January 27, 2014

Sweet 'Xs & Os' Valentine's Statement Necklace

In the past I've not been terribly big on Valentine's Day. I didn't meet my (future) husband until I was 30, and while I dated often in the years before that, I never seemed to have a significant other for the big day o' love. Now that I'm married, my hubby usually brings me flowers and I give him a card and that's about it. It's not that we're not romantic; my husband is totally sentimental and writes me really lovely cards (truly...he doesn't read this blog so I'm not just brown-nosing here). But, due to totally un-romantic dietary restrictions, I can't eat out at restaurants, or eat (conventional) chocolate, or any candy, or drink wine...you get the idea. All those things that go hand-in-hand with Valentine's Day. My poor husband never knows what to do for me for any sort of holiday celebration, let alone February 14th. And because I can't really celebrate in the traditional manner, I've sort of slacked off the last couple of years and haven't really done anything fun for him. Well this year that's going to change! We don't really go out to restaurants, but I can certainly cook him a romantic dinner at home. And I can dress up to look extra girly for him. So to get myself pumped for the lovers' holiday this year, I created a sweet statement necklace perfect for Valentine's day.

When I was at Michael's recently I found these fabulous glass beads painted in a marbled mix of red and pink shades. As soon as I saw them I knew they'd be perfect for a Valentine's-themed necklace! And then when I saw the gold-and-crystal sliders I knew they were exactly what I needed to complete the piece. Don't you think the rhinestone sliders kind of look like big gold Xs inside big gold Os?? (Am I the only one? Maybe stretch your imagination a little...?). I also added in some rhinestone spacers between the strung beads for visual interest...and because I just don't think you can ever have too much sparkle. Et voila--a sweet hugs-and-kisses pink and red necklace. It doesn't get much more valentine-y than that (well, maybe if I'd added a few hearts in there...but the lack of hearts keeps it a little more wearable the rest of the year). And it was super easy to make! Here's how I did it.

Sweet Valentine's Xs & Os Statement Necklace

-Red and pink beads
-Rhinestone spacers or rondelles
-Three (or any odd number) of rhinestone sliders
-A small amount of gold chain (for the ends of the necklace)
-A few small crystal bicones or round beads to use as spacers (not pictured)
-1 large gold toggle clasp
-Jump rings
-Crimp beads
-Crimp covers (optional)
-Bead stringing wire (I prefer 49-strand for the best strength)
-Crimp tool
-Wire snips or cutters
-Needle nose pliers
-Flat nose pliers (optional, to help in opening and closing jump rings; or a second pair of needle nose pliers)

Whew. That looks like a lot of supplies. But really, it's a simple necklace to make. Let's get started.

1. We will string the bottom (slightly longer) strand first. String approximately 7" of beads onto your beading wire with a few rhinestone spacers evenly distributed. You can either cut a long strand of beading wire--at least 20"--or just string your beads directly onto the wire still attached to the spool (this is what I do; it saves me lots of wasted wire if I estimate incorrectly the length I need for a project).

2. Add your rhinestone sliders. Remember that you want this necklace to curve nicely in a round shape, and since this is the bottom strand, the sliders need a few spacer beads in between each so that they'll be pushed apart into a curved shape. I used one small bicone crystal between the strung beads and the first slider, then three crystals in between each slider, and then again one small crystal after the last slider. Make sure that if your sliders have a defined top and bottom that you're running the wire through the bottom loops.

3. Now string the same pattern of beads and rhinestone spacers on the other side of your necklace. Remember, this is the bottom (slightly longer) strand and each side should be symmetrical. (Note: see how I string directly onto the wire spool? This allows me to waste the least amount of wire possible. That stuff is expensive!)

4. Finish the open end of the beading wire by crimping it to about 1" of gold chain. You can find a good tutorial on crimping here. I like to add a crimp cover over my finished crimps to give my jewelry a more finished look (because sometimes my crimps look pretty gnarly...), but this is totally optional.

5. Now slide all of your beads down the beading wire to be flush with the crimp/crimp cover and it's time to finally snip your wire from the spool (if you've left your wire attached). Cut your wire from the spool leaving about 1 1/2" extra from the first bead, and then finish this end following the same steps above in #4.

6. Now it's time to create the top (slightly shorter) strand in the same way, but make each side about 1/2" shorter than the bottom strand (so probably 1-2 beads fewer on each side; you'll want to adjust the spacing of your rhinestone spacers/rondelles accordingly). Start by stringing the beads for one side onto the wire (again, still attached to the spool).

7. Now add one small crystal and then run your wire through the top holes of the sliders, adding only ONE crystal in between each slider (remember this is the top of the necklace, so the sliders need to lay closer together here to keep with that nice, curved shape). Add one small crystal after your last slider.

8. String the same pattern of beads on the other side (just like in step #3 above). 

9. Finish off the wire ends of this 2nd strand with crimp beads following the same instructions in steps #4 and #5 above. Your necklace strands should now look like the photo above--each crimped to about 1" of gold chain.

10. This is a good opportunity to lay out your necklace and make sure you're happy with the curved shape and that the strands lay together nicely.

11. If everything is to your liking, use a jump ring on each side to connect the chains from the adjoining strands, and then add a toggle clasp to finish off the ends. You're done! (Note: you don't have to add the gold chain to the ends of each bead strand if you don't want to, but then you'll want to use a lobster-style clasp; the chain is necessary to make threading the toggle clasp possible.)

Now put on your new gorgeous necklace and go admire it in the mirror...and watch it sparkle under the light!

Here's a close-up of the colors in the marbled beads and the Xs & Os sliders...

Don't you love all those rhinestones? I think this necklace is so sweet and romantic!

 And I just can't get enough of the pink and red beads. Love those bright colors!

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Do you like to wear holiday-themed jewelry? I'd love to know!

Sarah Marie

Linking up with:

Take-A-Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
We Did It! Wednesday at Sew Much Ado 
Show & Tell at Gingerly Made
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello
The Party Bunch at 30 Handmade Days
Think Pink Sunday at Flamingo Toes


  1. Wow, your necklace is beautiful! This is amazing that you made it yourself! Happy Valentine's Day!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Bre! I appreciate you stopping by!

  2. Beautiful necklace! I'm sorry you can't have chocolate.... that would be so hard for me, but I do prefer flowers for Valentine's Day anyway :)

    1. Yeah...I think I'd prefer chocolate! I think you always want what you can't have lol. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Gorgeous necklace! I'm going to keep an eye out for similar beads so I can try it myself:)

    1. Thank you Ginnie! I hope you enjoy making one of your own!

  4. What a lovely necklace. I love the vintagy looking crystal pieces in the center. I found your blog on My Girlish Whims!

    1. Thank you Kelsy, I love the vintage look too! Thank you for stopping by!

  5. thanks for linking up to Take-A-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - you were featured today!! most viewed link!
    --Mandy, SugarBeeCrafts.com

    1. Wow, thank you Mandy!! That made my day :)

  6. Very pretty necklace. I have some Valentine theme clothing I have made in the past that I wear on Valentines Day. I have a vest and an embroidered shirt. That is about as festive as I get - I also decorate the house a little.

  7. Thank you, Kimberlee--sounds like you have a fun outfit for Valentine's Day! I don't have any Valentine's-themed clothing myself, but I was considering stamping a plain cardigan with gold hearts this year...if I keep it in non-Valentine colors I figure I can wear it year-round. Thanks for stopping by!


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