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Build an architectural necklace

The Taj Mahal inspires tiny gemstone jewels

I love the graceful curves of the Taj Mahal and hope to visit India to see it in person. Till then, I’ve contented myself with flipping the dome’s shape upside down and suspending it on delicate chain. Study the architecture around you—it’s a great way to discover inspiring angles and shapes to energize your jewelry making.

SUPPLIES 

Necklace 18 1⁄2 in. (47 cm)

  • 8–10 mm flat round bead, top drilled
  • 6 mm metal bead
  • 13–14 3 mm gemstone rondelles
  • 6–10 in. (15 cm) 26-gauge wire
  • 4 in. (10 cm) 30-gauge wire (optional)
  • 36–41 in. (.9–1.04 m) cable chain, approximately 1 mm links
  • 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) 24- or 26-gauge decorative head pin
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 1 1⁄4 in. (3.2 cm) chain for extender, 5 mm links
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Supplies from Chelsea’s Beads, facebook.com/chelseasbeads. Check your local bead store for supplies. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Build an architectural necklace Step 1
Step 1
On a head pin, string a 6 mm metal bead. Make a wrapped loop.
Build an architectural necklace Step 2
Step 2
Cut a 2-in. (5 cm) piece of 26-gauge wire. On one end of the wire, make a wrapped loop. String a flat round bead. Make a wrapped loop. 
Build an architectural necklace Step 3
Step 3
Cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of 26- to 30-gauge wire. Center the bead unit from step 1 on the wire. Over both ends of the wire, string a rondelle.
Build an architectural necklace Step 4
Step 4
Cut two 8 3⁄4–10-in. (22.2–25 cm) and two 9–10 1⁄2-in. (23–26.7 cm) pieces of chain. On each end of the wire, string four rondelles, an end link of a 9–10 1⁄2-in. (23–26.7 cm) chain, two rondelles, and a loop of the bead unit from step 2.
Build an architectural necklace Step 5
Step 5
On each end of the wire, make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach an end link of an 8 3⁄4–10 in. (22.2–25 cm) chain. Complete the wraps.
Build an architectural necklace Step 6
Step 6
To make a connector: Cut a 2-in. (5 cm) piece of 26-gauge wire. On each end of the wire, make the first half of a wrapped loop, leaving 1⁄8 in. (3 mm) between the loops. Make a second connector.
Build an architectural necklace Step 7
Step 7
On one end of the necklace, use a connector to attach the end links of chain and a lobster claw clasp. Complete the wraps. Repeat on the other end, substituting a 1 1⁄4-in. (3.2 cm) chain extender for the clasp.
Architectural earrings
Earrings
I was also inspired by the Eiffel Tower!
Tip!

It can be difficult to find 3 mm rondelles with holes that will accommodate two pieces of wire (as in step 3 of the necklace). If your rondelles are not large enough, or you don’t have 30-gauge wire, simply center the metal bead and string the rondelles on each end of the wire (you will need an extra rondelle).

If you use 30-gauge wire, the necklace will be very delicate. Handle and store your jewelry with extra care.

 
FIND MORE: stringing , necklaces

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