Stringing Basics

Beads strung on a cord—what could be simpler? While they can be strung in any order that pleases the stringer. figure 1 illustrates some common designs.


While not essential, an inexpensive beading board is extremely useful. It allows you to lay out a single- or multistrand necklace with precision, holding the beads In place and Indicating where each one will fall on the finished piece. In its absence, lay the Deads out on a towel.

Making a Continuous Necklace

If a necklace is at least 24 inches (61.5 cm) long— long enough to go over your head—its ends can be


joined without a clasp. Select strong, goodqual bead thread that knots easily and well.

1 Cut a piece of thread twice the length of the ( ished necklace plus 8 inches (20.5 cm) and stn it on a beading needle. Wax the thread and d it, but don't knot it. Tape or clip the tail ends so beads won't fall off.

2 String the beads for the necklace.

3 When the beads are strung, leave the first die on the thread. Add another needle onto the threads, taking both through the eye.

4 Cross-thread the beads—that Is. take each die through a few beads on the opposite end.


5 ' ••■■'■ i l l to the necklace between two beads, istng a double knot. See Figure 2.

6 " ii'?'id(e through a few more beads and k'Wt again, Repeat if desired.

7 [:,.i |:. rn • .vith bead cement or clear nail pol a» II poisiole. use a large needle to nudge each ww mio tne noie of an adjacent bead.


Tl'ere are various .vays to make a necklace (or Uaceletl of several strands.

Spacers and Multistrand Clasps

ValBble in a variety of materials, spacers are rigid tas with two to five holes. Thread a strand of Deaiii through each hole, and the spacer will hold them in the righl order. Clasps are available with multiple loops

Using Cones

Cones are a distinctive and attractive way to finish

si'. ver spacers from SRI LANKA


a multistrand necklace. Just be sure that the beads at each end are small enough to fit Into a cone.

1. Select a large eye pin. To make your own, cut a piece of 20- or 22-gauge wire about 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) longer than the cone and make a loop at one end of the wire, using round-nose pliers.

2. Tie the bead threads onto the wire loop, using a secure double knot. Trim the thread ends and add a dab of bead cement to the knot.

3. Thread the cone onto the wire, covering both the knot and the loop of wire. See Figure 3.

4. Make a loop in the remaining wire end. twisting


si'. ver spacers from SRI LANKA

the wire around itself two or three times Trim the wire end. Attach the loop to a jump ring or clasp.



A necklace that alternates between a single strand and multiple strands is nifty-looking and comfort able; there's only one strand of beads at the back of your neck. Large-holed beads are essential.

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etaile r mo ecial

Cut as many pieces of thread as the maximum number of strands that the necklace will have— let's say six. Thread all six pieces of thread onto a large-eyed, twisted-wire needle, and tape or clip the ends so the beads don'l fall off. Treating the six threads as one. string on the beads for the left-hand single strand.

When the single strand is as long as you want it, remove the threads from the needle. Add a needle


m f c k i ace 10 each Piece of thread. (Since each needle will hold only one thread, smaller-eyed, rigid needles design sarah k v o u n g W'H fine- If the beads are small, they're essert-

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Ual.) String beads onto each separate thread until the multiple strands are as long as you want them, J

Remove the six needles from the threads. String aft if six threads onto the twisted-wire needle. Again treating the six threads as one. string the beads fori the single strand on the right side of the necklacej Add a clasp.


If you've ever swept dramatically through a bead curtain, you know the value of fringe. Free-swirt strands of beads add movement and Interest to beaded jewelry.

To begin the fringe, anchor a long thread to the elry (see Individual project instructions) and add a needle.

String ori beads as desired; the more beads tlie longer the fringe. At the bottom, stnng on a larger



,hnd for weight. then another small bead. Take the '.tread arounc trie small bead, then back up through all trie previous beads. See Figure 4.

hsteao of a large oead. end the strand with a loop flftaatfs. The more beads, the larger the loop. See figurti 5 Oi hang the fringe from two beads that it farther apart. See Figure 6.


Sringori enough tieaus for the full length of the in mind thai it will shorten some-«M as itju work. Take the thread around the last £M.andl»ck up through several beads—let's say twse

Bring tho needle out nf the main stem and string on tl» bents for side twig—let's say four. Go around 'he is' beau rid back up through the twig beads. BWTfljoin ¡tie main stem, taking the needle back nam '"-ads as you like. Exit again when ysuti! ready to» another twig See Figure 7.

Itiefhnge will hang txmei if the twigs fall on differ-ii sides of the stem.


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leather clasps wiih bead edging




When joining two pieces of leather, a simple running stitch will often serve, especially if a row of I beads covers the joined edges. Another alternatw-j is a venerable Native American technique called >1 bead edging.

Lay the two pieces of leather so that the edges a^ aligned. For a two-bead edging, take the needle through a bead, then through both pieces of leather, then up through the bead again. Suing ort two beads, then proceed according to Figure 8. fv\ a single-bead edging, follow Figure 9.

figure a


6mm 68

8mm 50

10mm 40

Length of Strand

112 153

76 100

56 45

76 61

DESIGN: Donna Zalusky

HOW-TO: Crimp beads, page 15.

4 Finish the ends with crimp beads and a sterling silver clasp.

2 Position a large wafer bead in the center of the "£>:--tall. (Starting in the center allows you to adjust we length of the necklace to your liking.)

3 w irking from the center outward, add glass and

DESIGN: Donna Zalusky

HOW-TO: Crimp beads, page 15.

YOU WILL NEED Witt Tiger tail

9 large, glass wafer beads

Clear glass spacer beads

Yellow crystal spacer beads

2 crimp beads Chain-nose pliers Silver clasp

A FEW stunning beads. a handful of accent beads, a simple design—the ELEMENTS of fine jewelry. the large glass beads in this necklace, hand-FORMED by Donna zalusky, take their glitter and texture from the silver foil INSIDE. a similar design will showcase your favorite beads.

crystal spacers as shown, or vary the pattern according to your own taste. Continue until all nine wafer beads are used. Finish with spacers on each side.

4 Finish the ends with crimp beads and a sterling silver clasp.

2 Position a large wafer bead in the center of the "£>:--tall. (Starting in the center allows you to adjust we length of the necklace to your liking.)

3 w irking from the center outward, add glass and

DESIGN: Hunt Newton

The focal points of this necklace are two Nepalese prayer boxes, th silver one in the center and the lapis lazuli one on the right. PRAYE boxes are designed to hold mantras for meditation. echoing the PRAYS theme are two peruvian milagro charms—the cow at left and the huma torso at right—which are placed on statues of saints to ACCOMPAN prayers for healing.

1 Starting in the center and working out to each end. string the beads on the tigertall.

2 Finish the ends with crimp beads and add a clasp.

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DESIGN: Hunt Newton

HOW-TO: Crimp beads, page 15.

YOU WILL NEED Tigertail Beads and charms Crimp beads Chain-nose pliers Clasp

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