Create a multi-strand beaded necklace | Monique Littlejohn | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tools and supplies

    • 3. Stringing first necklace

    • 4. Simple bracelet

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn 2 techniques for creating a multi strand necklace. The class is outlined as follows:

1. You will learn about the tools and supplies that you will need and where you can find them.

2. Next, you will lay out your first design.

3. You will learn how to adjust your necklace into creating a multistrand bracelet.

Please see the class project attachment for the class outline.

Meet Your Teacher

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Monique Littlejohn

Jewelry Teacher and Nonprofit Professional


Monique Littlejohn is an American expat living her dream of sustainability in South Australia. Her classes currently focus on jewelry design, but in the future, she will add crafting with nature products, gardening, beekeeping, and winemaking - all with a sustainable focus in mind.

She left her very successful nonprofit corporate development and marketing career of 16 years to focus on teaching learning lost skills, so that she could bridge the gap between the "greatest generation" (WWII) and "millennials."

She is also an accomplished jewelry designer and craft teacher who has published 7 books on jewelry making.

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Monique Littlejohn, and I'm a jewelry artist. Thank you for joining me today. Today we are going toe learn how to make a multi strand necklace. We're going to actually do multiple variations of a multi strand necklace, which are very popular right now. My background is that I'm a jewelry artist and I've been a jewelry artist for over 20 years . I'm going to show you how Teoh choose your supplies, the dues and the don't in the trade, the layout in how to use a beadboard, and finally, the most important for those of you who want to sell your jewelry, the pricing and the strategy to be able to get the most money for the effort that you've put into it. Thank you again for joining me today, and I hope you'll take more of my courses. You can find me here and on my own website at monique Littlejohn dot com. 2. Tools and supplies: I again Now we're going to talk about the tools and supplies that you're going to need in addition to the beads that you are going to be stringing up. So let's get started. The first tool you'll need is a work space. This is a really helpful workspace because it will allow you to lay out your design with multiple strands. It's one that I use all of the time. Next, you'll need Cem Good quality tiger tail wire. When you make your first necklace, I recommend using this where cause it's so much easier to use than it is to use a any kind of thread or embroidery wire. Once you're used to using this, you can switch to the others if you'd like next. These are really helpful. They're called feed caps, and they helped to hide all of the different endings that you have when you, uh, make your multiple threads so they come in different sizes. As you can see, here is a small one, and here's a large one. They come in very handy. Next, these air just gorgeous. They separate the beads that you use, so that way it makes your necklace much larger and much more elegant. So what you can see here is that there are multiple holes in this case. Cesaire three hold. And this one is a actually this I said it was three whole. It's actually a six whole here, and this is a four hole. So when we use these, we we string the beads through the parallel lines here. Now I'm going to show you a couple of different types of clasps that you can use. This one is a multi whole class that you would use if you were to make a necklace that doesn't involve a single chain closure. If you're using a single chain closer closure, you have this. Or if you're using the cups that I showed you in the previous slide there, you could use this single hole closure. You'll also need some jump rings if you decide to use the big cats. So these are the jump REITs that I show, uh, that that actually fit nicely inside one of these caps. When you add all of the necklaces together, these are going to be hard to see on the screen. But the cult crimps Chris are really handy because they're going to be What? Keep all of the beads in place. As you see the really tiny they may only have one or two millimeters worth of a whole. So since you're dealing with something that is so small, you're likely going to need so good vision. These were some goggles, they're called. They're jewelers advisers. And this is what I use. But when I don't feel like putting them on, I sometimes just where my reading glasses. Of course, if you have perfect vision, you won't even need this. But they sure are helpful for me now, there are three different tools that you'll need to use. These are the wire cutters. Please don't use scissors when you're trying to cut tiger tail wire, you're cutting through stainless steel. You need to use wire cutters and this will work out just fine. They're not too expensive. All of these custody, maybe Teoh 10 or $15 for the set. These are flat nose fires, and this is what you can use to close the crimps. Please don't bother buying those expensive, crimped closers that they sell it. Michaels, you really don't need special tools. This is all you need from almost every piece of jewelry that you make next. This is called a chain nose plier. As you can see, it's wider on the top and narrower on the the bottom, and that allows you to make different size loops. So, really, these were the only three pieces of tools that you'll need, and chances are in your tool chest. When you're first starting out, you probably already have these three items. So now that you've taken look at all of these, the biggest challenge you will have is to choose the beautiful beads in your bead stash to create your necklace. So let's get started on our first design. Now, remember, if you have any questions, feel free to drop a line to me on the class, and I'll answer it as soon as I get it. Thanks again. 