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Two-tiered cabochon pendant

Combine cabochons with beaded bezels embellished with pearls and crystals
Twotiered cabochon pendant
Combine cabochons with beaded bezels to make a more elaborate version of my “Ease into Elegance” necklace, which appeared in the December 2004 issue of Bead&Button.
Twotiered cabochon pendant turquoise

Don’t let anyone tell you that more can’t be more. Doubling up a gorgeous stone or pearl cabochon with a striking agate slice provides this beader with the perfect opportunity to strut her stuff. By keeping the palette earthy and essentially monochromatic, my asymmetrical design radiates a subdued, natural elegance, despite its dramatic proportions.


Necklace 19 in. (48cm)

Pendant 3 1⁄4 x 2 1⁄2 in. (8.3 x 6.4cm)

  • 25 x 18mm pearl cabochon (Fire Mountain Gems,
  • 5–7cm agate slice
  • 16 in. (41cm) strand 4–6mm pearls
  • 15–20 4mm bicone crystals or Czech glass beads (optional)
  • 25g Japanese cylinder beads
  • 8g seed beads, size 15/0
  • clasp or button with a shank
  • 2 micro crimp beads
  • 2 crimp beads
  • flexible beading wire, .010
  • Ultrasuede
  • Nymo D, one color to match seed beads and one to match Ultrasuede, conditioned with beeswax
  • beading needles, #10 and #13
  • E-6000 adhesive
  • micro and regular crimping pliers


Twotiered cabochon pendant Figure
Twotiered cabochon pendant Photo A
Photo A
Twotiered cabochon pendant Photo B
Photo B
Twotiered cabochon pendant Photo C
Photo C
Twotiered cabochon pendant Photo D
Photo D
Twotiered cabochon pendant Photo E
Photo E
Twotiered cabochon pendant Photo F
Photo F

Bezel the cabochons

1. On a piece of Ultrasuede, center the pearl cabochon above the agate slice, leaving about 1⁄4 in. (6mm) between the two.

2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of each piece and set them in place. Let the glue dry.

3. Knot the end of a 1-yd. (.9m) length of conditioned thread, leaving a 6-in. (15cm) tail. Use a #10 needle and sew from the back to the front of the Ultrasuede next to the top cabochon. 

4. Pick up two cylinders and sew through to the back of the Ultrasuede. Sew back through the Ultrasuede, positioning the needle between the first two beads (FIGURE, a–b). Sew through the second cylinder (b–c).

5. Repeat step 4 around the cabochon, ending with an even number of beads. Sew through the first bead in the round. 

6. Pick up a cylinder and work even-count peyote stitch for two or three rounds, depending on the size of the cab.

7. Change to a #13 needle and work one to two rounds of peyote using 15/0 seed beads. 

8. Repeat steps 4–7 with the agate slice. 

9. Connect the first rounds of the bezels between the cabs by working a row or two of peyote stitch as shown in PHOTO A. Secure the thread and trim. 

10. Lightly glue the back of the pendant to a second piece of Ultrasuede. Once the glue is dry, carefully trim both pieces of Ultrasuede as close to the beaded bezel as possible. Don’t cut any threads. 

11. Start a comfortable length of thread the same color as the Ultrasuede, and whip stitch the edges of the Ultrasuede close to the bezel (PHOTO B). Secure the thread and trim.

Make the bail

1. Secure a 1-yd length of conditioned thread in the bezel above the top cab. Exit a bead on the second row, a couple beads left of center. 

2. Using cylinders, work six to ten beads (depending upon the size of your cabochon) in flat, even-count peyote for 16 rows (PHOTO C).

3. Fold the strip of peyote so the last row is aligned with the first row of the bezel and stitch them together (PHOTO D). Secure the thread and trim.

Assemble the necklace

1. Working with 1 yd. of conditioned thread, pick up six cylinders and work in flat, even-count peyote for six rows. 

2. Fold the peyote strip so the first and last row of beads are aligned. Zip up the two ends to form a tube. Secure the threads.

3. Make a second peyote bead and set them both aside.

4. Cut three 24-in. (61cm) lengths of beading wire. String 12 in. (30cm) of cylinders on two of the wires and 12 in. of 15/0s on the third wire. Center the beads.

5. Tape the end of each strand next to the last bead stung. Bring the   untaped end of all three wires together and string a micro crimp bead over the wires and against the beads. Crimp the crimp bead.

6. Tape the crimped end to your work surface and braid the three strands.

7. Remove the tape from the unfinished ends, string a micro crimp over the three wires, and crimp it. 

8. Center the pendant on the braid. Then string a peyote bead over each crimp bead (PHOTO E).

9. Working over all three wires, string cylinders on each end of the necklace until you reach the desired length minus the length of the clasp. My 19 in. (48cm) necklace has 4 in. (10cm) of cylinders on each side. 

10. Tape one of the wire ends. On the other end, string a crimp bead, a clasp half or button, and seven to ten cylinders. Bring the wires back through the crimp bead, tighten the wires, and crimp the crimp bead. Trim the wires close to the crimp. 

11. Repeat step 10 at the other end of the necklace, using the remaining clasp half. If you are using a button as your clasp, string enough cylinders after the crimp to fit around the button. 

Add embellishments

1. Working with a #13 needle, secure a comfortable length of conditioned thread in the peyote bead on the left side of the necklace. Then sew into a cylinder on the braided portion of the necklace. 

2. Pick up one or two 15/0s, a pearl, and the same number of 15/0s. Sew through a bead on the next strand of the braid (PHOTO F). 

3 .Sew through the next four to six beads and repeat step 2.

4. Continue randomly adding pearls, crystals, and 15/0s along the top surface of the braid, around the top and right sides of the pearl, and down the left side of the agate.

5. Once you reach the bottom of the agate, turn and work a second pass in the opposite direction. Repeat as desired. I make four passes, stitching into only about 1 in.  (2.5cm) of braid above the pendant on the third and fourth pass.

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