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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!


Aqua Sands

About this design:

Just after college, Kevin and I vacationed at my aunt's home on Anna Maria Island in Florida. As we walked down the beach we came across this magnificent tree that had washed ashore, exposing its roots to us. The roots were now adorned with seashells collected on its journey. Walks along shorelines are one of my favorite things to do, you never know what will wash up. What I love about the mix strands is that there is such a wonderful collection of beads combined in a way that makes so many types of designs possible. When I chose the Aqua Sands Mixed Strand, I only had to add a few things to complete my necklace and earrings: waxed linen for stringing, a jump ring and lobster for closure, 2 tubes of seed beads (which I had lying around from a previous project), and ear wires. I have included additional options for the seed beads below.

Buy the supplies:

The products in this design are listed below.

Additional Images:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Necklace (Steps 1-6):
Cut 6’ of waxed linen and string the shell focal to the middle of the cord. Tie an overhand knot at the top of the focal using both strands.
Step 2:
Keep your cords doubled up and string on a shell pearl and a 6/0 seed bead. Then make an overhand knot to secure in place. Once this is done, separate the 2 cords.
Step 3:
String on a combination of the seed beads with the Ammonite Czech glass, the Aqua Terra Agate, and the bead caps. Separate sections using overhand knots, this also helps the necklace flow more organically. This outer strand should measure around 11", not including the focal section that measures around 2".
Step 4:
Cut 4' of waxed linen. Now it's time to string the inner strand of the necklace. Layout the remaining beads from the mix strand, leaving out the Walnut Wood & Resin beads for the earrings. Speckle in some seed beads as you string your beads in place. Make sure to add a few knots in between sections as before. This inner strand should measure around 7.5" long once complete.
Step 5:
Combine the inner and outer strands of your necklace on each side by tying overhand knots.
Step 6:
To complete your necklace, keep your 2 cords doubled up and string on the lighter blue seed beads. Don't forget to knot in between the beads once in a while. Complete this on the other side of your necklace. Each side should measure 5" in length, add more seed beads if you want your overall necklace a bit longer. Finish off the necklace by adding a jumpring on one side and a lobster clasp on the other side.
Step 7:
Now it's time to use the Walnut Wood & Resin beads. Cut 2 12" lengths of waxed linen. Using one of the lengths, make a series of overhand knots toward the center of your cord. Double over the cord and string on the Walnut Wood & Resin bead up to the knots. Keeping your cords together make an overhand knot to hold the bead in place. Pull your 2 cords apart. Split each of the cords in half and unravel. Now you should have 4 skinnier cords to string beads onto. Using the same seed beads from the necklace, string one or 2 seed beads onto each cord and knot to secure. This creates a fun fringy tassel look. Repeat once more for the other earring. Attach the loops from your completed earrings onto the earwires. My favorite earwires to use are leverbacks because my earrings can swing freely and I don't have to worry about losing them.

Buy Products from this Design

2.5" Tube

More Photos & Ideas »

Measurements: 1.4mm hole/15 gauge

2.5" tube

More Photos & Ideas »

Measurements: 1.4mm hole/15 gauge

2.5" tube

More Photos & Ideas »

Measurements: 1.4mm hole/15 gauge

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. No Photo
    Beady Little Eyes says:

    Very pretty Ali and I love your drawing also. I don’t make drawings ahead of time unless it’s a flat peyote or herringbone. The Aqua Sands mix is so pretty.

  2. BevB
    BevB says:

    This is a fun set for summer. Nicely done!

  3. SF Girl
    SF Girl says:

    Love the necklace and the story!

  4. kye
    kye says:

    I love reading how people are inspired. Beautiful work.

  5. Crystal Canary
    Crystal Canary says:

    Very inspiring! Love the combination of beads and how you pulled all of them together. :)

  6. Granny Nancy
    Granny Nancy says:

    So gorgeous. I so love necklace and bracelets or earrings that have the look of our beloved beaches. Congratulations on a perfect design.

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