I hope that you like this necklace and earring set inspired by the gorgeous colours of autumn. I wanted to incorporate one of the lovely agate pendant slices. Each one is different and original and gives a lovely organic feel to the design.
The pendant is quite substantial so I chose to create a ‘Spiral Staircase’ rope. The construction makes a lovely strong rope suitable for heavier pendants. It is also great for handbag handles. In keeping with the organic feel, I freely embellished the rope and pendant with beaded leaves and pretty lucite flowers.
I love big statement pieces. However, if you prefer a more delicate design the embellished rope looks great on its own or teamed with a smaller drop pendant. It would also make a lovely matching bracelet.
I hope that you like my Autumn Splendour set. If any of you decide to make it, please do upload it to Beads Direct Shine Online Facebook Group. I would simply love to see your version!
Happy Beading, Anne x
Other beads and materials:
- Size 8 Toho seed beads Silver Lined Smoked Topaz (8TR34F)
- Beige/Brown Agate Slice Pendant (60-90mm) (EX4358)
- Lucite medium flower mix (BO434)
- Lucite small flower mix (BO435)
- Gold KO Beading Thread (or Nymo D) (TC312)
- 4mm Copper wire (W392)
- 50mm Gold plated headpins (F0044)
- 50mm Gold plated eyepins (F0056)
- Gold plated kumihimo findings set (F741)
- Gold plated earring hooks (F1082)
- Fevi Kwik glue (W311)
- Beading needles (W474)
- Jewellery pliers (round and flat nosed) plus wire cutters. If you are a beginner then the mini plier set would be suitable (W182)
- Beading mat (ST27)
Step 1 (of 10)
Starting the Spiral Staircase rope:
Collect together your range of size 11 seed beads in browns, oranges and yellows (Rainbow and Transparent Topaz, Lemon, Pumpkin, Rainbow and Sunset Orange) to make the outer spiral – ‘the outer beads’.
Choose the dark colour as the central spiral bead (size 11 Metallic Iris Brown) so that it contrasts against the other colours – ‘the core bead’.
I started with the Lemon outer beads and the Metallic Iris Brown for the core. Work with a useable arm length of thread to avoid tangling.
Pick up 4 core beads and 3 outer and join into a circle passing back through all 4 core beads.
Pick up 1 core and 3 outer beads. Looping the thread around and laying the outer beads alongside the previous set, go back through the last 3 core beads and then through the newly added core bead. Repeat the pattern.
Note: it will take 6 or 7 rounds before the beading pattern looks obvious. It then gets much easier and quicker to work.
Step 2 (of 10)
Continuing the Spiral Staircase rope:
Continue the pattern changing the outer bead colour approximately every 2 spirals (or as desired). I didn’t count the exact pattern repeats per section but judged it roughly by eye.
I alternated the browns and oranges with lemon between. I also grouped blocks of the outer bead colours roughly symmetrically on the left and right sides, but you can do whatever you like here.
When there is approx. 6-8 inches remaining join in a new thread. Tie the new and old threads together with an overhand knot. Pull the knot tight and small close up to the beading, then hide it up into the beads as you work the next section. Do not trim off the tail ends as these will be used for embellishing later.
The necklace length can be as desired. Check this by working approximately one half of the rope, then hold the rope and pendant up to yourself until you are happy before working the second side. Remember to allow for the pendant fringing.
Connect the T-Bar clasp fixings onto the kumihimo barrels. Glue in the beaded rope ends using Fevi Kwik. Leave to fully cure overnight before adding any weight or pulling hard.
Step 3 (of 10)
How to work the leaves and floral embellishments:
The embellishments are working directly onto the rope and pendant ‘as you go’.
Use a mix of greens for the leaves (Grass Green, Silver Lined and Transparent Peridot, Crystal Gold Lined and Olive) and the yellow, orange and green flowers from the mix.
