Make a Revamped Sparkle Necklace and Earrings Set

comments (4) July 21st, 2015     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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The revamped sparkle necklace joins crystal-clear beads with chain, accented with small drops.
Revamp an old costume jewelry necklace into a new, delicate necklace and earrings set, using a few simple craft materials!
The earring drops are made with delicate chain and matching beads.
The revamped sparkle necklace joins crystal-clear beads with chain, accented with small drops.

The revamped sparkle necklace joins crystal-clear beads with chain, accented with small drops.

Photo: Susan Beal
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I wanted to make a new set of jewelry to wear to a friend's wedding coming up, and I came up with this idea to rework an old necklace I never wear anymore. I used a piece with graduated clear Lucite square beads and mixed in two styles of chain to update it as a sleek choker with matching scalloped embellishments. I had enough beads left over to make matching earrings, with plenty to spare for a future project…a bracelet, maybe?

sparkle necklace and earrings set
Here's everything I used to make my necklace and earrings set.

What you'll need:

  • Pliers (flat-nose, round-nose, and wire cutters)
  • One old necklace to work with
  • 22-gauge gold wire
  • Seed beads in a coordinating color
  • Oversized gold circle chain (I used 9 inches total) and thinner gold chain (I used 18 inches total)
  • Eye pins, clasp, and earring wires
  • Velvet jewelry displays to design on

To make the necklace:

1. Cut the necklace cord so that the beads are free, and arrange seven of them as you'd like with your focal or largest ones in the center (if they are different sizes). Measure each of your three central beads and write down their length. I used a total of seven beads that ranged from 1/4 to 1 inch across, so depending on the size of your beads, you may need to use more or fewer total. My arrangement was three large beads (1 inch across), two medium (5/8 inch), and two small (1/4 inch).

2. Cut seven pieces of 3- to 4-inch-long wire, one for each of your beads. Form a plain loop on one end of your first piece of wire. Add one seed bead, one larger bead, and another seed bead. Form a plain loop at the other end so that you have a bead link ready to work with.

sparkle necklace and earrings set
Join the beads to the circle chain with plain loops.

3. Repeat step 2 with each of your other beads.

4. Cut six pieces of circle chain-mine were three links each at 1-1/2 inches long. These will go in between each of the seven bead links.

5. Referring to your measurements in step 1, cut one piece of thin chain for each central bead, exactly twice as long as the bead measures. If your large beads are 1 inch across, the corresponding pieces of chain will measure 2 inches, for example.

6. Starting with the center bead, gently open the plain loop on one side and slip the end link of the chain onto the open loop. Slip the end link of your first piece of circle chain inside, too, and close the loop.

7. Repeat step 6 with the other end of the chain and the other side of the bead link. You now have a scallop of chain hanging down below the center bead in the design, with a section of circle chain to each side.

sparkle necklace and earrings set
A scallop of chain hangs below each of the three central beads.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with thin chain scallops and circle bead sections for each of your other central beads.

9. Arrange the beads and circle chain so that they alternate as shown, ending with beads at each side of the back. Join the outer four beads and sections of circle chain between them.

10. As you work your way around the necklace, finish constructing the piece by adding your clasp and ring to the outer loops of the smallest bead links and closing the plain loops.

sparkle necklace and earrings set
Add the clasp using the outer plain loops on the smallest bead links.

11. Now you'll embellish those three central scallops of chain with three smaller beads dangling down. Using an eye pin, add a seed bead, then a smaller bead, then another seed bead onto it. Make a plain loop above the stack of beads.

12. Next, mark the center link of your first chain scallop, open the top plain loop, and slip the bead dangle through the chain link. Close the plain loop so that it hangs down securely.

13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 to embellish the other two central beads.

sparkle necklace and earrings set
The necklace pattern uses alternating beads and chain segments.

To make the earrings:

1. Cut two 5-inch pieces and two 1-inch pieces of thin chain, and set them aside along with two medium beads (mine were 5/8 inch) and two small beads (mine were 1/4 inch).

2. Cut four 3-inch pieces of wire and form bead links with each bead, adding seed beads on each side as you did with the necklace links (above).

3. Open the plain loops on each side of one of the medium bead links, and slip one end link of a 5-inch piece of chain through the open loop. Close it securely. Now join the other end of the same piece of chain to the other side of the bead link and close the plain loop on that side, too.

4. Repeat step 3 with the second medium bead link and the second 5-inch piece of chain.

5. Open one plain loop of each small bead link and slip one 1-inch piece of chain onto one loop. Close it securely. Repeat with the second piece of chain and the second small bead link.

sparkle necklace and earrings set
The components of the earrings hang together from the earring wire.

6. Now mark the center of each 5-inch piece of chain. Open the first earring wire and slip that center link onto it. Next, slip the first link of the 1-inch piece of chain onto the earring wire, so that the small bead dangle hangs above the medium bead link.

7. Repeat step 6 to finish the second earring.

sparkle necklace and earrings set
The finished earrings have a central chain descending within the larger design.

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posted in: wire, necklace, earrings, vintage, chain, sparkle, revamped

Comments (4)

LilyFord writes: Good work I would pay for this :)
Posted: 9:33 am on August 12th
BellaPerlaJewelry writes: love this, gave me a great idea
Posted: 1:10 pm on November 23rd
mommaviv writes: I like this a lot. Now I'm anxious to raid my rarely opened jewelery box.

Posted: 11:28 pm on June 4th
Maureclaire writes:
Wow ! Gorgeous ! And, sooo creative !
Posted: 10:45 am on May 17th
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