Making a sequin necklace

A while ago I saw this tutorial on Pinterest for making a sequin bangle. I really liked the look of all those sequins stacked up together and thought I’d try making a necklace using the same technique! Here is what I made:

sequin necklace DIY

I’m not going to post a detailed how-to here since I used very basic jewellery making techniques to make my necklaces, but do let me know if you want one!

The original blog post used cup sequins strung onto wire and shaped into a bangle shape. I didn’t realise she used cup sequins until after I had bought a load of flat sequins! (very cheap from a shop in Sham Shui Po) Oops. I think that the cup sequins stack together better than the flat sequins, but I still like the look that I managed to achieve.

mint green and white sequin necklace

Another difference to the original tutorial is that I strung the sequins on flexible multi-strand beading wire, rather than standard wire, to allow the necklace to drape well. I started out by stringing the sequins one at a time (VERY slow!) but quickly got bored. I realised that a much quicker way was to stack a bunch of sequins between my forefinger and thumb and then roll them gently to line them all up so you can then just thread your wire through the middle.

I was originally thinking of putting a bead on each end of my sequin string, but then I thought that a spiral copper cone would be quite fun! I’ve not made one before but I’ve seen various tutorials that use a pencil tip to create the cone shape. I wasn’t sure whether to start my cone at the tip or the bottom but I found it easier to make the cone shape from the tip down, by using pliers to hold the end of the wire cone against the tip of the mechanical pencil I was using. I had a few goes, and used the best two on my necklace. I have to admit that it’s very difficult to make a nice even, tightly curled cone! It’s certainly made me realise how much work I’m going to have to put in if I want to be really good at wire work…

sequin necklace with copper wire cones

One thing to note is that the base of the cone is slightly angled because there is a wire sticking out, and this makes your cone angled against the sequins. Maybe you could trim the end of the wire on your cone at an angle to reduce this.

Also, your cone won’t naturally stay central because it has a big open end. To get around this you could either make the end of the cone slightly bigger than your sequins, so the cone fits over the end of your sequin string, or thread a small bead onto your beading wire before you thread the cone on so that the bead fits inside your cone (and is hidden). I did mine the second way, using a large seed bead.

I was really pleased with how the cones look on the necklace!

silver and copper stacked sequin necklace

Anyway, I was having so much fun that I made another sequin necklace! This time I strung my sequins onto a short, straight piece of 0.6mm (22ga) wire.

mini stack sequin necklace

Again, I wanted to do something with each end of the sequin stack. This time I made a little flat copper wire spiral, which was actually really easy to do. Just make a small loop with some round nose pliers, and then continue winding your wire around the loop, holding the spiral flat with pliers as you go.

sequin necklace with copper wire spiral

I finished off each end of the wire with a wire-wrapped loop, threading the loop through the end of a piece of chain before wrapping the wire round. Again, because the wire wrapped loop finishes with a piece of wire sticking out, it makes the end of the sequins slightly angled. You could trim the end of the wire at an angle to minimise this, although it would be quite fiddly.

I think I prefer the other necklace, but the little cylinder-type pendant is quite nice!

green and white sequin stack pendant

What do you think? Do you have a favourite? Do you like the look of the stacked sequins? Do let me know if you have a go at this yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured blog: The Beading Gem’s Journal

After a bit of a break I’ve decided it’s time to re-start my regular posts featuring other Etsy shops and blogs that I love. I’ll be doing this once a fortnight. Today it’s the turn of Pearl from The Beading Gem’s Journal!

I first came across The Beading Gem’s Journal when I was researching various jewellery making techniques and other aspects of jewellery making. It just kept popping up in my searches with great articles so I added it to my Feedly and now I get a daily dose of jewellery goodness, from new techniques and online tutorials to features on other great jewellery makers. If jewellery making (or indeed jewellery in general) is your thing then I’d recommend you take a look!

Here is Pearl to tell you more about it…

Describe your blog in one or two sentences

I write an inspirational jewelry blog where readers learn all about jewelry and the art of the craft in an entertaining manner. Hence “Jewelry Expressions in Bloom” (Editor’s note: this is the tagline of The Beading Gem’s Journal)

green onyx earrings small

What made you decide to start a blog?

I started the blog simply because I did not have a website.  I needed something online to publicize my workshops back in Nova Scotia where I used to live. Initially I featured many of my students’ final creations.  The blog grew from there.

Blue Cord and Ribbon Necklace 1

Where do you get your inspiration?

Pretty well everything!  Nature, museum trips, historical jewelry,- even wallpaper patterns!  I have an open and imaginative mind and am prepared to try anything.

s Wire wrapped All My Love Inside Necklace modeled

What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?

The most pleasurable part of writing the blog is the wonderful community that resulted. I have “met” so many inspirational designers and really warm and friendly people who share this craft.  When I started the blog, I wasn’t really keen on writing but after more than 7 years, I have grown to enjoy writing as another creative outlet.

Tagua Twist

What do you like to do when not working on your blog?

Making jewelry naturally!  But I also enjoy other crafts like crochet, sewing.  When the weather is better, I also like gardening. I enjoy photography and gawking at great designs – architecture, furniture etc.  I am also a bit of a bookworm.

crystal wire wrapped pendant s

What is coming up in future posts?

I never know what I might discover and share in future posts.  My blog is very fluid –  I try and share trends and great ideas as they happen.

What are your top three favourite blogs?

I have many favorite blogs covering a wide variety of topics reflecting my interests – so it is hard to choose.   PetaPixel is a photography blog I love.  I also enjoy the quirky Book of Joe. I used to write a lot for Trendhunter and I still enjoy reading their giant blog.

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Thanks Pearl! Please check out The Beading Gem’s Journal to dive into the beautiful world of jewellery crafting!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Crafting New Year’s Resolutions

(I am very aware that New Year’s was quite a while ago, but Chinese New Year wasn’t so long ago so maybe I can use that as an excuse for this post?!)

A couple of years ago I saw a blog post (I can’t remember where unfortunately) where someone was saying that each year they make a resolution to learn a new craft. I thought this was such a good idea that last year I made my first craft resolution – to learn copperplate calligraphy. I bought a nib and penholder, and a book on how to write copperplate calligraphy… and that’s as far as it went. Oops.

So this year I have made another craft resolution, and I hope to actually stick to it! My resolution is to learn how to make wirework jewellery. I have an idea in my mind of a jewellery collection that I want to make but I don’t actually know how to make it yet!

I hope that by sharing my resolution with you all that it will force me to actually stick by it and learn. If I don’t post updates on my wirework practice every few months you have my permission to write rude comments telling me to get on with it ;)

There are so many great wirework jewellers out there, I am spoiled for inspiration! I don’t know how close I’ll get to achieving their level of skill but it does give me something to aim for!

Here are a few of my favourites:

de Cor’s (being able to make these earrings is one of my goals with this wirework resolution – they’re so beautiful!)

il_570xN.212582014

Lena Sinelnik Art

il_570xN.509757670_17wp

Nicole Hanna Jewelry

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Gailavira Jewelry

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I also made a treasury featuring more great wirework designs!

wirework treasury

Do you have a craft resolution this year? If not, why not make one? It’s always great to learn new things! Let me know what you learn this year!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel