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Knotted nugget beads on silk strings

One-strand necklace showcases big beads

Here’s a simple one-strand necklace project with (silk) strings attached. I opted for earthy mauve and burgundy tones to accent cool blue chalcedony nuggets. I also considered strings in periwinkle, a darker indigo, and a complementary shade like orange. If in doubt, consult a color wheel to help you decide which way to go. Download the project PDF above for instructions on how to make the earrings.


Necklace 15 1⁄2 in. (39.4 cm)

  • 14 1⁄2-in. (36.8 cm) strand 20–40 mm large-hole nuggets
  • 8 mm bicone crystal, top drilled
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or.015
  • 2 42-in. (1 m) 2 mm silk strings, in two colors
  • 3–6 in. (7.6–15 cm) chain, 9–10 mm links
  • 15 in. (38 cm) 24-gauge wire
  • 2 4 mm jump rings
  • lobster claw clasp and 12–15 mm jump ring
  • chainnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Chalcedony nuggets from Rings & Things, 800.366.2156800.366.2156 FREE, Silk strings from Silk Painting Is Fun, 928.607.2765928.607.2765,

Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 1
Step 1

1. Cut an 8-in. (20 cm) piece of beading wire. String both ends through the largest nugget, leaving a loop in the center of the wire. String a color A silk string through the loop. Pull both ends of the wire to string the nugget on the silk. Center the nugget.

Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 2
Step 2

2. Line up a color B string with the centered nugget. On each side, with both strings, tie an overhand knot next to the nugget.

For the necklace dangle, I used a crystal in air blue opal. You can use a standard bicone or a top-drilled bicone
Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 3
Step 3

3. On each side, string a nugget on the color B string. With both strings, tie an overhand knot next to the nugget. String a nugget on the color A string. Tie an overhand knot with both strings. Repeat until you’ve strung all of the nuggets. End with an overhand knot.

Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 4
Step 4

4. Cut two 1 1⁄2–3-in. (3.8–7.6 cm) pieces of chain. On each side, string a chain over both strings. About 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) from the previous knot, tie a knot around the end link. Trim the excess cord to 3⁄8 in. (1 cm).

Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 5
Step 5

5. Cut two 6-in. (15 cm) pieces of 24-gauge wire. On each side, wrap the wire snugly around the strings between the knots. Trim the excess wire and tuck the ends with chainnose pliers.

Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 6
Step 6

6. Open a 4 mm jump ring. On one end, attach the end link and a lobster claw clasp. Close the jump ring. Repeat on the other end, substituting a 12–15 mm jump ring for the clasp.

Knotted nugget beads on silk strings 7
Step 7
7. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 24-gauge wire. String a bicone crystal and make a set of wraps above it. Make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach the 12–15 mm jump ring and complete the wraps.
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