Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chunky Bead Necklaces

As discussed many (many, many, many) times on this blog - I'm not super crafty, so when I find a craft that's easy for me to make, I get pretty excited and may, or may not, go a little overboard in making said craft over and over and over again.  Hee.  :-)

 That's the way it is right now with chunky bead necklaces.  They seem to be everywhere on little girls these days!  I decided to make one for ML in her school colors so she could wear it with her uniform on 'no PE' days.  The biggest obstacle seems to be finding larger, candy colored beads at stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael's.  For this particular necklace, I only had time to visit Hobby Lobby, so I decided to fill in the 'lack of' candy colored beads with sparkly, clear beads.  Because, who doesn't love a nice sparkle?????  :-)

Once I settled on the beads and chose my wire (more on that in a few,) my final decision was what type of clasp to purchase.  I settled on a toggle clasp, but there were lots of choices!  If my beads had been lighter, I might have chosen the magnetic clasp, just because it would be so easy for ML to operate on her own.

I had so much fun making that necklace, that I decided to make a bracelet for our friend who was baptized on Sunday using the same method.  I used beads in school colors once again and another toggle clasp.

I've *attempted* to make other jewelry over the years and most of those attempts have been total failures, mostly due to the materials I used to string the beads.  I finally came to the conclusion that stretchy plastic thread and fabric threads aren't for me.  Wire seems to be my medium (if a not-so-crafty girl can have a medium - ha!)
 I usually start by cutting (with tiny pliers) a length of wire about 1.5 times what I think I'll need (if I was better at this/ did it more often, I'd probably waste much less wire.)  Then a make a small, temporary loop at one end of the wire to serve as a 'stop' for the beads I'm stringing.  After all of the beads are on the wire, I simply unhook the temporary loop and attach each end of the toggle clasp to each end of the necklace/ bracelet.
I attach the toggles by threading it around and around the attachment loop and then twisting at the bottom between the toggle and the closest bead, but I'm not sure that's the 'professional' way of doing things.  It's just my way.  :-)
Not sure about the bracelet, since it was a gift, but the necklace has held up very well and we are really enjoying it!