I made this necklace by threading assorted beads from broken jewellery onto gold wire and then twisting them into loops. It’s a little fiddly and, if you want to make a really heavy statement necklace with lots of loops, then it will take you a while but it’s straightforward.
If you have a pair of small, wire-cutting pliers and your fingers are nimble enough to operate an iPhone you’ll be fine – even if you’ve never made any jewellery before.
You can wear this necklace long or short and you can make it as chunky or delicate as you like – in any colour.
I made this while the kids played with a big tub of wooden beads. The big one made a ball-pool for fairies while the tot threaded beads onto a string and carped that she couldn’t shove a large bead up a small nostril.
What you need:
- Small jewellery-making pliers (this sort of thing)
- Gold or silver coloured wire (this one would do fine)
- A gold or silver chain – long or short depending on what you want. I used a long one. I recommend using the chain from an old necklace or getting one in a charity shop but if you do buy one new, don’t forget to get a fastener too. Here’s some reasonably priced chain sold by the foot on Amazon.
- Lots of mixed beads in similar colours. Not too many big ones unless you want a really chunky necklace. I cannibalise most of mine from old jewellery and buy lots from charity shops but you can buy them at any craft shop. These are the kind of thing I went for.
How to do it:
1) Using your pliers cut a short piece of wire (about 5-10cm) and thread a selection of beads onto it. It works best if you separate the larger beads with tiny ones. You can stick anything on you like really. I threaded on a few links from broken gold chains as well as beads.
2) When you’ve threaded enough beads onto the wire to form a loop that’s about the size of a ring for your finger, bring the two ends of the wire together and cross them over. Now wind the wires around each other again and again or even tie them in a knot until you’ve made the loop secure. Trim the two ends with your wire cutters and try to tuck them out of the way as best you can so that they won’t snag your clothes.
3) Now repeat the process until you’ve got as many loops as you want. Aim for an even number and a slight range of sizes. (But do make sure that the smallest loops will fit over the clasp of your chain if it’s already attached.) I ran out of patience by the time I’d made nine but the more the better. Now arrange your loops on a table in size order – with the largest in the middle and the two ends tapering out to the smallest loops.
4) Starting with the smallest loop from one end, simply thread the loops onto your chain.
5) Now you’re done! Wear it with smugness. Tell everyone you made it yourself – even if they hadn’t commented on it and show no sign of interest.