How to Make Beaded Necklaces

Jerry Dowdle

Things You'll Need

  • 80 inches waxed cotton cording (0.5mm)
  • 40 inches silk chiffon fabric (2 inches wide)
  • Measuring tape
  • Several 5mm – 11mm beads (1 – 2mm holes)
  • Focal bead with large hole (3 – 4mm)
  • Button (1 inch)

Trendy colors, sparkly beads, luxurious fabric, and natural cording give this beaded necklace a casual, charming, up-to-date look. It is simple to make and requires no special tools, but this design lets you create an accessory for a hard-to-match outfit.

Creating a Beaded Necklace on Fabric and Cord

Things You'll Need
Jerry Dowdle

Scissors and a tape measure are the only tools needed to make this necklace. Choosing the color scheme for the beads, silk chiffon fabric, cotton cording and a button, will determine the individual style of the necklace.

Please see last slide for an itemized materials list.

Choose Color Scheme
Jerry Dowdle

Choose a monochromatic color scheme for all components of the necklace. Pick a color for the silk chiffon and choose a different shade of that color for the cording, beads, and button.

Choose Focal Bead
Jerry Dowdle

Select a large-holed bead for the central focus of the necklace that fits the chosen theme. For example, the natural crystal used as the focal bead in this project can create either a casual or formal necklace style and the neutral color compliments the color scheme.

Prepare Cord and Fabric
Jerry Dowdle

Measure and cut 80 inches of cotton cording. Tear a strip of the silk chiffon about 2 inches wide and at least 40 inches long. Tearing the chiffon is easiest and the frayed edges add to the appeal of the necklace.

Begin Necklace
Jerry Dowdle

Fold the cotton cording in half, forming a loop at one end. Holding the loop end and the silk strip together, tie a simple overhand knot leaving a 1 inch loop of cord on the end. Cut off excess silk close to the knot.

Upper End of Necklace
Jerry Dowdle

Tie four overhand knots at 2 inch intervals, using the cords and silk as a single unit.

String Single Bead
Jerry Dowdle

String an 11mm bead onto the silk chiffon by twisting a corner of the end of the silk to form a point. Slide the bead up the fabric and position it 1 inch from the fourth knot (it should be snug on the fabric). Tie another overhand knot 1 inch past the bead using the cords and silk as one unit.

String Cording Beads
Jerry Dowdle

String alternating sized beads on each cord and tie another overhand knot 2 inches from the last knot, again with the cords and silk as one unit.

String Single Bead
Jerry Dowdle

String another 11mm bead on the silk chiffon fabric and tie a knot to create another 2 inch segment.

Stringing Beads
Jerry Dowdle

To vary the next 2 inch segment, string 1 inch of alternating sized beads on one cord and knot the cord at the end of the beads. On the other cord, tie a knot in the same location but string 1 inch of beads past this knot. Tie a knot using the cords and silk as one unit to finish this 2 inch segment.

String Focal Bead
Jerry Dowdle

String the focal bead onto the necklace using the cords and silk as one unit and slide the bead up to the last knot. Tie another knot on the other side of the bead.

Repeat Pattern
Jerry Dowdle

Repeat the pattern stringing beads and tying knots on the other side of the necklace. Tie the knots and string the beads to match the locations on the first side.

Button Closure
Jerry Dowdle

After the last knot, string the button by inserting the cords and silk as one unit into the button from the back side first then back through the front. String the button about 2 inches from the previous knot.

Finish Necklace
Jerry Dowdle

Holding all cords and silk fabric strips together as one unit with the button at the end, tie a final overhand knot about 1 inch from the button. Cut excess fabric and cord close to the knot. Place the button through the loop on the other end of the necklace to create the closure.

Adjust Necklace
Jerry Dowdle

Adjust the necklace by placing the button through desired 2 inch sections.

Tips

  • Search for beads with large holes. Crystals tend to have smaller holes than what is required for this project, so be sure and carefully check the hole sizes. Choose the cord first and use it to check hole sizes.

    If you have trouble stringing the beads on the fabric a small piece of tape rolled on the end of the fabric helps.

    Make different versions of this necklace by changing the choice of fabric and beads and varying the length by tying more or less knots.

About the Author

Jerry Dowdle sells her artwear at juried fairs and online at TerranJerran.etsy.com. Her work was recently featured in “Go!” magazine of the “Lawrence Journal World” newspaper. For the past 15 years, Dowdle helped create interactive, multimedia programs for an educational publishing company and holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Kansas.

Photo Credits

  • Jerry Dowdle