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The Design Gallery

Follow along with step-by-step beading projects and share your designs with beaders around the world—it’s quick & easy!


Weathered Coastal Necklace

About this design:

The inspiration for this piece came from childhood memories of the New England coastline - fishing nets, rocks shores, grasses, the sunlight on the Atlantic, seashells, weathered buildings and boats. Gaea's new bundles and the natural hemp made it all come together.

What you’ll need: (buy products below)

  • 1 Gaea bundle
  • 1 7' length of hemp (folded in half)
  • 1 5-6' length of hemp (folded in half, to be used as working strands for half square knot)
  • 1 6" length of wire
  • 1 square 2 hole bead
  • 1 button for closure
  • 1/2 tube of magatamas or other seed beads

Additional Images:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Begin by doubling your 7' length of hemp and stringing on the button. Secure with an overhand loop knot. To begin stringing and placing beads, you will first need to figure out where the square link you will be creating is going to go - I wanted it to lie at my collarbone. I placed the button at the back of my neck and draped the 2 strands around the front of my neck, one slightly longer than the other, bringing them to my collarbone. Now that you have the lengths figured out, create the knots and string the beads. Take the square 2 hole bead and turn it into a 2 hole link using the 2 4" lengths of wire. Then weave the hemp through both loops on the bottom from opposing sides. Pull the hemp up the sides of the square and through the 2 loops at the top just as before. Once the hemp has been pulled through the top loops, bring the 2 strands together and wrap them with 6" of copper wire.
Step 2:
To create the half square knot, you'll need to add in a length of hemp to be doubled over and used as the core strands. Tie the new length of hemp to the current 2 strands and dab with glue or epoxy before beginning your knotting
Step 3:
Cut 6' of thread and pull through the needle, doubling up and knotting at the tails. Pull the needle and thread through the hemp knot where you would like to begin, repeating a few times. Then begin threading through the hemp adding in seed beads as you like. When you come up to a knot in the hemp or a knot then a bead, push the needle through the knots and bead and continue.
Step 4:
To create the closure use a button at the beginning and tie an overhand loop knot at the end making sure to use an decent amount of glue or epoxy to secure the knot.

Buy Products from this Design

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Jade aka Caryn
    Jade aka Caryn says:

    I love this necklace. I think the Gaea bundles are a great idea

  2. No Photo
    K H says:

    I love the mix of textures! :)

  3. No Photo
    Sandi B says:

    what imagination, BRAVO !

  4. Ali
    Ali says:

    Thank you so much! I actually had a lot of fun making this, even if it was midnight :-)

  5. tori2tu
    tori2tu says:

    just luv it…so earthy! how inventive of you to sew beads into the hemp!! could a lower weight hemp be used?…i love the variegated natural. #:)

  6. No Photo
    qltldy10 says:

    Beautiful, Ali, and I thought the bundles wonderful even before I saw this! lol, I live on the coast of Maine… you forgot the washed up lobster traps! Can someone who has worn a button as a clasp let me know that it really stays ‘closed’? Anyone ever lose a necklace or bracelet with a button and loop closure?

  7. No Photo
    Mary - Sweet Chick says:

    OH WOW!!
    It’s beautiful and I love it!

  8. NY Bella
    NY Bella says:

    This is gorgeous, Ali! I might try it! Wish me luck!

  9. M McKennell
    M McKennell says:

    What a great job of creating mood with jewelery! I smell the ocean just looking at it.

  10. No Photo
    Chicky Zee aka Alice says:

    Love this Ali!

  11. karen blasdel
    karen blasdel says:

    Wow, This is gorgeous!!

  12. Ali
    Ali says:

    Thanks again everyone!

    @qltldy10 I haven’t ever had trouble using a button for a closure.
    There are however a couple important things to remember when using a button: (1) make sure your loop to pop the button through isn’t too big, just big enough to fit; (2) make sure the weight of your design is at the front so that you don’t get the button constantly falling to the front or pulling your necklace back, unless of course the focal is the button closure. Good-luck!

  13. Gaea C
    Gaea C says:

    Super cool! I love how beachy it is! Like it washed up on some exotic shore!

  14. Jewelry by Shannon
    Jewelry by Shannon says:

    This is so pretty … I love the seed beads that are tied along the hemp!! SLS

  15. sunny chick
    sunny chick says:

    Gorgeous! :D

  16. No Photo
    J mayer says:


  17. Eeka Mouse
    Eeka Mouse says:

    Love how the magatmas mimic tiny barnacles on the hemp. (Very attractive barnacles!)

  18. No Photo
    angel tears says:

    I soooo love this. I’m going to try and make it and I don’t make jewlry! I totally like all the earthy feel to your designs. Absolutely tired of shinny bangles.lol Thank You for all the inspiration.

  19. No Photo
    Jax luvs jewels says:

    Wow! This is just beautiful!!

  20. fraucarey
    fraucarey says:

    Love this Boho Beachy style. I do something vaguely like it w/my own seashells from FL however, I may need to swipe a few of your techniques & cute beads. Love the texture:).

  21. fraucarey
    fraucarey says:

    I also wonder how it would do in an Irish Waxed Linen & maybe try either a macramé loop closure or silk wrapped loop closure:). The copper button rocks!

  22. J Carboni
    J Carboni says:

    Great necklace, I’m just confused about step 3. Do you string and knot the ceramic beads on, then go through the hemp with needle and thread and seed beads? Also, do you begin near the square bead, in a knot? Thanx, I really want to try this project. Many of the instructions are unclear, and they never post all of the supplies for some reason. Thanx- Jill

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