11 Ways to Wear a Rope Necklace

11 Ways to Wear a Rope Necklace

I have a sick kid at home today. She’s barking like a seal, but she doesn’t have a fever so she’s got just enough energy to knock on my office door every half hour. Not too conducive to the technical editing I’m doing this week. So I put her to good use by asking her to organize my jewelry “vault”—the nearly bed-size plastic box where I keep most of my finished jewelry.

She just came in with a piece I made for Getting Started Stringing Beads. I remember when I made it and thought it was so ridiculously plain. That was Emma’s reaction, too: “Mom, this necklace is so boooooring!” But after I sat her down on the couch and showed her all the different ways you can wear it, I think she’s changed her mind. Check out this list:

Doubled, then Knotted
Twisted through Ring

Twisted with another necklace

Yet another necklace thrown on top

The possibilities are endless! Trust me, I’ve been witnessing that as she’s been working on more ways to wear this thing all afternoon. Who knew that a necklace could provide such entertainment after it was made?

I used just one type of pearl, flexible beading wire, and a couple crimp tubes to make my 48” rope necklace, but you can certainly get more inventive. For inspiration check out the rope necklace by Sara E. Graham on the cover of the latest volume of Creative Jewelry. It incorporates wood, seed beads, and bicones, creating a colorful textural look. While you’re exploring this issue, study the pearl knotting tutorial inside to learn how to make a traditional pearl rope necklace—the kind Josephine Baker might have worn. It’s a great issue with lots of innovative jewelry designs. And, if you’re home sick today, but have just enough energy to bead, you can buy and enjoy Creative Jewelry right now because it’s available online as a PDF download you can receive instantly. Ain’t that the coolest?

Do you have some imaginative ways to wear rope necklaces? Share your tips on the website.

Ask Jean a question!  Having trouble with wirewrapping?  Need some tips on two-drop peyote stitch?  Got a beading dilemma that is driving you crazy?  Submit a question for Jean. Responses to selected questions will be published in a future newsletter. Due to the volume of questions, personal replies are not possible. Thanks!–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks! 

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Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at beadingdaily@interweave.com or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  www.michellemach.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/beadsandbooks Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

21 thoughts on “11 Ways to Wear a Rope Necklace

  1. OK, I’m now hooked on downloading a whole magazine! Just think of the paper that would be saved if more companies did this! I’d be most interested in this being an option to subscriptions…maybe Interweave will be an innovator and make this a regular part of their operation…

    Thanks for this…
    Jane Cheek
    Prescott, AZ

  2. Well, there may be many ways to wear it but I’m only comfortable with 2 or 3 ways. I don’t like something too snug around my neck. I always need it loose. I don’t like too much bulk either, but at there are as many indivdual preferences for wearing as there are styles. Nice to point it out!

  3. My favorite way to wear a rope necklace is to wrap it 3 times then add a brooch to it as a pendant. The other option, turn your rope to the left or right side so that your brooch rests just above your breast. What a stunning look and you’ll always get a compliment from someone.

  4. Dear Jean,
    i just feel i have to say hello, i am editor of Czech beading magazine “Koralki” and I am working on the spring issue. I am sitting in my home office, while my daughter Emma is in her bed, barking like a seal… it is very nice to realize that at the other side of the world is somebody in so very similar situation 🙂
    thank you for the idea how to keep barking Emmas busy and concerning the plain necklace, you can even use it as a christmas decoration, wrapping it around the christmas tree.
    Markéta Štifterová, Prague, Czech Republic

  5. If your strand is continuous, hold each end and twist. Place around the neck and insert a 1 inch diameter clasp or brooch to hook the two ends together. Depending on the length of your strand determines if you get a choker (too short will obviously not work) or longer neck piece. Combine multiple strands and twist can be very interesting.

  6. As an elementary teacher and a beadworker, I heartily approve of your method of keeping your daughter busy… sometimes the simplest “toys” are the very best!


  7. Hi Jean, I love your newsletters! I am setting up a shop on Etsy to sell my jewelry and other fiber art. Any helpful suggestions about pricing and how to estimate shipping would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Heather

  8. Heather, I haven’t sold anything on Etsy, but to price my things for any auction, I do some shopping first. I look at what other similar pieces are going for, and compare my detail & quality to come up with a good guess.
    For shipping, I really like the post office’s small flat rate box. It’s always $3.50 to send, and the box is free and doesn’t require a bunch of tape. You can do extras like insurance and tracking at the customer’s request – so it doesn’t need to be estimated.
    I have a friend that pre-boxes everything he puts on auction with the auction number written on the end of the box. This way it’s ready to go, and doesn’t accidentally get sold twice (he does a lot of volume).
    Good luck!

  9. Hi, I have a dozen or so necklaces made from seed beads and bugles. I made them all the same length, big enough to go twice around my neck. Lots of different colours so I can pick out what matches or contrasts with what I wear. I generally pick out between four and eight to wear together, but sometimes I wear all of them or just one.
    I am waiting for an order of beads to turn up tomorrow, so I will be making some more of these as all these ways have now inspired me.

  10. Hi Jean!!! Thanks for this little article I have a long necklace I had made, specifically as a lariat, but while playing with it, I discovered many different ways to wear it. A couple of your ideas are new to me, but I can at least appreciate the many ways a long “plain” necklace can be worn. This is an incredible article on how such a “simple” piece can become so much more. Don’t forget the bracelet way to wear it also. Try the wrap around the arms and also the slave bracelet look. Wrap it aroud a finger and over the back of the hand to the wrist. I love that look. Thank goodness our kids are honest.

  11. Jean, just a few years ago, I sold a rope necklace to a good friend. She wore hers with a dress with a low back–backwards! I didn’t see it, but she was in awe how pretty it looked. I had added tassels to the ends and that made it even more “sparkly”! Thanks for all the good advice you give.

  12. I agree with JCheek regarding the magazine download. I would be very interested in this especially for back issues. No shipping costs and it is never sold out. I recently just had flooding damage about half my beading magazines of which I consider quite an investment.

    I also enjoyed this article regarding the versatility of some designs and how many ways to wear it. Love to see more like this!

  13. Thank You for the “Rope Necklace”, I just purchased a 48 inch rope at an estate sale. It has beautiful shades of browns,I could not for the life of me, figure out why it was soo long.Oh!yeah! now I will be making some of these to sell.
    Is it acceptable to print out a picture from the above “different ways to wear the rope?
    I do not want to infringe on anyone elses copywright.

  14. Hi Jean,
    I have taken to beading since two years. It’s a lovely hobby to cultivate and a great stress buster.
    While going through back end emails I came across your article on different ways to wear the rope. Thanks for the informative article which somehow I had missed reading earlier.
    Downloading an e-magazine is a great way of saving paper and I would love to stick to this option if given with other magazines too, as I live in Bangalore, India, and to get my subscribed beading magazines by post is a long long wait. I usually get it after a month of it being issued which is quite frustrating.
    Thanks once again for all your effort and expertise you share with us.