Bold, statement necklaces continue to be a strong trend as we transition into the warmer months. An eye-catching piece can make all the difference in an otherwise bland outfit. Multi-strand necklaces are one way to jump on board with this trend. However, when working with multiple strands, you have to finish off your piece in a different way. In this post, I will show you two different ways to finish up a multi strand piece.
A bead cone is a great way to disguise your knot when working with multiple strands. It is ideal for necklaces that are hung at one constant length. I like to use a bead cone when working with thread as opposed to bead stringing wire. It looks both pretty and professional. In my Knotted Crystal Bracelet Tutorial, I used a cone to conceal my knots and to attach my clasp to the piece.
An end connector, like the 5-to-1 connector shown in the picture is the right choice for when you want a little extra definition between your strands. For necklaces with strands at different lengths, you want a component that will allow each strand individual strand to be visible. In the necklace below, you can see how each of the 5 strands hangs at different lengths and how the end connector allows them to lay straight and keeps them from tangling. For a multi-strand necklace strung on beading wire, you can attach the wire directly to the connector with your crimp bead (learn how to use a crimp bead here), no clam shells are needed!
Color Blocked Multi-Strand Seed Bead Necklace
5 hanks – 6/0 Rocaille Seed Beads (6SB132-TA, 6SB815-AB, 6SB195-TA, 6SB133-TA, 6SB174-TA)
2pc – Tierracast 5-to-1 End Connector (TC3056-AS)
1pc – TierraCast Hook Clasp (TC6199-AS)
1pc – TierraCast Leaf Charm (TC2010-AS)
6in – TierraCast Textured Chain (TX0325-IR)
10pc – Small Clam Shell (FI130-S)
1sp – Fireline Thread (60TN112)
1pc – Big Eye Needle (FI283-4s)
1 tube – GS Hypo Cement (FI406)
1) String beads in desired pattern, making 5 strands total. To ensure the finished necklace lays correctly, be sure to add extra beads on each additional strand. If your first strand measures 20 inches, then your second strand should be 20.5 inches, the third strand 21 inches and so on until you have strung your beads.
2) Finishing the necklace: String on a small clamshell with the cupped part facing out toward the end of the string. (Image 1)
3) Make an overhand knot, double it. (Image 2)
4) Thread a small clamshell on the opposite end of the strand. (Image 3)
5) Tie an overhand knot and double it as in Step 3 above. I find it helpful to use a pair of tweezers to ensure my knot is nice and snug in my clamshell. (Image 4-5)
6) Use a tiny drop of glue on your knots and allow to dry. Once dry, trim the excess thread.
7) Complete the above steps on your additional 4 strands.
8) Attach clamshells to the connector by gently pinching shut the loop of the finding. Be sure that the loops are all facing the same direction. For the finished piece to lay correctly, your first strand should be attached to the first loop on each of your connectors. The second strand will connect to the second loop. Repeat with your remaining strands.(Images 6-7)
9) Open the chain using two pairs of flat or chain nosed pliers (just like a jump ring) and use a link to connect the hook clasp to the connector. Connect the remaining chain to the opposite connector and add a charm to the last link. (Images 8-9)
Knotty Neon Seed Bead Necklace
2 hanks – 6/0 Rocaille Seed Beads, Light Grey (6SB102-TA)
240 pieces – 4mm Tangerine Orange Silk Round (4RD634-N3)
80 pieces – 6mm Tangerine Orange Silk Round (6RD634-N3)
240 pieces – 4mm Salmon Pink Silk Round (4RD692-N3)
80 pieces – 6mm Salmon Pink Silk Round (6RD692-N3)
2pc- TierraCast Bead Cone (TC5641-AS)
1pc – TierraCast Toggle Clasp (TC6145-AS)
2pc – 6mm Jump Ring (FI208-TS)
12in – 22 Gauge Silver Craft Wire (22CW813)
1 spool – Fire Line Bead Thread (60TN112)
1 tube – GS Hypo Cement (FI406)
1) Cut 68 inches of Fire Line beading thread and string 8 inches of light grey seed beads. String 60 pieces of 4mm tangerine rounds, followed by another 8 inches of light grey seed beads. Repeat three more times for 4 total strands.
2) Cut 68 inches of Fire Line beading thread and string 8 inches of light grey seed beads. String 40 pieces of 6mm tangerine rounds, followed by another 8 inches of light grey seed beads. Repeat once more for 2 strands total.
3) Cut 68 inches of Fire Line beading thread and string 8 inches of light grey seed beads. String 60 pieces of 4mm salmon pink rounds, followed by another 8 inches of light grey seed beads. Repeat three more times for 4 total strands.
4) Cut 68 inches of Fire Line beading thread and string 8 inches of light grey seed beads. String 40 pieces of 6mm salmon pink rounds, followed by another 8 inches of light grey seed beads. Repeat once more for 2 strands total.
5) Lay out your 6 pink/grey strands flat and tie the ends together with a square knot. Fold the strands in half. (Image 1)
6) Tie the strings on either end together with a square knot. (Images 2-3)
7) Cut 6 inches of 22 gauge craft wire and make a wrapped loop on one end. (Image 4)
8) Thread have of your strings through the eye of the wire and tie a knot around it. I usually make 3-5 knots depending on how much room I will have in my cone. (Images 5-6)
9) Apply a small amount of glue to your knot and trim excess once dry. (Image 7)
10) Thread the cone onto the wire and make a wrapped loop. (Images 8-9)
11) Repeat steps 5-10 with your grey/orange strands.
12) Attach toggle clasp to the eye of the wire with jump rings.
12) Using a larks head knot, loop the pink and orange sections together.
These two finishing techniques can be applied to any type of beadwork, not just seed beads. Both options have their benefits and can be adapted for bracelets and necklaces. I find myself going the cone-route most of the time, as I just prefer the way it looks. What is your favorite way to finish off a multi-strand necklace? I would love to hear from YOU!