Create the beaded leaves by picking up 8 beads, passing back down the second to last bead, adding on 4, then passing back through the last 2 base beads.
To add flowers work up the flower centre, add on a size 8 and then a size 11 seed bead, pass back down the size 8 bead plus flower to anchor.
Step 4 (of 10)
Embellishing the beaded rope:
Decorate the rope with groups of beaded leaves and lucite flowers using the remaining thread tails and working into the central core beads. Join in extra threads if needed and leave the central section free for attaching the pendant. Finish the ends by weaving them into the beadwork, going up and down the outer bead sections to hold securely.
Step 5 (of 10)
Making the pendant bail:
The pendant is heavy so needs to have a bail that will last with wear. Therefore, I chose to make a strong wire wrapped bail using the predrilled hole to attach wires.
Push an eyepin through the pendant hole from front to back. Press the eye and back of the wire flat to the pendant. Thread a headpin with a size 8 seed bead, small yellow flower, and through the larger orange flower. Pass the wire through the pendant hole and press the wire flush to the pendant back.
Cut the wires to an even length (do not trim off more than need). Using round nose pliers finish the prong ends with loops. To make the next step easier gently pull the wires away from the pendant back a little to make space for the wrapping wire.
Hold the wires to make a 2 pronged V shape. Wrap 0.4mm copper wire clockwise around the left prong a couple of times to anchor and take the wire at the back. Bring the wire through the middle to the front right. Wrap all the way around the right-hand prong anticlockwise, then around to the back. Bring the wire through the middle again and to the left. Wrap all the way around the left-hand prong clockwise, then around to the back. Repeat this ‘figure of 8’ action weaving up the prongs and pressing the weave down to neaten as you go.
Step 6 (of 10)
Starting the Peyote stitch pendant wrap:
Thread an even number of size 8 seed beads to fit around the perimeter of the pendant and join to make a loop. Working in a round, thread a bead (which will be the first bead of the next row) and pass through the second bead along the 1st round. Thread another bead and pass through the next alternate bead, working right along the row. After 1 round you will have 3 rows of beads sitting together in an offset staggered arrangement.
There is a Peyote stich guide for beginners on the blog if you need a little more help.
Step 7 (of 10)
Continuing the Peyote wrapped pendant edges:
Place the Peyote beaded band on the pendant edges and continue to work rounds to encase the pendant edges. As you work, introduce the size 11 beads to ‘pull in’ the rows and wrap over the edges. Decrease if needed by missing out a bead in places. Change colours as you work making little, coloured patches. Don’t worry about getting it perfect it just needs to wrap the pendant edges securely and not fall off.
Start working back and forth in quite a freeform manner to give an organic look to the front. Don’t worry if some areas look a bit messy or lumpy as they won’t be obvious once embellished.
Join a new thread when needed by knotting to the current thread and hiding the knot within a bead. Weave the thread ends through the beadwork before trimming.
Step 8 (of 10)
Embellishing the pendant:
Add little clumps and branches of beads over the Peyote foundation. Add little branches with leaves and flowers worked as given in step 3. Around the base of the pendant add 2-3 rows of beaded drops with flowers or leaves at the base. Also add random leaves when working back up the stems. Work freely, there is no right or wrong, just go with what you think looks nice.
Step 9 (of 10)
Shaping the bail and finishing the necklace:
Shape the wire wrapped bail gently to the back over a pen or pencil. Do not completely close over yet, leave enough space to hook over the spiral rope. Hook over the centre of the cord and tighten up. Ease it gently so as not to distort or grip the rope. Alternatively, you could leave it lose so that the pendant is removable and the necklace could be worn with or without it.
Step 10 (of 10):
Making the earrings:
Pass a headpin through a size 8 bead, small flower and large orange flower. Bend the pin upward and add further size 8 seed beads before making an end loop to finish. Attach to earring wires.
Tie beading thread to the headpin and embellish the earrings with leaf and flower beaded drops as desired.