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“A multi-strand necklace is a great way to make an impact with a simple design. You may have leftover beads from projects, bundles or specific combinations in mind; it’s a great way to use different mixtures and textures in your design. In this project, I’ll show you some basic techniques to create a great multi-strand piece.” – Sarah Millsop
For each beaded strand of your necklace, I would recommend using a double thread. Using thread gives you a nice fluidity, but you’ll need reinforcements if using glass or heavy beads. You can simply thread the two strands onto your beading needle.
Using a mixture of beads in your design, string enough beads as you require. Measure how long you’d like the longest strand to be and select the largest beads for this. Secure the ends with ‘stopper’ beads on each individual strand; these beads can be removed but will ensure security whilst working. Add a bead and thread your needle back through it again in the same direction. This will loop the thread around the outside. Pull tightly. You’ll find that this bead slides along the thread but will also hold the beads tightly into place; this is really useful for keeping tension and securing loose ends whilst you work. Do this to all your strands of beads.
Using your 0.9mm wire and your round-nosed pliers, it’s now time to make the spacer bar to secure the ends. Depending on the quantity of strands you have, adjust the length of wire accordingly. I suggest 2cm for each loop. I have 5 strands in this design, so I cut 10cm.
Create a loop at the very end of your wire and 1cm down the nose width of your pliers.
A single loop will hold, but you can see that there is often a visible gap that a thread could easily escape from. You should double coil this loop for extra security.
Hold your wire 1cm away from the loop you’ve created and mould the wire around the top nose of your pliers. Move the loop onto the bottom nose of the pliers and complete turning the wire to give you a second full loop. Each time, move 1cm away from the previous loop as your wire will fill this gap. Start with the top nose of the plier each time.
By swapping your grip to the lower nose, you’ll open up the space below to complete a circle.
I tend to curve my wire spacer bars, but if you’re using a soft wire they’ll bend over time anyway. This puts less stress on the wire and will make them more comfortable to wear.
Lay your beads out so you have the correct formation and lengths. It’s a good idea to attach one side of your strands before removing beads to gain the correct lengths.
To attach said strands, pull your thread through the loop of your spacer bar and tie a knot.
Pull the knot so there are no gaps between the beads and the bar. Knot again to secure.
Thread your cord back down 2 to 3 beads length to tie another knot.
Tie a half hitch knot. Place your needle under the strand, leaving behind a loop. Bring your needle over the strand and down through that loop. Make sure that there aren’t any beads caught in this and the knot sits in between beads. Pull tightly to secure.
Repeat the half hitch knot 2 to 3 times, moving further down the beads each time. You can use a small dab of glue on these also, but this should be nice and secure. Remove any loose tails by trimming as near to the beads as possible.