braided seed bead necklace
i'm not a devout follower of fashion trends, but seeing all the dirty metallics emerge during fall '12 fashion week, planted a seed in my brain (terrible pun- there was no way around it). while wandering the bead stores on 6th ave, i spied these little stunners.
japanese hex seed beads in every metallic you could think of. the "dirty platinum" that i used isn't on amazon, but they have a huge selection. you can see the size of the pouches in the photo below, but there isn't any info on the packaging so unfortunately, i don't know exactly how many were used. there was no hope of locating findings in the same color, so i went with yellow gold.
- hex cut seed beads
- bead cord, the same color as beads, cut into 12 strands 56" long.
- big eye needle
- 20 gauge wire
- toggle clasp
- 20 gauge 5mm jumprings
- gold bead caps
- gold crimps
- crimping pliers -thread scissors
- round nose pliers
- chain nose pliers (not shown in photo)
- wire nippers
the bead caps that i had were from at least 5 years ago, and i couldn't find the exact same online. the link is for something similar and there are some cute ones on etsy.
- fold 1 cord in half and slide on a crimp. use a toothpick as a gauge for loop size.
- crimp bead using the crimping pliers
- bead both strands for approximately 22" (this will yield a final length of 20.5" when braided).
- it helps to tie a loose slip knot at the end of the first strand before stringing the second. this prevents the beads from sliding off while you're working on the other side.
- tie both stands together with a double knot.
- slide on another crimp, and bring the cord back through it to create a loop. use a toothpick to tighten the loop, and crimp with crimping pliers.
- repeat 11 times, making 12 double strands total.
finishing the strands:
- cut a small piece of wire and wrap one end around round nose pliers to create a loop.
- twist loop open and add 4 double strands. twist loop close.
- slide a bead cap on the wire and gently squeeze the ends to cover the loops and crimps.
- use the needle nose pliers again to create a loop on top of the bead cap. trim off excess wire.
- repeat on the other end of the same 4 double strands.
- use the same technique to finish the rest of the strands. in the end, you should have 3 bundles of 4 double strands.
adding the clasp:
- twist open jumpring and add the ends of 3 bundles, plus the toggle side of the clasp. twist closed.
- pin to work board, and braid the 3 bundles together as you would braid a girl's hair.
- when reaching the end, twist open another jumpring and add the bundles plus the loop end of the toggle clasp. twist jumpring closed.
final verdict? it's sparkly! and jazzy! it took a really long time! but i don't know if it looks like it took a really long time. is it too generic? that won't stop me from wearing it- and i just might make another.