Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bead Rope Necklace


This is a simple pattern but requires a lot of time and work. Once you've got it, you've got it though. 

Using a thread (I used a kind meant for beading that I purchased at hobby lobby, not sewing thread) and a longish but thin needle, bead all of the beads you will use for the necklace. I used size 11/0 seed beads. The needle needs to be thin enough to fit through the bead. 

Color pattern to follow while stringing beads:


You will string the beads on in that order, over and over again until you have enough on for the length you want.

Figuring out the length you will end up with in the final result is tricky. Rather than counting beads, I take the thread once the beads are on, and I measure out the length I want the necklace, and then I make sure that there are five strands that length. I will then throw in an additional amount of beads just to be on the safe side. You will make mistakes and lose beads that you have to break off as you go along.

This necklace is between 17 and 18 inches long and if I had to estimate how many beads I'd use, I'd guess around 1000.

There are many supplies you will need. Not all are a requirement but they make it a lot easier!

Crocheting hook (size 7 or smaller... I've learned that its best if I just use whatever works best with my tension, so try out a few different sizes with the size thread you are using).
Beading thread
Seed beads (however many different colors you will be using)
Flat nose pliers
Bead Caps (that you can tighten) 
Bead glue 

I put in bold the ones you HAVE to have. You can make the necklace long enough to where you can crochet the ends together and it will slip over the head. This eliminates the need for clasps or caps or glue or the rings. The flat nose pliers are what I used to crush the beads if I had made a mistake in the pattern. If you can get the pattern on the thread perfectly, you won't need this at all. 

Finally, you need to know how to make the crochet rope. I'll give written instructions but will also include a youtube video that helped me learn (I did not make the video and do not take any credit for the video).

Ch 5, join with sl st to form circle, *slide bead up, sl st in next st* all the way around (you'll have five beads). *Sl st into the bead, slide it onto the right side of the hook, cross the thread over the hook from the right to the left, slide a bead up, YO and sl st it into place.* You repeat the last set in the stars until you reach the desired length or run out of beads. It sounds really complicated but it isn't... if that doesn't make complete sense, just use the tutorial. I tried learning on seed beads but using the pony beads really helped me master it quickly.

And again, I do not take any credit for this video. It helped me learn when I first started doing this!

After I completed my last bit of beads and the necklace was the right length (if you don't add enough beads, hope is not lost. Cut the thread, string more beads on following the same pattern, pick up where you left off with the colors... a mistake will become obvious quickly... and join the new thread with a sl st... I used the old thread for a few more beads and the new thread at the same time so as to "lock" it into the project before I used it the first time), I tied it off. I glued on the bead caps on either side to make sure it wouldn't come loose and looked nice. I added the toggle clasps I have and the necklace was done. 

I added an initial to decorate it but that isn't a must and you can really do it however you want.

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