Basically, all you need to make this necklace is one strand of beads, a pile of jump rings, and some leather lace.* If you catch the beads on sale, and/or use a coupon from the Michaels website, this necklace will end up costing less than one of those foofy coffee drinks you buy from that ridiculously overpriced coffee place you hit on the way to work. You know the one I’m talking about. And don’t pretend you don’t order those foofy drinks, because I saw you there last time – you are totally busted.
In any case, I admit, I also secretly like the foofy drinks, but am too afraid to order one because (A.) I am overwhelmed by the vast number of options, and (B.) I’ve never learned the proper ordering protocol and am terrified a power-hungry barista who’s watched too many episodes of “Seinfeld” will ban me for life. (“NO COFFEE FOR YOU!!!”)
Last time I set foot in said coffee place, this was the actual conversation that took place, which I am not making up:
Person ahead of me: “I’ll take a jumbotron mocha blueberry caramel iced blended Sumatran Ethiopian macchiato with organic soy milk and aloe vera, extra hot, with low fat whipped cream on the side.”
Barista: “That will be $37.42.”
As the person ahead of me emptied the contents of her wallet, the barista turned to me expectantly, but I was now so filled with terror that I completely forgot my carefully planned order. Panicked, I blurted out the first thing that popped into my head.
Me: “Ummm, can I get a small latte?”
Barista: “A what, now?”
Me: “A latte. You know—like, coffee with milk in it. Small.”
Barista: “I have never heard of that, but whatever. What size?
Barista: “We don’t have small. We have mega-huge, gigantoramic, and jumbotron.”
Me: “What size is the smallest?”
Barista: “I don’t understand what you are asking.”
Me: (pointing to the smallest cup) “What size is this?”
Me: “OK, a mega-huge latte.”
Barista: “That will be $19.57.”
And that was when I started making my own coffee at home.
So this necklace is WAY simpler and also less expensive than the foofy coffee drink, which, by the way, also has 27,543 empty calories, so you’re welcome. Plus you don’t have to stand in line for 20 minutes behind hipsters in skinny jeans and black turtlenecks, talking about how existential “string theory” is.
Connecting the beads is fairly straight ahead and doesn’t need much explanation, but I found it easiest to lay all the beads out in my chosen pattern first. I created a sort of “ombre” color effect for my rows, but you could also make each row a separate color, or just do a random mix if you prefer. After figuring out your pattern, connect the entire top row horizontally. Then, (and this is VERY important so you don’t go completely crazy) attach a very large jump ring to the bead on each end of the top row as a reference point while you work. You can also use a twist tie for this, which works equally well.
Trust me here, every time you pick up the half-finished piece to attach a bead, it suddenly morphs into this oozing bead blob and it’s super-hard to tell where the top is or figure out where the next bead is supposed to go. When this happens, you simply locate the big jump rings (or twist ties), hold one in each hand, and stretch out the top row. Everything will fall back into place.
After connecting the top row horizontally, it’s easiest to connect each vertical row together separately, and then attach it to its corresponding top row bead, working left to right. Of course you are free to connect the beads in any way you like. It’s a free country after all, and I am not the boss of you.
After completing the focal piece, simply attach some leather lace and a clasp and you’re done! (Here’s Michelle Mach’s great blog post on how to attach leather cord for reference.) There are plenty of beads left over to make matching earrings, (which I did) and even a matching bracelet after that (which I did NOT, but you totally could if you wanted.) As always, a full set of FREE instructions will pop right up, (as if by magic!) when you click the photo.
And by the way, this jewelry pairs perfectly with coffee.
* And a tiny TINY bit of wire, (a miniscule amount, really) which you could just totally leave off if you wanted to. And if you want to get technical, there are also a couple of fold-over cord ends and of course, a clasp.