Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry – Bridesmaids’ Necklaces

_SW36366It was important for me to give my bridesmaids gifts that were beautiful, personal, and practical. Although I have never made jewelry before, I decided to make necklaces for each girl. The method I chose was so easy (not counting the time I spent choosing beads, this project took about an hour), I have faith that anyone could do this! As usual, my favorite part of the project is the ease with which you can customize it to fit your taste. This makes a fantastic bridesmaids’ necklace but would also be a great gift for the women in your life. You could personalize the necklace with colors, stones, or charms that are meaningful.

Keep reading for the tutorial:

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Ingredients:

  • jewelry making wire (the thickness you use will depend on the size of hole in your beads. I used 24 gauge wire)
  • pliers (you will need at least round-nosed pliers and cutters – I bought a set of mini tools similar to this one at Michaels)
  • Beads, charms, or other ephemera … the pretty stuff! (this is the fun part!)

step1

I made the loop bigger in the picture, but you want the loop at the bottom to be as small and neat as possible. It is there to keep your beads from sliding off, so make it secure and larger than the hole in your beads. Following this step, I unrolled several inches of wire and cut it off of the spool with the intention of trimming it to size later.

step2

This step is the fun part : select your beads (or charms or whatever) and slide them onto the wire, taking care to remember which way is up. You can make this pendant as long or as short as you like. I opted for something small and dainty. If you are making multiple pendants, you may wish to lay out your beads in advance. It can make it easier to decide which colors and textures look best together.

step3

Finally, you are going to repeat the same process of making a loop at the other end of the pendant. This loop will hang from your necklace, so make it large enough for your chain to pass through. I spent extra time making sure this loop was attractive, since it will be visible. Cut off all but 3/4″ or so of excess wire. Wrap the excess wire tightly around the stem of your loop to secure. This part of the process was made a lot easier by using flat-nosed pliers to hold the loop securely as I wrapped the wire around the base.

I purchased delicate silver chains to hang the pendants from, but you could choose from any number of options. A thin velvet or sheer ribbon would look especially romantic.

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For presentation, I hand-stitched small cases out of felt to store the necklaces in. I accompanied the necklaces with pearl earrings, displayed on cards I had made out of paper that matched the wedding colors.

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