I have a fun necklace to share with you today that uses the same idea as a bead loom – you can use seed beads to make a beaded design. These bead strands hang loose in a fringe pattern. If you enjoy making charms you will find this to be a fun and easy project. Even if you aren’t experienced, I’ll walk you through basic charm-making and you should have the hang of it pretty quickly!
What you will need:
- Heavy-gauge wire – I like 16 gauge, but 18 gauge will work fine for this project. You only need about 6 inches if you are raiding your existing supplies.
- 2 inch jewelry head pins
- Seed beads in 2 or more contrasting colors
- Jewelry pliers – round-nosed work best, but you can make do with regular pliers
- Wire cutters
First things first – decide on your design. You can easily pattern your after mine, or sketch out on paper how you would like your pattern to look. Let me show you mine again:
From the bottom up (this will be the order you add them onto the head pins)
- Row 1 – 3 white beads
- Row 2 – 1 white bead, 2 purple beads, 2 white beads
- Row 3 – 1 white bead, 1 purple bead, 2 white beads, 1 purple bead, 1 white bead
- Row 4 – 1 white bead, 1 purple bead, 3 white beads, 1 purple bead, 1 white bead
- Row 5 – 1 white bead, 1 purple bead, 3 white beads, 1 purple bead, 2 white beads
- Row 6 – same as row 4
- Row 7 – same as row 3
- Row 8 – same as row 2
- Row 9 – same as row 1
Feel free to experiment with other patterns though!
Now – to make each row, you will just need to make a basic hanging charm.
You thread your beads onto the head pin, and make a loop at the top with your round-nosed pliers. Then, wrap the excess pin around the “neck” of the loop. Wrap it 2-3 times to secure it, and cut the excess off with wire cutters. This will give you a closed charm you can string onto any jewelry project. Do this for each of your bead rows.
When you have all your rows, you need to make the support bar to string it on your necklace. Cut about a 6 inch length of heavy wire and make a closed loop on one end – the exact way you closed your charms.
Alternate threading a single bead and then a charm onto the bead bar you created, until you have a pattern you are happy with. Once you like it, close the other end of the bead bar the same way as you did for your charms by looping it off, wrapping it, and trimming off the excess.
Then, just add your chain! You can either use chain by the inch, or if you bought a finished chain, just cut it in the center, and attach each end to the loops on your bead bar with a jump ring. That’s it – just enjoy!
I’d love to see any designs you come up with using this tutorial!