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Furnace glass bead necklace

A handful of bright, colorful furnace glass beads was the starting point for this multistrand marvel. The necklace took shape when I combined the furnace glass with crystals, Charlottes, and silver spacers in complementary colors. It’s easy to add different bead and crystal combinations when you have so many strands to work with. 

SUPPLIES

Necklace 30 in. (76cm)

  • 45 furnace glass beads in various sizes and colors (Glasscapes,www.mingoandasho.com)
  • hank of plain or faceted seed beads, size 15/0–8/0
  • 400 3–4mm silver spacer beads
  • 232 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals
  • 2 Bali silver cones

Clasp

  • flexible beading wire, .014–.015
  • 18 crimp beads
  • 8 in. (20cm) 16-gauge silver wire
  • 4 4mm jump rings (optional)
  • beading board (optional)
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

Furnace glass bead necklace Photo a
Photo A

Furnace glass strands

Lay out three rows of furnace glass, as follows: Use 17 beads in the longest row, 15 in the middle, and 13 in the shortest. Refer to the photo for spacing and lay out the beads in a pleasing arrangement.

Longest strand

1.
 Cut a strand of beading wire 45 in. (1.1m) long. Secure one end temporarily with a clamp or tape.

2. String a spacer, a crystal, a spacer, 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) of seed beads, a spacer, a crystal, a furnace glass bead, a crystal, a spacer, and 1⁄2 in. of seed beads (PHOTO A). Repeat this sequence until you’ve used all 17 furnace glass beads, ending with a spacer, a crystal, and a spacer. String up to 6 in. (15cm) of seed beads equally on each end, and secure the ends as before.

Furnace glass bead necklace Photo b
Photo b

Middle strand

Cut a strand of beading wire 42 in. (1m) long. Repeat step 2 of the longest strand, using 15 furnace glass beads instead of 17.

Shortest strand

Cut a strand of beading wire 39 in. (99cm) long. Repeat step 2 of the longest strand, using 13 furnace glass beads instead of 17.

Crystal strands

Longest strand


1. Cut a strand of beading wire 44 in. (1.1m) long.

2. String a spacer, a crystal, a spacer, and 3⁄4 in. (2cm) of seed beads (PHOTO B).

3. Repeat until there are 34 crystal segments.

4. Add seed beads to each end as before.

Furnace glass bead necklace Photo c
Photo C
Furnace glass bead necklace Photo d
Photo D
Furnace glass bead necklace Photo e
Photo E

Middle strand

Make the middle strand the same as the longest strand with the following changes: The middle beading wire is 41 in. (1m) long and has 31 crystal segments.

Shortest strand

The shortest strand is 38 in. (97cm) long and has 29 crystal segments.

Seed bead strands

String three strands of seed beads in the following lengths: The longest, 43 in. (1.1m), the middle, 40 in. (1m), and the shortest, 37 in. (94cm).

Finish the strands

1. Add or remove seed beads equally from each end of the strands until you have a pleasing arrangement and the right fit. Make sure the focal beads are centered on each strand. String a crimp bead on each end, go back through the crimp bead, and tighten the beading wire until only a small loop remains. Crimp the crimp bead and trimthe tails.

Assembling the necklace

1. Start a wrapped loop on 4 in. (10cm) of wire. Slide one end of all nine strands into the loop (PHOTO C).

2. Finish the wrapped loop and slide the cone over all the strands (PHOTO D).

3. Start a wrapped loop above the cone and slide your clasp or jump ring into the loop before you finish the wraps (PHOTO E). 

4. Repeat steps 1–3 on the other end of the necklace.

FIND MORE: stringing , necklaces

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