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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How to Make a Gemstone and Silver Necklace

Heyyy guys,

I haven't written a blog post in a while.  I was pretty busy: got married, changed careers, experimented with red-blond hair for a while. Two of the three weren't mistakes.  

But now I am back, brunette, and here to teach you how to make a really pretty fluorite heart and sterling silver necklace for not a lot of money.  All supplies were purchased on Etsy from JW Beads and RiverSong Beads about a year ago, so prices may have changed in the meantime. If you're a beginner and don't want to invest in silver and semiprecious beads to make a necklace that you may mess up, then you can find glass beads and silver-colored wire for a lot less money.

Supplies and Equipment:
Start with:
  • 9 fluorite heart beads, 6mm size 
    • Price: paid $10 for 65 beads, so about $1.40 
  • 16-18" of silver chain
    • Price: paid $10 for 5 feet so about $3
  • 12" of half-hard 22 gauge silver wire
    • Price: paid $9.60 for 5 feet so about $1.92
  • one spring-lock clasp
    • Price: $0.75 
Total price for this necklace: $7.07

For Equipment: You will need one pair of needle-nose pliers (left) and wire cutters (right)

Step one: use the wire cutters to cut off two pieces of 22 gauge hard silver wire about 0.5" long

Use your needle-nose pliers to twist one half of the wire into a loop, making sure not to fully close it. Then repeat on the other side to make an S shape.

Loop your S into the spring-lock clasp, as shown below. Then using the pliers, press the loop connected to the clasp closed.  Connect the other part of the S to the end-link of your chain and press the loop closed. Now your S should look like an 8.

Take the second piece of wire and fold into an S, then close on one side.  The the other side and attach to the last link on the other end of the chain.  Use the pliers to close it into an 8.  Now you have a necklace chain! Feel free to play around clasping and unclasping the chain. Or not, because of course you're not that immature.

OK, now you are going to set up your 0.7" pieces of wire to fit your beads. Spiral 5 pieces of the wire with the spiraled bottom (left). These are going to be the end heart in each chain.  Create loops on the end of the other 4 pieces just a little bit smaller than the loops on the 8s you did.  
Now line up the beads in the design that you want. I chose a drop-style necklace so that 
the focal point is a line of three hearts, with two rows of two hearts on either side, and then one drop heart at each end.  Cut 9 pieces of silver in 0.5" lengths (left pile) and 9 pieces in 0.7" lengths (right pile) 

Slide the hearts on and close the loops. Then admire your handiwork. Don't you feel great about yourself?  You deserve a spoonful of Nutella. I will wait.

Repeat for all of the beads and then line up again.  All of your 0.7" pieces of silver should be gone now, leaving just your 0.5" pieces.  You are going to use these to make the same connecting S pieces that you did for the chain.

Link them together like below, and then turn the S pieces into 8s.  Connect each line of hearts carefully to your chain.  Make sure to count the links on each side of center so that your necklace is symmetrical. I spaced each drop-chain of beads 12 links from one another.

When you are all done connecting, it's time to celebrate - you just made a gorgeous necklace! Drink some champagne, quit your day job. Steal a boat.

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