Create an Artsy Pinwheel Necklace

Working with Multiple Focals

Have you ever created a necklace with more than one focal bead?  When I saw Katie Hacker's free Perfect Pinwheels necklace from Beadwork, I admired how she managed to use more than one large bead in her asymmetrical necklace.  While I've combined smaller beads together to make larger pendants, I've never used multiple large focal beads in a single design.  The key seems to be to use two different sizes of focals if you are placing them next to one another.  Otherwise, spread them out throughout the necklace for balance.

Three More Design Ideas

Here are three more examples of combining larger beads together:

Example #1
Extend the focal section by adding another large bead and the clasp next to the main focal.
Dragonfly Transformation
Jess Italia-Lincoln  


Example #2
Use several large focals spaced throughout an asymmetrical necklace.
Going Bananas
Lynn Davy




Example #3
Hang one focal under another, creating a longer visual line.
Double Donut
Elaine Ray

Congratulations Doreen!

Doreen David was the lucky reader chosen to participate in the April/May Beadwork challenge.  She enjoys working with seed beads, crystals, and glass beads.  Beading helps keep her mind off her chronic back pain.  Pictured here is one of her favorite necklace and earring sets.  Amazingly, Doreen started beading just a year ago! 

Today is the last day to sign up for a chance to participate in the next Beadwork challenge.   One lucky U.S. or Canadian reader will be chosen at random to participate and given about 3 weeks to create a project that will be featured in Beadwork alongside projects by the editors.  Sign up today.

New Free Project

Perfect Pinwheels Necklace
by Katie Hacker 

This artsy, asymmetrical design features three colorful pinwheel links.  Beyond providing transitions between the wire-wrapped focal section and the ladder-stitched chain-like straps, the pinwheels also punctuate the necklace with color and provide dramatic places for the eye to rest while taking in the entire design.  This project is a companion to Katie Hacker's article on using links in the April/May Beadwork.

Katie Hacker writes the "Katie's Beading Secrets" department in every issue of Beadwork magazine, showcasing the newest and hottest beading products to hit the market with clever tips on how to use common materials in unconventional ways.  For more projects by Katie Hacker, check out her book, Hip to Bead.  It features 32 contemporary projects and it's currently on sale for 25% off!

Bead Star Auction Ends March 16:  The last day to bid in the Bead Star Auction is this Monday.  All proceeds from the auction will benefit the American Heart Association's women's heart-health initiatives.  Visit the Bead Star website for details.

Bead Fest Santa Fe This Weekend:  The show runs through Sunday, March 15th.  I'll be at the Interweave booth Saturday morning, so please stop by and say hello.   More about Bead Fest Santa Fe.


Free eBook
Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Create 6 stunning wire jewelry projects (2 wire necklaces, a wire bracelet, 2 pairs of wire earrings, and a wire ring) with this free eBook that contains step by step wire jewelry instructions for each project.  Jewelry designs range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and use a variety of wire work techniques, including spirals, coiling, wirewrapping, hammering, and twisting wire.  Download Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.


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Beading Daily Blog
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 or the current editor, Kristal Wick.

If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  You can also follow me on Twitter at:

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!

5 thoughts on “Create an Artsy Pinwheel Necklace

  1. I really like the designs you are showing and love a little assymmetry in my jewelry when possible. however, I am nearly always facing a weight-balance issue with most neckpieces that are not the same on both sides, and it wouldn’t suprise me that this might concern the (very lovely) pinwheels necklace. I’d love to read more about this matter. Mayge there is a post somewhere?

    many thanks for this excellent article.

  2. ive got heaps of beading ideas and temes im always onmthe look out for ways to maket my beads and beaded jewellery i mm doing valentines day beaded gifts and beaded table centre pieces i came up with the countries flags like southafrica has green yelloy red and black every country has a diferent flag color and i came up with aussie rules football colors the team that wins te grand final i make beaded jewellery for the year until the next grand final this year will be black and white for collingwood.christ mas beaded ornaments
    If any one would like any beadsor beaded jewellery please e mail me at or please leave message or text me at any time on 0413423872 and our bead web site is

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