4 Sketched Ideas for Beaded Necklace Shapes

Melinda Barta asked me recently to design a necklace for a project she's leading. The deadline is right around the corner, so I've been madly stitching, trying to come up with something I'm excited about. I came up with a focal piece that I'm happy with: a freeform peyote-stitched flower with a multi-pearl center. It's pretty, colorful, and fun to make. But the next task is to turn that pretty flower into a piece of jewelry. Hmm. I could slap a pin back on it and call it a day, but I don't wear brooches that often in the summer and this is a very summery piece that I'd like to wear. The flower is too big and showy for a bracelet, so it's definitely got to be a necklace.

Because I'm on a tight deadline, I've been looking around for ideas on how to incorporate the flower into a strung necklace design. Revisiting my copy of Stringing Style, a book with dozens of unique necklace, bracelet, and earring designs (it also happens to be on sale right now for 75% off at the Hurt Book and Overstock Sale!) is what pricked my creativity. Paging through this lovely book of strung designs proved to be a great inspiration: I took to my sketch book and played around with some necklace shapes. Here are four that I think will be good candidates for my flower:




For this design, I'd go old-school, placing the flower at the center and stringing the sides with leaves and pearls. Perhaps a flower toggle clasp to close the ends?


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For this style, I'd stitch some sort of tube on the back of my flower, string a strand (or strands?) of seed beads that would fit over my head and through the tube, then add big pearls to the ends of the strand(s). The tube would allow me to slide the flower up and down the strands.


For this over-the-head necklace with no clasp, I'd use the flower petals to connect straight-up strands of pearls interspersed with a strand of chain and pearls. It would look especially nice with the flower over to one side.



I'm at an age that I don't really want to wear chokers anymore, but if I were to give this necklace to my daughter, who has a beautiful neck, it would look great. I'd sew a multi-strand clasp to the back of the flower and string strands of pearls between the clasp ends. I suppose this would make for a nice bracelet, too; I'd just have to make the flower a bit smaller.

Do you sketch out your designs, too? Perhaps you've used these shapes in your necklace designs? I've just shown four here, but of course, the possibilities are endless! You can see all the great necklace ideas that I was inspired by in Stringing Style (and like I said before, it's 75% off at the Hurt Book and Overstock Sale!).

Happy beading-

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About jeancampbell

Jean Campbell is the founding editor (and currently the senior editor) of Beadwork magazine and has written and edited more than 45 beading books. She has written for Beading Daily and has appeared on the DIY Jewelry Making show, The Shay Pendray Show, and PBS' Beads, Baubles, and Jewels where she gives how-to instructions, provides inspiration, and lends crafting advice. Jean teaches jewelry-making workshops throughout the United States and calls Minneapolis home.

3 thoughts on “4 Sketched Ideas for Beaded Necklace Shapes

  1. Hi Jean… Like all of your ideas but have to admit to favoring the traditional… It is ageless… Have done some asymmetrical beading but not with multi-strand… and as regards drawing, even my match-stick men are not recognizable… so my ideas form the hard way, work it/undo it, work it/undo it… keeps the thread manufacturers in business.. lol.