Friday, August 26, 2011

Wooden Bead Necklace

 I recently saw a tutorial on Martha Stewart for a wooden bib necklace.  So I gave it a whirl!  
Here is the finished product:

I used 3/8" beads that I bought on eBay for $6.50.  I had wire, ribbon and clasps laying around, so I didn't need to buy anything besides the beads.  Anyway, here is a full supply list:
  • 120 beads, 3/8", wooden (or any material you'd like)
  • about 70" of wire (the tutorial estimated 73", but I definitely used less. I am not sure how much, so get 70" just to be safe)
  • 24 inches of ribbon (12 inches for each side)
  • 5 crimps (the tutorial calls for 3, but I used more - details below)
  • Pliers and wire cutters
So here is the basic design:

1) Start out with 18" of wire.  Put on 11 beads.  When putting on the 12th bead, make sure both ends of the wire go through the hole.  I have highlighted which bead that is.  This something you will repeat throughout the necklace, so from now on I will refer to it as "double bead" to make life easier :)  (do you like how I just make up terms??).
2) Add 5 beads to both sides and "double bead" the 6th. Repeat one more time.  Once you have done that, you will have the first 'tower' complete.  Now here comes the tricky part.
3) The tutorial shows the crimp somehow in between the beads.  Since most pliers won't fit in the hole (I have a few sets and even my smallest ones couldn't get in there well enough to crimp closed), I had to crimp on the side.  So basically I put the last (6th) bead on one side, pulled both wires through the crimp, and closed the crimp next to the bead.

The crimp ended up being in between bead 5 and 6, instead of in between 6.  Not the end of the world, but it would be nice if Ms. Stewart explained how to get the crimp inside the bead!
4) Take more wire and start all over!  Put on 7 beads, then take one side of the wire and thread through the 3rd bead of the 2nd loop.  On the same side, put on 2 more beads and "double bead" the last one. Do this again on the same side of the necklace and two more times on the other side of the necklace.

5) I was about 20 beads shy (somehow!) of doing two extra loops at the top on each side, so I just did one on each side.  Ah, live & learn!  
6) I then added a crimp (closed it), added a bead, and then another crimp. Before I closed the last crimp, I threaded the wire through to make a loop.  Then I closed the crimp and added ribbon.  I knotted the ribbon at one end and used my little trick (of burning the edges*) on the other end.
*Lightly burn the edges of the ribbon to stop from fraying.  Hold out a lighter towards to ribbon.  Do not get too close or you will burn your hand and project!  Once you see the ribbon start to brown and curl, move it away.  It only takes a second.

7) Wear it and work it ;)


  1. Forgot to mention, I would recommend using wire instead of beading cord. That way you can shape each loop into more of a circle. You will see the weight of the beads made the loops more oval than round. Anyway, I would suggest wire with a low gauge so you can shape. The wire I used was too soft.

  2. Very cool! Looks really cute around the neck too! Stopping by from 30 handmade days.

  3. WAY cool!!!! And great tutorial! Very original :)

    Would love for you to stop by my new linky party to show off your wooden bib necklace! It's all things DIY fashion and this is just the perfect project to link up to DIY Diva Thursdays :) I hope to see you there!

  4. Beautiful!! Gotta love Martha! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Beautiful necklace!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  6. Very cool!!! Find you from Tip Junkie!!

  7. I will never get around to make this - but it sure is cute! bet it can be worn with just about everything!

  8. Lovely! Thanks for the detailed instructions!! Very nicely written up! And thanks for sharing on Fancy This Fridays!!

  9. Love this...hope I get to make a few! Thanx for your great tips!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...