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Silk & stones necklace

Add a pop of color with vibrant silk cord

I recently went to the Yucatan and visited the cenotes — naturally occurring sinkholes that expose underground water. This necklace was inspired by the turquoise color of the fresh water and all the roots and cave formations reaching down below the surface. Garnet is one of my favorite gemstones, and I love the contrast of its deep red with cool teal silk and olive green idocrase briolettes and rondelles.


Necklace 18 3⁄4 in. (47.6 cm)

  • 3 36 mm long pod charms with attached soldered jump ring
  • 5 8–11 mm briolettes
  • 8 mm oval chrysoprase bead
  • 12 4 mm faceted round beads
  • 6 4 mm faceted rondelles
  • flexible beading wire,.014 or.015
  • 34 in. (86 cm) silk cord
  • 28 in. (71 cm) 26-gauge wire 
  • 2 5–6 mm jump rings
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 pinch ends with attached hook-and-eye clasp
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • glue such as Super New Glue (optional)


  • 2 36 mm long pod charms with attached soldered jump ring
  • 2 8–11 mm briolettes
  • 2 4 mm round beads
  • 2 decorative head pins
  • pair of earring wires
  • 2 pairs of chainnose or bentnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters 

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

Silk and stones necklace 1
Step 1
Cut a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of 26-gauge wire. Center a briolette on the wire. Bend both ends of the wire up around the bead. Using chainnose pliers, make a small bend in each wire to straighten it above the bead.
Silk and stones necklace 2
Step 2
Using roundnose pliers, make the first half of a wrapped loop with both wires. Attach the loop of the briolette unit to the jump ring of a pod charm. (This will be a side dangle.)
Silk and stones necklace 3
Step 3

a. Grasping the loop with chainnose pliers, complete the wraps, wrapping around the top of the bead, keeping the wires parallel and making sure they don’t cross. With one wire, wrap an extra half rotation. Trim and tuck the excess wire. Make a second side dangle.

b. Make a third briolette unit that is not attached to a pod charm.

Silk and stones necklace 4
Step 4
Repeat steps 1 to 3a to make a briolette unit, but make the loop perpendicular to the briolette and omit the pod charm. Make two perpendicular briolette units.
Silk and stones necklace 5
Step 5

To make the center dangle: Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 26-gauge wire. On one end, make the first half of a wrapped loop. Cut the jump ring off of a pod charm. Attach the charm and the briolette from step 3b to the loop. Complete the wraps. String an oval bead. Make a wrapped loop. Trim the excess wire.

Silk and stones necklace 6
Step 6
Cut an 8-in. (20 cm) piece of beading wire. Center the center dangle on the wire.
Silk and stones necklace 7
Step 7

On each end of the wire, string: round bead, side dangle, round, perpendicular briolette unit, round, rondelle, round, rondelle, round, rondelle, round. 

Silk and stones necklace 8
Step 8
Cut two 17-in. (43 cm) pieces of silk cord. Fold each cord in half. On each end of the wire, string a crimp bead and the fold of a cord. Go back through the beads just strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead (How-Tos) and trim the excess wire. Close a crimp cover over the crimp.
Silk and stones necklace 9
Step 9

On each side, tie an overhand knot with the pair of cord ends. Trim the cord close to the knot. Insert each knot into a pinch end, using a beading awl or the end of a paper clip to push the knot in if necessary. Apply glue if desired, then secure the pinch end.

Securing pinch ends
Close a pinch end clasp in phases. Using chainnose pliers, pinch two opposite sides closer together, but not all the way. Next, pinch the remaining sides closer together until they meet the first two sides. (Closing the first two sides all the way would not allow room for the remaining sides.) After the first round of pinching, adjust the sides a bit closer and tighter together, making sure they’re as evenly spaced as possible.
Silk and stones earrings
Make a matching pair of earrings with the same techniques.
Silk and stones earrings 1
Step 1
For each earring: Repeat necklace steps 1 to 3a, but make only one side dangle.
Silk and stones necklace 2
Step 2

On a decorative head pin, string a round. Make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach the round to the jump ring of the pod charm and complete the wraps. Trim the excess wire.

Silk and stones necklace 3
Step 3

Open the loop of an earring wire and attach the dangle. Close the loop.

Silk and stones design alternative
Design alternative
Make a nautical version with blue suede cord and seafaring charms. Construct the briolette units, then string with green and blue stones as shown.
FIND MORE: stringing , fiber , earrings , necklaces

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