One day I wore a self-made necklace to hang out with my friend and she was amazed by it. “That necklace just *floats* on your neck, that looks awesome!”–she exclaimed. So, I’m going to share some tips of making this type of necklace, known as “illusion necklace” by many beads-making enthusiasts.
First, I drew the general design I wanted. (Pardon my hand drawing, I know it looks awful but I promise the final product looks million times better! )
I wanted to bestow this necklace a neo-classic touch as it was also inspired by the costumes in “The Tudors” series, thus I chose pearls and a cross for my design.
My suggestion for an illusion necklace design is simple and elegance, since it should have this fantasy touch that it magically floats on your neck.
The materials I used are:
Clear illusion cord 0.25 mm diameter or clear fishing cord in 0.32 mm diameter. Please be cautious about using the fishing cord for necklace since it is extremely sturdy and you don’t want your necklace dangle too long and let it get tangled by something else. An illusion cord is soft and less prone to get a kink when bent. However, fishing cord has more sturdy texture that gives the better support to the “necklace frame.”
Fishing cord in 0.25 mm diameter.
Pliers and wire cutters–these are my trusty beading tools, but you can get some more “professional” beading tools like “round nose pliers” to easily make a perfect loop for eye pins and “cutters” to cut your wires and pins in craft/hobby stores.
A 5-cm chain in rhodium-color similar to the one here:
One lobster claw clasp in rhodium color. A small one will do.
2 bead tips in rhodium color, small ones will do.
One head pin in rhodium color, about 2-3 cm long will do.
Some crimps in rhodium color; the size I used was 0.6 mm diameter.
Swarovski crystal beads in 5301 Crystal, 3mm, 6 pieces.
One Swarovski crystal cross in 6866 Crystal AB.
Some Swarovski crystal pearls in 5810 Maroon, 6mm.
Here I’ll summarize the materials you need:
Pliers, wire cutters, and scissors.
Clear illusion cord in 0.25mm diameter or clear fishing cord in 0.32mm diameter
Clear fishing cord in 0.25mm diameter
Findings: (all in silver or rhodium color)
1 head pin (about 2 cm)
2 bead tips
1 piece of linked chain (about 5-7 cm)
Some crimps. (16 used in this project, 0.6mm diameter)
1 lobster claw clasp
Some 5810 pearls, size 6mm, color used is “Maroon.” (13 are used in this project–12 on the necklace and 1 for decorating the extension chain. The space between each of them on the necklace is 2 cm, between the pearl and pendant is also 2 cm, but 1 cm between the pearl and the bead tip at the end)
1 6866 cross pendant, the color is “Crystal AB.”
Some 5301 bicone beads, size 3mm, color used is “Crystal.” (6 are used in this project. Style 5301 is gradually replaced with 5328. It’s a similar style but has more facets, so 5328 will do too)
First you need to make a “bail” the cross pendant. The hole on the cross is going “front-to-back,” but I want it to go sideway.
This is the illustration of how I made the “bail” for the cross pendant
Here I use a dark color fishing cord and colored beads to demonstrate:
First, take 15 cm-length of 0.25 mm fishing cord, string the 3mm Swarovski crystal beads as the photo shows–you string 3 of them, cross the 2 sides of the string into the 4th one, and string one bead on each side of the string.
Now string the cords into the cross.
The red parts represent the cords that are strung through the cross–each of them should be cross the bead indicated in the photo from stringing into it from each side.
So, it becomes like this when seen from the top:
Adjust the string and beads to make that newly made “bail” on top of the crystal cross–the red parts represent the cords now go through each side of the bead. You need to take the part of the string that’s marked with a star in this photo, string through bead marked 1, 2, and 3. Together with another cord, you tie a reef knot. After tying the knot, string the cords into 2 or 3 beads near the knot and finally cut the cord against the beads.
Now you’ll assemble the cross pendant and the pearls. First, take some 0.32 mm fishing cord or 0.25mm illusion cord and string a crimp onto it.
Then you’ll flatten the crimp at the proper part of the cord.
This is the flattened crimp on the cord. You’ll then string the pendant onto the cord from the top bead (marked as 2 on the previous photo) of the “bail” you just made, and add another crimp, flatten it, so now the cross pendant is secured between both crimps.
Do the same thing for the pearls–you might want to measure how long you want the necklace to be and how much space you want between each pearl. I HIGHLY recommend this necklace a choker length. This way, the necklace looks more like it’s floating on your neck.
For making it a complete necklace, you need to take care of the ends of the cord. String a bead tip, then a crimp, onto the cord. Re-string the cord on the crimp beads several times before flattening it. Cut the extra cord and close the caps to secure the crimp inside the ball.
String the pearl on a head pin.
Bend the head pin against the pearl for 90 degrees, cut the head pin to leave about 8 mm of it.
Use the pliers to make a hoop with the head pin.
Now, assemble the lobster claw clasp onto the “hook” part of the bead tip, close the hook to secure clasp. If you want, you can use a 3 mm rhodium jump ring between them. About how to use a jump ring, please reference to “How to make a miniature chandelier.”
Assemble the pearl-on-the-head-pin on one end of the chain and attach the chain on the “hook” part of the bead tip. You can also use a 3 mm jump ring if you desire.
Tata! You’ve made your very own illusion necklace! Wear it, flaunt it!
The same illusion necklace on black background.
With the same tutorial, you can do some adjustments with each part and assemble it into different styles for your own unique jewelry.
This one is a sea breeze illusion necklace featuring Swarovski shell pendant and starfish.
Another variation is without any crimps. You use several cords and string beads onto some of the cords, and the next bead should be strung on the other rest of the cords. By using this technique, you can secure the beads on different cords without using any crimps.
This is an example of an illusion necklace without any crimps, featuring Swarovski 5301 beads in Air Blue Opal and Moonlight crystal.
Galactic necklace in monotonic shades of gray, crystal, and black in various sizes of Swarovski 5301 and 5000 beads.