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Instructions to Make a Native American Choker

Native American chokers are often made with beads.
rows of bead jars image by Stirling Adams from Fotolia.com

Native American chokers are beautiful works of art that are often appreciated by peoples of all cultures. Making these necklaces takes some time, but the end effect is a wonderful choker that can be worn with many different outfits. Whether the outfit is a costume or even a simple blouse and jeans, these chokers can add warmth and simple beauty.

Measure your neck with a measuring tape. It should be measured at the middle of the neck. Add about a half-inch or so to the measurement and write it down. Small hair pipes are used for small necks; large pipes for large necks.

Drill holes into the leather choker spacers. Holes should be spaced about 3/8 to 1/2 inchesapart, depending on the length of the spacers.

Tie the four strands of sinew or leather strips into a knot. This knot will be temporary, so make sure that it isn’t too tight to remove. The knot should be approximately nine inches from the end of the sinew or leather.

Slide the spacer until it hits the knot. It should have each strand in a separate hole, so make sure to thread it through and then slide it down.

Put four small or medium pony beads on each strand, followed by one hairpin and then three more pony beads. This will set the pattern for the choker, so make sure the colors are in a pattern and design that is appealing.

Add a second spacer.

Put three pony beads, one hair pipe and three more pony beads on the strands.

Add the third spacer.

Slide 14 beads on each strand. The first seven beads mark the halfway point of the choker.

Add the fourth spacer.

Place three pony beads, one hair pipe and three more pony beads on the strands. These should match the design on the other side, so make sure the colors match up.

Add the fifth spacer.

Place three pony beads, one hair pipe and four pony beads on each strand. Check that the pattern matches with the original pattern of the other side.

Slide the last spacer into place.

Untie the temporary knot and slide the beads until the remaining strands on each side are even. Tie both sides when the extra strands of leather or sinew are even and the beads are tightly pushed together. Make sure there are no gaps before tying it off.

Pull all of the strands through the large pony bead. For all eight strands, it should be a bit tight and might need some coaxing. Slide the bead up the strands about four inches or so.

Tie a knot in each strand individually. The knot should be close to the end of the strands at approximately one inch. Add the remaining small or medium pony beads and knot the other end of the strand. The end result should be eight beads tied at the end of the necklace, with the large pony bead available to slide up and down along the strands.

Slide the large pony bead until it hits the medium pony beads. Slide the necklace on and adjust the size until comfortable by sliding the pony bead up.

Things You'll Need:

  • 4 strands of sinew or leather
  • Measuring tape
  • 16 hair pipes
  • 165 small or medium pony beads
  • 1 large pony bead
  • 6 choker spacers
  • Drill
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