Wedding Necklace: Pearls and Crystals and Brooches, Oh My!

Over the past two weeks or so, I made the necklace I will wear with my wedding dress (but not the wedding saree).

I’m not really a jewelry maker, and most of what I know I learned from books I picked up in craft stores.  I know I could have done a better job with the necklace, but it’s a good foundation.  Right now, it’s a little too long, so I will need to shorten it at some point, but overall I’m pretty happy with it.

With the exception of the largest coffee-toned beads and the crystals, all the pearls are from (who, I guess I should state, included a free gift with my order).  The largest coffee-toned beads, crystals, and findings are all from A.C. Moore.  The brooch is by Monet and I bought it from a sale table at Macy’s.

The idea for this necklace came from a piece of jewelry that my mom and I saw while walking around in Philly over the summer.  I loved the necklace, but wasn’t willing to pay for it.  Actually, what happened was we saw it and I said “that’s so pretty… I bet I could make that!”

Well, I kinda could.  My piece lacks some of the elegance of the store piece, but it’s handmade and I love it!

There are some missing details still.  On the right, where there is a silver bar, I will place some of the taffeta from the veil that I plan to make with @TooHotToMandle.  I may also put some behind the brooch if it isn’t too much.  The pearls change up around the neck because I didn’t buy enough from and I didn’t want to leave a half-finished project in the drawer at mom’s house.  I wasn’t happy about having the beads change, but it looks nice on and I’m not going to sweat it!

The brooch is connected to the strands with jump rings that I threaded through the back of the brooch.  The jump rings are spaced farther apart at the bottom to create the necessary spacing and closer together at the top so the three strands will lay next to each other, evenly spaced.  The entire left side of the necklace is in creamy white pearls (except for a few coffee pearls where the necklace transitions from the 5.5mm round to the 5.8mm round).  In the center front of the necklace, the 5.5mm creamy rounds gradually transitions into 5.5mm coffee which are interspersed with 5.8mm creamy rounds and 5.5mm crystals (from A.C. Moore) and what look like ~5.8mm coffee rounds (from A.C. Moore).  The three strands come together at a bar with 3 holes in it (which will be covered with taffeta later).  Above the bar, the three strands start as the 5.5mm coffee rounds before transitioning into 5.5mm creamy white rounds.  These continue up until mirroring the other side’s transition to 5.7mm creamy white rounds.  Both sides end with a finding hook and chain that has three loops to attach each of the strands through (sterling silver finding from A.C. Moore).

Overall, the project probably took about 5 hours.  The bead design board (which I had never used for a project before) was invaluable, because it allowed me to determine where the brooch should go and I could rearrange the beads until I found the right color transition.

If I had to do this project over again, I would have been sure to buy enough of the beads I needed ( sold out of the 5.5mm creamy white beads, which is why I switched to the 5.7mm).  Also, I would have stuck to my original length – I originally intended on the necklace being 12 inches each side, but I ended up doing 13 because it looked too short on the board.  However, when I tried it on, it became obvious that 13 inches per side (26 total) is too long.  Also, I would have gotten a thinner wire to string on – I used .46mm silver plated nylon coated wire, which just barely fit through the beads.  This required me to use a size 2 crimp tube.

Various stages in making the necklace

Overall, I’m really happy with the necklace, and I’m looking forward to making a matching set of earings and maybe a bracelet.  I’m also thinking of making cufflinks for Teddy, though I have no idea how.  But I think it would be super-cute if he had cufflinks to match my jewelry!

3 Responses to “Wedding Necklace: Pearls and Crystals and Brooches, Oh My!”
  1. Leslie Meyer says:

    That is a goregous necklace! And hopefully it’s something you’ll wear multiple times after your big day!

  2. Rachael says:

    This is stunning! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Rachael & the A.C. Moore Team

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