By Rajini Coore
As I mentioned in a previous post, summer is the perfect time to get into a really in depth, intense project. Last night I started making this necklace…
And at 12 pm today it was done
- 56-60 4mm beads
- 7 6mm beads
- A crap ton of bugle beads (the long black ones) or seed beads (the tiny ones)
- 11/0 seed beads
- 36 bicones (the pointy ones; can vary sizes based on desired effect)
- Number 12 beading needle
- About 6 feet of nylon beading thread
- 18 inches of beading wire or tiger tail
- Clasp and jump rings
- Crimp beads
- Pliers, scissors and wire cutters
The basic technique for this necklace is making fringe. It’s not hard, but creating this magnitude of fringe takes a very long time.
Step 1: prepare your strands. There are two main strands in this project, the tiger tail and the nylon. The tiger tail is the base strand from which the fringe hangs and the nylon makes up the fringe. To attach them, string a crimp bead onto the tiger tail and pull the nylon through it. At this point you have a choice between just attaching the findings directly or using a clamshell knot cover to make the closure more polished looking. I used a clamshell, and a tiny glass bead in addition to the crimp bead to prevent the nylon from slipping out.
Step 2: Start stringing the beads onto the tiger tail. I used 15 4mm faceted rounds, then 1 6mm faceted round, then 5 4mms, 1 6mm and then 4 4mms until I reached the penultimate 6mm. After that I added 5 4mms, the last 6mm and finally the remaining 15 4mms. You can add more 4mms at the beginning and end to make a longer necklace. Tape the end of the strand to prevent the beads from falling off
Step 3: thread the nylon onto your needle and pass it through the first 15 4mms and the first 6mm bead. Now comes the fun part! Pick up 1 11/0 seed bead, 7 bugle beads, 2 more seed beads, a crystal bicone and another seed bead. Next, pass the nylon thread back through all the beads you just added except the final seed bead. This is your first fringe.
After a while you will have something that looks like this:
Step 3: continue. That’s basically all their is to it, continue until you’ve reached the final 6mm bead, making the fringe lengths incrementally longer to get a tapered effect. I did the following pattern (only the number of bugle beads varies, the other beads remain constant): 7,11,13,15,16,16,16,16,17,18,18,19,20 and then reversed it to complete the other side. The hardest part about this is counting out the beads because at 2am your eyes start to falter. Also, long lengths of nylon are notoriously annoying. You probably won’t be able to do this with one continuous length unless you enjoy slowly losing sanity, so you can add more nylon as you run out. Just pass the nylon through a couple beads before your target spot, leave a tail and tie it in a slipknot. This is the same way you finish a length of thread. After about 6-8 hours, your fringe should be complete.
Step 4: finish up the necklace. Add the other end of your clasp, tie off your nylon and trim any excess. Now your creation is good to go!