Techniques for Beading Multistrand Necklaces

Written by jennifer uhl
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Techniques for Beading Multistrand Necklaces
Multi-strand necklaces are easy to put together. (necklace image by Dariusz Urbanczyk from

Multistrand necklaces are dramatic and visually appealing, typically incorporating a variety of different beads, semi-precious stones, or pearls to create a layered piece of jewellery. There are different techniques that you can use to create a multistrand beaded necklace depending on how the finished piece should look. Combine different sizes, shapes and colours of beads to create eye-catching, personalised jewellery for every occasion.

Braided or Twisted

Create a braided look by blending multiple strands of beads in similar sizes. Run at least three strands of nylon-coated beading wire through a bead cap and crimp in a clamshell finding. String beads in different colours and styles on each string, but try to coordinate them in terms of size so that they will braid or twist. Place a clamp or clip on the end of each strand so the beads do not fall off, and twist or braid the strands together to create a single strand. Remove the clips one by one, sliding the wires through another bead cap and clamshell finding. Crimp the strands closed and finish each end with a clasp closure.

Tiered Look

You can achieve a tiered look by creating multiple strands in different sizes using a spacer finding. These findings have one ring on one side for the clasp, and several rings on the other side that allow the maker to attach multiple strands of beadwork. Attach strands of beads in similar or coordinating colours or patterns to each loop for a spaced-out, tiered appearance. You can also create a graduated look by using strands of smaller beads in the top loops and larger beads in the bottom loops. Alternate bead strands with chain for a modern look. Tiered necklaces are a classic look that is especially appropriate with evening wear.

Haphazard Look

You can create a multistrand necklace with a haphazard, bohemian look by stringing beads of a variety of different sizes, types, styles and colours onto beading wire and randomly weaving each wire into beads on other strands to hold the shape. Finish this necklace using bead caps and clamshell findings in the same way as the braided look, but do not braid or twist the strands together. When you mix small beads and pearls with chunky beads in different materials, you get a free-form look that can be adapted to any occasion.

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