Chunky Bead Necklace

Wear the country's colors around your neck with pride.


What You Need:
This project will win your vote.
  • 2 yards of red, white, and blue fine rattail cord
  • Fourteen 3/8-inch-diameter red wooden beads from Westrim Crafts, style 2825
  • Three 1x1-inch wooden barrel beads: red or unpainted
  • Two 1-inch-diameter wooden round beads: blue or unpainted
  • Acrylic paints: white and metallic bronze (also red and blue for unpainted beads)
  • Paintbrush; toothpick
  • Tapestry needle size 20 or 22
  • Clear fingernail polish
  • Liquid seam sealant; small safety pin
Instructions:

1. If unpainted beads are used, paint two barrel beads red and one barrel bead metallic bronze; let dry. If using prepainted red barrel beads, paint one bead metallic bronze.

2. If using unpainted beads, paint 1-inch-diameter round beads blue. Apply additional coats for complete coverage. With metallic bronze, paint small stars on red barrel beads and large dots on ends. Use end of paintbrush or toothpick to paint small white dots on stars and on ends of barrel beads. Paint swirls on round beads with metallic bronze, thinning paint slightly with water if needed.

3. The knots and bead placement are measured from center back of necklace. For ease of stringing, coat ends of cord with clear fingernail polish; let dry. String and knot one side of necklace to the center front bronze barrel bead, then string and knot other side of the necklace.

4. Align the rattail cords and treat as though one piece. To find center back, fold cords in half. Use a safety pin to mark center back and hold cords in place. On one side of center back, tie cords together with an overhand knot 1-1/2 inches from safety pin. Tie a second knot 1-1/2 inches from first knot; repeat for third knot.

5. Separate cords and treat each one individually for the next 7 inches. With white cord, make four overhand knots 1 inch apart. With red cord, measure down 3 inches; tie a knot. String a small red bead on red cord; tie a knot directly below bead. With the blue cord, measure down 4 inches; tie a knot. String a small red bead on blue cord; tie a knot directly below bead. Tie all cords together again 7 inches from where cords were separated.

6. Treat all cords as one; string a blue bead, knot, string a large red bead, and knot. Repeat the knot and bead placement for other side of necklace.

7. Bring the cords from one side of necklace through the center bronze bead; knot as one. If hole becomes tight, thread cords through tapestry needle and pull through one at a time. Starting at the opposite side of the bronze bead, bring the three remaining cords through the bronze bead; knot as one.

8. Separate cords and treat each one individually for the remainder of the necklace. With white cord, make six overhand knots 3/4 inch apart. With red, measure down 1-1/2 inches; tie a knot. String a small red bead on red cord; tie a knot directly below bead.

9. Make two more sets of knots and beads 1-1/2 inches apart. On blue cord, measure down 2-1/2 inches; tie a knot. String a small red bead on cord; tie a knot directly below bead. Make one more set of knots and a bed 2-1/2 inches from the first set. Trim all cords 1/4 inch below last knots; apply seam sealant to each end.

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