Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Simple Spring Necklace {Waste Not Wednesday}

Rummaging through my beading stash the other week, I came across a bag full of plastic yellow beads - not the sort of thing I would normally go out of my way to purchase, so I have no idea where they came from. As I was stuffing them back into my beading box I had a sudden vision of finding them in about ten years, stuffed at the bottom of a box and finally deciding that it was time to throw them away. It made me feel a little sad.

Determined to make the most of them, I decided on a simple, strung necklace that's perfect for spring. So, for this week's Waste Not Wednesdays, we're going back to jewellery school basics with a project that's so easy you could make it with your kids during the Easter Break or whip it up whilst watching your favourite film.

I made one, very long necklace for versatility. I can wear it long, knot it or wrap it around for a layered look, but you may prefer to make a few separates. I also used what I had to hand, but you can change the look from pretty to elegant just by substituting the beads you use. It would look stunning made with some pearls!

You'll Need:

A selection of plastic or light weight beads - they do not have to be the same size, shape or colour.
Beading elastic or thin sewing elastic thread.

1. If you are working with a spool of beading elastic or sewing elastic, start threading your beads directly onto the spool. This will allow you to decide on the length of your necklace at any time and will also stop the beads from falling off one end as you thread them onto the other!

Tip - If you aren't working on a spool, you could always tie one end of the elastic to a chair, door handle or big toe (!) so that you can concentrate on your threading.

String Onto Spool

2. Continue to thread your beads onto the elastic - perhaps alternating beads of different sizes or colours - until you have a necklace of the desired length or run out of beads.

3. When all of your beads have been threaded, cut the elastic from the spool leaving at least five inches of elastic at each end of your beads.

4. Bring both ends of the elastic together and tie a surgeon's knot into the elastic. Tighten the knot so that it nestles between two of your beads, then add a small amount of superglue to the knot.

Surgeon's Knot

Superglue The Knot

5. When the superglue has dried, trim the ends of the elastic, then carefully pull the elastic so that the knot slides into one of the adjacent beads.

Tip - To finish off my necklace, I found a scrap piece of ribbon in a similar colour and tied it in a bow around the beads. This is also a perfect way to keep your necklace lengths together if you wrap them.

Finished Pretty

As always, I'd be grateful for any feedback or questions about the tutorial and if you do have a go at making something I feature let me know, I'd love to stop by and have a look!


  1. Ooh my, very nice :-) Can see you in it, too! All looks very clear to me, my dear x

  2. That is so fricking awesome. You could also tie the elastic to a tooth to save on dentist bills...


  3. Clair...I played/worked on putting my beads in the 3 plastic apple thingys yesterday afternoon and today {17th} took a pic.
    Realized it was Wednesday and came a looking and now I have a little bracelet of Barbie beads, a couple of pony beads, 2 pukas and some silver/copper/bronze E-beads. I decided to add some stitching so haven't taken a picture yet...I am already wearing it though. ^__^

  4. This was very clear but I do not know what a surgeons knot is - we work in terms of slips and reefs here! I am no crafty gal but I have a three year old who loves and lives for all that sparkles and shines .... I can see that this tutorial will come in handy!
    By the way, the colour of the beads is gorgeous and the ribbon finishes the necklace really well :-)

  5. I'm loving yellow at the moment and wearing it with inky blue or grey for spring; so I think this is very cute indeed!

  6. surgeons knot? It doesn't sound like a cakewalk. The necklace is beautiful and the idea of keeping the thread on the spool while threading the beads is brilliant. I seriously never would have thought of that. These posts are a lot of fun and so inspiring!

  7. love what you have done with the yellow beads hun, knew they would come in handy eventualy xx

  8. A great tutorial and made me happy to see that I am not the only one who has 'where did they come from?' crafting moments :)

  9. THe color of those beads is so pretty and fresh. I"ll have to have a go at making that necklace. Great tutorial
    Found your blog thru (shoot, can't remember now) but saw some projects you'd done and wanted to get a look.


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