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Bead crochet necklace with art-bead setting

Clean lines showcase intricate art-glass beads

When Bead&Button magazine decided to commission a new bead for our 15th anniversary, I realized I still hadn’t done anything with my 10th anniversary bead set by Larry Scott. Because his beads have a lot of detail, I wanted to design a relatively simple setting that would really show them off. While Larry’s beads are perfect for this necklace, you could easily substitute art-glass beads by other artists, gemstones, or even beaded beads.

SUPPLIES

Necklace 22 in. (56 cm)

  • Bead&Button 10th anniversary three- bead set by Larry Scott (large bead 23 x 19 mm; small beads 13 x 15 mm)
  • 6 4 mm helix crystals, golden shadow
  • hank (about 30–40 g) 11/0 Charlotte seed beads, eggshell
  • 2 cones with 10 mm opening
  • 2 1⁄4 in. (5.7 cm) 16-gauge wire, dead-soft
  • 7 in. (18 cm) 20-gauge wire, half-hard
  • 9 in. (23 cm) 26-gauge wire, dead-soft
  • 3 4 mm jump rings
  • 25 yd. (22.9 m) metallic thread, antique gold (ryansgeneralstore.net)
  • Big Eye needle
  • tapestry needle, #28
  • bench block or anvil
  • hammer
  • 1.15 mm steel crochet hook
  • whetstone or jeweler’s file
  • chainnose pliers
  • nylon-jaw pliers (optional)
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

Note: while the Bead&Button commemorative beads may no longer be available, this same pattern could be used to set off any special beads that you may have.

INSTRUCTIONS

Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 1
Photo a
Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 2
Photo b
Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 3
Photo c

Bead crochet rope

1. Attach the Big Eye needle to the metallic thread, and transfer Charlottes onto it (see the sidebar “Transferring beads from a hank” on the PDF). For an 18-in. (46 cm) rope like this one, you’ll need approximately 7 ft. (2.1 m) of beads. 

2. Leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, work five bead chain stitches. Join the stitches into a ring with a bead slip stitch.

3. Work in five-around bead slip stitch until the rope is 18 in. (46 cm) or the desired length. Cut the thread, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, and pull the tail through the last stitch.

Focal crossbar

1. To create the focal crossbar, cut a 2 1⁄4-in. (5.7 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire. Shape it with your fingers or nylon-jaw pliers, if needed, so the wire is slightly curved. Hammer the wire to flatten it slightly (PHOTO A), hammering the ends so they spread more than the middle does. The edge that curves upward is the top. Smooth the edges with a whetstone or jeweler’s file.

2. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 26-gauge wire. Holding a 4 mm jump ring at the top edge near one end of the crossbar, wrap the 26-gauge wire around the crossbar and through the jump ring (PHOTO B). Make three wraps right next to each other, and trim the ends close to the crossbar.

3. Repeat step 2 at the top edge of the other end. Repeat again, but attach the third jump ring to the lower edge in the middle of the crossbar (PHOTO C).

Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 4
Photo d
Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 5
Photo e
Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 6
Photo f
Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 7
Photo g

Assembly

1. Cut a 2-in. (5 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire, and make a wrapped loop

2. Attach the tapestry needle to a tail of the crocheted rope, sew through the loop made in step 1, and secure the loop to the rope by sewing through the crochet stitches at the end of the rope (PHOTO D). Repeat several times to secure the connection, and tie a half-hitch knot. Sew into the crocheted rope, exiting between beads several rounds down. Without going through any beads, sew back and forth across the rope a few times, crossing over the thread within the rope, and trim. 

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, attaching the wrapped loop to the other end of the rope.

4. On one wire, string a cone, a 4 mm helix crystal, a small art-glass bead, and a 4 mm, and make the first half of a wrapped loop (PHOTO E).

5. Attach the loop to a jump ring on one end of the focal crossbar (PHOTO F), and complete the wraps.

6. On the remaining wire, string a cone, a 4 mm, the other small art-glass bead, and a 4 mm. With roundnose pliers, make a small hook at the end of the wire (PHOTO G). Hammer the hook to harden and flatten it, and file the edges.

7. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire, straighten it, and hammer the end. File the edges to make a smooth paddle shape (PHOTO H). String a 4 mm, the large art-glass bead, and a 4 mm, and make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach it to the jump ring in the middle of the crossbar, and complete the wraps (PHOTO I).

Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 8
Photo h
Bead crochet necklace with art bead setting 9
Photo i
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