Beading / Jewelry

Lapis of Luxury

By  Jennifer & Kitty O’Neil (RunningWithSisters.com) 

Bask in the beauty of semi-precious stones and sterling silver with this artsy, beaded necklace.

Materials

  • Lapis lazuli briolette, 11mm
  • Lapis lazuli faceted coin beads, 10mm, four
  • Silver coin beads, 9mm, two
  • Nickel faceted beads, 3mm, 18
  • Silver round beads, 2mm, 12
  • Silver wire with copper core (The Bead Smith): 20-gauge, 40” length; 26-gauge, 20” length
  • Silver-plated cable chain (Blue Moon Beads), 7mm, 9” length
  • Sterling-plated lobster clasp

Tools

  • Pliers: round-nose; chain-nose
  • Wire cutters

Basic Supplies

  • ruler
  • 1. To create each U-shaped component, use wire cutters to cut 2" length from 20-gauge wire. Use round-nose pliers to curl small loop in each end of wire. Shape wire into half circle by bending it around pen. Repeat to create six U-shaped components.
  • 2. To add bead to each U-shaped component, cut 2-1/2" length from 26-gauge wire. Start at left side of U and wrap 26-gauge wire around 20-gauge wire six times from bottom to top. Use chain-nose pliers to squeeze wire-wraps tightly together. String coin bead onto long end of that wire, then wrap wire around opposite side of U six times. (Note: The wire will go through the bead diagonally.) Trim ends. Press sharp ends down with chain-nose pliers. Repeat to create four lapis lazuli coin components and two silver coin components.
  • 3. To create each silver-beaded connector, cut 1-1/2" length of 20-gauge wire. Use round-nose pliers to curl loop in one end of wire. String one silver round bead, three nickel faceted beads, and one silver round bead onto wire. Curl loop into end and trim. Repeat to create six silver-beaded connectors.
  • 4. To wrap lapis lazuli briolette, cut 12" length of 20-gauge wire. Slide briolette onto wire leaving 2" length on one side of bead. Bend both sides of wire up over top of briolette, forming an X. Where wires cross, use chain-nose pliers to bend short end straight up forming neck. Measure 1/2" above where wires cross and grip neck with round-nose pliers. Bend wire around pliers to form loop, then wrap end around neck two times. Trim end. Take long end of wire and wrap around top of briolette from top to bottom approximately six times. Then start wrapping back up, making about six more wraps and ending at top of briolette. Trim end.
  • 5. To create necklace, reopen loop at one end of silver-beaded connector. Slide open loop through top of briolette, then close loop. Connect opposite end of silver-beaded connector to silver coin component in same way. Add another silver-beaded connector, then one lapis lazuli coin component, then one silver-beaded connector, and one lapis lazuli coin component. Repeat for opposite side.
  • 6. Cut cable chain into 4" and 5" lengths. Attach one length to last coin component. Repeat for opposite side. Attach lobster clasp to 4" length of chain by opening and closing last link of chain.
  • Finishing Touch
  • 1. To give your necklace designer detail, cut 1" length of 20-gauge wire. Make tiny bend in end and smash flat with chain-nose pliers. Place one silver round bead, one nickel faceted bead, and one silver round bead onto wire, then make loop in opposite end. Attach it to end of 5" chain length.
  • Loopty Do
  • 1. The best way to open a loop is with the "Twist Method". Hold one side of the loop still, then grip the other side with the chain-nose pliers and bend that side of the loop away from you in a twisting motion. This avoids spreading the loop, which can ruin the shape of your circle.