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Fairy tale necklace and bracelet

Make your emotions your muse for mixed-bead

I strung this necklace in the cold, dead months of winter as I impatiently awaited the warmth and vibrant colors of spring. With a variety of greens paired with shimmering peacock-colored crystals and beads, I’m reminded of a fairy tale forest where everything is alive and inexplicably beautiful. To create this mix, I stuck to my motto: “Use the force.” It’s as easy as getting out your bead stash and adding materials to a tray until the palette and textures are pretty and unique. Let your eye and emotions be your guide! “May the force bead with you.”

SUPPLIES

Necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 700 2–8 mm beads: seed beads; bicone crystals; crystal rondelles; gemstone chips, rounds, and rondelles; shell beads
  • 9–13 14 mm round glass beads or crystals
  • 14 4 mm large-hole beads or spacers
  • flexible beading wire,.014 or.015
  • 8 in. (20 cm) 20-gauge wire
  • 2 20 mm cones
  • 2–3 6–8 mm jump rings
  • 14 Bead Stoppers
  • 14 crimp beads
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 1–3 in. (2.5–7.6 cm) chain for extender, 5–6 mm links
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • 10–20 mm charm (optional)
  • crimping pliers (optional)

Bracelet 8 in. (20 cm)

  • 300 2–8 mm assorted beads, as in the necklace
  • 12 4 mm large-hole beads or spacers
  • flexible beading wire,.014 or.015
  • 8 in. (20 cm) 20-gauge wire
  • 2 12 mm cones
  • 3 4–6 mm jump rings
  • 12 Bead Stoppers
  • 12 crimp beads
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 1-in. (2.5 cm) chain for extender, 5–6 mm links
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • 10–20 mm charm (optional)
  • crimping pliers (optional) 

Check your local bead store for supplies. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Necklaces

Fairy tale necklace and bracelet 1
Step 1
Cut seven 24–27 in. (61–69 cm) pieces of beading wire. On each wire, string 13–15 in. (30–38 cm) of 2–8 mm beads interspersed with 14 mm beads as desired (see “In the mix,” below). Center the beads. On each end of each strand, string 1–2 in. (2.5–5 cm) of 2–4 mm beads (see “Balancing act,” below). Use Bead Stoppers to secure the ends of each strand as you go.
Fairy tale necklace and bracelet 2
Step 2
Cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire. On one end, make a wrapped loop. On one side, on one end of each wire, string a crimp bead, a large-hole bead and the wrapped loop (see “Foolproof finishing” below). Go back through the beads just strung and tighten the wire.
Fairy tale necklace and bracelet 3
Step 3

a. Check the drape and add or remove beads from the strands if necessary. Crimp the crimp beads and trim the excess wire.

b. Repeat steps 2 and 3a on the other side of the necklace. On each 20-gauge wire, string a cone and an 8 mm crystal. Make a wrapped loop.

Fairy tale necklace and bracelet 4
Step 4
On one end, open a jump ring and attach a lobster claw clasp. Repeat on the other end, substituting a 1–3-in. (2.5–7.6 cm) piece of chain for the clasp. If desired, use a jump ring to attach a charm to the end link of chain.
Bracelet
Fairy tale bracelet
Bracelet
Fairy tale necklace and bracelet b1
Step 1

Cut six 17–19-in. (43–48 cm) pieces of beading wire. On each wire, string 4–6 in. (13–18 cm) of 2–8 mm beads. Center the beads. On each end, string about 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) of 2–4 mm beads.

Fairy tale necklace and bracelet b2
Step 2
Repeat step 2 of the necklace. Check the fit, add or remove beads from the strands if necessary. Crimp the crimp beads and trim the excess wire.
Fairy tale necklace and bracelet b3
Step 3
Repeat step 2 on the other side of the bracelet. On each 20-gauge wire, string a cone and a 6–8 mm crystal. Make a wrapped loop. Finish as in step 4 of the necklace.
Tip!

Balancing act

To get a pleasing mixed-bead balance: String one strand at a time and use Bead Stoppers or tape to secure the ends as you go. Set each completed strand next to the others to ensure the 14 mms are interspersed throughout. 

In the mix

For the necklace’s smaller beads, I strung 6/0 seed beads, 4–8 mm crystal rondelles and bicone crystals, small pyrite nuggets, aventurine and amazonite gemstone chips, gemstone rounds in green agate, glass pearls, and shell beads. All of these are in shades of green and rainbow luster. The 14 mm round beads are rainbow luster glass beads from Hobby Lobby. For a pleasing mix, string mostly small beads with just one or two 14 mm rounds on each strand.

Do you beading?

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