This beaded piece has it all: gemstones, coated glass beads, luxe gold chain, glass pearls, and faceted crystals all combine to create a totally chic, totally attention-getting DIY statement necklace!
I’ll show you how to create a beaded “ladder” which acts as the total focal point of the necklace. It’s a simple, but tedious technique of weaving beads and chain through headpins – it takes a little patience, I will warn you, but the results are totally worth it!
This piece is perfect for wearing to work. Pair with a white blouse, dress pants, and flats for an office-ready look. Change up the look by pairing with a dress and heels for night, or a simple tank and skinny jeans for casual chicness! However you style it, people will be totally impressed when they hear you made it yourself.
Let’s get started!
Sahara Statement DIY Necklace
Step 1: Gather materials. You need gold large oval link cable chain, gold medium link cable chain, 11mm jasper square gemstone beads, 18X14mm champagne teardrop glass beads, 6mm and 10mm champagne glass pearls, gold headpins, 4mm glass crystal rondelles, round nose pliers, flat nose pliers and wire cutters. You will also need two 4mm gold jump rings and a gold toggle clasp for closure.
Step 2: Cut two 10″ pieces of the large link chain, and two 14″ pieces of the smaller link chain. Layer them on your workspace, alternating types. Lay out your bead pattern, so you have an idea of how to string. The base layer will be your glass teardrop beads. You will thread one bead through every other link, so you’ll use 11 beads. The second layer will be your jasper squares, 11 again. Then, the 10mm pearls, 6mm pearls, and finishing with the tiny 4mm rondelles.
Step 3: Thread a teardrop bead on your headpin. Thread the headpin through the second to last large gold link. Thread on a jasper square. Cut the headpin about a half inch from the top of the jasper square, and create a loop to finish off this headpin charm. Skip a gold link, and repeat what you just did to make another charm. Continue until you finish off 11 charms, using all teardrop and jasper beads.
Step 4: To create the top half of the beaded panel, start by threading on a 4mm crystal to a headpin. Thread through the smaller link chain, add a 6mm pearl, thread through the large gold link chain, add a 10mm pearl, and thread through the other smaller link chain. Look at the image above for help. To connect the top and bottom side, cut the headpin 1/2″ from the bottom of the pearl. Create a loop, like you did last step, but catch the jasper charm’s loop within this one before closing. Close shut. The top and bottom should be connected into one long charm, creating the first “rung” in your beaded “ladder”. Continue this method, creating charms FOUR links over in each smaller chain length and TWO links over in each large link chain length. This should prevent bagging or pulling in your ladder. Remember, you should end up with 11 connections to finish off all your beads.
Step 5: This is what your finished beaded ladder should look like. You should have excess chain hanging off the sides of your ladder, and that’s fine. Simply remove the excess chain off the bottommost large link chain (I only removed that one empty link on each side), the middle smaller link chain, and top large link chain, if you have any (it’s already been removed in this photo, but it was again one link on each side). For the top chain, leave the extra – this is the strand that will go around your neck. You will have to add extra chain to each side, depending on how long you want your necklace. My lengths are uneven here, but that’s ok – I added enough chain to each side so that they both measured about 6″. This gave me about a 20″ necklace or so.
Step 6: When you’ve got your lengths evened out, simply connect a toggle clasp with jump rings to the end of your loose chain. This finishes the necklace!
If you’d like, you can feel free to switch up the bead colors. The warm tones in this necklace combined with the mix of amber and jade green is totally unexpected — it oozes sophistication. However, if you’ve got a favorite color, be sure to make it star here! Other combos that would look great are silver and pinks for a feminine combo, copper and turquoise for a Southwest-inspired design, or even gunmetal and black for a “goth” look.
Whichever color combination you choose, the technique remains the same. Once you’ve mastered the weaving technique (it may take some time at first!) you’ll be able to whip up projects like these in no time. Maybe make some attaching earrings and even a bracelet with your leftover beads for a full set. Seems like a great idea to me!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, as I know I enjoyed making this piece. You can view all of my DIYs and more on my website, Quiet Lion Creations.