Saturday, 21 May 2011

Tutorial: Ancestry of Tibet Necklace

The world is full of inspiration, be it wind turbines silhouetted against a fiery Cornish sunset, the greased and oiled inner workings of machinery or the pages of a magazine.

My most recent inspiration is Joe Browns. Yes, again. (Regular readers will remember my Gothic Comedy scarf a couple of weeks back, inspired by Joe Browns’ Funky Buddha scarf.)

Joe Browns are currently selling a ‘Faith and Love’ necklace for £14.95. Not bad!
I love the design, but I’m not the type to wear lots of hearts or beads stamped with ‘love’, ‘trust’, ‘peace’, etc.

After putting on my thinking cap and doing a little bead-shopping, I came up with this:

I’m calling it my ‘Ancestry of Tibet’ necklace (because everything needs a name!)
The beads I used were partly what I had to hand (the skulls) and partly what I bought from ebay. The ebayed beads were sold as ‘Tibetan silver beads’ and were a steal at £3.19 (including postage) for 90 beads!

Here is Joe Brown’s  gorgeous ‘Faith and Love’ necklace:

No crafty post would be complete without a tutorial, so read on for a how-to!

Time needed: 1-2 hours

You’ll need:
Selection of beads (I used 42)
Spacer beads (twice as many as regular beads)*
Crimps (twice as many as regular beads)
Tiger tail beading wire
2 split rings
2 jump rings
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers

*I only used spacer beads because the holes in the other beads were too big and the beads slipped over the crimps. If your beads have smaller holes, you don’t need to worry about the spacers!

1. Cut six strands of tiger tail at different lengths: 17", 18", 18.5", 19", 20" and 20.5". 

2. Take the shortest two pieces of tiger tail, hold them together and slide a crimp on the end. Slide on one of the split rings and loop the ends of the tiger tail back through the crimp. Close the crimp with flat nose pliers and repeat for the other four pieces of tiger tail.

3. You’re ready to start adding beads--this is the really time consuming part! Start with the shortest length of tiger tail. Leaving a gap of a 4 inches, add a crimp to the strand. Add a spacer bead (if necessary), one of your beads, another spacer bead, and finally another crimp. You’re effectively making a bead sandwich!

4. Leave an inch or two gap, add the next bead using the same process as before, until you have only a 4.5-5 inches at the end of the strand.
Repeat until you’ve put beads on all six strands of your necklace, changing the size of the gaps on each strand for some variation.

5. Open a jump ring by twisting it (not pulling the sides apart) and add the clasp.

6. Fix the clasp to one end of the necklace and add the second jump ring to the other end. I decided to use an extender chain on this, so I can alternate the length of the necklace. The clasp and jump rings in this picture were from a broken necklace.

7. Enjoy your new necklace!

Linking up at:


  1. I prefer your version a helluva lot over Joe Browns' version. Way cool!

  2. Good tip on the jump ring opening!

    Jewelie Dee

  3. Okay, I've only just found this, so you may have forgotten all about the tutorial. I think it's a BEAUTIFUL necklace. I usually only seem to make earrings and bracelets, but I'm certainly going to give this one a go. Thanks for letting us share...and it's way better than the Joe Brown's one. :)


Reading all your sweet comments makes me happy! :) I appreciate each and every one and try to reply to all that I can!

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