Making a Wire Loop Tassel Necklace

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.

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Here I’ve got a head pin.  I will put it through the center of my fringed bead cap with the flat side of the bead cap AWAY from the head of the pin, thread on the large bead and then through the decorative tulip tassel cone. I added a little copper bead cap and a cute bead to the headpin. Then make a wired loop.  You can attach it directly to your necklace (so capture the necklace before you wrap) or use a large jump ring as a bail for the beaded tassel.

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.

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Here I made a larks head knot by taking a length of cord (I used 20″ for each side), fold in half and insert the folded center into a ring of some sort.  This will connect the cord you’re knotting to the beaded section of your piece. 
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Bring the ends through the loop that is formed after putting through the ring and pull down to the ring to form the knot.
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I like the finished look of a bead that is slid down to the knot.  Keep in mind the bead you use must fit 2 x whatever diameter cord you use.

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.

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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

Suggestions for Blog Posts welcome.

 

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