Bead Necklaces


One of the things that I’m proud of… fashion wise… is my jewelry collection; much of which I have made myself. These days I tend to wear more complex pieces but I still love my strands of beads. I prefer to use Swarovski Heliotrope, Preciosa bermuda beads that match my hair but still use faceted Czech in and black ‘jet’, but you can use this with most any type of beads.

I am very hard on my jewelry, and have to make sure it isn’t so fragile that it will break while I’m dancing, or just being clumsy. The way I ensure this is by restringing every strand of beads I wear, and putting a knot between each bead… so that if it does break… I’ll only risk losing one or two rather than destroying a beloved piece in a shower of sparkly little bastards that will run everywhere.

I suggest restringing all strands of beads this way, not only does the knotting provide some insurance but it also makes the string of beads longer and it looks more antique {you’ll notice most very old strings of beads are knotted}. Use the thickest waxed cord that will go through the beads in question. I am especially fond of waxed linen cord which comes in a variety of colors.

Cut a length of cord ample to restring the beads with knots, I usually find 2 ½ times the length of the original strand of beads is sufficient. Make a small knot at one end leaving about 2-3 inches extra, to be tied to the other end or to a clasp when finished. If I am going to use a clasp I like to use a kind of jump ring called a split ring. It looks like a little keychain ring. Even if yanked very hard it’s not likely to let go. Also if you use a regular jump ring the bead cord can slip through the opening under stress and that’s not going to happen with a split ring.

Thread the first bead all the way down, make a small knot immediately after this bead. The idea is to sandwich the bead between the two knots as tightly as possible. I usually tie the knot close to the bead and then tighten it by pushing it toward the bead till it is tight, then pulling on the cord to tighten it further. Practice this until there is little or no cord showing between the knots and the bead.

If the knot doesn’t make it, just tie another knot between the first and the bead till it gets tight enough. The knot will be a bit bigger than other knots but probably won’t be noticeable. It is very time consuming and tedious, but for looks and endurance this is well worth your time.


Sometimes you want to use a variety of beads, and some of the beads may have bigger holes than others. In this case you have a few options. Make your knots bigger which uses more cord or get seed beads that are big enough to not fall into the larger beads hole and also will go on your cord, but small enough to be mostly unobtrusive. Choose a seed bead that matches your cord. Pu one of the seeds before the large bead and one after.

Finishing Touches

If you have a pendant, or pendants, you want to attach you can tie them on while you are making the the string of beads. If you want to be able to change them out get lobster claw clasps that are large enough to easily hook to the string of beads but not so large as to be obtrusive. Attach a clasp to the top of he pendant