The current fashion in beaded jewellery has lots of people looking at making their own, but many don't necessarily want to start buying specialist jewellery making tools - so here's a step-by-step guide to making funky, beaded necklaces threaded onto waxed cotton or leather thonging, that doesn't require any special pliers or other tools! Once you have the basic idea, you can then get creative and modify the design to suit yourself.
1. Purchase waxed cotton cord, leather thonging or use narrow ribbon or other cord (you may have some old ribbons and cord lying around the house - use these to experiment with or browse ebay using keywords: waxed cotton, cotton cord, leather thonging. I find the waxed cotton is best for this type of necklace - it is softer than leather, but still very strong. To purchase waxed cotton
2. Purchase beads - you can use one colour to match a specific outfit, or make a two- three- or multi-coloured necklace - the choice is yours. Mix wood, glass, acrylic - anything goes at the moment, which is great for beginners! Make sure the beads you want to use have large enough holes to be able to thread your cord through. To purchase beads, click here
3. Use at least 2 strands of cord, but you can vary the design by using 3 or more, and cut to approximately 1.2 metres long.
4. Tie an overhand knot about 10cm from the ends of the cord.
5. Thread a bead on one strand of cord, then tie a knot in all strands.
6. Continue threading beads onto one strand, then tie a knot until you have the desired length.
7. Tie ends together with a reef knot - left over right, then right over left - then thread a large focal bead onto one strand, knot, then thread beads onto the remaining end of the cord, tying a knot in the end to stop the bead from slipping off. You may need to tie a second knot on top of the first knot if the bead has a large hole - this will depend entirely on the thickness of your cord and the size of the beads used.