Neon has been enjoying a renaissance this decade. A far cry from the “fluorescent” colors of the 80s, the modern neon palette is often paired with neutral colors to ground its brightness and elevate it to sophisticated new heights. Neon colors provide a great punch of color for your summer wardrobe, and you can quickly and easily create a great new DIY wooden necklace with neon bead accents to amp up your casual summer looks.
- Darice Neon Yellow Glitter Bead Strand
- Darice Assorted Wood Bead Strand
- Darice Silver Crimp Tubes
- Darice Silver Barrel Clasps
- Darice Silver EZ Bead Wire
- Darice Wire Cutters (I got mine from this Pack of 5 Jewelry Tools)
- Darice Crimper Tool
This DIY wooden necklace project uses a very basic jewelry making technique that creates nice, finished pieces. With crimper tubes and a crimping tool, you can create a next-level necklace that is professionally finished. I used to string necklaces with dental floss and safety pin clasps, but I have never gone back to that, once I learned this technique. If I can do it, you can do it!
Step 1. Cut a piece of wire at least 6″ longer than your finished necklace will be. My wire was approximately 24″ long.
Step 2. Put a piece of tape on the wire, about 4″ from the end. This is a stopper that will stop your beads from falling off the wire while you string them.
We’ll put the clasps on last, but first, we’ll get stringing!
Step 3. String 8 natural-colored beads on the wire, followed by a single neon bead. Repeat twice (or more if you are making a longer necklace).
Step 4. Set aside a few neon divider beads for the other side of the necklace. Keep as many neon beads as you used to divide the natural sections in Step 3. Then, string the remaining neon beads onto the necklace.
Step 5. Slide a crimp tube onto the end of your necklace, and then slide one end of the barrel clasp onto the wire. (Hint: make sure the loops on both sides of your clasp are completely closed. If they are not, you can adjust them with your crimping tool — just use it as you would pliers and close the gap on the loop.)
Step 6. Thread the end of the wire back through the crimp tube. As you can see, it creates a loop that holds the barrel clasp onto the necklace. Slide the crimp tube all the way up the wire so it is sitting snugly right next to the clasp.
Using the crimping tool is a two-part process. There are two sections on the crimp tool: the first hole (nearest the nose of the pliers) is the first phase which flattens the crimp tube, and the next hole (the one with the little pokey part on the top of the hole), is the second phase that crimps everything tight.
Step 7. Keep the crimp tube snug against the clasp, and carefully flatten the crimp tube with the first hole in the crimp tool. Then crimp the flattened tube with the second hole in the crimp tool. If you tug on the tube, it will be firmly attached to the area of the wire where you crimped it. (If not, remove the tube and try again!)
Trim the tail of the wire that is sticking out of the crimp tube to about 1″ and then tuck it inside the holes of the beads to hide it. (You can see how the tail of the wire goes back through the beads in the photo below).
Step 8. Remove the tape at the end of the necklace, and put a crimp tube onto the wire. Put the other end of the clasp onto the wire, then repeat the crimping process described above, making sure the beads are pushed together so there is no gap anywhere.
It can be slightly more tricky to tighten up the second side of the clasp, so hold the crimp tube in your crimper tool without flattening it, and pull the end of the wire as taut as you can before you crimp it.
Trim the wire, and tuck the tail into the beads (this can be slightly trickier than the first side, so just use the crimper tool as pliers to help guide the wire back into the bead holes).
And, you’ve completed your neon bead DIY wooden necklace! You can use this beading technique for any kind of jewelry project to create a finished-looking piece. I hope I’ve helped to expand your jewelry-making skills!
If you enjoyed this jewelry tutorial, you may also want to try this gold leaf bead necklace DIY project!
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Heather Mann is the mother of four boys and designs and shares clever crafts with a frugal twist at her site Dollar Store Crafts. She’s also fascinated by the unsuccessful (yet humorous) side of crafting, and explores it at her site CraftFail, and in her new book, CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong.