Freeform seed bead necklace

After making numerous bead-embroidered necklaces, I was looking for a change of technique. Freeform peyote, netting, and brick stitch appeal to me, but I still wanted some sort of support for the work. Heavy gauge sterling silver wire makes an excellent armature to work around. My inspiration for this piece came from Lynda Musante’s lovely book, Exquisite Beaded Jewelry. Lynda shows how to make a bracelet using wire links as a base. My piece uses a single strand of wire instead, but the look is very similar, so I would be remiss in not acknowledging her inspiration!


40 inches 14 gauge sterling silver wire
24 inches 18 gauge sterling silver wire
5 inches 20 gauge sterling silver wire
Sterling silver headpins
8/0, 11/0 seed beads
4mm tube beads
Assorted glass, stone, sterling silver, pearl accent beads, 4-10mm
Nymo O

Ball peen hammer
Beading needles
Wire cutters
Chain and round nosed pliers
Measuring tape

Step by step instructions

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    • Paul

      This is a great necklace! Where do you find your wire? It seems more places in Canada local to me (Southwestern Ontario) do not carry any wire gauge less than 16. I can only get it special order which means large amounts of dollars for a sensible length of wire.

    • Cyndi Lavin

      I usually buy my wire from Rio Grande, Paul, but it’s worth checking around for good prices the way things are fluctuating right now.