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Stick pearl necklace

Combine beads for maximum effect in this lush necklace

Basic techniques can yield anything-but-basic results if you use the right materials and arrange them so they bring out the best in each other. The “work” in this necklace comes before you string the beads. Start with stick pearls and add glass teardrops with an iridescent finish. Continue the theme with opalescent bicone crystals. A gold pendant and a crystal focal piece tie it all together.

SUPPLIES

Necklace 18 in. (43 cm)

  • 50 mm brass leaf pendant
  • 23 mm crystal rock pendant
  • 16-in. (41 cm) strand 17–21 mm stick pearls, center drilled
  • 2 6-in. (15 cm) strands 9 mm glass teardrop beads, AB finish
  • 20–24 6 mm bicone crystals
  • 10–14 4 mm Czech fire-polished crystals
  • 16–20 8 mm rondelle spacers
  • 12–16 4 mm round spacers
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • 10 mm jump ring
  • 2 crimp beads
  • large lobster claw clasp and 15 mm soldered jump ring
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • crimping pliers (optional)

Earrings

  • 2 17–21 mm stick pearls, center drilled
  • 2 6 mm bicone crystals
  • 2 8 mm rondelle spacers
  • 8 in. (20 cm) 22-gauge half-hard wire
  • pair of earring wires
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Leaf pendant from The Mermaids Dowry, mermaidsdowry.etsy.com. Crystals from Fusion Beads, fusionbeads.com. Pearls and spacers from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, firemountaingems.com. Teardrops from Michaels, michaels.com for store locations. Check your local bead store for supplies.

Stick pearl necklace alt
Design alternative
You can get a fringed look by using top-drilled stick pearls. Or add some variety to the design by interspersing similarly shaped gemstones (these are labradorite) or, for subtle depth, try a few center-drilled stick pearls in a peach color.

INSTRUCTIONS

Necklace

1. Cut a piece of beading wire. On the wire, center one or two 4 mm spacers. On each end, string beads until the strand is within 2 in. (5 cm) of the finished length. String a second strand.

2. Open a 10 mm jump ring  and attach a leaf and a crystal pendant. Attach the center of both strands. Close the jump ring.

3. On each end of each wire, string a 4 mm spacer. On one side, over both wires, string a crimp bead and a lobster claw clasp. Go back through the last few beads strung and tighten the wires. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire. Repeat on the other end, substituting a soldered jump ring for the clasp.

Earrings
Stick pearl necklace 1
Step 1
Cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of wire. On the wire, center a stick pearl. Bend the ends of the wire up. Over both ends, string a spacer and a bicone crystal. Wrap one end around the other twice. Trim the excess wire.
Stick pearl necklace 2
Step 2
Make a wrapped loop. Open the loop of an earring wire. Attach the dangle and close the loop. Make a second earring.
Stick pearl necklace tip
Tip
String the second strand with the first laid out for comparison. That way, you can check the spacing of the elements.
Tip!
  • The AB finish of the teardrops brings out the luminescence of the pearls.
  • The tones of the brass pendant, spacers, and gold-plated findings unify the design.
  • Use spacers sparingly: too many will overpower the subtler colors of the beads.
  • The color of the Czech glass is similar to the crystal pendant.
  • A random arrangement of beads will be more interesting than a pattern, but make sure the quantities of each bead are roughly equal on both sides.
  • Because most of the beads don’t lie flush against each other, you’ll have to do some adjusting before you tighten the wires at the end.
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