You may remember Carrie's work from this giveaway - and today she's graciously sharing her wisdom for a little project! I often spot jewelry I love in stores, then once I see the price tag I start wondering if I could make something similar on my own. There have been several times when I've walked around Hobby Lobby or Michael's with an inspiration picture on my phone, trying to figure out what to get to create it. Carrie has been making jewelry for years, and I was thrilled when she agreed to show me the ropes!
Carrie found a necklace we loved on Anthropologie's site and quickly said we could recreate it for a fraction of the cost (and with better materials). We got together on a Saturday and she broke things down for me, step by step. This particular project is great for beginners, since it's really just stringing beads! It took us less than 30 minutes to make - the part that takes the most time is simply figuring out what you want your bead composition to look like. Have a little patience, because it may take restringing a section to get it just how you want it!
Carrie got all of our supplies at Hobby Lobby and Michael's - besides the yellow beads, which are vintage from Etsy. She told me that these are all great shopping sources for your jewelry projects! Just make sure to wait until the jewelry section goes on sale in stores - it happens so often, it's not exactly worth it to buy them full price! The freshwater pearls were the most expensive part - they run about $10 for a string of them - but you could easily use glass or plastic beads instead. Etsy is a great source for pearls as well. And make sure to decide on your necklace length before going shopping so that you get enough supplies :)
You will need:
- Tiger's Tail, 19 strands in width
- Yellow beads
- Freshwater pearls
- Dyed Jasper (looks like turquoise, but cheaper!)
- Wire cutters
- Pliers (you may want two pairs for a better grip)
- 2 jump rings, a little larger in size
- Crimp beads
- Extender (looks like more chain, it's for adjusting your necklace length)
Let's get started!
- Begin by measuring out your Tiger's Tail. Tiger's Tail is very flexible and strong because it's made of several wires twisted together - 19 strands in width is a good base for stringing beads. 18 inches is a pretty standard necklace length, so you'll want to measure out your Tiger's Tail to be a little over 19 inches long. Since this necklace has multiple strands, measure out two pieces, using your wire clippers to cut them.
- Now you're going string one crimp bead onto a strand of Tiger Tail. Take one of the jump rings and string the Tiger Tail through that as well, then put the end back through the crimp bead, creating a loop where the jump ring is. Using the pliers, pull your string tight (but not too tight!), closing the gap between the crimp bead and jump ring. Then use one set of pliers to "crimp" the crimp bead - just squish it shut! Crimp beads are very pliable, and can be squished flat to create a seal. See the photos below for assistance. Trim the excess end of wire from beneath the crimp bead, or you can tuck the end into your first bead you string on (if the opening is large enough on the bead). You can also open your jump ring and add your clasp - then close up the jump ring.
- Then just start stringing! To mimic the look of the Anthropologie necklace, we strung several jasper beads on first, then when we got just past halfway (9 inches) we started adding pearls. Including your clasp, string to 18 inches, then finish it with a jump ring and crimp bead the same way you started. Easy enough! Be sure to add the extender chain to the jump ring. This makes it so that your necklace length is adjustable when it's done.
- Repeat the process, adding the next strand of beads to the same jump rings. This time we used the yellow beads with the pearls, and started the pearls a few beads earlier to add some interest.
- Carrie bought a cheap metal necklace at Hobby Lobby, cut it to size, and added it to the jump rings for a different texture. It would also look pretty with some very thin ribbon strung through the chains!
- Now you're all done! So lovely, right?
Carrie was also kind enough to pull out a few other necklaces she's made using the same methods. There's so many options when stringing beads! Feel free to get creative standing in the bead aisle ;)
Carrie, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! We will have to get together again soon :)
All images via That's Pretty Ace