Monday, June 8, 2009

DIY Donut Necklace

Rainbow Head

"Rainbow Head" by Charlie Chann

Although nearly everyone has a favorite color, I think most beaders and other artists have an entire palette of colors that they love to use. And then there’s ‘that’ color. The one that we are continuously drawn to for reasons we can’t explain. It’s usually a color that we hoard, not only because we love it so much, but because we just can’t figure out what to match it with.

My ‘that color’ is chartreuse. Just try and stop me from buying beads in bright yellow-green shades. I can’t explain my obsession, and I’m always left scratching my head, wondering what to do with the beads when I have them.

The Inspiration:

Chartreuse Cube Beads

Recently I purchased some lovely rainbow lime 4mm cubes. After I spent some time admiring them, I brainstormed ideas for putting them to work.

A flat piece like a herringbone bracelet seemed too obvious. Because of their size - bigger than seed beads but still tiny - I thought it would be nice to do something delicate with them. I decided to flip through some old beading magazines for ideas.

I came across a stringing project from the August 2006 issue of Bead & Button. I remember being really taken with Julia Gerlach’s multi-strand shell donut necklace. The design seemed like a perfect way to show off my chartreuse cubes. I only had to come up with a way to do it without wire, crimps or shell donuts.

The Beads:

Along with the lime cubes, I grabbed some lemon-lime and gold-lined black diamond 15o Tohos, moss green AB 10o’s, and green Picasso 8o’s. I liked the way the four colors seemed to flow into one another. Any two would have made a great pair of colors, and the whole set seemed to fit just so.

The Beadwork:

I used circular peyote stitch to create my own set of donut ‘beads’ - 12 tiny ones and four large. Instead of stringing everything together with a clasp, I created the top and bottom halves of the necklace separately, and used two of the large donuts to weave off the threads.

With only one packet of moss green 10o’s, I didn’t have quite enough to assemble the necklace with, so I grabbed some gunmetal 10o beads instead. I love the way they make the chartreuse beads pop. Although I am a little sad to see my precious cubes go, I’m very happy with the results.

Chartreuse Peyote Pendant


  1. Wow, that's gorgeous! Just enough lime to zing but not overpower.

  2. Yes, yes, yes the gunmetal does pop the chartreuse - beautiful job!

  3. Thank you! I've discovered a new love for simplicity recently, and I can't wait to take what I learned from this project and apply it to new designs. It's like falling in love with beads all over again!


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