3. Stringing first necklace: Hi. So now we're going to start putting together a multi strand necklace, and for this purpose, I've chosen bright colored beats because you'll be able to see what I'm doing much easier that way. The first step is to get out your wire. This is very easy to use its called tiger tail wire, but don't worry there no, no killing of tigers were involved in this design. So I generally put things around my neck to the desired length and add a couple of inches to figure out how long I want to make a necklace. Don't worry. This stuff is not expensive, so it's better Teoh make so much where it leaves too much wire than not enough. Next I start stringing. Initially, I went ahead and put together design, and the interior is is about an inch smaller than the exterior. But as we go along, we will adjust as needed. In this particular case, I'm not going to close off the the end of the wire with crimps just yet, because I may need to add a few beads here and there. So I just have to be really careful. I'm using wood beats pink would beat along with acrylic faceted acrylic fire, polished beads, uh, as thief focal points of the necklace. So, basically, I'm just going to put all these pretty beads on here and then kind of push him down, but not pushing down too far. This is not the kind of necklace that you would want to make while you're on public transport or in your car on a road trip, because thes beads, we'll go everywhere if you just barely touched them. So this is the kind of thing that you do in front of the TV at home or at the dining room table when no one else is around. Looks like I'm missing a beat here, so there's gonna grab this one. What I'm doing is, or the part that is the closest to the neck I'm doing a simple A B pattern, which means that I'm going Big Little Big Little and for the designer layout of this particular necklace, I wanted Teoh create something that had Cem o Pe city to it, which means you can't see through it and some translucence, which means you can see through it because that adds just a nice dimension to your design. So as you can see this, this goes super fast When you have your design lead out. If you were to put together a necklace, that is what I call it Crazy quilt, which is just a whole bunch of beads with no rhyme or reason. It's okay to just work out of beat out of a B bag and use a piece of stream. And, uh, you could do that at one public transport. Okay, so now put these two together and it appears that I have more beats on one side than the other, so I'm gonna count them. 12345678123456 So add a couple more beads on this side like so. And then I will set this aside and start working on the next one. I'm gonna use exactly the same pattern as I did with this one. And just toe not bore you. I'll go ahead and do this and come back to you in just a minute. So I'm back now and I have strong both beats and I measured it around my neck. This is my favorite link. It's just slightly longer than a choker, but it really fills out a nice neckline. So this is the link that I'm gonna go with for this particular necklace. Now I'm going to add some cream, feeds you and finish off the necklace and you'll see how fast this goes. I've decided not to use these cups for this one, and instead use a to hold clasp. It will just make it a lot cleaner. And for your first necklace, I think this one would be good. So I grabbed my tiny crim and I loop it through that the whole. And then I put this through another hole for this purpose. You don't need to figure out what goes on top and what goes on bottom. Then I loop that extra piece of string through in a push it close to the class so there isn't that much room. Next, I use these flat nose pliers and I just pushed down as hard as I can, I make sure it's very closed, and then see, this little tail is a little tiger tail. I stick it through the bead that just gives a little extra protection to this particular side. and I pushed all of the beads up. So this first side is done, and in this case, this is gonna be the shorter side. So I moved the whole to the top of the necklace and I move on to the class the T bar. I grab another crim, I'll put it through and I grab the top of this tea bar, and this, this time I'm gonna bring it, is close to this other side of the necklace is possible, not the The crimp is actually smaller, then the whole in the beads. So it's really easy to get lost within in the beads, so you kind of have to play with it a little bit. But I'm gonna just go ahead and thread this through a couple of beads and then Lipsey keep losing it. And then basically, I'm keeping my finger on the crimp so I don't lose it. And then I get my chain those pliers, actually, just But my chain those fighters there. So that way I don't lose the crimp, and I pull it tight. Lips pull it tight, tight, tight. And then I closed the crimp with my flatness buyers. So then with this little piece of tail, I've got plenty left, so I'm not gonna throw it away. I'll be able to use this for a bracelet in the future, so I'll just put this aside and move on to the next side. So I'm going to repeat the process. First, grab a crim and I put the string through the crimp and and I loop this through. Now this would be considered the bottom hole. I make this through and then pull it. Pull it tight, close it at live. The 1st 3 beat few beads through. By the way, the reason why I'm using wood and acrylic beads for multi string necklace instead of gemstones or or rock beats is because this is a nice, lightweight material. And if you're making jewelry for senior citizens, for example, who may have Ah, next that you know Nick issues, it's best to go with really light beats because it causes less strain on the wearer. Otherwise, that person might need a little bit of a neck massage if you decide to go with a whole bunch of rocks around somebody's neck. Okay, so we're almost done. I'm just doing the 2nd 1 pushing it through. And now I'm just pulling the necklace. Still, it's tight, so I'm just pulling the necklace until it's tight. And then closing the crimp and clipping the end. Varela, you had a very easy and quick two strand necklace. Thanks for joining me in this first tutorial, and in the next tutorial I will show you another technique. See, assume. 4. Simple bracelet: Hi. I thought I'd try to do something a little different. Now I want to show you my home. Well, it's my home for the next week and 1/2 because I'm moving to Australia and I'm taking my online business with me. So the next time you see me, most likely I'm going to be in Adelaide, Australia with Wallabies and and King a ruse. And Kowal is all around. So I wanted to show you my work space, which is actually I'm here. Sitting on the floor in my couch is behind me. And here is my board. And, uh, it's just to show you that you can actually watch TV and make your beautiful jewelry at the same time. I think women in general like to multi task, so this is a great way to do it. