Necklace making is one of the oldest forms of self-adornment known to human beings. Can you just imagine the first necklaces made by human hands of simple shells with a piece of sinew that was used to make a necklace? Maybe that’s why beaded necklaces are some of the most popular types of beaded jewelry out there. Beaded necklaces can be as simple as stringing a beautiful beaded pendant on a piece of silk or a beaded rope; they can be as hugely intricate as a bead embroidered collar that takes weeks or months to complete; or, they can fall somewhere in between with a careful combination of technique, design, and your favorite beads to create wearable works of art. How many times have you greeted another beader with the standard, “Hi, how are you, did you make your necklace?”
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You could spend an entire lifetime exploring the many possibilities and variations of design for making beaded necklaces, but just to get you started, we gathered seven of our favorite beaded necklace patterns to share with you. Each of these seven necklace making projects showcases a different beading technique, including favorites like twisted herringbone stitch, bead stringing, right-angle weave, peyote stitch, bead embroidery, and even mixed media jewelry making. Are you ready to explore all the ways to make a beaded necklace? Our free tutorial is a great way to get started.
After working on Mastering Beadwork and Getting Started with Seed Beads, designer Anne Merrow was inspired to try a spiraling herringbone stitch. This handmade Red Currant Lariat includes a unique design element, a curlicue tail that not only holds the beaded necklace in place, but also gives it a vine-like feel. Beautiful glass beads hang from each end, utilizing simple wireworking skills to create the bunches. Along with detailed instructions, many of the steps include 2D and 3D images to help guide you through the stitch design. Download this pattern to learn how to make beaded necklaces using a variety of techniques and skills!
Sylvia’s Wedding Necklace by Maggie Meister is a classic combination of freshwater pearls, gemstones, peyote stitch bezels, and an easy herringbone stitch rope. Learn how to combine these essential elements into one spectacularly understated beaded necklace!
If you’re looking for more great embellishment techniques for your beaded necklace projects, Jill Devon’s Greensleeves Collar will not only sharpen your skills at stitching in right-angle weave, you’ll begin to learn about all the options available for embellishing this popular off-loom beading stitch.
Jean Campbell’s Eastern Ombre Choker is a beautiful way to learn about mixed media jewelry and making beaded necklaces. A simple square-stitched base is riddled with beautiful surface embellishments and edgings, while the altered dominoes provide a medium for creating structure with a ladder-stitched frame.
Like a light snack on a summer day, this scrumptious necklace, Fried Green Tomatoes by Melinda Barta, will fulfill your beading hunger. This handmade beaded necklace is created using two wires, sometimes adding elements separately, sometimes adding an element to both. The fresh looking seed beads and glass rounds are the perfect accent for painted wood tubes and a vibrant pendant. Although the necklace design may look complicated, there are only five steps to follow from start to finish.
Give simply strung pearls a lush look by weaving in a second strand, creating a gently meandering trail of glistening seed beads in this design. Add silver accents of dragonflies, a hedgehog, and a floral toggle for a completely enchanting necklace design. Dragonfly’s Garden by Julia Watt is one of the best beading patterns for experimenting with a variety of techniques and learning how they come together for a unique look. Check out these instructions for a quick tutorial on wireworking, stringing, crimping, and fringe before beginning this piece.
Bead embroidery is a favorite technique of many beaders for designing and making beaded necklaces, and Marcie Abney’s Chelsea’s Gift Necklace takes basic bead embroidery and makes it anything but! Once you learn how to make this easy-to-stitch bead embroidery pendant, you’ll be able to showcase any flat-backed bead or cabochon in your beaded necklace projects!
Start a new hobby with these free patterns.
With detailed beading instructions, illustrations and guidelines, this is all you need to get going on your next DIY necklace project.