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multi strand necklace: with and without baubles

it's easy to string beads into a multi strand necklace. you can make it as complicated or simple as you want.

vintage, dries van noten, marni

this project started as an exploration of baubles on a multi strand necklace. it ended up something else entirely, but that's ok.

  • 10mm dark wood beads: from beads world in manhattan. they were sold by the strand, and i used the cord they came on for this project.
  • clear acrylic beads: 4 sizes- 10mm, 15mm, 18mm, and 22mm. acquired many years ago in a great quantity. it wasn't too difficult to find them on etsy, the problem is finding multiple sizes- you don't need all 4 sizes, use whatever you can find
  • crystal tipped head pins: also acquired many years ago, also found on etsy. 7 were used in the original design, none in the final.

make yourself some baubles

slide a bead onto a head pin. wrap the wire around one side of needle nose pliers to make a loop. cut off the excess wire. you've just baubled. now make a bunch more- i had 11 in my design. it's helpful to do a quick layout of your design to determine how many you want to make:

string 'em

decide where you want to place your contrast beads, and start with the longest strand. string the baubles up by their loop as you would a bead. when the strand is complete, try it on. does it hit you in the right place? is the contrast where you want it? i usually try on each strand 5 times before i'm happy with the placement and length. strands will get progressively shorter as you get closer to your neck. it can take a few adjustments and fittings to get your ideal drop for each.

change of plans

it was at this point, that something interesting happened. trying to decide how to finish the cords on each strand, i thoughtlessly braided them as a friendship bracelet.

and loved it.

unfortunately, i only had a few inches to work with. and i immediately wished that it was a different color.

when tried on, it was impossible to stop thinking about how great the braid would look if it was more exposed and a contrast color. if that's the new defining feature, does it really need the baubles? i'm thinking no...

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