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Knotted Crystal Necklace Introduction
Knotting between beads is a method that creates a more professional finish to strung jewelry designs. While it can tax your patience, especially if you don't knot very often, it is well worth the effort because of the wonderful drape and flow your beads will have when you are finished.
In this project, I take it a step further and use knots to also create an endless beaded design with no clasp. You just simply pull the finished crystal necklace over your head, and you are out the door, ready... to sparkle and shine. The finished necklace measures 26 inches, and you can adjust the length by adding or removing beads. Just remember that if you want it shorter, you'll need to make sure if fits over your head before finishing the final knotting process.
At 26 inches, I find that it easily fits over my head and falls to about the middle of my chest, so the length works well for my frame and for a few articles of clothing I plan to wear with it. Consider this when you are determining the length you'd like your finished necklace to be.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Selecting Beads and Materials
I fell in love with these red crystal aurora borealis beads from Michael's, but I will admit they are not the best quality beads as far as symmetry goes. This is something to think about when selecting beads to knot between because if the holes are overly large, your knots will slip through the hole.
Because of the bead hole issue and my limited stock of nylon cord, I ended up using two strands of size 4 cording together to compensate for some of the overly large holes. I also culled through... my beads, and any that were super large even with the double cord, I set aside to use for possible earrings. I also made sure that as I strung on the beads I checked that the hole would not go over the knot I had just made. This took extra time, but I persevered and I'm happy with the results.
If you don't have patience for culling and checking holes as you go, spend the extra few dollars and get higher quality beads. This would also mean you could probably use just one strand of nylon cord versus two.
Here are the materials I ended up using for this crystal necklace:
71 - 8mm red AB crystal beads
2 packets of size 4 red nylon cord with attached needles
1 corsage pin
Clear drying tacky glue
Glue Note: Any sort of glue that drying clear will work on this. Other than tacky glue, another option is hypo-cement, which is a favorite of many beaders and available from most jewelry supply vendors.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Knot and Add First Bead1. Because there is no clasp on this, you'll need to make sure to leave at least 6 to 8 inches of nylon cording at the end of either side of the beads you knot. With this in mind, about 6 to 8 inches from the end of the cords, hold them together and tie an overhand knot.
2. Now slip on your first bead onto the two cords. From now on, you will be working with both cords held together as if they were one.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Begin Bead Knotting3. Push the first bead down up against the first knot made in the previous steps, and then make a loose overhand knot with the cords.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Insert Corsage Pin4. Insert the corsage pin into the knot, push the knot up against the bead, make sure the knot is pretty tight before pulling out the pin.
5. To help push the knot as close as possible to the bead, grasp on cord in one hand and the other cord in the other hand and pull them at the time time.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Continue Bead Knotting6. Continue to add beads and knot between them following the previous steps until you have used all but one of the 71 beads.
I like to string on about 6 or so beads together, and then push them one at a time down the cords and knot. This way, I don't have to stop between each knot and add a bead. However, as I mentioned before, if you have bead hole issues, check that the bead does not slide over the previous knot before making the next knot.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Connecting Necklace Ends7. At this point, you are going to start knotting the ends together so you have a continues strand of knotted beads in a circle. Taking the ends without the needles, insert these through the hole of your last bead.
If your ends are frayed for some reason, you can coat them with some glue first, allow them to dry, and then insert them. The glue will help stiffen the cord.
8. In the same bead used in the previous step, insert the needle ends of the cords in the opposite end of the bead.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Ending Knots9. Now you should have two doubled sections of cord crossing in opposite directions through the same bead. Taking one of these cords, tie an overhand knot around the stationary cord that is going through the beads.
10. Then insert the needle into the knot, and as before, tighten the knot and push it up against the last bead.
11. Repeat this on the other side of the last bead so that you have tied knots on either side of the last bead with these cord tails.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Finish Off Cord Tails
12. Finally, insert tails through the next bead that is on either side of the last bead added, use scissors to trim off excess cord, and dab clear drying glue on the knots made in steps 9 - 11 on both sides of the last bead added. Once the glue is dry, you are ready to wear your master piece.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Finished Knotted Necklace
Knotting does take extra time, especially if you have to work with bead holes that are less than symmetrical; however, the time is so well worth it. You just can't beat the quality of a finished beaded jewelry piece that was been hand-knotted.
Updated by Vicki O'Dell