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Beaded cluster necklace

Knot a necklace with multiple layers of beads

This design clusters beads together, so it’s a fun way to mix pearls, stones and glass beads of different shapes and sizes. Use the materials list as a guide for bead counts, but feel free to stray from the sizes and types of beads listed. Since the beads hide the knots, this is a great way to fine-tune your knotting skills.

Materials

Both projects

  • Griffin bead cord, #8 and #2
  • clear nail polish or G-S Hypo cement
  • awl (optional)
  • T-pins or quilting pins
  • macramé board
  • chainnose pliers

Necklace 17 in. (43cm)

  • pearls - 90 rice pearls (color A) - 45 rice pearls (color B) - 25 5mm (any shape) - 25 4mm (any shape)
  • Czech glass beads - 50 4mm - 25 3mm
  • round stone or glass beads - 25 4mm - 25 2mm
  • 25 4mm rondelle-shaped beads
  • gold or silver beads - 25 3mm - 25 2mm
  • 5g Charlottes size 13/0, each of 3 colors (A, B, and C)
  • 2 clamshell bead tips
  • Clasp

Bracelet 8 in. (20cm)

  • pearls - 36 rice pearls (color A) - 18 rice pearls (color B) - 9 5mm (any shape) - 9 4mm (any shape)
  • Czech glass beads - 20 4mm - 10 3mm
  • round beads - 9 4mm - 9 2mm
  • 9 4mm rondelle-shaped beads
  • gold or silver beads - 9 3mm - 9 2mm
  • 3g Charlottes size 13/0, each of 3 colors (A, B, and C)
  • 2 clamshell bead tips
  • clasp
Casual clusters necklace Photo A
Photo A
Casual clusters necklace Photo B
Photo B
Instructions        

[1] Unwrap the #8 and #2 cords from their cards, leaving the twisted wire needle on both cords. Tie the tail ends of the #8 and #2 cords together with an overhand knot. Trim the ends of the cords just past the knot.

[2] String a clamshell bead tip over both cords with the hook end toward the knot (Photo A).

[3] Dot the knot with glue or nail polish, slide the knot inside the bead tip, and close the bead tip over the knot with chainnose pliers (Photo B).

Casual clusters necklace Photo C
Photo C
Casual clusters necklace Photo D
Photo D

[4] Attach the loop on a clasp half to the hook on the bead tip. Pinch the hook closed with chainnose pliers and pin the clasp end of the cords to the macramé board.

[5] Wrap the #2 cord on a card and set it aside.

[6] Make a loose overhand knot with the #8 cord and use a pin or awl to slide the knot to 1/2 in. (1.3cm) from the bead tip (Photo C).

[7] String a 4mm glass bead against the knot. Make an overhand knot and slide it against the bead just strung (Photo D). Make another overhand knot 1/2 in. away from the previous knot.

[8] Repeat step 7 until you reach the desired length of the necklace or bracelet minus the length of the clasp.

Casual clusters necklace Photo E
Photo E
Casual clusters necklace Photo F
Photo F

[9] Unwrap the #2 cord from the card and string a color A Charlotte, a rice pearl, a rondelle, a rice pearl, and a color A Charlotte. Position the beads against the bead tip and tie an overhand knot around the #8 cord before the next knot. Use an awl or a pin to position the knot so it is tight and the beads are snug against each other (Photo E).

[10] String a color B Charlotte, 3mm glass bead, silver spacer, 3mm bead, and color B Charlotte. Slide the beads against the knot and tie an overhand knot around the #8 cord past the first 4mm bead (Photo F).

[11] Continue the alternating pattern by repeating steps 9-10. As you work, keep the knots on the #8 cord and not over other knots.

[12] Turn the piece and work back toward the clasp, knotting as you did before but with the following pattern: String a color A Charlotte, 3mm bead, silver spacer, 3mm bead, and color A Charlotte. Make an overhand knot around the #8 cord, then string two color B Charlottes, 4mm round stone bead, and two color B Charlottes.

[13] Turn the piece and work back toward the other end as follows: String a 6mm pearl, tie an overhand knot around the #8 cord, and string a color C Charlotte, rice pearl, silver spacer, rice pearl, and color C Charlotte.

[14] String a bead tip over both cords after the last knot. Make an overhand knot with both cords and use a pin or awl to slide it inside the bead tip.

[15] Trim the excess cording, secure the knot with glue or polish, and close the bead tip. Attach the remaining clasp half.

FIND MORE: necklaces , pearl , beads , knotting

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