I am no expert on these things and my learning processes are taxing on my poor brain, but at least I try and have fun doing it. That’s our goal isn’t it…having creative fun.
I wanted to make a tassel from beads and chain using a picture Shelley from Nirvana sent me of a necklace she was wearing when she visited (read post A New Way of Looking At Beads for more on Shelley and my necklace-making exploration). She used a lot more beaded wire loops for hers, but I wanted the chain as a decorative element and not use up so many beads in case it was a ‘fail.’ I made my own version of a tassel on a couple of necklaces while waiting for her to send a picture.
I like my versions too, but her way is a bit more professional looking…go figure..she used to have a bead store…LOL. See below for how I mimicked her version.
I started with a little filigree bead cap that has holes around the edge. I got them from Firemountain Gems. I used the holes (there were 10) to evenly space 5 sets of (3) 8/0 seed beads, attached with a wrapped loop, to which I attached a tiny chain length of about 5 loops to each one. I will later attach a larger bead to the very end using a head pin and wire loop to attach that larger bead to the end of the chain. You’ll notice that I have darkened (antiqued) the raw copper wire I was using. BTW, I was using 22 gauge dead soft raw copper wire. I think it’s thin enough to go through the beads but thick enough to make a nice wrap. I’m still working on wrapping with thinner gauge wire…yet another challenge.
I found a great video on making these loops on YouTube Here . Don’t forget to capture chain or whatever you want to join in the loop BEFORE you wrap it. Once you wrap it you’d have to use a jump ring to attach it to something, or cut it off and start over. This necklace I wanted to try ALL wrapped loops. It’s structurally more sound, but I also wanted to ‘see if I could.’ Challenging yourself is how you grow into a more professional designer. I’m not there but I’m gaining on it!!!
I find that stringing beads on to the spool of wire saves waste. After stringing beads, I make one wrapped loop, push up a pre-strung bead snug to the loop, and cut the wire (I use the first digit of my finger (a little less) as a measuring tool for the wire length. You’ll find something that’s easiest for you. I just find my finger handy since I’ve got it right there..lol.
Then I make a wired loop on this end, remembering to capture my small chain length or another wire loop in the loop created before I wrap.
Take 2 loose ends and insert them through a really large hole bead (it has to accommodate 4x whatever diameter cord you use) from left to right. Take the 2 loose ends from the other side of the necklace and insert them from right to left. You may have to give it an assist with a tool. I have some T pins I call ‘pokey things’ that are helpful for so many things.
Once you have that completed, you’ll need to assure those ends don’t come undone. You can either just tie a knot with the 2 ends on once side of the necklace and a knot with the 2 ends on the other side.
I decided to capture a bead on each end. Insert a bead on the ends (before the knot), tie a knot. Bring the bead to the end and tie another knot on the opposite side of that bead to keep the bead from sliding.
Here’s my finished necklace. You’ll noticed that I used Gun Blue to oxidize the copper I was using to wrap. I still am no pro, but I’m seeing progress so I will carry on until I am.
Meantime…I’m having fun. If you try this, I hope you do too!
You can find many of the supplies I used on this necklace in the SupplyEmporium shop Here
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