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Knotted donut necklace

String graduated focal beads on leather cord for a seaside statement

The gorgeous African island of Seychelles inspired this eclectic turquoise necklace. Summery and earthy, it reflects the island vibe with a sea-and-sand palette. Or try it in black — it’s the perfect accessory for a long tank dress while you’re lounging poolside.


Necklace 18–20 in. (46–51 cm)

  • 50 mm donut
  • 2 44 mm donuts
  • 2 30–35 mm donuts
  • 2 20–24 mm rings
  • 35–40 mm barrel bead
  • 2 25 mm tube beads
  • 4 16–20 mm large-hole nuggets or 8 14–16 mm large-hole beads
  • 6 10–12 mm large-hole metal beads
  • 2 10–12 mm oxyhedron or bicone beads
  • 15 mm charm
  • 3 yds. (2.7 m) leather cord, 1.5 or 2 mm diameter
  • 7 in. (18 cm) chain, 19–20 mm links
  • 20 in. (51 cm) 18- or 20-gauge wire
  • 2 10 mm jump rings
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 2 pairs of chainnose or bentnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Blue necklace: nuggets, oxyhedron beads, barrel and tube beads, terra cotta beads, and rings from Mykonos Beads, 888.695.6667, Remaining supplies from Fusion Beads, 888.781.3559, Black necklace: glazed and bronze large-hole beads and oxyhedron beads from Create Your Bliss, Remaining supplies from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, 800.355.2137, Check your local bead store for supplies.


Knotted donut necklace 1
Step 1
Cut a 3-ft. (.9 m) piece of leather cord. Fold the cord in half and thread it through the center of a 50 mm donut. Thread both ends through the fold and tighten the cord.
Knotted donut necklace 2
Step 2
Over both cord ends, string a 35–40 mm barrel bead. Tie a Chinese button knot, treating both cords as one (see “Chinese button knots”).
Knotted donut necklace 3
Step 3
On one end, string a tube bead, leaving 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) of cord below the Chinese knot. String a spacer and an oxyhedron bead. Tie a Chinese button knot. Trim the cord 1 in. (2.5 cm) below the knot. Repeat on the remaining cord, leaving 1 in. (2.5 cm) between the first Chinese knot and the tube bead.
Knotted donut necklace 4
Step 4
Cut two 3-ft. (.9 m) pieces of cord. On one end, over both cords, string a 20–24 mm ring, leaving a 3⁄4-in. (1.9 cm) tail. Cut a 10-in. (25 cm) piece of wire. Using chainnose pliers, on one end of the wire make a hook. Hook it around the cords below the ring. Wrap the wire around the cords to secure, extending beyond the cord ends. Trim and tuck the excess wire.
Knotted donut necklace 5
Step 5
Treating both cords as one, tie a Chinese button knot. Over the ends of both cords, string two 10–12 mm large-hole metal beads.
Knotted donut necklace 6
Step 6
Separate the cords. With one cord, go over and under a 30–35 mm donut. With the other cord, go under and over to weave through the donut. Over both ends, string a nugget or two 14–16 mm large-hole beads.
Knotted donut necklace 7
Step 7
Repeat step 6, weaving around a 40 mm donut, the 50 mm donut from step 1, another 40 mm donut, and a 30–35 mm donut. Omit the last nugget or large-hole beads.
Knotted donut necklace 8
Step 8
String two 10–12 mm large-hole metal beads. Treating both cords as one, tie a Chinese button knot.
Knotted donut necklace 9
Step 9
Trim the cords to 1 1⁄2 in. (3.8 cm). String a 20–24 mm ring and fold the ends over it. Secure the ends as in step 4.
Knotted donut necklace 10
Step 10
Cut a 2-in. (5 cm) and a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of 19–20 mm link chain. On each end of the necklace, open an end link of chain and attach the ring. Close the link. On the remaining end link of the short chain, use a jump ring to attach a lobster claw clasp.
Knotted donut necklace 11
Step 11
Use a jump ring to attach a charm to the end link of 5-in. (13 cm) chain.
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