing this demo I placed some elements wrong and had to unstring and restring the array correctly. You really don’t want to do that, so check your work!).

Pick the largest beads from the bowl, and place a small “E” size (4mm or so) bead between each of the larger beads as you go. Beads decrease in size as you add them to the ends. For best results, the colors don’t have to match on either side but the parallel strands of beads you are creating should have plenty of contrast and a good balance of elements.

Strands should have contrasting beads and good balance between sides. With a bead mix, they don’t have to ‘match’, just look good.

Get out your measuring tape. When you have about 8 inches on each side of the pendant, string only the small “E” beads to 8-1/2 inches on each side, for a 17 inch necklace. Secure one end, thread a crimp onto the other, add one end of clasp through the jumpring, thread back through crimp, crimp and trim. Hold necklace by other end, make sure there are no gaps, thread on other part of clasp though its jumpring, crimp and trim. Congratulations, you’ve completed a nice short necklace.

Now, make a long necklace with remaining beads in mix

The leftover beads in your mix will go into a long 28 to 30 inch necklace. This necklace won’t have a pendant, start with the largest beads, with “E” beads between them and go from largest to smallest.

Pick out the remaining larger beads from the bowl and lay them on a washcloth. Start the long necklace by choosing the largest bead, adding smaller beads on each side and using up the large beads, always with an “E” bead between them. When you run out of the larger beads, keep stringing the smaller beads on each side, selecting the smaller beads to contrast with each other until you have about 3 to 4 inches left on either side. Finally, finish with a series of three “E” beads on each side, check that both sides are equal in length, and crimp with clasps as for the first necklace.

Place small beads from bowl between all the larger beads.
Start with big beads
End with smaller beads
Now you have a smaller necklace and a larger necklace, to wear together or separately.


With your kit, you may choose to make a longer necklace with the pendant array (instead of the shorter one), a shorter necklace with no pendant array, or two necklaces without pendant arrays. If you have your own favorite center focal bead for the middle, start your necklace with it.

Notice that the pendant and the clasp set all have jumprings to thread onto the cable. The jumprings may be opened with two needle nose pliers to substitute another clasp or pendant if, after you make the necklace, you find a prettier clasp or pendant to replace the ones on the necklace. Jumprings make everything work better.

Bejeweled Treasures bead mixes are available in a wide assortment of colors at Bowerbirds’ bead shows and online at my Etsy store, click here to see our bead mixes.

Wrapped Loops

Wrapped Loops

You can create your own wrapped loops!

The photographs are of work with 20 gauge wire, although the technique can be used with other gauges of wire.

You’ll use three tools:

1. Round-tipped pliers sometimes called “rosary pliers”
2. Chain-nose or ‘straight’ pliers
3. Good flush cutter (a wire cutter capable of cutting cleanly, the best you can afford)

To start a wrapped loop, bend 1-1/4” of wire at an L-shaped angle with your chain-nose pliers.

Right at the bend, grip gently between jaws of round-tipped pliers. Bend the angled inch of wire over the top of one of the round-tipped pliers’ jaws.

You’ve made the top part of the loop, now make its underside. Take the top jaw out of the wire. Wrap under and around the lower jaw to form the underside.

Hold the loop in a gentle grip with your chain-nose pliers, lengthwise. With the very tip of your round- tipped pliers, grab the little tail and wrap twice, two neat wraps at the base of the loop.

After you’ve wrapped the loop, use your flush cutter to trim off excess wire.

If you’re making a link with wrapped loops on either end: thread the bead onto the wire with the wrapped loop you’ve just made, and pinch the bead so that its base is firmly against the wrapped loop.

Bend the wire coming out of the bead at an angle, wrap over top and bottom of the jaw of the round-tipped pliers and wrap twice around, just as you did at the beginning of making the link. Work step-by-step, and use the proper tools at each step, and you will have consistent and attractive wrapped loops.