How to Make a Simple Bead-on-a-Wire Necklace

comments (3) September 7th, 2008     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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This simple centerpiece spotlights a single bead.
Heres everything youll need to make your own bead-on-a-wire necklace (plus pliers).
Add your chain to the centerpiece by carefully opening the plain loop.
My finished bead-on-a-wire necklace is 16-1/2 inches long.
This simple centerpiece spotlights a single bead.

This simple centerpiece spotlights a single bead.

Photo: Susan Beal

I love to make sleek, simple jewelry that lets a favorite bead (or a handful of beads) shine through. This easy little necklace project was a fun way to spotlight a vintage pink pearl bead I rescued from a broken piece of costume jewelry, letting it move freely on the wire curve in the center.

You'll need:

• One focal bead

• 20-gauge wire

• Chain of your choice

• Pliers

• Two small jump rings

• Clasp of your choice

1. Cut a 2-1/2-inch piece of 20-gauge wire and form a plain loop at one end with your round-nose pliers, following the natural curve of the wire. Put the bead onto the wire and form another plain loop at the opposite end. Gently press both ends of the wire toward the center to create a sleek, pretty curve. (Note: you can also make the wire longer or shorter, depending on the size of your bead or the look you prefer.)

2. Cut two pieces of chain for the sides of the necklace. Mine were 6-1/2 inches each so that the finished necklace (with clasp) would measure about 16 inches, but adjust the chain measurements to suit your own preferred length.

3. Carefully open one plain loop on the wire with your pliers and slip the last link of one piece of chain onto the wire. Close it the same way to secure it. Now repeat this with the second piece of chain on the other side.

4. Open both jump rings and slip one onto each outer end of the chain pieces. Attach the clasp to one end and the ring to the other and close the jump rings to securely join them.

5. Try on your necklace! If it feels too long, you can open the jump rings, cut a few links off each side of the chain, and reattach the clasp. Or just curve the wire more dramatically for a shorter center section.

You could also fill the entire wire curve with a row of beads, or make the center section much more compact so that the bead is closely surrounded by loops instead of in the center of a longer piece.


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posted in: Jewelry, wire, necklace, how-to, chain, easy, bead, pearl, simple, pliers

Comments (3)

Nodan writes: Your necklace is very simple. I want to learn to make one, the design is very beautiful.
Posted: 4:29 am on March 21st
Jrsjewels writes: This is nice--sleek and elegant. Thanks forv sharing!
Posted: 6:47 am on October 5th
trusk4u writes: I had to try it and I think my piece turned out rather icely. It's posted in the gallery!
Posted: 1:43 pm on September 9th
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