Nursing Necklace

No, this is not a necklace for nurses. It’s a necklace for those who nurse. b5media’s breastfeeding blogger, Angela White, author of Breastfeeding 1-2-3, has written a few posts about these popular mommy-type necklaces (one on how to make a nursing necklace and another on safety issues), and she asked me to see what I could come up with. So here goes. Oh, and to cover myself, I’m not a nurse, nor nursing, nor a mommy to humans, so don’t let your little ones stick any of this in their mouths.

You’ll need the following supplies:

10 – 12mm barrel-shaped onyx beads (I got mine from

8 – 3mm sterling daisy spacer beads & 1 – 8mm sterling tube bead (

1 – sterling southwestern style charm (

36 inches of rat-tail

2 – 2x2mm crimp beads

flat-nosed pliers or crimping pliers


12 inches of .014 beading wire


1) Secure a crimp bead to one end of the beading wire, and start to thread on beads and charm alternating stone beads with daisy spacers, and making sure to position the charm in the middle so there are 5 onyx beads on either side. Note: Make sure the loop on the beadng wire that goes back through the crimp bead is large enough so that you can thread the rat-tail through it later.

Another note: I usually use crimping pliers because I like the way that looks better. However, newbie jewelry makers may want to use flat-nosed pliers and just flatten the crimping bead down with these. It can take a good deal of practice to be able to use crimping pliers. For that reason, I flattened them in the piece pictured for this project.


2) Once you get all the beads in the right order on your beading wire, secure the other end of the wire with another crimp bead. Again, like I said in my previous note, feel free to use flat-nosed pliers to flatten them. bfeed3.jpg

3) Now insert one end of the rat-tail through both loops of beading wire, and pull so that the rat-tail is doubled.


4) Holding both piece of tail together, tie an overhand knot, and push the knot so it’s up against the wire loops.


5) Thread on the sterling tube bead over both pieces of tail, push it down against the previous knot, and tie another overhand knot pushing it up against the tube bead.


6) Finish with one more overhand knot on the end of both tails, which will tie them together, and trim off excess tail. This is worn to go over your head.


The final length between the end knot and the next knot up against the tube bead is 24 inches. If you’d like this larger, just start with a longer piece of rat-tail. The length of the entire piece is about 30 inches long.

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    • Hsien Lei

      You always do such beautiful work, Tammy!

    • Tammy Powley

      Thanks,Lei. I just used what I had around here. Though, of course, I’ve got loads and loads of beads!

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    • dj

      It sounds good, I love the simplicity. Your posts are easy as a pie and really attractive at the same time.

    • Scrubs

      It’s always good to find like-minded people. Thanx and I’m going to add you to my RSS feed.

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    • Sandra

      What is the use of the nursing necklace?

    • Jacqueline Myers

      use of the nursing necklace is to entertain baby while you nurse or even hold him…or if you wear baby in a sling/carrier :)

    • Cyndi Lavin

      Basically, they’re to give the baby something safe and interesting to explore with her hands rather than ripping your clothing or pinching you! Not everyone’s baby does these things, but many do :-)