Tuesday, 1 August 2017

DIY geode slice necklace

Many people wonder how a molecular biologist got into creating and selling jewellery, but it's really not that much of a leap when you know that I've always been fond of gemstones, rocks, beads and jewellery (yes, I was one of those kids with the ever-growing rock and mineral collection that no one was allowed to touch).

In honour of my lifelong fascination with such things, today I'm sharing a DIY for an on trend necklace design featuring a funky blue agate slice.  This necklace is the perfect way to show off your favourite geode slice and only requires basic to intermediate jewellery-making skills.

- one large geode slice (I used a top-drilled 85x25 mm blue agate slice)
- 10 x 4mm Czech firepolish round beads in crystal AB
- 12 x 3x6mm Czech firepolish flat rondelle beads
- 22 x silver-plated eyepins
- 5cm 18-20 gauge silver-plated beading wire
- 2-3mm width silver-plated chain
- 10mm jump ring
- 4mm jump ring
- lobster claw clasp
- jewellery pliers

1. If you have a geode slice with a bail already attached, skip ahead to step 2.  If you're using a top-drilled geode like I did, make a necklace bail for the geode with the beading wire.  Thread the wire through the hole and pull both ends to the top of the geode, ensuring that one end is much shorter than the other, reaching only 3-4 mm above the geode slice.

2. Bend the longer end of wire at a 90 degree angle roughly at the height that the shorter end of wire reaches on the longer end.

3. Using the longer end of wire, create a loop with your round-nosed pliers so that it sits at the tip of the shorter end of wire.

4. Wrap the loose, longer end of wire around itself and the shorter end, completely covering the wire till you reach the top of the geode slice.  Snip off any excess wire and flatten down the end with the flat-nosed pliers.

5. Place a rondelle bead on one of the eyepins.  Snip off excess pin, leaving 6mm of pin to create a second loop/eye.  Create a string of beads by alternating rondelle beads and round beads until you have a string of 11 beads.  Repeat with the remaining beads to create a second string of beads.

6. Attach both strings of beads to the loop at the top of the geode slice.  If you know exactly how long you want your necklace to be, measure the bead strings and then cut the appropriate length of chains you require to make a full length necklace.  If you're not sure how long you want your necklace to be, hold the half-completed necklace against yourself and have a look in a mirror while you adjust the necklace up and down till you're happy with where the geode sits.

7. Cut two chain lengths from the main length of jewellery chain (mine were approximately 12 cm long).  Attach one chain to the free end of each bead string.

9. Test the necklace length on yourself again.  If you're not happy with the length, now is the time to adjust your chain lengths.  If you're happy with your necklace length, attach the 10mm jump ring to one chain end, and the attach the lobster clasp to the other chain end with the 4mm jump ring.

10. Now put your necklace on, admire yourself in the mirror, and be prepared to say, "I made it myself!" every time someone compliments you on your gorgeous statement piece!!!

Feel free to share your photos with me when you've made a gorgeous geode necklace for yourself!
Please do not use any photos or share any parts of this tutorial unless you have permission from me.

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