I’ve got a fun turquoise necklace I want to share with you guys today, as I hit the road to Chicago this weekend (and I’m totally wearing it). I typically share totally beginner-friendly projects, but since this one was a personal piece, I’m going to classify it as intermediate. I’ll still share a bit of how to make a ladder necklace with beads, but if you’re a beginner, then I’d put this on your list for later and start with another project (oooh, like maybe one of my 10-minute-or-less designs). I love metal stamping (as you know, if you visit here often) and I think the metal accent really adds a lot, but if you don’t stamp or don’t want to, it’s a totally optional element to the design.
I’ll share the supplies I used, and offer some variation suggestions as well. If you’re looking to buy any of these supplies, I’ll leave affiliate links in the supply list below so that you can locate them, learn more, and make a purchase if you’re so inclined. It does support my blog at no extra cost to you when you shop through my links, so thanks in advance for keeping me in craft supplies so I can share more free designs! ;)
- 2-hole 10mm x 5mm turquoise beads
- 20 gauge tinned copper wire
- 4mm jump rings
- Chain nose pliers
- Round nose pliers
- Wire cutter
- 18″ 2mm cable chain necklace
- beaded head pins
- 4mm crystal beads
Optional metal accent:
- 22mm rectangle Vintaj arte metal blank
- Steel bench block and Brass hammer
- 6mm ImpressArt whimsey flower stamp
- 3mm ImpressArt whimsey flower stamp
- Polish pads
- Metal hole punch (at least 1.8mm or 1/16″)
- Nylon hammer
Okay, so as you can see by the list above, there are as many supplies needed just to add the metal accent as the entire rest of the piece, haha. But, if you’re into stamping (or you plan to be) then it’s just your basic supplies, and you can use any patterned stamp or stamps you love. I used two shapes of ImpressArt’s Whimsy flower, and stamped in an all-over pattern. Then, I used a polish pad to buff the metal blank – the Vintaj blanks are treated with a patina. You stamp them, and then buff the patina away from the surface to lighten it up. This allows you to leave SOME patina on the surface instead of a shiny, bright blank. Pretty cool, really.
Then, I punched two holes in the center of the blank to align with the holes in the bead when I wrapped it around. The metal wrapping is exactly the reason I chose the Vintaj Arte Metal, because it’s slim enough to bend. Heavier gauge aluminum won’t work at this small size.
I wrapped it around the bead just using my fingers to start. To fit it exactly to the bead, I had to gently hammer it with my nylon hammer (so as not to mar the blank). When it finally wrapped snugly, then I moved onto the next step. If you’re not planning metal accents, then next step is where you can start!
You need to turn your beads into connectors to create your “ladder”. So to do this, cut a length of wire about 3-4 inches long. Measure down about 1/2 to 3/4 inch, wrap one end around your round pliers, creating a loop. Then, wrap the short tail end around the main part of the wire, and once you have 1-2 wraps, then trim off any excess with your wire cutters.
Repeat this process at the bottom of the bead, wrapping it tightly. (You can also shortcut this step by using eye pins instead of wire – they come with one end already looped. You only have to loop one side of the bead.) I created two beaded connectors, and then decided to finish off the bottom with two tiny 4mm wrapped charms. Charms work up just the same as the wire loop connectors you just made, but you begin with a ball-end head pin, and wrap just one end to form a loop.
Connect everything together with 4mm jump rings, and string your new pendant on a 18″ necklace!
You can also add metal spacer beads, or small metal charms instead of beaded charms, especially if you are skipping the stamped metal accent – it’s a great way to incorporate some additional textures, which is a big part of what makes this design great.
When I get back, I’ll be sharing about my trip to Chicago’s SoFabU On The Road, a blogger conference I’m attending! It may be quiet here for a few days in the meantime while I take in one of my favorite cities and then calm the chaos that’s likely to happen at home while I’m gone. ;) See you guys soon!