I bought three strands of the large oval iridescent faceted beads so that I would have enough to do two rows to mimic a bib-style necklace. I could have just strung these horizontally on beading wire as I normally do but I thought I would design this hanging the beads vertically to resemble the current bib styles. On the blue background, I see the aurora borealis (iridescent) finish bringing out the purples and the golds, but to your eyes, you may see other colors.
Some of my most rewarding jewelry restyles are taking odds-and-end jewelry pieces from stores and various beads and then take them apart and make something new. Here is a clearance bracelet from Chico’s, beads from JoAnn’s that measure about 3/4″ long, E6000 adhesive and findings from JoAnn’s, and chain from Hobby Lobby. Some of my inspiration comes from fabric, colors in nature, internet photos, window shopping and people watching.
The following is a brief description of how to make something like this. If you are not sure of some of the supplies or terminology, there are some great YouTube videos on how to do basic beading techniques. You can also contact me with questions for more information or ideas for future posts.
To make the necklace and earrings, here are some of the items I used:
1.) Gold Chain approximately 30″ for the bib style from Hobby Lobby like this.
2.) Closure like a toggle, lobster claw or magnetic.
4.) Jewelry tools: wire cutters, round nose pliers, flat surface pliers to open links when needed.
5.) Bracelet from a store to be reworked. (I removed two round hammered gold decorative discs with pre-drilled holes off the bracelet for the earring posts to glue to. They aren’t even missed on the bracelet!) How about using two pretty buttons?
6.) Earring Posts like these or sterling silver options like these
7.) Dremel tool or sand paper
8.) Head pins in gold or silver to attach bead to earring back
10.) E-6000 adhesive
12.) Napkin or paper towel
I want to make a comment on the E6000 adhesive. I normally buy the large tube, use it a couple of times and then store it away. My jewelry making can be sporadic, and by the time I get back to using the big 2 oz. tube, it has dried up and I throw it away. I was thrilled to pay the same price for 4 small tubes because I think I will actually get more value out of less product!
Before gluing the posts to the back of your earring piece, I recommend sanding the back with the Dremel or sandpaper so that the surface is given some ‘tooth’. The roughed up surface will help the glue to better adhere to the metal posts. Put a little dab of the glue on the napkin, scoop a little glue with the toothpick onto the earring backs. Allow to get tacky and then stick to earring decorative disc piece. You can wipe off excess now or later. That is why I love E6000 for this application: strong hold and easy clean up.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to design something like this necklace or earring for yourself.
- Determine how long you want the necklace. My longest chain measures 18.5, which allows for the beads to hang down right where I want them to.
- Aim for an odd number of beads. It seems to be the universal rule for ‘pleasing the eye’ or you can do whatever you like.
- Evenly space the beads by counting the links between each bead.
- Be willing to play around with placement. It takes some time to get the beads and layout just right.
- The earrings were made just like the necklace beads. Although these are meant to be a set, the earrings will be usable by themselves with other gold jewelry. I know it’s matchy-matchy, but I don’t care.
- Feel free to do a wire wrap instead of a loop to attach the bead to the earring post portion.
- Allow the glue to dry at least overnight.
- The earring loops were made the same way as the necklace. Insert the headpin up through the bead and form a loop. Cut wire allowing enough remaining to form an attractive loop but don’t close completely because you still have to insert into hole of the disc. (Or whatever you are using for the decorative earring post). Close hole.
The necklace/beads move around, so if you want something that lays perfectly every time, this design may not be for you. I don’t mind the shifting because I love the way the light catches the facets of the beads.
Here, you can see the green coming out in the beads but that is not the only color.
The necklace looks more pink-ish against the black. Because I am easily amused, what’s even more fun is seeing how different fabrics bring out the colors of the beads. This makes the necklace/earrings so much more versatile in my wardrobe.
I hope you have fun coming up with your own restyled/refashioned/remade design. I would love to know how your’s turns out.