Friday, January 13, 2012

Crocheted Wire Necklace Tutorial

How to make a crocheted wire necklace.  First you will need to decide what kind and color beads you want for the project.  I like to make my necklaces very open and lacy so almost any bead types and sizes will work.  However keep in mind that soft gemstones and pearl can get scratched because of the wire rubbing against them.  That said you can use just about anything and this is a good project for odds and ends.  If you want to include heavy gemstones or glass beads try using small ones to minimize weight with a few larger beads for accent.  The joy of this design is it floats around the neck.  Once you have chosen a color for the beads find a complimentary metal wire in gauges 24 to 26.  You can use a heavier gauge but much lighter and you risk the wire not supporting the beads.  If you use sterling silver I suggest dead soft and gold half hard.  The half hard gold is harder to work with but will stand up better.  So let's get started, please be patient this is my first tutorial.
Step 1

In whatever order you want including random, place the beads on the chosen wire.  Place on more then you think you will need.  The number of beads will vary acording to size and spacing between beads   I do not cut the wire off the spool. 

Lots of beads strung on wire spool

Step 2

Make a loop on the end of the wire and twist to close  If you are using a crochet hook make sure the loop is large enough for the hook.

Step 3

Just as you would make a crochet chain with thread, start pulling the long wire through the previous loop.  Then you will start pulling up beads and just continue to make a chain.  This I do in a pattern so when the chains are woven together the beads are more evenly spaced.  So for the first strand I make one loop and then pull up a bead and make a loop  Then two plain loops and then another beaded loop.  Making the loops large will create a lacy looking necklace.

Step 4

Keep making chain loops until you have the length you want  I usually stop at 18 inches but that doesn't make a very long collar length  This project is made with 24 inch chain strands and it makes a generous length and width after braididing.   When you have the length you want cut the wire with wire cutters and leaving 4 inches of wire.  Then wrap the wire around the last loop to end off.  For the next strand make two chain loops at the beginging and then start to add beads using the same pattern.  This offsets the beads by one loop.  The third chain strand is made the same as the first.

Step 5
Once the chains are finished take the ends and wrap them together.  Then using a three braid technique loosely braid the strands together. If you decide to shorten the strands after finishng, the wire can be cut with wire clippers and the wire end wrapped around the last loop desired.

Step 6
Once the braiding is done wind the ends like at the begining so that they hold together.

Step 7

Now the fun comes!  By gently pulling the braid apart it makes the piece shorter and wider.  It also looks lacier!  Sometimes it looks better pushing a bead into another place on the braid.  Just follow the wire loops move the bead under the wires.

Step 8

The necklace is done except for a clasp.  One finish is to buy a clasp with cone ends.  All you need with that is to cut the ends and glue them into your cone.  Or use plain cones and make a loop through the cone and attach a clasp.  Or the way I finished mine which is to make a loop at each end attaching the ends to rings for an s-clasp.  Below are instructions and pictures for the s-clasp

Step 9

In the picture below I am foldng the wire over a long nosed tool.  Anything flat with a 90 degree bend should work, so you don't need a tool, the edge of a hard counter may work for you. 

Step 10

Once the wire is folded over you will need a round nose plier or something like a dowel.  I like to wrap wires around knitting needles or even a pen or chopstick.  You are going to place the dowel on the opposite side of the bent wire.  Then bend the wire around the dowel  forming a circle. 

Step 11

It is important at this point to remember to add the ring from the s-clasp before the next part.  With the s-clasp ring in the center of the loop you have just made start to wrap the wire to close the loop.  Holding the loop between two fingers or a pliers helps. 

 Step 12

Once the wire is wrapped at least a couple times clip off the rest with a wire cutter.  Repeat on the other end and slip the rings onto the s part of the clasp.  That's it!  As you can see from the pictures the hardest part is putting on the clasp.  So if you don't want to try the s-clasp, try the cone clasp and jewelry cement.  Any craft store will be glad to help you find the right supplies  If you are in the Santa Maria CA, come to the best Beverly's Crafts ever! Though this can be made without tools except wire cutters the tools do help and can be purchased from craft stores as kits some as low as $7.00.  This project cost $1.99 for the clasp, approx. $5.00 in wire and the odds and ends beads around $4.00, $11.00 total isn't bad for such a lovely necklace  This project took about 2 hours to make.  Just remember to let the necklace lay flat when not in use.  I like to decorate the square flat cigar boxes to hold them in.  If you find a better way to better explain the project, pictures or spelling please let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lois,
    Interesting tutorial, thank you! But the picture of the finished necklace is missing. Would like to see what it looks like in the end.
    Thank you very much again!