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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!


Opal Tie

About this design:

My goal with this design was to create something light enough to not make you feel weighted down when wearing it in the summer while being cool enough to be noticed. This necklace is really very easy to make, especially if you buy the ready made gemstone bead chain rather than wire wrapping each link.

What you’ll need: (buy products below)

  • 2' gemstone bead chain
  • 1' leather lace
  • 1 length of silk string cut into 2 3-4" pieces with one long length remaining for back of necklace
  • 6 4" lengths of non-tarnish brass wire
  • 2 6" lengths of non-tarnish brass wire
  • 2 Patricia Healey Triangle Arc
  • 1 Patricia Healey Textured Curved Tube
  • 3-4" worth of seed beads
  • 9 feathered daggers or flat drops of equivalent width
  • adhesive

Additional Images:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
The best thing to do with a necklace like this is to lay it out first. I began with laying out the main large components of the "tie", knowing that I wanted to fill in between those components with with simple rows of seed beads.
Step 2:
Once the layout for the necklace is done, cut your chain in half, setting aside the extra opal beads. Wire wrap the Patricia Healey Copper Curved Textured Tube Bead to each end of the chain. This will act as the anchor for the necklace.
Step 3:
Attach your 2 rows of czech drops by wire wrapping them to the chain as they were laid out. Make sure to add a seed bead or 2 in between each drop. This will keep the drops lying flat.
Step 4:
Now comes the time to use the 2 shorter lengths of silk string. Knot the silk to the chain, string on the Patricia Healey Copper Triangle Arc and knot to the chain on the other side. If you are having trouble getting the silk string to go through the triangle arc, either use a collapsible needle or take a piece of your wire folding it in half and twisting your silk to it. Once you have done the one triangle arc, repeat stringing on the other triangle arc.
Step 5:
Now that all of the main components are connected to the chain, you can go back in and fill the gaps with rows of seed beads. This is also where you can use the left over opal beads from you chain.
Step 6:
Finish your necklace by taking 2 6" lengths of 24 gauge wire, wrapping each to an end of chain. Create another loop close to the one connected to the chain and string the leather and silk cord through it. Make sure that you leave a 1/2" tail of leather and a 2-3" tail of silk cord at each end, keeping in mind that in the supporting part of the necklace, they need to be even. Now that the leather and silk have been strung through the loop, dab a touch of adhesive and wrap the wire around and around until it is all used. When you are done wrapping the wire, begin wrapping the silk string around the leather tail and the supporting leather and silk. Finish off the will wrapping with a knot. Repeat at the other end.

Buy Products from this Design

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. KatsAllThat
    KatsAllThat says:

    Very interesting design. I love the Patricia Healey pieces.

  2. Elis Mom
    Elis Mom says:

    Ali, this is so wonderful and unique! How long is the finished piece?

  3. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Susie, I wondered the same thing about the finished length! Great minds and all that jazz…. ;)

    Ali, this is fantastic! What a perfect example of the popular “mixed media” designs! This is so versatile, too — you could personalize it however you wished! Thanks for the instructions, too! :D

  4. Jennalynn
    Jennalynn says:

    Very unique! It’s just lovely

  5. No Photo
    Chicky Zee aka Alice says:


  6. sunny chick
    sunny chick says:

    Ali, another winning design! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. :D

  7. No Photo
    C Haddock says:


  8. No Photo
    D CONNICK says:

    The details are so…sweet!

  9. DahleaM
    DahleaM says:

    has a very native american look to it!

  10. No Photo
    P THOMASON says:

    I would love to see other peoples design ideas besides Ali. Is she your only person that makes jewelry there?

  11. No Photo
    Kathi D says:

    this is an awesome piece, reminds me of a Native Arts peace made with tiny seed beads

  12. beadngirlee
    beadngirlee says:

    I just love your work! And this is no exception!

  13. B Wong
    B Wong says:

    What a gorgeous necklace! Thanks for sharing the instructions!

  14. No Photo
    S lazan says:

    you’re so inspirational. Thanks for all your tips and techniques.

  15. No Photo
    L Dryman-Rice says:

    Beautiful, Ali! I love the “architecture” of this necklace.

  16. No Photo
    Annis P says:

    I’m not finding the curved beads or the triangle arc beads? I thought there would be a better link straight to the items needed to purchase and make one of these necklaces.

  17. DonnaE
    DonnaE says:

    Loooove your creative designs, Ali!! xo

  18. No Photo
    Fullermary63 says:

    How natural, raw. And absolutely unique! You have taken a step forward in desighns and shown how these materials can be used together and compliment one another in an all original desighn! Well done! Thanks for lighting that fire!!

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