September 11, 2012

DIY Layered Necklace


I always struggle to spend money on jewelry. It's probably because I don't wear a lot of it, but this may be due to the limited options I have because I rarely buy jewelry. It's a vicious cycle. Well, lately I have been seeing a lot of people wearing statement necklaces and decided that this was something I wanted to try. I started looking around for necklaces that appealed to me. One item that really caught my attention was this layered necklace from preebrulee.com:


Even though I loved this necklace, I couldn't bring myself to spend the $42 they are asking for it. Even if I was willing to do this, this particular necklace always goes out of stock really quickly. It's construction didn't seem too complicated, so I decided to see if I could find any round beads in a similar color. After a long and unfruitful search, I realized that I could paint some cheap pearl beads the color that I desired. Making this necklace yourself will only cost about $10-15, which is a lot better than $42!

Here is the tutorial for this necklace. Be aware that this is a time consuming project if you paint the beads by hand like I did. Using a spray paint would make it considerably faster, but unfortunately I couldn't find a spray paint in the color I desired.



  • 178 x 6mm faux glass pearl beads
  • 163 x 8mm faux glass pearl beads
  • 119 x 10mm faux glass pearl beads
  • Paint for glass or plastic
  • Paintbrush
  • Thread
  • Clear acrylic gloss coating spray
  • Jewelry wire
  • Clear monofilament jewelry wire
  • 3 jump rings
  • 12 crimp beads
  • 1 round jewelry clasp or lobster claw clasp



String about 50-60 beads on a strand of thread. Tie the thread up so that you can paint the beads without the beads resting on anything. Leave enough room on the string that you can still move the beads around.


Paint the beads on the thread, making sure to get the area where the beads will touch each other.
(I found the most effective technique was to paint long strokes down several beads, covering as much of the beads as possible, and then going back and painting the areas missed on the individual beads)


String and paint several more strands of beads until all of the required beads have been painted.
As the beads start to dry, make sure to move the beads around on the string, separating them from one another so that they don't all stick together. 

Allow the beads to dry completely (I left mine overnight). When dry, spray them with the clear acrylic gloss spray to prevent the paint from chipping. Allow the beads to dry for about 24 hours (or for the length of time indicated by the directions for the spray)
*You can skip the acrylic gloss spray if you wish and the beads will still look great and shouldn't chip too much*

After 24 hours, remove the beads from the thread so that they can be threaded onto the monofilament jewelry wire. 

First layer:
Thread some monofilament jewelry wire through a crimping bead and a then a jumper ring. Feed the end of the wire back through the crimping bead and use some pliers to squish the bead around the wire. 
For this first strand, thread 78 of the smallest beads (6mm) onto the wire. Leaving a couple of inches at the end of the strand, cut off the remaining monofilament. Place a crimping bead and jumper ring at the end of strand and secure as you did at the beginning of the strand. Tuck the ends of the monofilament into the beads so that they are hidden.

Second layer:
Attach another strand of monofilament to one of the jumper rings of the first strand. 
Add 50 of the largest beads (10mm) to the wire
Secure the end of this strand to the other jumper ring of the first strand
This strand will be longer than the first.


For the remaining strands, attach them in the same manner as attached the second strand. All of the strands will share the same jumper rings. 
These are the number of beads to thread on the remaining layers:

Third layer: 69 medium beads (8mm)
Fourth layer: 100 small beads (6mm)
Fifth layer: 69 large beads (10mm)
Sixth layer: 94 medium beads (8mm)

Carefully open up one of the jumper rings with pliers and attach a jewelry clasp onto it. Close it again with the pliers. At the other end of the necklace, attach another jumper ring (or several if you want to make putting the necklace on a little easier) to the jumper ring.

Make sure that all of the ends of the monofilament are hidden by threading them back through the beads.

And you're done!


Since making this necklace, there are some improvements that I would consider making. You may want to use a multi-strand clasp to help the strands sit better and to make putting the necklace on easier. If you use a multi-strand clasp, each strand will be able to have its own ring to attach to (or only a couple of strands will have to share a ring)
A multi-strand interlocking clasp 
I really love this necklace. I plan on making a coral colored one soon!

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