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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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:
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.
My Mom was kind enough to snap a photo of me wearing my fancy new necklace…
But then all of a sudden she was wearing it. I think I might be making a second one…
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).