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Beaded tassel necklace

Revitalize an old classic

I teach at a local bead shop, and I am good friends with the owner. She came in one day with an old beaded necklace she had picked up at a rummage sale and asked me to update it so I could teach a class in the shop on how to make the necklace. After some trial and error, this is the result. For this updated version, I replaced bead caps with cones, changed the clasp, extended the necklace with links made of wire and crystal, and added some crystals to the tassel.

SUPPLIES

  • 1 Hank seed beads, size 11/0
  • 3 Sterling silver cones or 2 cones and 1 artist bead
  • 36 4mm Bicone Austrian crystals
  • 4  6mm Round Austrian crystals
  • 12 in. (30cm) 22-gague Sterling silver wire
  • 1 Sterling silver clasp
  • Nymo D beading thread
  • Beading needle, #10
  • G-S Hypo Cement
  • Tools: round- and chainnose pliers, diagonal wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

Beaded tassel necklace a
PHOTO A

The combination of colors you choose for your necklace determines whether you can use a hank of seed beads (blue necklace), or whether you create your own mixture (purple/silver version).

If you use a hank of beads, do a string-to-string transfer to shift groups of beads from the hank to your beading thread. To transfer the beads, clip one strand near the knot end of the hank. While holding the hank strand, pass a threaded needle through the beads and gently slide them from the hank strand over the needle (PHOTO A) onto the beading thread. 

Otherwise, create a random mixture of seed beads and string them onto the beading thread one at a time.

NECKLACE

1. Cut four 2-yd. (1.8m) lengths of beading thread. With the ends even, leave a 2-in. (5cm) tail and tie the ends of the strands together near one end with an overhand knot. Seal the knot with glue. 

2. Thread a needle on one of the strands. Transfer beads from a hank or string them until you are 3 in. (7.6cm) from the end of the thread. Snug the beads along the strand. Create a stop bead by looping through the last bead again in the same direction.

3. String the other strands as in step 2. Tie the strand ends together with an overhand knot right against the stop beads. Don’t remove the second thread pass from the stop beads.

Beaded tassel necklace b
Photo b
Beaded tassel necklace c
Photo c
Beaded tassel necklace d
Photo d

4. Have someone hold one end of the rope by its tail, tie it to a piece of furniture, or tape it to a tabletop to hold it in place. With one hand, twist the other end until the beads begin to kink (PHOTO B). Touch the rope at its center point with your other hand, and it will start to twist back on itself (PHOTO C). Bring the tail ends of the rope together and a permanent twist will form. PHOTO D shows the rope twisting back on itself from the center point, which now becomes an end of the rope. 

5. Tie the tails together with a surgeon’s knot and add a dab of glue to secure it.

Beaded tassel necklace e
Photo e
Beaded tassel necklace f
Photo f

6. Cut a 2 1⁄2-in. (6.3cm) piece of 22-gauge wire and create a hook at one end. Slide the hook through the knotted end of the rope (PHOTO E). Cross the wires and wrap the short end around the shaft of the longer wire. Slide a cone on the wire (PHOTO F). Make a wrapped loop above the cone (PHOTO G). Repeat with the other end, slipping the hook through the fold in the twisted rope.

7. Cut a 2-in. piece of wire. Make a loop at one end. Slide a 6mm-bicone crystal close to the loop and make another loop perpendicular to the first. Repeat to make another crystal link. Open a loop on one end of a link and join it to the other link. Close the loop. Attach an end loop of the second link to the wrapped loop above the cone on the twisted rope. Repeat at the other end of the necklace.

8. Open the last loop on the crystal link at one end of the necklace. Slide one part of the clasp onto the loop, then close the loop (PHOTO H). Attach the other part of the clasp to the opposite end of the rope.

Beaded tassel necklace g
Photo g
Beaded tassel necklace h
Photo h

TASSEL WITH CONE

The focal point on the multi-tone blue and purple/silver necklaces is a silver cone.

1. Thread a needle with 1 1⁄2 yd. (1.4m) of thread. Pass the needle down through the top of the cone and out the bottom, leaving a 3-in. (7.6 cm) tail above the cone. Tape the tail to the outside of the cone. String a 6-in. (15cm) mixture of seeds and randomly spaced crystals, and pass the needle back through the cone.

Beaded tassel necklace i
Photo i
Beaded tassel necklace j
Photo j

2. String 35 seeds and make a loop above the cone by passing the needle back through it. Repeat this process  (PHOTO I) for a total of five loops above and six loops below the cone. End with the needle exiting the top of the cone. Leave a 3-in. tail.

3. Remove the tape applied in step 1 and secure the tails with a surgeon’s knot (PHOTO J). Glue the knot. When dry, attach a needle to one tail and work it through several beads in any loop. Trim the excess thread and repeat with the other tail.

TASSEL WITH ARTIST BEAD

The focal point of the necklace on this page is a bead by Alethia Donathan. The strands hanging from the bottom of the bead mimic the twist in the rope.

Complete step 1 as in “Tassel with cone,” substituting a bead for the cone. When exiting the bottom of the bead, string 6 in. of seeds and crystals, and twist the thread by rolling the needle between your thumb and forefinger. Check the amount of twist by rolling the thread back on itself. If it twists up, it will stay twisted. Twist in all the loops below the bead. Follow steps 2 and 3 of  “Tassel with cone,” to finish.

FIND MORE: necklaces , seed beads

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