This macrame necklace definitely brings the heat, thanks to a mix of bright silver metallics, neon cording, and flashy faceted crystals. I really love any piece that makes a statement, and this DIY jewelry project inspired by South Beach totally tells a story. If you’ve never thought to use macrame knots in a more updated and sophisticated way, then now’s your chance!
This is sort of a weird mix of materials. Fancy crystals, acrylic geometric beads, bright blue glass rounds, eclectic triangle beads, and that neon cord! But, somehow, it totally works and it totally conveys that South Beach, Art Deco vibe! I took a trip to South Beach years ago and was fascinated with the architecture, bold bright colors, and 1920’s-inspired design elements. This necklace embodies that tropical mood. What’s more, this DIY necklace is adjustable because of the sliding closure. It’s also a simple square knot that creates the wrapped look, and I’ll show you all the steps.
Feel free to use this same technique to make a matching bracelet or more necklaces in different color combos for different outfits. Get inspired!
Miami Heat Neon DIY Necklace
Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are a variety of beads (of course). For the shorter strand, I used 8mm Cousin Jewelry Basics blue glass rounds. You could also use plain silver crystals (shown on far right) for a sparklier look instead of the opaque blue beads. However, I really liked the contrast, so I stuck with the rounds. For the longer strand, I used Cousin brand 10mm faceted mirror crystals and Cousin brand large silver acrylic beads. For stringing, you’ll need neon .8mm nylon cord. Finally, for the charm dangles, you’ll need 12X11m triangle glass beads, 6mm jump rings, and headpins (both not pictured). Be sure to have a sharp scissors for cutting, too.
Step 2: Cut a three foot piece of your nylon cord, and string on approx. 20″ of your glass rounds. At one end of the cord, create a “stopper” with a piece of tape, so your beads don’t slide off. Tape the other end of the cord about 8″ from the end to your work table. Cut about a 6 foot piece of nylon cord. Thread it under your taped cord, making sure the middle lies right under the strand to even everything out. To start the knot series, take your leftmost side of the cord, and bring it over the middle strand. It should look like the above.
Now, take your rightmost piece of cord, threading it OVER the piece of cord you just brought over, UNDER the middle strand, and back OVER the lefthand loop, through the opening. Pull tight. Repeat the last 3 motions, except in reverse. Take your rightmost piece of cord, and lay it to the left OVER the middle strand.
Take your leftmost cord OVER the piece of cord you just brought hover, UNDER the middle, and then back OVER the righthand loop, through the opening. Pull tight. String a bead close to the last knot, now repeat the last two knots, catching the bead in the first knot.
Your piece should look like this. Keep adding beads and knotting until you’ve used all your beads. Set this strand aside.
Step 3: Create another longer strand with your 10mm crystals and acrylic silver beads. I used 10 acrylic beads and 12 crystals for this strand, and it was about 2″ longer than my previous strand. I also used a neon orange cord for contrast. When you’ve knotted both strands, cut off the excess knotting cord – LEAVING THE CENTER STRAND INTACT – and burn the ends to secure. Gather all four ends of string together.
Step 4: Cut a 2 foot piece of knotting cord, and knot a long series, grouping all four strands within the knots. Make sure you don’t knot too tight, or your sliding closure will not work. When finished, cut this excess string and burn the ends once again. Finish off those excess cords by tying beads onto the very end, and burning the knots to hold securely. This should finish off the necklace. For decoration, I made charms by adding the triangle beads to headpins and creating top loops. I then added the loops to jump rings, and added the jump rings to the string between each large silver bead. There were 9 total. This added a little more interest, and I love the texture and shine the triangle beads provided.
Once you get that square knot technique down, making pieces like this will get easier. You can play around with the amount of knots in-between each bead to space them out more, if you’d like. Also, if you aren’t digging the neon (why not?!) feel free to choose your color palette. Black cord would look super elegant on silver crystals and those same silver beads for a very modern look. Or, go with a white cord and all black beads for high contrast.
I love the fan-like pattern those triangle beads make. You can also use teardrop crystal beads for the same effect. Whichever materials you use, be sure to have fun with it!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, as I know I enjoyed making this piece. You can view all of my DIY jewelry tutorials and more on my website, Quiet Lion Creations.