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna show you how to make a very simple bracelet at I'm going to point the board point, point this down to the board now and get started. We're using exactly the same tools that we use before. Uh, and, uh, this time I'm going to do, though is I went toe use these beautiful freshwater pearl beads to create a beautiful necklace. I'm sorry bracelet, and I'm gonna be using these spacer beads, which are really simple Tibetan silver spacers. I've already laid out my design and I've already clipped my, uh, tiger tail wire here. And instead of using a bulky three pronged or to three prongs enclosure, I'm going to use a single one because it'll just take a little bit of the bulk off of the wrist. So I've already strung the 1st 1 just to speed things up a little bit for you because I know if your attention span is like mine, you want to move through this fairly quickly. And with this bracelet, I'm doing a simple A B pattern. The hardest part about working with pearls is finding the whole. So you want to be sure that you put the you get the right kind of wire that fits the pearls small holes or ask to get your whole your pearls drilled a little wider, cause that would just make it much easier for you to string everything up. So if you're making this bracelet for your cell, use your own wrist as judgment you just wrapped the tiger tail wire around your wrist and clip it about two inches longer than what you need or three inches even longer than what you need, because you can always use the left over wire for irritant, dangle earrings or other fund designs. So you see him. This isn't rocket science, but since I'm talking and doing this at the same time, look, I made a mistake. And unlike knitting or embroidery, it's so easy to fix your mistakes. When you make jewelry, you just pull off that feat and and keep going. So one of the other things that I love about jewelry making is that it doesn't need to be perfect. If you want something that looks perfect, then you might as well buy the machine made jewelry that comes out of China or some of the other countries that really focus on quantity rather than individual ism. What I love about the Japanese culture is they truly prize artistic creations, and they have this braise called wabi Sabi that's W A B I s a B I. When a master craftsman such as a ceramicist is making a pot, he will make it or she will make it absolutely perfect. And before it goes to fire, she'll nick it or he'll nick it because the ceramicist wants the person who buys it to know that they made the jewelry than the peace themselves, and it wasn't made through a factory. So that's called Wabi Sabi. And frankly, all of my jewelry encompasses that that wabi sabi concept. But what I've done is I've gone ahead and finished it off, and I'm going to string up another one. But I wanted to show you this first. This is what a single strand bracelet that you're probably already familiar with looks like , and you just close it off very easily like so. So now let's think about doing the second strand. You'll get your sting and a crypt feed here, and then you'll just bring the string through that same original hole and then you'll wrap it around, pull it tight in and grab your grab your players and just close it up, and I'm gonna point that this down to my table again and get started to restoring it. So I grabbed my Tibetan silver beat first, and then I start going here and start stringing it up. If you have it all set up before you get started, you can not have to spend so much time focusing on what you're doing and you'll be able to work on this in front of the TV, listening to the radio or your favorite podcast. That's that's what I do to relax. So just so we don't for you, I'm gonna go ahead and turn off the screen for a minute until I finish up the second row and then I'll turn it right back on. Okay, now we're going to finish our multi strand bracelet. I've already strung this up, as you can see, and I've made sure that I have the same number of beads in both strands. So that way it lays down nicely. Next, I'm going to just simply grab my crimped bead. They're so tiny. Sometimes they're hard to see. I string the current beat on, and then I loop this through the hole that's within the class, and I just tuck that second tail through the crypt bead, use my players to grab it and then pulled tight, like so and then just close it up with what I have left here this little tale. I'll just clip it. He now we're done. We've got a beautiful, beautiful bracelet that we can either where, ourselves or we can sell. If you do decide to sell a bracelet like this, what you will likely see if you're in the United States, is they sell for between 30 and $50. Normally, the single freshwater pearl bracelet sell for about 30 and then when you get into the multiple strands, they could go up. From there. The pearls go in different qualities or values, and this particular type of pearl is called a potato pearl. And I believe they call this in a D quality that they go from a through F for quality and the way they that evaluate what level of quality you have in a pearl is by how round it is and how close it looks like a saltwater pearl. They also look at the Lester of the parole, and I'll just compare it now, too. The next lower quality of pearl. See how these these air Quite a bit flatter then these nice round pearls. It also doesn't have nearly as much luster. You can actually see that the cameras having a hard time focusing here because the coloring is just so flat on them. So this is a lower quality pearl. And if you do decide to work with the lower quality pearls while you're getting your your sea legs on making jewelry, that's fine. Just be sure to quote a price, your jewelry of your selling it at a lower level. Now I hope you've enjoyed my class and play on taking more of my jewelry making classes in my future class. I'm going to show you how to work with seed beads and those beat caps that I showed you in the tools and Supplies section. So that way you can make a nice, quality, professional, multi strand seed bead necklace without having them go all over the place and without losing your mind with dealing with such tiny pieces of jewelry. Once again, thanks for joining me and hope to see you soon