Last week I discovered an amazing find in Houston for jewelry makers – May’s Beads (also on Etsy if you’re out of town)! They have some of their inventory listed on their site, but the selection in the store is IN-sane! Row after row of beads in all shapes, sizes, finishes, and material not to mention chain, findings, cord, pearls, tools, wire, and on and on. It’s overwhelming how many options you have that if you don’t go in with a plan, well just forget about it because you’re going to spend all your dollars buying all kinds of things. I knew I had to go back with a plan, so I set out to make one.
Anthropologie has great eclectic jewelry, but holy crap they charge an arm and a leg for it. So much of their accessory selection appears handmade … well, because it is. A lot of the stuff they sell is actually created in small batches by independent makers – but Anthro charges a lot more for it than the original creators. In any case, I don’t have enough money to buy that stuff… but I can DIY it!
Pretty close eh? There are a few slight differences between my version and the Anthro version, but overall I was very happy with it. One of the biggest differences is the length – I’m 5’2″ and the original necklace is 34″ long .. I’m pretty sure that tassel would be in my crotch which is not cute. My version measures a much more manageable 26″ and the tassel just brushes my midsection.
I wish I had a step-by-step photographic tutorial… but it’s just me here and I haven’t figured out how to take the pictures at the same time. But I promise it’s very straightforward and I’ll walk you through it.
Don’t feel like making it? Buy one at my Etsy shop! I’ll make it for you 🙂
- Black, yellow, and brown embroidery floss (or buy a pre-made silk tassel and wrap it!)
- 98 – cream/white magnesite 6mm beads (about 1.5 hanks)
- 12 – matte black glass 6mm beads
- 6 – neon yellow glass 6mm beads
- 6 – Ethiopian brass bicone 7-9mm beads
- 94 – African brass heishi beads (1-2mm)
- 40″ –
elastic beading thread(I no longer recommend using elastic – use a beading wire or cord instead)
I also used a large book binding needle to help make the tassels and to remove any obstructions from inside the beads (as needed), scissors to cut my cord, and a dot of glue to secure my knots.
Make your tassel. The original calls for a 4″ tassel but mine is only 3 because I was using my birchbox insert card and it was only big enough to make a 3″ tassel. I followed the instructions for making tassel at Lula Louise and she has great pictures so it’s pretty straightforward to follow. You can also try the Martha Stewart method if you prefer. After making the basic black tassel, I came back with the yellow and then the brown thread to make the accents. I tied my knots to secure each band in the same place so that the front of the tassel look neat.
If you don’t already have one there – loop approximately 5-inches of string of black thread through the head of the tassel, and knot it a couple of times. This will keep the head together and you will use the ends to secure the tassel to the necklace. You should have about 2-3 inches of excess thread on each side.
Grab your elastic beading thread, a brass bicone bead, and your tassel. Find the middle point of your elastic (don’t worry if it’s not exact – you have extra elastic there), thread the excess thread from step two through the brass bead, and then tie a double or triple knot around the middle point on the elastic thread. This will secure your tassel to the necklace. Trim off the excess thread from the knot, and add a dot of glue to the knot to secure it. Let it dry while you get your beads ready.
You can do this part one of two ways – either alternate sides adding beads so that you know you are even, or count each side individually. Do whatever works better for you. I’m going to describe the pattern for one side, and you do the same on the other side.
- Starting at the brass bead/tassel:
- Repeat 13X: white bead followed by brass spacer bead
- white bead
- brass bicone bead
- 3 black beads
- 3 yellow beads
- 3 black beads
- brass bicone bead
- repeat 34X: white bead followed by brass spacer bead
To finish the necklace you will need to tie a triple knot – but it’s going to be big, so before I tied the knots I added one more brass bicone bead (either strand, doesn’t matter) and then tied the knots as tight as I could. Make sure you pull really hard on the thread to get those knots tight! After trimming off the excess string the knots should tuck inside the brass bead. All done!
So that’s how I made it! It took me about an hour all together, but mainly because I kept screwing up the tassel! What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you can get more makes in your mailbox!