Beader's Paradise Tortoise Shell Bead n Chain Necklace

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by Robin D. Beam, Beader's Paradise

Beader's Paradise Tortoise Shell Bead n Chain Necklace

A necklace that will dress up any ensemble!

Project Details

  • Level:intermediate
  • Time:3 hours

Project Instructions

  • 1
    To create the necklace, first determine the size of the necklace. For example, if you want an 18 inch necklace, 8 lengths of cord measuring 54 inch will need to be cut. The rule of thumb is the necklace length times 3. To determine the amount of beads needed, half the necklace measurement on each cord will be needed. So, for an 18 inch necklace, approximately 9 inch of beads will need to be strung onto each cord.
  • 2
    Place the 8 cords (also known as warps) together and make an overhand knot on one end, leaving an approximate 5 inch tail beyond the knot. Stringing on the beads can be a bit like fighting an octopus, but being organized and using the bobbins is key!
  • 3
    Use big eye needle on the end of the first cord. Pour beads onto work surface and "stab" into the bead pile stringing on the beads randomly onto the Big eye needle until you have measured out the right amount of beads. Wrap the cord onto a bobbin, placing most of the cord and beads into it; once all cords have been strung with beads, you can then adjust bobbins to release some of the beads for braiding. Repeat stringing on beads and wrapping on bobbins until all 8 cords have been completed.
  • 4
    With the printed side of the disk facing you, place overhand knot in the center hole. The braid, as it grows, will feed through the hole in the disk. You will see on the disk that there are 4 dots with slits on either side of the dots; think of it as a clock; they are at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Place cords in the slits that are immediately to the left and right of each dot.
  • 5
    Start the braid for about a 1/2 inch with no beads; the cord ends will be finished into the bead cap later.
  • 6
    For the Kumihimo braid, you will always be working with the cords at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock. Note that as you complete a set of movements with the braid (Steps 7 and 8), you will be moving the disk clockwise, next working with the "new" set of cords at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock.
  • 7
    First move the 12 o'clock right cord to the bottom right of the cords at 6 o'clock. You will now have 1 cord on the top and 3 at the bottom.
  • 8
    Second movement of the cords is taking the left cord at 6 o'clock and moving it up to the left side of the 1 cord at 12 o'clock.
  • 9
    Move the disk clockwise and you will repeat Steps 7 and 8 with the "new" set of cords.
  • 10
    When working with the beads, you will be moving a bead from the cord you are working with to the center opening of the disk, making sure to tuck the bead under the cord that is crossing perpendicular to your working cord.
    Using the clock reference:
    When moving the right 12 o'clock cord down to the right 6 o'clock position, tuck bead under the top 3 o'clock cord.
    When moving the left 6 o'clock cord up to the left 12 o'clock position, tuck that cord's bead under the bottom 9 o'clock cord.
  • 11
    Tucking the beads under the cords as noted is essential to "lock" them in place.
  • 12
    Repeat the 12 o'clock right to 6 o'clock right and 6 o'clock left to 12 o'clock left bead and cord movements, turning the disk clockwise each time the second step is completed until you get to the desired length for the necklace.
  • 13
    Finish the necklace as you started in Step 5 for 1/2 inch, then an overhand knot, again leaving an approximate 5 inch tail of cords.
  • 14
    Place both strands of the tortoise acrylic chain together by linking together in the openings in the links and set aside.
  • 15
    Cut a 4 inch length of wire; straighten out as needed with nylon jaw pliers. Using round nose pliers, make a wrapped wire loop by bending the wire along the widest part of the pliers, creating a round loop. Hold the wires where they intersect with chain nose pliers and wrap the smaller wire tail around the longer wire tail close to where the wires cross, making sure the wraps are close together. Wrap 3 times and trim; use chain nose pliers to make sure that the cut end is pushed flush against the wrap. Repeat so you have to wire wraps with a tail. These wrapped loops are what the beaded threads will be knotted onto; the tail of the wire wrap will be inserted through the bead cone, hiding the ends of the necklace!
  • 16
    Place one end of beaded necklace through wire wrapped loop. Separate the tails of the cords into 2 bundles. Tie and knot cords around wire loop and the 1/2 inch of braided end of the necklace. Make sure knots are secure and trim ends. Option: use bead glue to glue knots.
  • 17
    Run the tail of the wire loop through a bead cone, making sure the cone is hiding wire loop. Create a wire wrapped loop with wire tail that is sticking through the bead cone; run loop through onto end link of acrylic chain and finish with a tight wrap against the top of the bead cone.
  • 18
    Repeat with other end. The necklace can be "opened" if needed by the slits in the acrylic chain.

Project Details

  • Level:intermediate
  • Time:3 hours

Project Supplies

  • Beader's Paradise 6/0 Seed Beads Chestnut Mix 104257469 (2)
  • Nicole's Bead Shop Tortoise Large Acrylic Links 6 pc. 104801291 (2)
  • The Beadsmith Kumihimo 6 inch Braiding Disk 104743068
  • The Beadsmith S-Lon Bead Cord 77 yard Brown 104787207
  • The Beadsmith Bob-EEZ No Tangle Thread Bobbins 8 pc. 104743066
  • Artistic Wire 20 gauge Gunmetal 6 yard 104561798
  • Beadalon Big Eye Beading Needles 104249916
  • Beadalon Round Nose Pliers Designer Ergo 104458307
  • Beadalon Chain Nose Pliers Designer Ergo 104458306
  • Beadalon Small Flat Nose Pliers Nylon Jaw 104616024
  • Beadalon Nipper Tool 104257433
  • Brass Bead Caps of Your Choice (2)
  • Measuring Tape or Ruler
  • Scissors