This is not your typical Valentine’s Day post. In fact, I am only mentioning Valentine’s Day because I feel I must, not because I want to or because it has much to do with today’s topic. Although, to be fair, jewelry is a pretty common Valentine’s Day gift. Regardless, I hope you are all spending your Valentine’s Day in a way that makes you happy.
I posted last week about plans for costume accessories for the winter fairy getup I am planning for DragonCon this year. One of said accessories was a necklace. Well, this week I made some progress on that. I say some because as usual, the project did not quite go as expected.
Jewelry making is not something of which I do a lot. Like a lot of things, I can see a need for it to complete a costume 🙂 If you want nice, everyday wear jewelry, you should check out my friend Kim’s Etsy shop, Teasures by Eleni.
Anyway, for this necklace, I needed the following materials:
- Beading wire – the higher the number of strands the more flexible it is.
- Beads – Clear crystal cubes, matte sky blue donut shapes, and round crystal spheres in clear and light blue; Also some glass icicle ornaments (3″) and clear teardrop beads
- Crimp beads – I used size #2 to match my wire
- Tools (wire cutter, crimper, jewelry pliers)
- Tape measure
So you can remember, here is how I laid out the necklace on the table prior to doing any stringing of beads. I decided to go with the version on the right.
First things first – measure the circumference of your neck, and decide how loose you want the necklace fit to be. I went for 15″ to be on the safe side, even though I wanted a choker style necklace. You’ll also want to measure the other lengths of the pieces for the wire, giving yourself a bit of extra on all the ends to form loops using the crimp beads.
I was not very certain how to do a multi-stranded necklace like this, but in doing some internet research decided to try making separate strands for each piece or dangle, and create a loop on the ends that could connect all the different pieces. I had 5 different types of pieces to make, shown below.
Piece 1 is the main strand of the necklace with the pendant.
The 2 pieces are the small semi-circular dangles, with icicles in the center.
Piece 3 is the main strand enclosing the pendant across the bottom. (The right picture just shows the bead layout for strand 3; there is only a single version of this strand in the necklace)
The 4 pieces are the small dangles off of the bottom strand.
The 5 pieces are the two teardrop dangles outside the icicles.
The build order I used started with the #4 and #5 dangle pieces. These essentially become “beads” on strands #3 and #1. Next build strand #3, stringing the #4 dangle in the appropriate spot between the beads. Once strand #3 is together, string one of the #2 strands, and once that one is completed and closed off, string the second #2 strand. Then slide the inside loops of the #2 strands onto the appropriate sides of the main (#1) strand. Then place some beads on strand #1 (I used five or six on each side), and then place the second loop on each side. Finish stringing the main strand, being sure to include the #5 dangle, and end the main strand with loops and crimp beads. Then attach your necklace closure to the loops on the main strand, and voila! You’re done.
Well, if your project goes better than mine, you will be done. When I tried on the necklace, I wasn’t quite happy with it. Can you guess why?
The teardrop dangles are just crying for help. The icicles might be crying for help as well, I can’t decide. The angle they are laying at was not my goal. I also want to make a few other modifications, including shortening the necklace so that it sits straighter around my neck rather than in a ‘v’ shape. This might also help the icicles. But I think the teardrops are too far gone. Maybe I can move them elsewhere. Here is my new plan.
1) Remove the teardrop dangles.
2) Add a second strand that connects to the icicle pieces (shown in red).
3) Shorten the necklace so that it will sit higher, straighter, BETTER (shown in black).
4) Re-evaluate teardrop dangles to see if they can go elsewhere.
I do like the colors in the necklace. Or the lack thereof on the crystal glass icy looking beads. Pretty confident I can get this perfected easily enough. Tried the necklace on with the bustier from the Steampunk costume, since this costume will have me wearing an as-yet-unmade corset.
I welcome any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions you may have!