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Leaf Lariat

String a luxurious rope of pearls, crystals, and gemstones.
Leafy fringe adds texture and movement to the strand, while a hand-made center hook forms an ingenious closure.


lariat 51 in. (1.3 m)

  • 70 7 x 12 mm leaf beads
  • assorted 3–12 mm accent beads
  • 5g seed beads, sizes15/0–6/0, in assorted colors
  • assorted 3–4 mm flat spacer beads
  • 16 bead caps
  • sterling silver wire
    • 18 in. (46 cm) 26-gauge, half-hard
    • 3 in. (7.6 cm) 18-gauge, half-hard
  • soldered jump rings
    • 2 6 mm
    • 2 3 mm
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp covers (optional)
  • nylon beading thread, size D, conditioned with beeswax
  • flexible beading wire, .018–.019
  • beading needles, #12
  • 2 Bead Stoppers
  • G-S Hypo Cement
  • T-pin or awl (optional)
  • bench block
  • chainnose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • hammer
  • metal file
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters


Center hook


1. File each end of a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 18-gauge wire to a dull point. Grasp one end with the tips of your roundnose pliers and turn the pliers to form a tiny loop. Make a loop at the other end of the wire as the mirror image of the first (PHOTO A).

2. With the loops facing down, center the wire on the largest part of your roundnose pliers and bring the ends down toward each other (PHOTO B).

3. Use the roundnose pliers to bend each side of the wire back up toward the center curve, forming a W (PHOTO C). Gently hammer the curves to work-harden the wire.

4. String two 6 mm soldered jump rings to the center of the hook.



1. On 60 in. (1.5 m) of beading wire, center a 4 mm bead. String the wire ends through the jump rings on the hook in opposite directions, positioning a jump ring on each side of the 4 mm (PHOTO D). Secure one end with a Bead Stopper.

2. On one side, string approximately 21 in. (53 cm) of accent beads, bead caps, seed beads, and spacers. For my necklace, I didn’t follow a specific pattern, but I achieved a unified look by repeating bead groups and using silver spacers. Remember that the second side will be the same as the first, so as you’re stringing you need to reserve enough of each type of bead to make the second side. End with a bead cap, an accent bead, and a bead cap.

3. For the final 4 in. (10 cm) of this side, string seven seed beads, 1 in. (2.5 cm) of spacers alternating with accent beads, three seed beads, 3⁄4 in. (1.9 cm) of spacers alternating with accent beads, three seed beads, 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) of spacers alternating with accent beads, a bead cap, an accent bead, and a bead cap. Secure the end of the strand with a Bead Stopper (PHOTO E).
Click on images to enlarge.

4. Thread a beading needle with a comfortable length of conditioned thread. Leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, sew into the first seed bead in the three-bead set at one end of the lariat, exiting between the first and second seed beads (FIGURE, point a).

5. Pick up four seed beads, a leaf bead, and three seed beads, and sew through the first seed bead you just picked up (a–b). You may have to adjust the number of seed beads you pick up to fit your leaf beads.

6. Sew back through the first seed bead on the lariat and repeat step 5 (b–c). Pull the fringes to the base and tie the working thread and tail together with a surgeon’s knot. You want the beads to sit on the base, but leave enough slack so they drape nicely.

7. Sew back through the first seed bead again, coming out between the first and second seed beads. Repeat steps 5 and 6, tie another surgeon’s knot, and sew through the first two seed beads (c–d).

8. Repeat step 5, and go through the third seed bead (d–e). Repeat three times, adding a total of four fringes, two on either side of the third seed bead (e–f).

9. Sew through the beads on the lariat base and exit between the first and second seed beads in the next group of three. Repeat steps 5–8 to make eight leaf fringes.

10. Sew through the beads on the lariat base to come out between the first and second seed beads in the group of seven seed beads. Repeat steps 5–8, and continue making two fringes between the seed beads and after the last seed bead for a total of 16 fringes.

11. Tie a double half-hitch knot around the beading wire in the core. Sew through the bead cap and make another double half-hitch knot. Sew through the next bead and make one more knot around the wire. Dot all the knots with glue, and trim. Repeat with the tail.

12. Snug up the beads in the lariat, remove the Bead Stopper from the end, and string a crimp bead and a 3 mm soldered jump ring. Go back through the crimp bead and the next few beads, pull tight, and crimp the crimp bead. Cover the crimp bead with a crimp cover, if desired.


13. Cut three 3-in. (7.6 cm) pieces of 26-gauge wire. String a leaf bead on one wire and make a set of wraps above it. Make the first half of a wrapped loop above the wraps, attach the leaf dangle to the soldered jump ring on the end of the lariat, and finish the wraps. Repeat with the other two wires to make two more leaf dangles (PHOTO F).

14. Repeat steps 2–13 to complete the other side of the lariat.

For the ends of the strand, choose beads with holes large enough to accommodate the flexible beading wire and multiple thread passes.

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