Monday, 25 March 2013

Illusion Necklace Tutorial

Illusion necklaces are so called because the gems or beads you use are suspended on an almost invisible thread and appear to float around the neck without support. They make beautiful pieces for brides complimenting lace and veils. Using pearls gives that tradition look without feeling heavy.

This was a commissioned piece using pearls from a broken vintage necklace. The stringing had decayed and a number of pearls were missing. With this redesign the bride was able to wear the pearls worn by 3 previous generations. Pictured here against black, the illusion cord shows up, but against the skin it is all but invisible.

The demonstration uses tigertail so that it shows up better in the pictures. Illusion cord is clear and looks like fishing line but is softer and more flexible. Don't however mistake it for the elastic thread which looks the same. The basic instructions are for a single strand which is easily adaptable for more.

You will need :-

Illusion cord
Beads for your design
Crimp beads 2x Crimp covers.
Clasp of your choice

1. Lay out your design on a bead board or felt mat. Layout your complete design and make sure you are happy with spacing as changes are difficult to make later.

2. Start with the central bead cluster, thread these onto a 24 inch piece of cord. Add a crimp bead each end. Close the crimps with flat nose pliers or Crimp pliers.

3. Measure and mark on the cord the distance to the next bead cluster. Copy this exactly on the other side.

4. Thread on a crimp bead and use your thumb nail to hold it in position over the mark while you close it in place.

5. Thread on your next bead cluster, followed by a crimp bead. Close the crimp.

6. Repeat 4 and 5 on the other side of your central cluster.

7. Measure and mark for your next cluster, continuing as above until you have completed your design.

8. To finish, thread on a crimp bead, followed by one side of your clasp. Thread the end of the cord back through the crimp bead. Adjust the position of the crimp bead to create the length of necklace you want, pulling the excess cord through. Close the crimp and trim the excess cord. Cover the crimp with a crimp cover bead, squeezing gently closed.

To make a multi strand necklace repeat the procedure with cords reducing in size by 2 inches each time eg 22" then 20" then 18".

Did you know that the tradition of a white wedding was started by Queen Victoria? Prior to her wedding to Prince Albert, wedding dresses were traditionally colourful.

I hope this is a useful tutorial,

Happy Crafting

Janice x


  1. I love the finished necklace and it'll definitely mean alot to the bride to be able to wear the pearls.The tutorial is really clear, even for a non beader like me :-)

  2. Great tutorial - fabulous project - thanks for shring.

  3. This is very interesting and thanks for sharing. I can't decide how I feel about colourful weddings. Half of me thinks that it is a great idea, the other half likes the white......

  4. Great tutorial and the necklace looks fabulous.

    Linda xxx

  5. What a beautiful necklace Janice, so dainty xx

  6. Beautiful necklace, great tutorial.

    Sylv xx
    Crafty Bloggers Network DT

  7. Fabulous tutorial Janice and the necklace is stunning.
    Lorraine xx

  8. What a lovely idea for a bride, especially using previous family pearls! Lovely tutorial, thank you Janice :-) Simmi x

  9. This is stunning, what a fabulous idea and tutorial! Thank you so much for joining my All Crafts Challenge, hope to see you join in again soon! Elaine-xxx-


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