Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tutorial: Collar style necklace

I know I don't get round to doing tutorials very often and I should do more but I never seem to find the time. Either that or I'm halfway through making something and think I should have made a tutorial out of it! So here's a collar style necklace tutorial to make up for it...

You will need:
  • A selection of beads - I used four different types of beads, you will need an even number of each different type of beads plus one for the extender chain if you add this part
  • A charm
  • Pliers - round nose, chain nose, flat nose and wire cutters
  • A ring sizing rod, or something else round
  • 16 gauge craft wire
  • Metal block and hammer
  • Crimps
  • Chain
  • Clasp
  • Silk cord, available from Bijoux Beads
  • Two medium sized folding crimps
  • Jump rings
  • Split ring if you don't add the extender chain
  • Sharp scissors
  • Clear beading thread
Lets get started...

1. Gather all your beads and divide the different types of beads into two groups. String each separate group of beads onto the clear beading thread, leave long tails either end and tie a temporary knot at both ends to stop the beads falling off. Then order the bead strings into length from smallest to longest.

2. Next take your 16 gauge craft wire. I just wanted to recommend this wire to you, I get it from Bijoux Beads, its says tarnish resistant and it actually is, something I have found is quite rare. This is the only brand of wire I buy now. The worst thing is spending hours making a wire work necklace and then finding it tarnishes in a few months, its also great for making your own jump rings and eyepins.
Use a ring sizing rod and the handle of a pair of pliers and wrap the wire twice around the handle of the pliers and once around the ring sizing rod. I chose the smallest size of ring on the ring sizing rod but it really doesn't matter what size you make this part, just do whatever size you think is best.

3. Cut the twice wrapped loops down the middle with the wire cutters, this will be quite tough because of the thickness of the wire.
This should leave you with two smaller loops, you can see in the photo above one side of the loops are higher than the other. Don't worry yet about closing the loops completely, this will mostly get flattened out in the next step.

4. Use a hammer and metal block to flatten the wire rings, the wire will kind of spread out and become flatter. This gives the rings a more finished look and nicer handmade look. It also helps the rings to become stronger.

5. You will be left with two smaller and one larger ring, the hammering may cause the rings to open slightly at the join, you can fix this by gently pushing the sides of the rings towards each other slightly past the point where they should meet. The ends should spring back slightly so they do not cross each other but stay close together. If you have a soldering tool you can solder the join for extra security but its not essential.

6. Take the largest ring and one of the pair of the shortest rows of beading and untie the loose knot at one end. Thread a crimp bead onto the end then thread the end through the ring and then back through the crimp bead as shown above.
7. Then push the crimp right up the ring and pull the clear thread tight. Flatten the crimp with chain nosed pliers.

8. Repeat from step 6 three more times with the other strands of beads remembering to order them in terms of length.
9. Then take one of the smaller rings and repeat steps 6 and 7 with the other ends of the strings of beads. You may need to remove some beads from the strands at this point to ensure the length of the strands is correct. Keep holding the necklace up to judge this so you can see how the strands will hang when worn. Note how many beads you removed from each strand so the other side of the necklace will be the same.

10. Repeat from step 6 for the other side of the necklace remembering to remove the same number of beads as the other side. Now the front part of your necklace is complete.

11. Take the silk cord and cut into four equal lengths of 14cm. Take out two medium folding crimps.

12. Thread two of the lengths of silk cord through one of the smaller rings.

13. Gather the ends of the cord tightly together and place inside the folding crimp, hold this with your thumb nail to ensure the ends don't slip, then fold in the ends of the crimp and firmly flatten with flat nosed pliers.
14. Hold the necklace around your neck to test the length, you can decide if you want to add an extension chain for extra length. I decided I would because I felt the necklace was a bit too short and this way you can change the length of it easily when you want to.

15. If you don't want to add an extension chain you can use a clasp and a split ring and attach these to the folding crimps with two small jump rings (shown open in the above photo). If you add the extension chain you will need the two small jump rings and clasp.

16. If you do chose to add the extension chain you can do this with a piece of leftover curb chain with medium sized links that you will be able to put the clasp through to secure the necklace. Attach this with a small jump to one of the folding crimps.

17. Take a leftover bead and head pin and thread the bead onto the headpin, bend the end of the head pin over as shown.

18. Cut the end of the headpin with wire cutters about half a cm away from the bead.

19. Then use round nose pliers to create a loop with the end of the wire.

20. Open this loop and attach to the end of the extension chain. Attach the clasp with the other jump ring to the other folding crimp.

21. Using a small jump ring attach a charm to the larger ring at the centre of the necklace for the perfect finishing touch.
You are done! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and enjoy wearing your finished necklace, handmade is always best. As always I will happily answer any questions about this tutorial, so if you need to, leave me a message in the comments below this post. I'd love to see your finished versions, you can contact me with a photo on Twitter, @Made_By_Hannah or if you write a blog send me a link to your post about your completed necklace, I'd love to see all the different colour combinations and bead variations you come up with. Happy making, I hope you are enjoying the summer sun and crafting in your garden as I am!


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