Ok, friends, this is the first post in a little series I’m doing in the next couple of weeks on some simple handmade gifts you can make.
These are gifts I made last Christmas. And they’re mostly for women. Sorry, guys. I’m not very good at making handmade stuff for men. It doesn’t come as naturally for me.
Anyhow. This is a necklace I made for my sister. I think it turned out pretty well, but I had some frustrations making it, so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes!
Let’s break it down.
For this sort of necklace, you’ll need ribbon, beads, a pendant, and a clasp, as well as some jewelery wire.
I used clear beads, along with some purplish ones. The ribbon I used was just regular organza ribbon I found at the craft store, but I would highly advise finding ribbon specifically for beading. Even though this ribbon was fairly thin, it was a pain in the rear to thread the beads on. I eventually muscled them all on, after sort of threading the end of the ribbon on some jewelry wire, but it was harder than it needed to be.
You’ll want to plan out ahead of time the pattern of your beads, and once you have a good idea of what you want it to look like, you can start putting the beads on the ribbon. Put half the beads on, then the pendant, then the rest of the beads.
As you can see, I made this necklace an asymmetrical one. I wanted something a bit more unique, but with a pendant this heavy, it doesn’t really stay off to the side at all when she wears it. So I’d recommend placing the pendant in the center for best results.
I found this pendant (and all the supplies, actually) at the craft store. I needed to tie the ribbon around it instead of just lacing it on the ribbon, or else it wasn’t staying in place well.
After you’ve placed the pendant and the rest of the beads, decide how long you want the necklace to be and cut the ribbon to length, adding just a little extra for attaching the clasp.
When it came to the clasp (I believe this one came with the pendant, but I can’t recall for sure at this point) I had to use jewelry wire to create a way for the ribbon to attach. This might be something that also works better with beading ribbon, but I’m not sure because I’ve never done it. They make crimp beads that could function in the same way as my makeshift jewelry wire hooks, but I couldn’t find any big enough to fit over the ribbon. So I folded the ends of the ribbon over themselves, then used tiny pliers meant for jewelry making to create a loop of wire through the clasp, then wrapped the wire tightly over the folded ribbon (and the other end of the wire) until it was secure. I pinched it as tight as possible to make sure it wouldn’t pull out. If you have any folded ribbon that sticks out past the wrapped wire, cut it off.
I hope that makes sense.
Anyway, once the clasp is on, you’re done. That’s it.
I hope this inspires you to make something beautiful for someone you love!