Roundnose pliers Needlenose pliers Crimping pliers

This twisting, curving snake-like necklace is certain to snag attention.

Step 1: Cut a length of chain that is slightly longer than you want the choker section of your necklace to be. You will leave at least a few links of chain at each end open.

Step 2: Tie a piece of thread three links in from one end of the chain. Glue this knot for extra strength. Weave in and out of the links adding size 6° or 8° seed beads in each link (Figure 1). Continue until you reach three links from the other end and tie another knot to anchor the thread. This is your base row of beads.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Step 3: Work back toward the beginning, again adding beads in each link. Do not add the beads in exactly the same place as the first row. Pass back and forth adding beads a few times until you have a nice base row to work from.

Step 4: Add larger beads. Spread them along the necklace and add smaller beads in between. Work in three dimensions and keep the diameter of the rope the same all along its width.

Step 5: Begin to use other beads for your anchors rather than always using your base row. Look for open spaces where the chain shows through and cover these spaces with beads. Use smaller and smaller size beads as you create more layers. Continue adding beads until you have a nice lush rope with no open holes or gaps.

Step 6: String a piece of 20-gauge wire through the focal bead. Make a hangman's-noose loop at the top and bottom of the bead. Sew the desired type of fringe through the bottom loop. Attach a piece of thread to the center of the necklace where you want your focal bead to be. Pass through the wrapped loop at the top of the focal bead and attach it securely to the necklace by sewing into the rope and through the wrapped loop several times.

Step 7: Cut the chain so that you have only a single link protruding from the bead rope on each end.

Step 8: Cut a length of Soft Flex. String 1 crimp bead and pass the wire through the last remaining link on the rope. Pass back through the crimp bead and squeeze it with a crimping pliers, leaving a 1" tail. String a bead with a large enough hole to fit over the crimp bead snugly up against the end of the beaded rope. String more beads until you have enough to reach the point where you want to put the clasp. String a second crimp bead and one side of the clasp. Pass back through the crimp beads and as many rope beads as possible. Pull tight and squeeze the second crimp bead. Cut the wire close to the beads.

Repeat Step 8 for the other side of necklace.

Judi Mullins has been doing beadwork off and on for most of her adult life. She has been published in several magazines and has taught around the Northwest area. She is now teaching classes and doing beadwork designs out of her home in Tigard, Oregon. You can contact her at [email protected].

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