This is the third jewelry project in this chapter of the Encyclopedia, and, hilariously, this is the blurb you find at the beginning of the project:

The necklaces and earrings shown here were made using slightly different (and easier) techniques than the ones described on the previous pages.

Oh, Martha. Of course you would put the hard projects first.

In spite of this description, I didn’t find these projects particularly easy compared to the last. Probably because many of them didn’t really work.

First up: ribbon necklace. Using a kind of gauzy ribbon, you string beads onto it, using the ribbon as part of the design.

That’s the one I made. And I have to say, it was really difficult because stuff didn’t work the way the Encyclopedia said it should.

What you are supposed to do here is use seed beads, which are tiny, to anchor the bigger beads. Using a beading needle, you string the beads onto the ribbon.

Except the seed beads TOTALLY don’t fit onto this ribbon.

If you aren’t familiar with seed beads, here’s a little primer. They come in different sizes, but really, what everyone thinks of as seed beads are the 11.0 size. For reference:

I assume that Martha means standard seed beads, since she doesn’t specify. And I tried every different which way, and there was NO way those little beads were going to fit on that big ribbon, in spite of its gauziness. So I had to go up to the 6.0 size. Which worked ok, but please TELL US THIS, Martha. It looks like her team might have used the 11.0 size, and I have no idea how they did that. It seems to go against the laws of physics.

So I used the bigger size beads and came up with this.

The other issue was the clasp. You are supposed to “tie on clasps and connectors at ribbon ends using a simple knot.”

Problems here are that a) it doesn’t look great, and b) I’m not convinced this is going to stay connected. It’s just knots in slippery ribbon. How secure is that?

The other necklace is called a “bead-cord necklace.” Using the beading cord from the previous projects, you string a bunch of beads on. Done.

I used very tiny seed beads for this one; it’s kind of a layering necklace.

I had the same issue with the clasps, though. I tied at least 4 knots on each end, and I could actually see the knots unraveling after I tied them.

I’m not sure why, having already introduced the bead tip thing, they didn’t just tell you to use bead tips, which seem much more secure.

There were also some earring projects in this section. You are supposed to put beads on ribbon and then tie them on an earring finding. Um, yeah. That didn’t seem to work so well.

I mean, what is that? Here’s what it looked like on:

I didn’t even bother making the other one because this is… WHAT IS THIS? The ones in Martha’s book look kind of ok, but even still, not anything I’d want to spend time on.


Ribbon necklace: About 1 hour

Bead cord necklace: About 1 hour




Ribbon necklace:

  • ribbon, $0.50 a roll
  • seed beads, $3.49
  • larger beads, $4.99
  • clasps, $1.99

Total cost = $10.97

Bead cord necklace:

  • bead cord, $1.55
  • seed beads, $3.49
  • clasps, $1.99

Total cost = $7.03


Not really. I’d use the techniques from the other projects instead to make something more substantial. If you are looking for inexpensive gifts, these might work, but you can also use inexpensive beads, like seed beads, and use the more substantial techniques for attaching them to necklaces.



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  • March 7, 2012, 12:15 pm Heidi @ homeingreece

    I like the ribbon necklace! My favorite necklace ever was a pink ribbon and bead necklace by Betsey Johnson circa 2001, and somehow I lost it a few years ago. I love the idea of trying to recreate it myself.

    • March 7, 2012, 12:23 pm Beth

      Thanks, Heidi! It did turn out well, I just wish that I could’ve used the small seed beads.

  • March 8, 2012, 9:40 pm Erika

    I does seem like necklace versions of your previous posts would be quite nice, though I do like the ribbon. I’ve sort of stopped wearing earrings and am getting more into fun necklaces.