Blog posts of '2015' 'March'

TIPS and TRICKS for NEWBIES – a multi-strand gradient necklace - part 1

You have already made a couple of single strand necklaces and thus are comfortable with attaching a clasp. With just a little extra element you will already be able to make a multi-strand gradient necklace. A gradient necklace fits as well with clothing with a high neckline as with strapless and therefore can be worn both in summer and in winter.

A not overlapping or gradient multi-strand design:

You have the choice between strands that overlap or strands that do not. By overlapping strands all the strands have exactly the same length. When not overlapping each strand is always slightly longer than the previous one and thus forms a cascade. Depending the size of the beads, some mathematical calculations may be required.

multi-strand gradient necklace

To attach three or more strands to a clasp, you may insert the following element between the strands and the clasp:

  • either a 5mm jump ring
    • advantage: easy to realize – disadvantage: you will lose some length when attaching as you fasten the strands one next to the other
  • or a jump ring and a multi-strand end bar such as our tube-shaped one with 3 rings, 9x13 mm
    • advantage: this method respects the calculated distances – disadvantage: you should pay extra attention to the order when attaching the wires

jump ring between clasp and multi-strand end bar

The hardest part with non-overlapping multi-strands is:

  • not to distort the jump ring
  • the consistency between the strands: each strand has to be somewhat longer, and this difference should be distributed evenly over the strand.

Calculating of the length of the different strands of a cascade necklace:

  • for smaller beads, the difference between each strand should amount to 2,5 cm, for mid-sized beads it will be 3,1 cm and for big beads that will become 3,75 cm
  • with extra large beads you will need even more space (sometimes even up to 6 cm), while with 3 mm beads on the other hand you foresee less space (2,2 cm)
  • if you use both small and large beads, always keep into account the size of the largest bead you will use to determine the distance between the strands
  • example, with medium-sided beads: if strand 1 = 40 cm - than strand 2 = 43,1 cm - and strand 3 = 46,2 cm


  • integrate rondelle beads or spacers in your design so that it is easier to create the calculated length
  • lay out a unit of your design, measure it and evaluate if it will permit you to get the required length
  • if your design ends in a big bead, add some seed beads

calculating length strands multi-strand gradient necklace

SEE - part 2

TIPS and TRICKS for NEWBIES – a multi-strand gradient necklace - part 2


Supplies for a necklace with three strands:

  • beads: calculate the quantity as indicated above
  • a toggle clasp
  • 2 jump rings
  • 2 three multi-strand connectors or end bars
  • 6 crimp tubes or beads
  • 3 lengths of 60 cm beading wire


  • a beading board with tunnels for multiple strands or a soft towel in a neutral color
  • note: generally the tunnels of a beading board have a difference in distance of 3,1 cm
  • pliers: two chain-nose pliers or a bent chain-nose and a chain-nose pliers, a crimping pliers and a flush cutter

gradient necklace 3 strands with end bar


  • cut off three wires with your flush cutter
  • arrange your medium sided beads on a beading board with tunnels for multiple strands or do the calculation given above for other sized beads
  • ensure a symmetrical distribution of the beads over each strand
  • check that the pattern shifts evenly over the three strands
  • attach a beading wire to the divider with a crimp bead or tube
  • thread the beading pattern and attach the other end with a crimp bead or tube to the second end bar
  • note: the longest strand is to be attached to the lowest ring of the end bar, the shortest strand to the top hole
  • repeat and attach the other two strands in the same way

opening and closing jump ring

  • with two pliers, open a jump ring
  • slide the eyelet of the claps en the ring on the other side of the end bar in the open jump ring and close the jump ring
  • repeat on the other side.

Note: it is really helpful to know how to work with jump rings since it gives extra mobility to your strands, moreover it allows you not only to lower the multi-strands part, but also to attach charms, pendants, etc. Use in the latter case larger jump rings.

cascading multi-strand necklace

One step further:

  • if you want to maintain clearly the distance between the strands you could incorporate a multi-row spacer or separator at shoulder height on both sides of the necklace.
  • if you work with tiny beads you could combine the technique of overlapping and non-overlapping strands. In which case you make a few strands of the same length and attach them one next to the other on one ring of the end bar: in other words, you consider the overlapping together as a single strand ... then again a few similar strands, but all slightly longer than the previous ones ... so you do not overlap and you attach them to the next ring of the end bar, and so on.

Technique - Attaching a jump ring - http://dunebeads.com/en/tips-and-tricks-for-newbies-small-jump-rings-big-worries-the-technique

Enjoy your creation and .. buy your findings @ https://dunebeads.com/en/metal-jewelry-findings !

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