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String an eclectic mix

Design an unusual necklace and earrings with an assortment of beads
This necklace has it all — an art bead, gemstones, pearls, seed beads, and a metal pendant. It even has a button to play up its handcrafted appeal. The combination of single and double strands highlights the necklace’s asymmetry, and colorful drop earrings make an unfussy accompaniment.



  • 50–55mm tube-shaped art bead (Heather Powers,
  • 35–45mm pendant
  • 17–19mm button with shank
  • 3 9–10mm accent beads
  • 6 8mm double-drilled pearls (Eclectica)
  • 6–9 8mm round beads
  • 2 6mm crystals
  • 5mm bead
  • 2g size 2 (6mm) bugle beads
  • 5g 8/0 hex-cut seed beads
  • 1g 11/0 Japanese cylinder beads
  • 1g 11/0 seed beads
  • 3 8–9mm (large) spacers
  • 13–20 3mm (small) flat spacers
    flexible beading wire, .010 or .012
  • 2 crimp beads
  • toggle clasp
  • chainnose or crimping pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters


  • 2 9–10mm accent beads
  • 4 8mm round beads
  • 4 3mm flat spacers
  • 2 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8cm) head pins with paddles
  • pair of earring posts with ear nuts
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters


Editor’s tip:
Select the art bead first, then choose a button to complement it. Once you’ve chosen these key elements, it will be easy to find a pendant that works with them.



1. Cut two pieces of beading wire. (The dragonfly necklace is 18 in./46cm; the leaf necklace, 19 in./48cm.) Center a pendant over both wires.
2. On one side, over both ends, string an 8mm round bead, a 5mm bead, and a button.
3. On the other side, over both ends, string: two 8mm rounds, large spacer, tube bead, large spacer, 9–10mm bead, small spacer.
4. On the side with the tube, separate the wires. On each end, string five 11/0 Japanese cylinder beads and the corresponding holes of a double-drilled pearl. Repeat five times, then string five cylinder beads.
5. On the same side, over both ends, string: small spacer, 9–10mm bead, large spacer, 9–10mm bead. String an 8mm round and a small spacer, repeating until the strand is within 1 in. (2.5cm) of half of the finished length. End with an 8mm round.
6. On the side with the button, separate the wires. On one end, string a bugle bead and an 11/0 seed bead. On the other end, string 11 8/0 hex-cut seed beads and a small spacer. Repeat the respective patterns until the strands are within 1 in. (2.5cm) of the finished length.

7. On each side, over both ends, string: small spacer, 6mm crystal, crimp bead, 8/0, half of a clasp. Check the fit, and add or remove beads if necessary. Go back through the beads just strung and tighten the wires. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire.

Now make some earrings!
Matching earrings!
1. On a decorative head pin, string: 9–10mm bead, spacer, 8mm round bead, spacer, 8mm round. Make a plain loop.
2. Open the loop of an earring post and attach the dangle. Close the loop. Make a second earring to match the first.
FIND MORE: earrings , necklaces , beads

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