Gemstone Bead Ladder Necklace

  • 01 of 07

    Beaded Ladder Pendant Necklace

    Ladder Bead Necklace
    Ladder bead necklace. Lisa Yang

    Step up your style with this easy to make gemstone ladder necklace. I love to take a fresh look at components and use them in non-traditional ways. This beaded ladder pendant uses spacer bars typically used in multi-strand necklaces to create a unique necklace focal.

    It's easy to alter this design by substituting more decorative spacer bars and changing the beads from stone to crystal or seed beads. I bought several strands of these great rectangular stone beads and gave myself a jewelry challenge to come up with at least three designs. This ladder necklace is one project - here's the link to the two other rectangular bead jewelry challenge projects.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Beaded Ladder Pendant Materials

    Ladder Necklace Materials
    Materials to make a ladder necklace with spacer bars and beads. Lisa Yang

    To make the pictured necklace requires the following materials:

    • 17 inches of gold chain
    • (2) five hole gold spacer bars
    • (5) stone rectangle beads
    • Flexible beading wire such as Beadalon or Soft Flex
    • 2 crimp beads and crimp covers
    • Spring ring and jump ring clasp

     Spacer bar findings are a widely available jewelry component that is used to evenly space multiple strands of a necklace or bracelet. This necklace requires 2 spacer bars. The spacer bars that I used are plain metal and have 5 holes - resulting in a ladder necklace that is 5 beads long. The more holes in your spacer bar, the more rows of beads you can have on your ladder. Your spacer bars don't have to be plain - daisy, embossed or rhinestone embellished spacers will all work for this necklace design.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Starting the Ladder Pendant

    Starting Ladder Pendant
    Secure the beading wire to the chain and stitch through the top holes of a spacer bar, bead and then another spacer bar. Lisa Yang

     To begin your pendant, cut a piece of beading wire. The exact length will depend on how many beads and rows are in your ladder, plus some extra for affixing the crimp beads. The beading wire you use should be flexible so it is able to sit close to the sides of the ladder. I used SoftFlex Fine (.014 in diameter) with 21 strands. If you're not sure what beading wire to choose, refer to this article on beading wire sizes and strengths.

    Attach the beading wire to the chain using a crimp bead. String a round bead to lessen the stress at the crimp, string through the top hole of a spacer bar, then through the beads and through the top hole of the second spacer bar. 

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Continue stringing beads through the spacer bar

    Adding Bead2
    Stitch through the next opening in the spacer bar, adding a second bead. Lisa Yang

     Loop the thread around to the second hole on the spacer bead and repeat adding beads and stringing through the other side of the spacer bar. You want to pull the beading wire as tightly as possible to keep it flush to the spacer bar. This will be easier to keep tight as more beads are added.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Continue Stitching Through the Spacer Beads

    Stringing Ladder
    Secure the beads to the spacer beads by weaving down the spacer bar and back up. Lisa Yang

     Continue threading the beading wire through the next spacer holes and beads until you reach the bottom. Then you will start doing the same thing working your way back through the beads until you reach the top of the spacer bar.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Complete the Ladder Pendant and Attach to the Chain

    Adding Crimp2
    Secure the beading thread through the chain using a crimp bead. Lisa Yang

     Pull the beading wire tight, add a spacer bead and crimp.  Go through the chain and back through the crimp bead. When you are satisfied that everything is secure, secure the crimp bead. Pull lightly to make sure the crimp is secure before trimming the beading wire close to the crimp. 

    Add crimp covers to give your jewelry a finished look. Crimp covers wrap around a crimp and look like a round bead with a small seam.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Beaded Ladder Pendant Side View

    Ladder Necklace Side
    Side view of the ladder necklace. Lisa Yang

     This is a side view of the beaded ladder pendant. The beading wire is netaly threaded through the holes of the spacer. From the front, the beading wire is barely visible. It is important to use a flexible beading wire with a high number of strands so the beading wire sits close to the spacer bars and does not kink or bend.

    To complete the necklace, add a clasp and jump ring to the back of the chain. My necklace is 19 inches long and uses a somewhat open chain. I can easily adjust the length of the necklace by where I choose to hook the clasp in the chain.