Statement necklaces are the accessory of the season. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make your own gorgeous geometric statement necklace – just about from scratch. All you will need is a few sheets of paper and some jewelry supplies. The end result will be big and beautiful and at the same time super-light and comfortable to wear. I am absolutely in love with mine. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start rolling some paper beads!
1. Create the Paper Beads
First, make the beads out of paper. Make sure you have four sheets of your square papers 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6 in) with the same pattern. Place the first sheet of paper on a flat surface with the patterned side facing down. If you’re using a striped paper, make sure the lines are oriented vertically.
Using a ruler, mark on the top edge of your paper every 2cm (0.8 in). So mark at 2cm, 4cm, 6cm, 8cm, 10cm, 12cm and 14cm. On the bottom edge of the paper, mark every 2cm (0.8 in) distance but starting from 1. So here you need to mark the odd numbers: 1cm, 3cm, 5cm, 7cm, 9cm, 11cm, 13cm, and 15cm.
Using a pencil, draw the lines between the points you’ve marked. You will end up with a design of triangles,as pictured below. Each of the triangles will be used to create one bead. Don’t use the first and the last triangle of the paper, because they will be smaller.
You need to create 55 beads in total. Each sheet of paper generates 14 beads. Therefore, you will need four sheets of paper to make all the beads you need. So, repeat this process on all four sheets of papers.
Using a cutter and a ruler, cut carefully along the lines. If you prefer, you can use scissors for this step, but a cutter is more precise for straight lines.
Repeat the process for all four sheets of paper until you have 55 triangles.
Using a glue stick, add some glue to the white side of one triangle. Leave the wide top edge of the triangle unglued.
Wrap tightly from the top edge of the paper triangle around the blade of an awl or an upholstery needle. Generally, you could also use a wooden skewer to make paper beads. However for this specific project, I suggest you use an awl as it’s thinner and the holes of the beads will be smaller.
Roll the paper, pressing with your fingers to glue in place. Take care to roll the paper symmetrically.
Press the end of your triangle firmly to the bead in order to glue it in place. Now slide the bead carefully off the awl.
Keep on rolling all of your triangles into paper beads.
Your beads should look like the ones pictured below – they look great, don’t they?
Now you should have a total of 55 beads to create your necklace.
2. String the Beads
String the first bead onto an eye pin. Then clip the end of the wire using wire cutters, leaving slightly less than 1cm (0.4in) in length. You will use this length to create a small circle at the open end of the eye pin.
Using your round nose pliers, bend the excess end of the wire to a 90 degree angle directly after the bead.
Still using your round nose pliers, carefully bend the wire towards the opposite direction to form a loop. Just make sure the loop is big enough to keep the bead on the eye pin.
It’s important that you’re really gentle with your paper beads, as they’re rather delicate.
Keep on stringing the beads on the eye pins, trimming the excess ends and bending the wire into loops.
Repeat this process until all 55 beads are prepared on the eye pins.
3. Join the Beads in a Geometric Structure
In this step we join the beads to form the gorgeous geometric structure of the necklace. First, insert three of the beads on to a jump ring. You actually insert the loops of the eye pins. Now, using two flat nose pliers and pushing the two ends of the jump ring towards one another, close the jump ring.
Lay your beads on to your working surface as pictured below. From the three beads joined in the first jump ring, leave one separate on top. Join each of the other two beads with three more beads using two jump rings (2 and 3). So jump rings 2 and 3 have four beads each and one of these beads is linked on both jump rings.
For the following steps, make sure you insert the beads in the correct order into the jump rings. You might find it useful to lay them out the design on the table first.
Now that we’ve done the first three jump rings, it’s time to add a fourth jump ring linking the first bead from jump ring 2 with three more. Then link in a fifth jump ring from the two central beads of the previous step with the second bead from the fourth jump ring and three more new beads.
Now, join the lower bead from the third jump ring with one bead of the fifth jump ring and one new bead. Always use your pliers to close the jump rings. The fourth jump ring has four beads, the fifth jump ring links six beads together (of which one in common with the fourth and one in common with the sixth) and the sixth jump ring joins three beads. Got it? Check out our diagram below.
Insert a seventh jump ring one bead from the fourth jump ring and one bead from the fifth, together with four new beads. Then, take one bead from each of jump rings six, five and seven (in this order) and two new beads and link them altogether in an eighth jump ring.
Join one bead from the eighth and one from the seventh ring with four new beads in a ninth jump ring. Link one bead from the eighth jump ring and one from the ninth with a tenth jump ring. Lastly, join one bead of the ninth ring with one new bead in an eleventh jump ring. It sounds a bit confusing, but it’s easier in practice!
Now the left part of the necklace is done. Phew! So just check that the seventh jump ring has six beads, the eighth ring links five beads, the ninth jump ring has six beads and jump rings ten and eleven have just two beads each. At this point, make sure that you’ve used 26 beads in total.
All you need to do now is repeat the same process (steps 1 to 4) for the right part of your necklace. Just create the same pattern but mirrored. Take your time.
Now bring both parts of the necklace together and add three more jump rings and three vertical beads in-between the two structures to join them.
The top jump ring should have five beads linked to it and the other two rings should connect six beads each. The bottom central bead is left alone hanging. Your necklace is almost ready!
4. Add the Chain and the Closing
First, cut your chain in two parts of equal length using the wire cutter. Wear the chain around your neck to figure out how long you want it to be and decide the length of your chain. I made each chain about 10cm (4 in) long, as I wanted a short fit.
Insert one end of a chain in a jump ring and then insert the clasp. Close the jump ring using the flat nose pliers.
Now, take the other chain and add one jump ring at one end.
Attach both chains to the main structure of the necklace using jump rings. One chain goes on the left side and the other on the right.
Wear to Impress!
Your necklace is ready to wear – and it will certainly make a statement. You’ll wow everyone even more when you say that you made it yourself. Well done!
In this tutorial you learned how to create your own paper beads. You can use this technique to make simple stranded necklaces or bracelets as well. You also learned how to string beads onto eye pins and how to join the beads together with jump rings to form a complicated geometric structure. Now tyou can improvise and create your own designs!