Make a Beaded Necklace
Easy To Make & Elegant Beaded Necklace
This beaded necklace looks intricate, but it is extremely easy to make. Although it looks luxe, the necklace is also inexpensive to make, since all you need are seed beads, thread and a beading needle. It is beaded using a simple netting stitch, which is common in Ukrainian and Russian beading. If you're new to netting, this is a good project to get you started. Get your supplies together and let's make jewelry!
About This Beaded Necklace
The stitch that is used to make this necklace is called netting. You'll see this design in a lot of Russian and Ukrainian beadwork, though variations are found in beading from most cultures. Basically, you could use the stitch to create a net, not just a piece of jewelry.
It is a simple stitch that is easy enough for beading beginners, but there are two things that can trip you up if you don't watch for them. First, be very careful to avoid piercing the thread with the needle. It won't be disastrous, but it can compromise the strength of your beadwork and can make it hard to achieve uniform tension. Second, you'll be working with a long length of thread, which might magically entangle itself every chance it gets. The most common cause of this is accidentally twisting your thread as you work. If you are aware of the problem, chances are you can avoid it. If you do get a twisted thread mess, don't panic. You can work most knots out with patience. If you don't have patience, then cut the thread and work a new one into the beaded necklace design.
Assemble Your Beaded Necklace Materials
This necklace looks stunning, but it is inexpensive to make. You will need:
- 10 grams size 11 main color seed beads
- 10 grams size 11 contrast color seed beads
- beading thread (I used size D white Nymo thread)
- beading needle (I used a size 10 beading needle)
- a larger bead or button or a clasp to close the necklace
The look of your finished necklace will be determined by the beads you select for this project. Compare the look of the red and gold necklace here with the blue and silver necklace illustrated in this project. Both necklaces are the same, except the red and gold necklace uses basic beads, which can be somewhat irregular, while the blue and silver necklace was made using size 11 Miyuki beads, which are among some of the finest glass beads that are available. They are very regular, which will produce a sleek beaded necklace.
You can use any beading needle or beading thread. I recommend using a strong beading thread so that you will get a necklace that resists breaking (e.g., size D thread rather than size B). Some beaders use fishing line, which is very strong. That can work very well, though I prefer nylon because the resulting necklace is very fluid and flexible and because it is easy to weave in a new thread in the event it becomes necessary.
Materials at a Glance
Seed Bead Ideas for this Project
Seeds beads are versatile beads, used for so many beading projects! Inexpensive beads tend to have size variations from one bead to another, which lends a handcrafted look, while Miyuki or other name band beads will give a uniform, geometric appearance. Both are gorgeous!
Why pick one color when you can have an assortment? This necklace works with any two colors of beads.
I prefer English beading needles over big eye needles for beadweaving because they don't snag threads if you go back through the pattern.
Start by cutting a length of thread about 3x longer than the final length of your necklace (about a meter of thread). You could work the necklace from one end to the other, but personally I prefer to start in the middle and do one side at a time. It's easier to get an even tension and you're only working with half the length of thread.
If you like, you can stretch your thread and wax it. It is a matter of personal preference. Stretching the thread can help with tension and may help prevent knotting (though I actually didn't stretch or wax the thread for this tutorial).
Thread your needle and string 3 contrast color beads (silver) and 1 main color bead (blue). Allow the beads to fall to the center of the thread.
Secure the Beads
Pass the necklace back through the main color bead, as shown in the photo. Remember, try to avoid poking the thread with your needle as you pass back through the bead.
Pull It Tight
Pull the thread tight, producing a loop that looks like this. Now, you will only be working with the side of the thread with the needle. You can lay the other side of thread off to the side or enclose it in a small plastic bag to keep it out of the way. Alternatively, some people don't cut the thread at all and just work off the spool of thread. Do whatever works best for you.
Netting Stitch Tutorial
If you're new to this beading stitch, it might help to see how to do netting. Don't work, it's easy!
Add More Beads
Add 5 main color beads, 3 contrast color beads, 1 main color bead, and 2 contrast color beads
Pass the needle through the back of the main color bead shown in the photo (3 main color beads below and above it).
Tighten the Thread
... which should look like this. The thread heading off toward the top of the picture is the side you are not-using. The bottom thread is your working thread.
A Favorite Beading Book with Nettin
If you like the look of this netted necklace, then give this book a try. Varvara's designs look complicated, but they are easy to achieve and extremely beautiful. This is a collection of beading projects that use netting.
I go back to this book for inspiration again and again. Varvara is so talented!
String on 3 contrast color beads, 1 main color bead, and 2 contrast color beads. Pass the needle through the main color bead shown in the photo.
Tighten the Thread Again
When you tighten the thread, this is what you'll get. If your beadwork looks different at any point, backtrack and try again. For me, it is easiest to mess up the pattern early on. After a while you will get a rhythm going and the pattern will be obvious.
Add 3 contrast color beads and 3 main color beads, Pass through the lone main color bead in the pattern.
Tighten Your Work
When you tighten the beads up, you'll get this.
Add 3 main color beads and 3 contrast color beads.
Back Where You Started
Pass the needle back through the last main color bead. Take a look at your beading. See the pattern?
Up the Other Side
Here's what you get when you've tightened the beads up. Now you just need to learn how to complete the side of the pattern (called a motif) and you'll be ready to continue the pattern to complete the necklace.
All Main Color
String on 5 main color beads and pass back through the topmost main color bead.
Netting Beading for Beginners
Even if you're brand new to beading, you can complete the projects in this book. They use the same stitch used in this necklace, to create a variety of different looks. This is another book I turn to for inspiration.
There are a variety of projects in this book, including necklaces, beaded beads, and bracelets. Don't be intimidated by the apparent complexity of the designs shown on the cover. Netting is one of the easiest beading stitches!
You've Been Here Before
From this point, you're just repeating what you have already done.
Add 3 contrast color beads, 1 main color bead, and 2 contrast color beads. Pass through the middle main color bead.
Take a Look
...and here is what you get.
Get the Idea?
Add 4 contrast color beads, 1 main color bead, and 3 contrast color beads, passing through the top main color bead. There are more contrast color beads on the bottom of each motif (4) than on the top (3) because you want the pattern to ease around your neck.
How To End Each Side
Keep repeating the pattern until the necklace is half as long as your desired total length. You can attach one-half of the clasp. Then, go back to the cent
Add or Make a Clasp
One Way to End the Beaded Necklace
I used a bead and loop as a closure for this necklace. At the end of one motif, I added 3 contrast color beads, 1 main color bead, an 8-mm glass bead, and 1 main color bead. I ran the thread back through the 8-mm bead and back through the beadwork to secure the thread. You could use a button or a commercial clasp just as easily.
String on enough contrast color beads to make a loop that will accommodate the bead or button that you are using for a clasp. The exact number depends on what you are using.
Run the thread back through the main color bead to secure the loop. You will want to reinforce the loop by weaving the thread back through your beading and through the loop again, possibly a couple of times. When you are satisfied with the security of the beading, cut the thread. No glue is needed for this design.
Finishing the Necklace
I like to reinforce the entire necklace by weaving back through the design with a thread. Whether you do this or not is a matter of personal preference. It will produce a stronger necklace that will stretch less and resist breaking, but this step is time-consuming and will stiffen the necklace somewhat. Even if you don't retrace the beading of the entire design, be sure to weave the ends of your thread back into the beading enough that they won't work their way out once you cut the threads.
The Finished Necklace
What did you think of this beaded necklace tutorial? If you tried it out, how did you like it?