Anthropologie, season after season, comes up with the most fabulous items in their stores – and so many of them look homemade and crafty: the perfect fodder for DIY. I noticed this beaded ladder tassel necklace during early Fall (part of Anthro’s Bijouterie necklace collection), and after clipping the photo and hunting for supplies, I finally sat down and made a DIY version. It was a bit fiddly, but incredibly rewarding to find the finished necklace looked just as amazing as the original in the catalog. (And at an $8 investment, pretty affordable too!) Here’s how to make your own:
seed beads in opaque black and white / gold eyepins / round-nose pliers / wire-cutting pliers / gold jump rings in small and large sizes / wide gold or decorative jump rings / small gold s-hooks (can make these from jewelry wire) / gold lobster clasp / black embroidery thread / scissors / gold chain / measuring tape / jump ring tool / small piece of cardboard (not pictured)
1. Start threading 10 black seed beads onto each of two eyepins. Bend the eyepins at a 90-degree angle close to the beads.
2. Cut the pins, leaving about 1/4″.
3. Twist the end around a pair of round-nose pliers to make a loop.
4. Join the two eyepins with a small jump ring in the middle.
5. Repeat Steps 1) – 4) for another two eyepins and beads. Join the two jump rings in the center with yet another jump ring in-between, to create a ladder.
6. Keep creating pins with beads on them and joining them together.
Just for reference: These are the steps of the ladder above. Carefully count each bead, noticing that they increase in number as they go down, and the white beads form triangles within the black beads.
7. Pry the end of the top eyepin open, and thread into the bottom of a piece of chain, closing the eyepin loop again with the pliers.
8. Skip a few links in the chain (whatever is necessary to allow the eyepins to lie flat), and connect the next rung of the ladder in the same way.
9. Continue connecting the ends of the eyepins down the chain. I found it was easier to actually make the eyepin ladder as I went, and connect each eyepin I added in the center to the chain.
10. When you have connected all the eyepins to the chain on one side, cut the chain.
11. Repeat for the other side of your ladder, connecting the eyepins to a piece of chain, and trim.
12. Connect the wider or more decorative jump rings with S-hooks.
13. Connect the top edges of the seed bead ladder to the larger jump rings.
14. Space out your necklace pieces. You can see how long my necklace is and where the elements are in the photo.
15. Cut pieces of chain to fit in-between the elements.
16. Attach everything together.
17. Make the tassels: Cut a square of cardboard, and fold over.
18. Place a long piece of embroidery thread inside the cardboard (the open end is pointing to the top).
19. Wind the thread around the cardboard many times.
20. Slide the loop of thread off the cardboard, keeping your finger in the center.
21. Replace your finger with a jumpring, and cut the bottom of the loop to free up the threads.
22. Take the piece of thread that was in the center of the looped thread, and wind it around the bundle.
23. Tie the ends of that thread together.
24. Continuously loop the thread around to make a tassel, knot again, and trim the ends.
25. Re-cut the bottom of the tassel (if necessary) to smooth it out.
26. Use your fingers to fluff it out a bit.
27. Attach the tassel’s jump ring to the bottom of the ladder part of the necklace.
28. Make 6 more tassels and attach them to various parts of the necklace.
29. Cut the chain at the center top and add a lobster clasp and jump ring closure.
And you are done!
Fiddly, yes…but an extraordinary and beautiful result. Anyone would love to receive this as a thoughtful gift – and you can totally customize the color, style, and size of your tassels, as well as the color and pattern of your seed beads. Boho chic at its best!