Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

July 17, 2015

DIY Aquamarine Tassel Necklace

In May I felt the urge to make some jewellery but because I'm trying my best to budget, I vowed to steer clear of the craft stores and use supplies I already have.  Luckily I found some gems in my stash (haha): pretty aquamarine chips, to be specific, plus some filigree bead caps from a pair of vintage chandelier earrings.  I lit a fire on a chilly afternoon, turned the music up loud enough to drown out honking geese, and plonked down at the dining table (facing the lake, naturally).  After an afternoon of blissful crafting, I felt so recharged!  Plus I have a sweet new necklace to wear with summer tops and dresses (or, if I'm being honest, the black t-shirt/grey cardi combo I lived in all spring).

Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace
Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

This necklace was really simple to make!  If you're feeling crafty, I've listed all of the supplies I used below, but you can use any kind of beads or stones.

Supplies:

Aquamarine chips (but they don't need to be chips - these faceted ones are even prettier)
Gold eye pins
Flat filigree bead cap - needs places to affix the dangling chains for the tassel
A second, more spherical bead cap - should be smaller than the flatter bead cap
Pearl or other bead to fit inside the second bead cap (optional, you could skip the centre chain)
Needle nosed pliers
Wire cutters (or use the cutter on your pliers)

A note about the supplies: the number of beads and eye pins you require will depend on how long you'd like your necklace, and how big of a tassel you'd like.  For my project, I used approximately 200 eye pins and stone chips.  You will inevitably squash some eye pins and some stone chips won't have evenly drilled holes, so buy a little bit more than you think you'll need.

Necklace Making Supplies
Gold Bead Caps

Steps:

Grab an eye pin, slide on a aquamarine stone bead, trim the wire, and form a loop (see this post of mine for a clear tutorial on loop-making).  Before you gently close the loop with your pliers, slip on the loop from the next eye pin.


Make a Chain with Stone Chips

Repeat a zillion times until you've formed a chain long enough to slip over your head (or you can stop and add a clasp for a shorter necklace at any point).

Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

For the tassel, I used an eye pin, two bead caps, and a pearl.  It's easy: thread the pearl onto an eye pin, then add the smaller bead cap, and then the larger.  This will form the base for the tassel.  I was overzealous and already started to make my tassel before I snapped a photo, so here is the same idea with a glass bead instead:

Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

Next, create a series of smaller chains, using the steps above.  Dangling from my pearl - the centre of the tassel - is a chain with five stones.  On the smaller bead cap are a series of chains with 6 stones each, hooked onto the edges of the cap.  For the largest bead cap, I have chains with 7 stones.  This way, the lengths of the chains are very similar.  But you can shake things up.  As I finished each mini strand, I simply hooked it onto the edge of the filigree bead cap and gently closed the loop - so it's key that your bead cap has a place to affix the beaded chains.

When it's completed, the tassel looks like this:

Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace
Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace
Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

For the ends of the tassel chains you can use a straight pin so you don't end with a loop, but I didn't have any so I just used eye pins.  I seriously just ordered a pricey planter from Modernica, but didn't want to spring for straight pins.  I penny pinch in the weirdest ways.

Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

My Mom was kind enough to snap a photo of me wearing my fancy new necklace...

Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

But then all of a sudden she was wearing it.  I think I might be making a second one...

How to Use Stone Chip Beads
Easy DIY Beaded Aquamarine Chip Tassel Necklace

I'm really quite besotted with aquamarine  - no surprise, given my penchant for mint and aqua - and I'm so happy I finally found a use for these beads!  I've been hoarding them since 2009 (I'm hanging my head in shame).
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14 comments

  1. I like this tutorial because it's easy to imagine doing the same thing with different beads. I wouldn't have thought of eye pins for the tassle but, I haven't used them much.

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    1. You can definitely use any kind of beads and, if the tassel isn't your thing, you could even just use a charm or pendant. I was originally considering a small, gold wishbone charm I picked up at an antique store when I was in high school, but it didn't have the weight I wanted.

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  2. Tanya, glad you're back feeling more like yourself. I've not tried making a necklace or any sort of jewellery, I should try as your instructions are very clear. We all hoard something, me its fabric, my husband its bits and pieces of old things that always come in handy when fixing something!

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    1. Jewellery making is very addictive! My Mom and I used to make jewellery for sale - mostly earrings, because they were fun to make. It's fairly easy once you get the hang of a few techniques, and there are so many great tutorials out there.

      Is it bad that I hoard more than one thing? Jewellery making supplies is just the tip of the iceberg, but I've been slowly working through my supplies, trying to come up with ideas for what I already have. And strongly encouraging my Mom to do the same, haha. Like you, she has a massive fabric stash :)

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  3. So cute! I have several kinds of chips that I need to use. That's a great idea.

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    1. Thanks Dana! I always love seeing the jewellery you've made on IG. Chips can be hard to use, though, can't they?

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  4. Very nice! Nothing like living mindfully for the mending soul..
    I am also a hoarder of beads, especially semi-precious gem stone, pearls, and stone...Vintage, too! I think that they are a great way to celebrate a vacation, in that you can look for something that is a local product (such as turquoise in the southwest!). I have visited many bead stores and flea markets just for the thrill of the hunt!
    Lately, I have been involved with decorating our vintage travel trailer. This has led me to a large collection of vintage table cloths and a true passion for bark cloth. For the creative mind, there is no end to collecting! :)

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    1. Thanks, Janice! So happy to hear someone else hoards beading supplies! You're so right about commemorating a vacation. I became a regular at a local craft/beading store in Budapest and picked up some great supplies for making my beaded Christmas spiders while I was there, including some super-special gems to make a few not-for-sale-just-for-me spiders. They definitely won't get jettisoned like some generic tourist souvenirs can. Yes, I think creative types are destined to collect collections. I'm so jealous you're decorating a vintage trailer! Finding an airstream to rehab and tour Canada with is on my bucket list. It sounds like a lot of fun (and if collecting vintage table cloths is part of the deal, I'm definitely sold!)

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  5. Very pretty, I like making jewelry but I don't wear a whole lot of it.

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    1. I've actually made a lot of jewellery for friends because I like making it but can only humanly wear so much!

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  6. I LOVE this project!!! I have JUST started using my 'jewelry findings' that ive had around 3 years sitting in craft cupboard... I have alot to learn thank youuu

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    1. Thanks so much! Isn't it satisfying to use up supplies you've had for ages? Happy crafting!!

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  7. Excellent necklace tutorial. Simple and easy to follow. I plan to try it out with what beads I have laying around ;)

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