How to Make Beaded Necklaces

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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.

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 Beaded Necklace
Trendy Beaded Necklace (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Creating a Beaded Necklace on Fabric and Cord

Step 1

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.

Things You'll Need
Things You'll Need (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 2

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 Color Scheme
Choose Color Scheme (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 3

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.

Choose Focal Bead
Choose Focal Bead (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 4

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.

Prepare Cord and Fabric
Prepare Cord and Fabric (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 5

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.

Begin Necklace
Begin Necklace (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 6

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

Upper End of Necklace
Upper End of Necklace (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 7

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 Single Bead
String Single Bead (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 8

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 Cording Beads
String Cording Beads (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 9

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

String Single Bead
String Single Bead (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 10

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.

Stringing Beads
Stringing Beads (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 11

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.

String Focal Bead
String Focal Bead (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 12

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.

Repeat Pattern
Repeat Pattern (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 13

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.

Button Closure
Button Closure (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 14

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.

Finish Necklace
Finish Necklace (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Step 15

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

Adjust Necklace
Adjust Necklace (Image: Jerry Dowdle)

Tips & Warnings

  • 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.
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