Free Netted Gemstone and Seed Bead Necklace

Beadweaving with Gemstone Chipsgemstone-jewelry

I like experimenting wtih non-seed beads for bead weaving, so I was intrigued–and a little frustrated–when I saw the photo for this week's free project, Net Full of Gems by Linda Richmond.  As you can see, the white necklace with seed beads and white gemstone chips is on a white background, making it difficult to see the stitches well.  Luckily, the directions are clear, though I wondered about the "small" gemstone chips listed in the materials section.  How small is small?

I decided to make a couple of samples of the first few rows with dark colors and two different sizes of gemstone chips.  (I used the recommended Delicas for both.)


As I suspected, the size of the gemstone chips makes a huge difference in the look of this necklace.  I prefer the fuller look of the larger amber chips.  (Plus, I liked how it worked up more quickly than the turquoise piece.)  I was surprised that I liked the copper and amber combination.  Before I tried it, I assumed that it might look best to match the seed beads and gemstone chips, as shown in the original necklace photo.  What do you think?  If you try this week's free gemstone jewelry project, I'd love to know what materials and colors you decided to use.

Why Beaders Love Nettinggemstone-jewelry

According to Diane Fitzgerald, author of Netted Beadwork, netting is popular for several reasons:

  • it requires fewer beads (and thus is lighter-weight) for the area than other types of beadwork
  • it works up relatively quickly
  • it drapes beautifully
  • it allows the underlying surface to be seen through the open spaces

If you love netting or want to learn more, check out Netted Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald.  It begins with a section on netted beadwork from around the world, including a mummy from 700-675 B.C. with a blue netted beadwork on top of the shroud inside the coffin.  Also included are 18 projects, including the pretty pink Double Layer Netted Bracelet pictured here. 

New Free Project
Net Full of Gems
by Linda Richmond

Create this easy netted choker by working the body of the collar first, then the decreases at the ends.  Although the technique is relatively simple, the results are stunning.  By varying the number and size of the gemstone chips and seed beads, you can create many versions, from a choker that hugs your neck to a long elegant rope of gems.  This project from Beadwork magazine will be free for a limited time.


Michelle's Tucson Blog:  Today's my last day in Tucson.  If you haven't already, check out Michelle's First Trip to the Tucson Bead Shows for photos and notes about new beads, trends, and other finds.


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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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!

11 thoughts on “Free Netted Gemstone and Seed Bead Necklace

  1. Hi Michelle,

    I beaded this necklace several years ago when I was just beginning to bead… I love it! I used medium size turquoise chips and a mixture of bronze and dark gold delicas with antique “gold” findings. I still get compliments when I wear it. Just FYI for others thinking of this project: Linda’s instructions are very clear and well written. I have done several of her projects and used them when I was just beginning to learn to bead and they were very easy for me to understand! Sorry to ramble!

  2. I agree: the amber is much more dramatic, and amber is lightweight, so why not? I am a sucker for gemstone chips. I buy them, then wonder what to do with them. I have a great bracelet project that lends itself better to smaller chips, and now I have this for larger ones. I’m thinking tiger eye….

  3. I love the many free projects as well the wonderful ideas in the various beading magazines. My biggest complaint is the notations that say “check with your local bead store”. I live in a very small town in Southeastern Oregon. My nearest bead store is over 5 hours away. This means I am on my own to figure some of the ideas and suggestions. I have done some of the projets that I have the materials on hand, others that I like I can’t do. How about suggesting sutstitutions for more available items those of us who have no local bead stores may have at our disposal? Thanks for listening.

  4. em, I totally agree with you on this. I too live in a smal town and have no acess to a beading store. I wish !!! The couple local craft shops are limitied to what they carry. Plus the quality isn’t always there. I’m glad you brought this up.
    Thanks ! Take care. KEEP BEADING !!!!

  5. I look forward to my Beading Daily e-mails with much anticipation at what I will learn or what great free download is available. If I could, I would spend each day at my beading table and I’m sure I’m not alone in that feeling. Thanks for all the terrific projects, the hints, the new techniques that you inspire me to try and for making it all feel like I’ve just received a message from a friend.

  6. I love netting! It was one of the first stitches I learned and I still find it really useful if I want something to work up quickly, or need a relatively lightweight foundation to attach lots of embellishments. Haven’t tried this pattern but it does look fabulous – I fancy lime green seed beads and chunky tigereye chips, or maybe ethereal grey AB delicas and labradorite… unfortunately I have three ‘big’ commissions to finish first!

  7. Thank you so much for all the freebies you share with us. I know they are free to me, but you put in a lot of time and expertise to provide them. It is appreciated. em and Gypsy – my small town consists of 740 people and about 1400 dogs! We don’t have even a craft store, so I really enjoy reading about what all of you do.

  8. It would be great if you gave a mm range for the turquoise and the amber chips rather than “small” or “medium”, which means nothing to me overall.

    Purple being popular these days, I was thinking peacock seed beads with some 7mm ab drop beads I have, although I don’t know if those will work; I will have to see since I have no netting experience. I may go with greens and blues for a water effect with a mix of silver, crystal and green/blue misc. chips, drops and other “stuff”.

  9. I’m a relatively new beader as far as jewelry is concerned, but I’m learning very quickly that the strangest color combinations in seed beads turn out very beatiful … which makes it a little hard to know what to choose!

  10. I find that I liked both the small and the large chips. I know that I am one for finding ways to make projects up fast but I try not sacrafic my statement that I am trying to make. I think I would try making up the neckless both ways but with a different color of batting for contrast.

    Thank you for the free pattern. I plan on changing it quit a bit and then I will show what I did.

    Valerie C.
    Cline Jewels

  11. I love both the original all white combo and the amber combo. Not so thrilled with the turq combo (size of beads is not different enough to make an impact one way or another). The tonal white necklace is impactful for the colour used – it would be awesome in larger turq chips for summer. The amber is impactful for the stone used. So, I see both being impactful and dramatic for different reasons. Showing us that one pattern can be amazing in so many different ways. Thanks so much for your amazing column and great free patterns. You have expanded my beading mind a great deal over the past two years.