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Step 6: We are now ready to begin stringing our beads. Please note that because the Soft Touch Beadstringing wire is slightly stiff, you won't need to use a needle to string the beads. Begin with one size 11 seed bead. Please note that the easiest way to string seed beads is not to pick up each one individually. Spread your seed beads out on your work surface or on a plate and arrange them so that they lay flat. Then, when you need to string a seed bead, place the end of the beadstringing wire into the hole in the seed bead and twist the wire to pick up the bead. Continue twisting the wire until the seed bead slides part way down the wire. For beginners, the size of seed beads is a rough approximation for how many of that bead would fit in 1" of strung beads. Size 11 beads means that 11 of these seed beads strung side by side would occupy one inch on a necklace. These beads are sold by the "hank" where one hank is defined as 12 strands of strung beads with each strand being about 20" long. (This amounts to 12 x 20 or 240 inches of beads, with 11 beads per inch for a total of about 2640 size 11 seed beads in a hank. Please don't count the beads in this hank, this is an approximation.) After threading a seed bead, thread one 6mm pearl bead. Continue threading one seed bead then one pearl bead. Repeat this step over and over.
Step 7: As you continue to thread beads, you will find that you come to a point where you will need to set the partially strung necklace down. Whenever you do this, we strongly suggest that you clamp your plastic hemostat on the unstrung portion of the wire. Our experience is that failing to do this provides one with the opportunity to play follow the bouncing beads. This is a game that we really don't like to play. Continue threading combinations of seed beads and pearl beads until you get the length of necklace that you want. Common sizes of necklaces are 16" (choker), 18" (princess), 20" (matinee) or 28" or even longer (opera).
Step 8: Now we need to fix the opposite side of the necklace to the other part of the clasp. First string 2 crimp beads onto your beadstringing wire and slide them all the way down until they touch the beads. Then loop the wire through the loop in your clasp. Finally, you will need to thread the wire back through the two crimp beads as shown at right. Pull the slack out of the wire until the crimp beads are tight against your strung beads with about 1/16" of slack at the clasp. This will take several tries until everything is positioned properly.
Step 9: Using your bead crimping pliers, crimp first one, then the other crimp bead closed.
Step 10: Using your Flush Cutter -- Soft Flex, cut the excess wire as near the crimp beads as possible. Ensure that you don't cut the necklace itself.
Your necklace is now completed. Select here for an easy to print version of these instructions using Adobe Acrobat software.
In the following web page, we will discuss some alternative necklace designs that can be made by purchasing different supplies.
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