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Cameo necklace

You might have one at the bottom of your jewelry box or tucked away in a drawer. Maybe it’s on a frayed velvet choker or a tarnished chain. Well, it’s time to dig out that cameo and showcase it in a romantic necklace. Carved from striated rock, shell, or man-made composites, cameos feature a contrasting silhouette and background. Use a cameo that’s already set, or purchase an unmounted cameo and set it yourself. Choose stringing materials that enhance the cameo’s beauty without competing with it and your modern makeover will be sure to steal the show.

SUPPLIES

Necklace 

  • Finished cameo pendant or 30 x 23mm unset cameo and 30 x 22mm cameo/cabochon pendant
  • 19 faceted, graduated, pear-shaped briolettes, 8-13mm, quartz crystal
  • 16-in. (.41m) strand pearls, 4-5mm
  • 3 seed beads, size 11/0
  • 4 3mm round spacer beads
  • 2 crimp beads
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • clasp
  • chainnose or crimping pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

For setting cameo 

  • flush wire cutters
  • nylon jaw pliers
  • file
  • G-S Hypo Cement

INSTRUCTIONS

If you’re using a finished cameo, skip to the necklace instructions below.

Cameo setting (optional)

Cameo necklace setting Step A
Step 1

Place the cameo in the setting to check its fit (shell cameos have a natural curve). If it’s not flush with the setting, gently bend the setting to match the curve.

Run a thin line of glue around the inside rim of the setting. Place the cameo in the setting.

Cameo necklace setting Step B
Step 2
Check the length of the prongs. If the prongs overlap the image, trim them slightly with flush wire cutters. File the ends, if needed.
Cameo necklace setting Step C
Step 3
With nylon jaw pliers, gently bend the prongs toward the cameo.
Necklace
Cameo necklace Step A
Step 1
Determine the finished length of your necklace (mine is 17 in./.43m), add 6 in. (.15m), and cut a piece of beading wire to that length.

String two or three seed beads and center the pendant over them. (The seed beads will prevent the bail from rubbing against the wire.)
Cameo necklace Step B
Step 2
On each side of the pendant, string five pearls and a briolette. Be sure to string the briolettes in a graduated order, with the cameo taking the place of the largest briolette on the strand. Continue until the necklace is the desired length, adding more pearls at the end, if necessary.
Cameo necklace Step C
Step 3
On each end, string a 3mm bead, a crimp bead, a 3mm, and half the clasp. Go back through the last beads strung. Check the fit and add or remove beads on each end, if necessary. Crimp the crimp beads and trim the excess wire.
FIND MORE: pendants , cabochon , necklaces

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