Downton Abbey is back! Have you seen the season premiere, yet? I'm looking forward to seven more weeks full of drama, glamor, and of course, those delicious period costumes and jewelry! Nothing inspires a good necklace making
project for me like seeing a vintage beaded necklace and then trying to figure out how to re-create it using modern materials and my favorite bead-weaving techniques. In fact, the very first beaded necklace design
that I ever had published in Beadwork
magazine was inspired by an Edwardian seed pearl necklace.
Figuring out how to make a beaded necklace using a piece of antique jewelry as my inspiration was an eye-opening experience for me: I suddenly found myself looking at antique jewelry books and history books for my beading inspiration, and even now, I love to peruse the jewelry offerings in the online catalogs of some of the big auction houses for new necklace making inspiration.
And of course, if you love glamor and elegance, you can't beat Edwardian jewelry for inspiration. You don't need real diamonds or precious metals to re-create the look of Edwardian jewelry. Take a look through your stash and see if you have any of these necklace making supplies handy for creating your own Edwardian-inspired jewelry!
Whether you prefer crystal pearls, natural freshwater pearls, or even my favorite shell pearls from Lima Beads, using pearls in your Edwardian beaded necklace designs is a great way to convey the feel of the era. Pearls were treasured for their natural beauty, and used to represent the values of purity and wisdom when used in Edwardian necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
Diamonds were, of course, a natural choice for elegant and lavish Edwardian jewelry, but thankfully, we have sparkling crystal beads to substitute in this day and age. But exercise restraint when using crystals in your Edwardian necklace making designs: just one large crystal stone or pendant, surrounded by tiny pearls or glass beads is probably enough.
Vintage Glass Beads
Bohemian (Czech) glass beads were made popular through Edwardian jewelry design, so look for vintage Czech glass beads to include in your necklace making designs. Also of note: with the discovery of King Tut's tomb by Howard Carter towards the end of the Edwardian period, Egyptian revival hit the fashion world, and many glass beads were produced with an Egyptian theme.
Delicate metal work was another signature of Edwardian jewelry design, and lucky for us, there is no shortage of beautiful filigree components to be used in your own necklace making designs. Look for simple, understated filigree pieces that you can use in bead embroidery designs as charming focal pieces.
Delicate Metal Chain
Edwardian necklaces and pendants were made with lots of glass beads, but also with some very delicate metal chain. Stock up on fine chain in metals like brass, gunmetal, and antique silver finishes to add the perfect finishing touch to your beaded pendants and earrings.
Look through your bead stash today, and I'll bet you find a few things that you can use to get started creating your own Edwardian-inspired handcrafted necklaces!
Get more easy Edwardian-inspired jewelry making projects in Elegant Edwardian Jewelry: 12 Designs Inspired by England's Gilded Age
. You'll find bracelet, earring, and necklace making
projects using modern materials that look as if they walked straight off the set of Downton Abbey! Best of all, you can download your copy instantly and be reading and beading in just minutes. See how the editors of Beadwork
and Jewelry Stringing
magazine use gorgeous pearls, crystals, filigree, and seed beads to create a dozen easy, elegant Edwardian jewelry making projects.
P.S. Can't get enough Edwardian jewelry? Join me for the Edwardian-inspired Jewelry Blog Hop here on Beading Daily!
Filed under: Bead Embroidery, Pearls, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Stringing, Glass Beads, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Beading Tools, Necklace Making, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making, Beading Daily