DIY Jewelry with Stacey: Easy Breezy Floatin’ Beadsies

DIY-Jewelry-Stacey-Bayliff111The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. It’s summertime!

It’s time to lighten things up. It’s the time of year I put away those boots and bring out the flip-flops (we’ll just pretend I haven’t really been wearing them all along.)

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It’s the time of year I cut my hair a little bit shorter than usual.

It’s the time of year I stop wearing so much jewelry because it’s heavy and irritating in the hot sun.

~ Wait, what? No need to do that! I just make some jewelry that’s lighter.

Floating bead necklaces, as they are called, are very popular and just about the easiest pieces to make. I can get at least 2 done before my 14 year old son even gets out of bed in the morning!

 

 

 

Materials

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1 pair- wire cutters

1 crimping tool

beading wire – silver colored, 7 strand, .015 in diameter

approx. 15- 6mm, white faceted beads

approx. 15- 6mm, Dark Siam (red) bicone beads

approx. 15- 4mm, Dark Siam (red) bicone beads

approx. 15- 6mm, Capri Blue bicone beads

approx. 15- 4mm, Capri Blue bicone beads

approx. 30- silver crimp beads

black Sharpie marker

tape measure

tape

I thought a cute little 4th of July theme would be nice, but any color combination would look nice. The key is the weight of the beads. Anything too heavy and the wire will be pulled down; it won’t drape right. Anything too light and the wire will tend to have a mind of it’s on and not drape right. If you do choose lighter weight beads, make larger groupings to create more weight.

I intentionally didn’t mention how much wire you will need. Since this necklace has no clasp, it will need to fit over the head. Using a tape measure, determine the diameter of your head; double that figure and add 4 inches (for overlap). This will be the length of wire that you need.

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1. Find the center point of the wire and mark it with the black marker. From there, make a mark every 3 inches to the right and left; until the entire length of the wire has been marked.

 

 

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2. Thread on a crimp bead, small red bicone, large red bicone and white faceted bead on one end of the wire. Slide them down until the white bead is centered on the center black line. Keeping them in this position, use the crimping tool to secure the crimp bead in place.

 

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3. Thread on a large blue bicone, a small blue bicone, and a crimp bead. Slide them down to meet the white bead and secure the crimp bead in place. You now have a grouping of beads trapped between the crimp beads appearing to “float” on the wire.

 

 

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4. Continue with steps 2 & 3, centering the white beads on each black mark you’ve made, except the last mark on each side. I tend to alternate from side to side of center, instead of doing all of the ones to the right, then all the ones to the left. This helps me make sure the spacing is kept relatively even (slight variation is not going to be noticeable so don’t stress about it being perfect) and also so I can gauge the length of the necklace and plan better for the final grouping. If you are using different colors of bicones on each side of the white, you will need to switch the order of the beads you thread on so that the pattern is consistent.

 

5. For the final grouping thread a crimp bead, small red bicone, large red bicone and white faceted bead on one end of the wire. Slide them down until the white bead is centered on the center black line. This time, instead of securing the crimp bead, place a piece of tape around the wire so the crimp bead won’t slip.

 

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6. On the other end of the wire, thread a crimp bead, a small blue bicone, a large blue bicone, and a white bead. Slide them down until the white bead is centered on the center black line. Place a piece of tape around the wire so the crimp bead wont slip. Remove the white bead.

 

IMG_48257. Take the wire containing the red bicones and thread it through the large blue bicone, the small blue bicone and the crimp bead. The wire containing the blue bicones will be thread through the white faceted bead, the large red bicone, the small red bicone and the crimp bead. So essentially the two wires will be criss-crossed through the whole grouping of beads.

 

8. Pull the wire ends so that the beads are snug against the tape. Secure each crimp bead around both wires. This will close up the necklace.

 

IMG_48269. Using the wire cutters, trim off the ends of the wire as close to the crimp bead as you can get without cutting the other wire. Remove the tape and it’s ready to wear!

 

 

This method makes a long necklace that can be worn as is, or doubled over for a two strand effect. It can even be wrapped around the wrist several times for a multi-strand bracelet.

Different looks can be made by changing the amount of spacing between beads, the styles and colors of beads, as well as the color of wire.

No matter what you use, you’ll end up with a great, lightweight piece of jewelry that will keep you looking cool on those hot summer days!

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Stacey Bayliff, chain maille enthusiast and “Jack of all Crafts”

Stacey is a self-proclaimed “Jack-of-all-Crafts.”

Although an English as a Second Language teacher by profession, she has been cross-stitching, rubber stamping and making jewelry since she was a teenager.  Her most recent obsession is chain maille jewelry.

She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and three children, where she enjoys reading, letterboxing, genealogy and watching reality tv.

A variety of Stacey’s jewelry creations can be found at Magpie Fair.

 

Comments

  1. Gabrielle says:

    How great is this? I love the idea of the bracelet as well, it’s an instant “arm party” without all the effort!! Thanks for the post!

  2. I have been considering my first atetpmt at homemade ravioli and found your page! These look amazingly delishish! I was wondering if you have ever froze extras and how the turned out when reheated? Im planning on making cheese and also a spinach and veal mix.

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