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How to Make a Bib Necklace: Free Beading Tutorial For Falling Water Necklace

Posted May 18, 2010 by Jenny Hoople

Want to know how to make a bib necklace?  There are tons of ways to create this trendy look, but this beaded design is my favorite.  My free beading tutorial includes detailed instructions, a printable PDF and links to help you find all the beading materials you’ll need to create your own Falling Water necklace (from my original design!)

A customer of mine said it best, “The way it lays is so perfect it seems magical. And I love that it is just heavy enough to remind me that it is made of rocks and sea creatures.”  This necklace is my favorite creation so far! Dripping with pearls. sea-green semi-precious stones, and tinkling shell coins. Accented with beautiful aqua terra jasper, a sprinkling of semi-precious aqua beads and a large natural turquoise bead (something blue!)

Of course you love it!  Who wouldn’t?  Well, I’ve got good news, you can get everything you need to make it from Fire Mountain Gems. so with 6 hours of your time and these instructions, you can make one for your very own!  Something this glamorous ought to be shared!!  Never made a hand-knotted necklace before?  See this Blog Post for a video tutorial on how to hand knot a beaded necklace.

The Falling Water necklace is made with green aventurine chips, freshwater pearls, mussel-shell coins and shell beads and accented with bright, stabilized turquoise and unique aqua terra jasper beads.  Please feel free to source materials yourself, I purchase mine from Fire Mountain Gems .

Finished necklace will measure 17″ around the neck.

You’ll also need 1 or 2 pairs of small, smooth-jawed beading pliers .

A color printout of the beading chart (shown below), can be printed here from this PDF version of the beading chart :

This project is best done on a bead mat or cloth to keep beads and findings from skittering all over the place.

First, get out all your mussel-shell coins (keeping different colors separate) and attach an open jump ring and a soldered closed jump ring to each one using your pliers (as in the pictures):

Next, you’ll want to string the strands that hang down from the necklace’s base strand .  I recommend starting at one side of the bead chart and working across, keeping the finished strands lined up in order on your table to keep them from getting mixed up.

  • Cut off an appropriate length of silk thread (depending on the length of the strand you are making)
  • Thread one end through the bead tip as shown and string on all the materials of that strand according to the bead chart (don’t make any knots during this phase,) then go back through the holes of every bead and closed jump ring, except the last jump ring at the bottom, and thread back through the bead tip .
  • Pull the thread through, pushing down the materials so they’re all snug against each other.  Then with the two strands, tie a regular old granny knot, as shown, two times so that you’ve made a square knot as in the second picture.  Dab a little bit of hypo cement on the knot, close the bead tip using pliers and snip off the leftover string.
  • Do this for each hanging strand across the chart, keeping them lined up in order on your work table to avoid confusion later.

Now you’re ready to thread the necklace’s base strand. incorporating all those hanging strands you just finished.

  • Start with two lengths of silk thread. about 40″ long, held together and threaded together on the beading needle .
  • Tie a simple, tight, overhand knot in one end and snip off excess string, so that when threaded into the bead tip, it doesn’t stick out.  Thread into the bead tip and dab with hypo cement .  Close bead tip with pliers.
  • Begin beading according to the chart (watch the instructional video on hand knotting. if you’ve never done it before) knotting after each bead (but not between square shell chips when they are strung together in a row, they look better without knots in between) and threading through the holes in the bead tips of the strands you’ve already completed as indicated in the chart.  There is no need to knot after adding the dangling strands, just add the next bead and then knot.
  • Repeat this until the last bead.  Don’t make a knot after the last bead, thread the strings through the last bead tip and then make a knot, pulling very snug against the knotting needle to ensure that no space is left between the bead tip and the last bead.
  • Snip off the string so that it won’t stick out of the bead tip, apply a dab of hypo cement and close the bead tip with the pliers.

Now all that’s left is to attach the clasp pieces to each end’s bead tip via a jump ring, and Voila!  You did it!

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