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Twisted ribbon necklace with turquoise

A few weeks ago, I showed you two double-wrapped bracelets that I made using Offray ribbon, which involved weaving the ribbon back and forth between two cords, and then scrunching it up for a more interesting texture.  Well, I must have gotten really hooked on figuring out unconventional ways to use ribbon in jewelry making, because here we are again, this time making a necklace!

Materials & Tools

20" of 1/4" OD plastic tubing
26" of .24" diameter heavy beading wire
11' of 1 1/2" turquoise satin ribbon
2 5" lengths of 20 gauge bronze wire
2 18" lengths of 20 gauge bronze wire
14' of 22 gauge bronze wire
6 large turquoise nuggets
Assorted glass, ceramic, and stone beads, from 4mm to 10mm
Assorted metal and filligree beads
4 filigree components, bent to fit necklace
2 bead cones
2 jump rings
Clasp set
Scotch tape

Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Wire cutters
Small file
Tape measure

1. Turn a small loop in the 5" piece of wire, at least 1 1/2 times around for security, and crimp one end of the beading wire to it.

2. Thread the wire through the plastic tubing, and crimp the other end of the beading wire through a second looped wire as close to the edge of the tubing as you can.

3. Cut your ribbon into a workable length.  I found that 3' at a time worked well for me.  Cut one end diagonally as shown.

4. Using a tiny piece of tape just to anchor the first end up at the top near one 5" wire, twist and wind the ribbon around the tubing.  When you get near the end of the ribbon, slide the wraps up towards the top as much as you can to compact them and make sure no tubing is showing.  Use a second tiny piece of tape to anchor that end.  I found that 3' of ribbon created approximately 6" of wrapped necklace once it was fully twisted and smushed together.

5. Continue wrapping and smushing, using small pieces of tape to anchor ends until you reach the opposite end of the tubing.  Wherever you start a new piece of ribbon, twist and cover the tape from both the previous piece and the current one with the working piece of ribbon.

6. Use the 18" lengths of 20 gauge wire to hold the ends.  You can still see a little bit of tape at the very end, but that will be covered in the next step.

7. Add bead cones over the wires at each end and push them down to cover the tape.  Add a small bead to the wire if desired and turn a wrapped loop.  Use jump rings to attach the clasp to the wrapped loops.

8. Cut a length of 22 gauge wire which is easy to handle.  I ended up using 2' lengths (7 of them) to do my bead wrapping.  Center one of the large nuggets and a few other beads on the first piece of wire.

9. Wrap the beads onto the front side of the tubing in the center.  Wrap a couple of times, going between beads if desired.

10. Add a few more large beads to the center area, using one of the wire ends.

11. Continue wrapping outwards with that wire, adding more beads.

12. Use the other wire end to add beads to the other side.  Strive for balance, but not symmetry.  When the wire ends, tuck it under the ribbon, or beneath one of the beads.

13. Go back, using a second piece of wire, and add smaller beads in between the large ones to fill out the center cluster.

14. Add bent filigree pieces between more clusters of beads, wiring them on.  After adding your final cluster, wrap the wire up the rest of the ribbon-covered tubing and back down.  Add new pieces of wire as needed.

15. Add clusters and wrapping to the other half of the necklace.  I used approximately the same beads in opposite clusters on each side of the necklace, but wrapped them on in different configurations.

This post is sponsored by Offray, from whom I have received some of the products in order to create this project for you.
Copyright 2014 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Jen said…
I really like that! I was also thinking you could add some of your bead embroidered components to it (like on the clasp end), if you wanted to get carried away with it. Or, use it as a focal piece. I'm pretty sure I've seen you do some small pieces with turquoise colored beads.
Cyndi L said…
That would be extravagant, wouldn't it? :-) You're right Jen...I love turquoise, and it's one of my favorite colors...along with all the others! LOL!
Jen said…
Extravagant, and maybe elegant as well. Turquoise is in with the shades of my favorite color. Blue with just a *tiny* hint of green. Cobalt blue? Nope. Cerulean blue? Yep. I just love the color of an indigo bunting, if that helps describe things a little better.
What a fab way to use up odd nuggets in one's bead stash. Beautiful finish work, Cyndi. Thank you for sharing how that's done. Your close up photos are very instructive.
It could be really fun if the clasp were in front and you had some really great focal bead or a special polymer bead that you baked wire into to which could hook your ribbon and lead off each side with the wonderful beads. I really like this.