After seeing these beautiful statement necklaces on Bauble Bar (this & this) and Anthropologie (this), I really wanted to create one for myself. To recreate my version of these pieces, I did not bother hunting for the perfect bead at the craft store but instead used black-eyed beans since they are the sizes that I was looking for, they are super cheap and they can be transformed into any color you like! So if you want to make a fun statement necklace using beans in a few simple steps, then keep on reading!
Here’s what you will need:
- This design template
- Any kind of jewelry clasp
- Tweezers or toothpick
- Two link chains (10 inch & 6 inch)
- Two small jump rings
- X-acto knife and cutting board
- E6000 or any clear strong glue
- Leather hole puncher or a sharp needle
- Spray paint or nail polish in the color you like
- Black-eyed beans (I used 59 and it’s available at any grocery store)
- Gold 5 mm pearl beads (I used 52 and it’s by Jewelry Essentials available at Michael’s)
- 8 x 6 inch clear sheet (2-3mm thick – I used the box that comes with Nair hair remover. The front plus one of the sides is the perfect size)
Before we begin with the step-by-step, print out the design template. It is a 8 x 6 inch rectangle divided in 1-inch grids. Since you can’t string the beans, we will glue the beans and pearl beads on the clear sheet & cutout the extra sheet at the end.
Place your 8 x 6 inch clear sheet exactly on top of the template so you can see where to place each bean or bead. The necklace design on the template is of the same size as the actual necklace I created and has the same number of beads/beans I used. So, make sure to print it in its original size. If you place every bead and bean according to the template, you can skip to Step 9. For details, keep on reading the steps.
You can either spray paint your beans before you start gluing them to the clear sheet or paint them with nail polish when you finish making it. I spray painted the beans with 3 coats and put them to dry for 2-3 hours.
Step 1: Start with the large flower in the center. Using tweezers or a toothpick, add glue to a pearl bead and use your template to place it at the center of the large flower. The center falls at the intersection of 4 inches ( A to B) and 2.5 inches (B to C).
Step 2: Glue four beans around the pearl bead to create the first circle and make sure that the ‘black-eyed’ part of all the beans face the pearl bead.
Step 3: Create the second circle around the four beans making sure that the ‘black-eyed’ part of one bean does not face the ‘black-eyed’ part of another bean. Then create the third circle by adding pearl beads between the second circle beans.
Step 4/5: Following at the template underneath your clear sheet, complete the right side of the large flower in the center and then move to the left side. For each flower, always begin in the middle and add the outer circles.
Step 6/7/8: Once the left and right sides are complete, continue following the template to create the part below the main large flower in the center. After gluing the complete design according to the template, let it dry for 2-3 hours.
Step 9: Once dry, place the clear sheet with the beans and pearl beads on a cutting board and trim the extra sheet around the design. Get as close to the beans and pearl beads as possible so when you wear the necklace, you don’t see the sheet. At the left and right end of the necklace, leave out the dashed area shown in the template. This will used to attach the design to the chain. Using the hole puncher, create a hole on the dot marks in the dashed area at the left and right ends of the design.
Step 10: Attach a jump ring to each of the holes. Add the 10 inch chain to the jump ring on the left and 6 inch chain to the jump ring on the right. Attach a clasp at the other end of the 6 inch chain.
If you had opted for the nail polish option instead of spray paint, carefully apply 2-3 coats of a bright nail polish to the beans. You can add a coat of clear nail polish to both spray paint and nail polish version if you want them to be shiny. Let it dry and then you have your own neon statement necklace made of black-eyed beans!