I’ve known you could crochet with beads and wire for years, and have tried it in the past, but was never super happy with the results. But then I crocheted three chains with beads and braided them together, and quite like the results!
I used clamshells over the ends of the wires, and then attached my findings to them. The biggest problem I had with these was estimating how long to make the chains, as I wasn’t sure how much the act of braiding would shorten them. But I estimated all right; it turns out I was right on with my first try, discounting the clasp: Oops! So this guy’s a little looser than I like, but still perfectly wearable 🙂
I made both of these bracelets in under an hour! A fun, easy craft if you already know how to crochet!
Check out this beautiful necklace, inspired by seaweed! Mostly iridescent green, an odd stripe of lavender twists through it like sea foam, twined among the strands of kelp. This necklace is deceptively simple. If you can braid, you can make it! What I love about this design, and what sets it apart, is the play of texture and color. Using cylindrical seed beads keeps the individual strands distinct, and a single strand of contrasting color and texture add an unexpected twist, literally!
Ready for the tutorial? Here goes!
- strong thread
- beading needle
- fine chain – approx. 10″
- 6 clam shell bead tips
- 1 lobster clasp
- 4 jump rings
- quite a lot of seed beads – mine were cylindrical
- about 1/9 as many seed beads as the other type
- scissors and pliers
- Cut nine lengths of string, each approximately 15″ long.
- Thread three strings through each clam shell. Knot, trip the ends, and use the pliers to close the bead tip.
- Using the beading needle, bead all but one of the nine strands with about 12″ of seed beads. Bead the 9th strand in a complimentary color. I used chartreuse as my main color and lavender for the accent strand.
- Braid each group of strings. I recommend putting a small piece of tape on the bottom of each string so the beads don’t slide off.
- Thread the tail ends of the braids through another clam shell, one bead tip per braid. Knot, trip, and close the bead tip.
- Wiggle one jump ring open, and loop it through one end of each braid. Before you close it, also loop it through the end of your chain. Close with pliers.
- Now braid the three braids together.
- Open a second jump ring and loop it through the three clam shell bead tips and the other end of the chain.
- Find the half-way point of the chain and, using the pliers, open a link. On each of the newly separated chain-ends, put on one jump ring.
- Add the lobster clasp to one side, and voila!
Tips and Ideas:
- Play with color and texture! Make one whole braid a contrast instead of just one strand.
- Use multicolored beads in no particular order to create a braid that looks almost woven.
- Experiment with differences in length. Maybe a shorter beaded section? Or maybe make a braid long enough to go all around your neck!
- Try different bead sizes. Larger seed beads or even pony beads would make a chunkier statement piece.