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There are multiple ways to make multi-strand necklaces, but here is one very simple technique.
The basic idea is to:
I start with a little planning - what are the elements that I am going to use, am I going for a random look, ethnic, sophisticated, etc. I might string a few test beads to ensure that they look good strung together. My approach for this project will be to string from one side to the other, but choosing to string from the centre to the ends, first one side, then the other, is valid too.
In this case, I have decided to string the focal bead right onto the strands. I have choosen to use very light (fine) Softflex cable, so that I can knot it, but it is strong enough for the weight of the lampworked focal bead. See Golden Glory for a detailed list of the items used in this particular project.
Where ever you are going to have multiple strands come into close contact with each other, either at the clasp, or at an element such as this focal bead, you want to reduce the size of the strands. Do this by selecting smaller beads for this place in the strand. You can see here that I have put 3 size 6/0 seedbeads next to the focal bead. I will do the same for all the strands as they go into and come out of the focal bead, and again, at the ends where the clasp goes.
I am securing the focal bead by adding a top-drilled bicone and then threading back through the focal bead.
Now, string the other side. Notice I have LOTS of extra beading wire - I cut it long. Not having enough as you get to the end of the project is very frustrating. At this point - I am aproximating on the length of the strands, as the pattern is random. I will refine it later.
|Now, add more strands. Continue to select small beads around the focal bead.|
|Keep 'em small.|
|Keep 'em small at the clasp end too.|
When I got to three strands - I was starting to run out of beads, and three strands of these bigger beads looked pretty good, so I chose a length, and started adjusting the strands. I am going to go for 8 inches on either side. (Adding the cones and clasp after will make this about 20 inches, which is a flattering length for me.)
|I even up the ends|
|and have the sides matching.|
|Make a wrapped loop in your wire and thread your strands through it.|
|Knot them all together around the loop.|
I tie another knot (square knot) over it, and add a third if the bulk is not too bad.
(To hide the ends, string them back down a strand for several beads and cut them off carefully, ensuring you don't cut the main wire. A dab of glue on the knot will prevent it from undoing as well.)
|Using tweezers to pull the strands through as you tie the knot can make your life easier.|
Now, slide on your decorative cone …
|… to conceal your knot and the looped wire.|
|And put another wrapped loop directly above the cone. If you are adding an extender chain, you can add it before making your wrapped loop.|
|The secured cone and extender.|
Do the same for the other side, ensuring that you have slid all the beads down as far as they will go to the other side before securing the knot. They do not have to be super tight (the necklace has to curve and move), but you don't want a gap appearing at the top of the necklace after you've worn it a couple of times.
Add a split ring and your clasp, or attach the clasp directly to the loop as you did with the extender.
Wear and enjoy the compliments!
Things to remember: