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Monday, February 25, 2013

sewing saturday! diy art clay bead necklace

diy: clay bead necklace

Ever since Rhiannon posted a photo of a thrifted necklace along with a hand knit sweater a few weeks back, simple beaded art necklaces have been on my mind. I started searching for a necklace of my own, but with no luck. After awhile, I decided to make one using handmade beads and some leather cord.

For this project, you will need.. leather/suede cord, any length between one and two yards (I used just over a yard for my necklace), wood beads, baking clay for handmade beads, and some tools for bead making like a butter knife, toothpick, and a square of aluminum foil or parchment paper. The beads, cord, and clay can be found at your local art store - all of these items cost me a total of five dollars (thank you Hobby Lobby sales).

diy: clay bead necklace

I wasn't so intimidated to make clay beads for the first time since I wasn't really going for perfectly rounded beads with intricate patterns - instead I was looking for the slightly misshapen, handmade-looking variety. I messed around with a few designs before picking my favorites.

To make clay beads, take your oven bake clay and break it into a small piece. I cut some rectangles, rolling the edges smooth with my palms, then pressed the toothpick vertically on the outer sides to create ridges. I then carefully used the toothpick to create an opening on the inside for the leather cord to fit through. The round bead with dots was easy - roll a sphere out of a piece of clay using your palms, then dot the outside with the tip of your toothpick. Remember - the larger the bead, the heavier it will be, and the more it will weigh your necklace down.

I baked my beads at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, checking them each five minutes to make sure they weren't burning (if they burn, they will turn darker). Rotate them on a regular basis. When the beads are done, they should feel firm to the touch but not brittle (poke them gently with a toothpick to check).

diy: clay bead necklace diy: clay bead necklace diy: clay bead necklace

Once the clay beads are finished, make your necklace! You can secure the beads in place by knotting at the ends of each bead cluster. Once all is finished, knot the top tightly.

diy: clay bead necklace diy: clay bead necklace diy: clay bead necklace

Done! A simple, cost-friendly necklace perfect with an oversized sweater or a silk top and overalls.

diy: clay bead necklace diy: clay bead necklace diy: clay bead necklace

That's all for this project. Happy Monday!

3 comments:

  1. You made your own beads! I love it. Your necklace looks so good---much better than my old thrift store one, which I think had weird little plastic connector beads on it.

    I'm totally making one of my own now . . . : )

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  2. What a sweet idea!! I have been looking for unique pieces lately just for oversized sweater days. I will have to start planning my trip to the craft shop...Thanks for sharing this!
    Jessica

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