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Branch out for fall

A favorite story inspires an autumn necklace

As a child, I loved The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. The tree in the book is covered with jack-o’-lanterns, and my original concept for the pendant included a cut-out area in the circle where I could dangle a ceramic jack-o’-lantern bead. Here’s the pendant I prefer; I ended up liking the design without the cutout better. “Nothing evokes Halloween for me more than the image of a bare tree against the sky.”


Necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 40–45 mm round pendant ( 
  • 8 12 mm beads 
  • 6 8 mm Czech fire-polished round crystals 
  • 4 8 mm round accent beads
  • 36–42 6 mm Czech fire-polished round crystals 
  • 8 4 mm bicone crystals
  • 2 8/0 seed beads
  • flexible beading wire,.014 or.015
  • 6–7 mm jump ring
  • 2 crimp beads
  • toggle clasp
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers, or 2 pairs of chainnose pliers 
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • crimping pliers (optional)


  • 2 12 mm Czech fire-polished round crystals
  • 2 8 mm round crystals
  • 2 8 mm crystal rondelles
  • 2 2 1⁄2-in. (6.4 cm) decorative head pins
  • pair of earring wires
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers 
  • diagonal wire cutters

Check your local bead store for supplies.



Branch out for fall 1
Step 1
Open a jump ring. Attach a pendant and close the jump ring.
Branch out for fall 2
Step 2
Cut a piece of beading wire. Center the pendant. On each end, string three bicone crystals.


Branch out for fall 3
Step 3
On each end, string: 8 mm accent bead, 12 mm bead, 8 mm crystal, 12 mm, 8 mm crystal, 12 mm, 8 mm crystal, 12 mm, 8 mm accent bead, bicone.
Branch out for fall 4
Step 4
On each end, string 6 mm crystals until the strand is within 1 in. (2.5 cm) of the finished length.


Branch out for fall 5
Step 5
On each end, string a crimp bead, an 8/0 seed bead, and half of a clasp. Check the fit, and add or remove beads if necessary. Go back through the last few beads strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire.
design alt
Design alternative
This pendant works with many color combinations, so you can make a great gift that a friend can wear year-round. I used a palette of purple and brown with disk beads that mimic the shape of the pendant.
Branch out for fall 6
Step 1
On a decorative head pin, string a 12 mm crystal, an 8 mm crystal, and an 8 mm rondelle. Make a wrapped loop.
Branch out for fall earrings
Step 2
Open the loop of an earring wire. Attach the dangle and close the loop. Make a second earring to match the first.


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