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Laotian spirit necklace

The deep oranges of these silk ribbons reminded me of the Buddhist monks’ robes in the Laotian temples I used to go to as a child. Organically shaped links and citrine-studded metal beads mimic the sculptural decorations used in festive celebrations. 

SUPPLIES

Necklace 17–19 in. (43–48 cm) 

  • 37 mm (large) bronze abstract link with attached 6 mm jump ring
  • 4 20 mm (small) bronze abstract links with attached 6 mm jump ring
  • 18 mm teardrop bead
  • 2 9 mm large-hole silver beads
  • 5 6 mm jump rings
  • 8 in. (20 cm) 26-gauge wire
  • 2 40-in. (1 m) silk ribbons in burnt orange and copper
  • 2 pairs of chainnose and/or bentnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Supplies available from Nina Designs, ninadesigns.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS

Laotian spirit necklace 1
Step 1
Open 2 jump rings and attach a 37 mm (large) link. Close both jump rings. Attach a jump ring to each of four 20 mm (small) links.
Laotian spirit necklace 2
Step 2
Cut an 8-in. (20 cm) piece of 26-gauge wire. Using the tip of your chainnose pliers, bend a tiny hook on one end of the wire and squeeze it closed.
Laotian spirit necklace 3
Step 3
String a teardrop bead on the wire. Make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach the loop to both jump rings of the large link.
Laotian spirit necklace 4
Step 4
Complete the wraps, wrapping the excess wire down around the top of the teardrop as desired. Wrap the wire up in back and around the base of the loop once to secure. Trim and tuck the excess wire.
Laotian spirit necklace 5
Step 5
On two ribbons, string two small links, the large link, and two small links. Center the links on the ribbon at about 3⁄4-in. (1.9 cm) intervals.
Laotian spirit necklace 6
Step 6
On each side, with each pair of ribbons, tie an overhand knot about 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) from the last link. String a large-hole bead and tie another knot. To wear, tie the ends in a bow at the back of your neck.
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