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How to make a new necklace for (almost)free!

Updated on February 1, 2012

use your old beads to create a stunning new necklace

re-claimed beads from a broken tangled mess
re-claimed beads from a broken tangled mess

Putting it together

The green beads I used above were from a necklace that I purchased at the ferry terminal. I LOVED the colour of the beads but the design didn't work, the beads became tangled when I wore it and the strands broke off. I also had a broken necklace with pewter beads which I used to space the green beads.

If you have not made a necklace before or don't know how to get started here's a few simple steps.

You will need some bead stringing wire. I used Flexalon 7 strand clear which cost $3.85. The roll is 30ft long so I can make a lot of necklaces and bracelets.

Stainless steel or silver clasp and jump rings. You may be able to use the clasp from an old necklace but a pack is quite inexpensive as are the jump rings. You will also need crimping beads which come in packs. They are tiny and help hold the wire in place against the clasp and between the beads. If you have a gold coloured clasp then use gold coloured jump rings and crimpers. it is best not to mix the colours. You will probably spend about $10.00 but you will have enough to make more than one piece of jewelry.

An essential tool is a good pair of crimpers - usually priced between $5 to $25 depending on the size and quality. Mine are at the lower price end and they work well.

Finally you will need something to cut the wire - I have in my tool box a sharp pair of pliers which I use for double duty when I bead or fix things around the house. In a pinch sharp scissors can work but I prefer pliers.

To start the necklance - Thread beading wire through crimps, add jump ring to clasp and attach. Fold beading wire back through crimps and squeeze crimps with crimper tool tightly to secure. Begin to add beads.
To start the necklance - Thread beading wire through crimps, add jump ring to clasp and attach. Fold beading wire back through crimps and squeeze crimps with crimper tool tightly to secure. Begin to add beads.

Continue with your design and threading beads until you are approximately 2-3" from the end of your wire. I like to wear 21 to 22" length necklaces so my wire is usually 27 to 28". This gives enough space for folding at each end. I use a measured beading tray for designs now but when I first started to bead I set them out on a tea tray and used a soft measuring tape.

When you get to the other end add two crimps and a jump ring, pull the wire back through both crimps to secure the jump ring and try to pull it through at least the last two beads as well. Then use your crimping tool to squeeze and secure crimps to hold the wire in place. It may take a few goes to get this right at first but don't give up - you will get how to make it work

From here on you are only limited by your imagination and I am sure you have bucketfuls of enjoy and start making beautiful necklaces for you and your friends to enjoy. They make wonderful gifts too. Garage sales and thrift stores offer a limitless supply of quite inexpensive beads and if you splurge for a special pendant to hang amongst them you'll have a designer look in no time!.

Adding a pendant can turn ordinary beads into a fabulous designer look
Adding a pendant can turn ordinary beads into a fabulous designer look


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