Start Designing Your Own Beaded Jewelry, Part 3: Putting It All Together

Mar 1, 2013

Earlier this week, I showed you how to stitch up some easy herringbone bezels for beads, and then how to make a right-angle weave necklace base, all part of my Beaded Jewelry Design week here on Beading Daily. Today, we're going to look at techniques for putting them all together into one, beautiful beaded necklace!

The inspiration for my color palette on this particular piece was from a handmade lampwork glass bead made by none other than Amy Blevins of Bead & Glass Boutique in Pitman, New Jersey. (I visited Amy's shop when I was in town for Bead Fest Philadelphia last summer, and her beautiful glass bead just had to come home with me!) So, focal bead in hand, and necklace parts strewn across my bead board, it was time to figure out what my final beaded jewelry design was going to look like.

Attaching the Bezeled Beads

Remember when I told you to leave those thread tails nice and long? Well, now we're going to use those thread tails to attach the beads with the herringbone bezels to the right-angle weave base. Once you've figured out where you want each element to go, mark the spot with a small piece of beading thread.

I decided that I wanted to outline each bezeled bead with a length of herringbone stitch, so I made a herringbone tube long enough to wrap around each of the bezeled beads. I attached the first bezeled bead in the center of the necklace base, then wrapped the herringbone tube around it to get the idea for how to space the remaining elements, marking each place with a small length of beading thread that I clipped out after I attached the bead.

Using the thread tail, stitch into the set of 3 beads in the necklace base, then back up into the bezeled bead. Repeat the thread path a few times, then weave through the herringbone stitch bezel to get into position for the next attachment.

Make four attachments per bezeled bead in order to secure them to the necklace base.

After all the beads were attached, I tacked down the herringbone tube. I gave my tube a little bit of a twist as I tacked it down to give it some texture. A good trick here is to work from the back of the necklace, so that you aren't bumping into the bezeled beads that you attached to the front. I also stitched the herringbone tube to the top of the herringbone bezels as I went around for good measure.

Embellishing the Strap

The next step in the beaded jewelry design process is to add a little embellishment to the rest of the right-angle weave necklace base. I had a nice little bag of crystal rondelles in my stash that worked very well with this color palette, so I stitched them into the right-angle corners of the necklace base using size 15 seed beads.

The tiny crystal rondelles stitched to the necklace strap add just a hint of sparkle without being too obvious.
The smaller crystal beads give the rest of the necklace a hint of sparkle without being too overwhelming. For a more dramatic look, you can use drop beads, Magatamas (long drop beads), or peanut beads. Experiment to see what you like best!

Adding Fringe

Designing and adding fringe to a necklace is always the hardest part of the beaded jewelry design process for me. I started out with a strand of branched fringe using deep blue seed beads and cream drops, but I wasn't happy with the placement of it. Back to the drawing board! I'm sure I'll figure out something over the weekend before the final reveal on Monday, right?

Other ideas for fringe don't have to be so dramatic. Sometimes, just a tiny drop or a spike bead stitched between units of right-angle weave is enough. Small loops of seed beads spaced evenly along each side of the necklace also work nicely when you want to make it a more elegant piece -- remember, sometimes less really is more!

More Inspiration for Your Own Beaded Jewelry Designs

I've always said that if you want to learn how to make your own beaded jewelry designs, a good place to start is to look through the pages of your favorite beading magazine. For me, that's always been Beadwork magazine. I always keep my copies handy to look for inspiration and ideas that I can incorporate into my beaded jewelry designs, and now that they're available in digital format, it makes it even easier to find just what I'm looking for!

Whether you're new to beading, or you've been working with seed beads and creating your own beaded jewelry designs for years, you'll want to grab a copy of The Beadwork Ultimate Collection, now at a special price! It's a special collection of seven years' worth of Beadwork magazine on CD, with all the same original content as the print editions. Grab your copy (while you can) of The Beadwork Ultimate Collection and watch the evolution of beaded jewelry design unfold!

I'd love to hear your suggestions for finishing my necklace this weekend! What kind of fringe should I use? Should I add some more embellishment to the neck strap? What about the clasp? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and let's share our beaded jewelry design ideas!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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