Necklace Making: Five Ideas for Designing Beaded Necklaces

Necklace Making: Five Ideas for Designing Beaded Necklaces

11-09-2011 by Vanbeads

Necklace making is something that has always come easy for me. Even now, I find that my sketchbooks are full of more necklace designs than anything else, and I’m always finding inspiration for new designs everywhere.

My process for designing and making a beaded necklace depends on where I get my idea for the finished piece. Usually, a cabochon or other focal bead is the starting point for making my necklace, as I design around that. I’ll draw my colors from the colors in the focal piece and then figure out what beading stitch or beading technique will be used for the rest of the piece.

But sometimes I sit down with the beads and I have no idea where to start. When my necklace making ideas dry up, there are a few things that I’ll do to give my beady brain a little bit of a jump-start. Here are five ideas for necklace making when you need a little inspiration for a new beading project!

Try Dustin Wedekind’s Right Angle Bezel if you are bored with making peyote stitch bezels for your cabochons and rivolis.  

1. Bezel something.Take a crystal stone, a gemstone cabochon, a bottle cap filled with resin, an old Scrabble tile – you can stitch a beaded bezel around pretty much anything to turn it into a pendant for a beaded necklace. If you’re bored with making peyote stitch bezels, try something different – use right-angle weave or herringbone stitch to create a unique beaded bezel, and play around with shaping your beaded bezels.

  Alkia Kalaida’s Roped In Turkish crocheted beaded rope is a perfect example of how a simple beaded rope can be turned into a bold beaded necklace.

2. Make a beaded rope. Embellished or not, a great way to get your creativity flowing is to just sit and make a beaded rope. Start with a simple spiral rope, or try something new like bead crochet or a tubular variation of your favorite beading stitch. You can either use your beaded rope just as it is with no other embellishment, or add drop beads, daggers, glass flowers or a fabulous handmade focal bead!

Make a fast and fabulous beaded necklace like Perie Brown’s Sophisticated Fringe necklace.  

3. Beaded Fringe. You can’t get much easier than this idea for beaded necklace making. String a length of beads, attach a clasp, and then attach a new thread in the center and start making beaded fringe! Fringe necklaces are fast and fun, depending on how much and what kind of fringe you want to use. Add gemstones for a more natural look, or use funky glass beads to accent your fringe. Try making strands of long, looped fringe for a thicker necklace.

4. Freeform beadwork. Freeform beadwork is an excellent way to make a unique necklace out of leftover bits of beadwork. Using leftover bits of beadwork for freeform beadwork is less intimidating than starting from scratch with just a pile of beads. It’s also a great way to get your creative juices going as you think about ways to connect these pieces of beadwork into a necklace!

5. Make a beaded bead. If you’re making a necklace that is primarily just strung beads and want to add a dash of beadweaving, stitch up a quick peyote beaded bead. You can string it on a headpin to make a dangle or slide it over a section of fine chain to be the focal point of your necklace. Making beaded beads is also a fabulous way to use up little bits of leftover seed beads!


Are you ready to get more creative with your jewelry-making projects? Do you love the Creative Jewelry special issues full of ideas for making great beaded jewelry? Now you can pre-order your CD collection of all seven issues of Creative Jewelry magazine! The CD is fully searchable and includes all the same great content as the print editions. (And since it’s a CD, it takes up less space – more room for beads, please!)

How do you design your own beaded necklaces? Do you have a great necklace making tip for someone just starting out? Leave a comment and share your thoughts here on the blog!

Bead Happy,


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