Photos By: Amir Phillips
Wearable words for your everyday life
From the early days of beaded jewelry craft kits found at local craft stores, like A.C. Moore, to the modernized versions by the brand Simple Trendy Modern Touch (STMT) at Target today, this nostalgic form of expression is making a comeback. Since becoming mainstream, expressional jewelry and materials for beaded necklaces can be found at many major retailers, including—and perhaps most abundantly on—Etsy.
From necklaces to earrings, Etsy offers an impressive number of personalized jewelry options, such as specific zodiac signs, monograms, phrases, and more. However, if one is looking for an alternative to buying these popular pieces online or in stores, try creating them at home! With personal ideation, one may be able to create varieties that are more personal and not sold in stores.
To start, try coming up with a list of three ideas for creative beaded necklaces that fit into the lives of any college student. This could be a name, a school, a favorite saying, or a favorite word; the options are endless.
- Beads of choice (letters, ones of different colors, shapes, and sizes)
- Bead/jewelry cord
- Craft or regular scissors
Step 1: Unravel the bead/jewelry cord to the desired length for the necklace. (Tip: Measure the lengths of some favorite necklaces. Popular necklace lengths vary from 16-21 inches.)
Step 2: Lay out the beads into the desired pattern. (Tip: Place the beads in the desired order/layout beforehand. This helps prevent unraveling the design later on.)
Step 3: Tie a small knot on one side of the bead/jewelry cord, keeping a small amount of cord at the end beyond the knot for the final tie to join the necklace together. (Tip: Make sure the knot is wider than any of the beads so they do not slip off!)
Step 4: Fill the bead/jewelry cord with the beads.
Step 5: Once the design is on the bead/jewelry cord, tie a small knot on the remaining side to secure the beads in place, keeping a small amount of cord at the end beyond the knot for the final tie to join the necklace together.
Step 6: Take the knots from both sides of the cord and join them together with a final knot.
In the end, the idea of the beautiful, bulky beaded necklace can be a great complement to the culture of today. There is enjoyment in finding ways to express and share thoughts with others in an individualized way, and handmade jewelry is one awesome way to do that.