Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tropical Toucan Necklace

Many beaders and artists keep a notebook on hand at all times, because you never know when an Idea is going to suddenly drop out of the sky. Not just a solution for those new beads you bought on a whim, or a fun color palette, but a fully formed image of a complete design that is so great, you have to drop everything to make it.

I recently had such an idea. It was completely random, appearing behind my eyelids in the middle of the night. I saw a necklace with a tribal style beaded rope in the colors of a toucan, and floral beadwork like an artistic doodle. It was a little art nouveau, with large leafy components and bright flowers. I couldn’t wait to get started.

I began with some very rough sketches of the necklace that I had imagined, but when I sat down to actually create it, I realized that some of the components would be impossible to make the way I wanted them. I modified things a bit to fit into my favorite techniques, and to work with the colors and bead quantities that I had, starting with the flowers. Yellow and blue druks would make excellent tropical flower bases, with petals in more blue, orange, and some fruity magenta.

I made several different types of beaded flowers, and some green discs that would fill in for the lime-shaped leaves that I wasn’t able to recreate. For the rope, I chose 8/o seed beads in turquoise blue, pumpkin orange, black, and white. Instead of an asymmetrical pattern, I took my inspiration straight from the colors of a toucan. Once everything was ready to assemble, I also added some lime and emerald green 15/o seed beads for extra leafy fringe.

Toucan Necklace Idea Tropical Bead Palette

Technically, this necklace didn’t turn out anything like the one I had originally pictured, but I like it much better. My favorite moment of triumph is the tiny flower bud, which I made to match the magenta flowers. Instead of using circular brick stitch, I started with a ladder base, and stitched the yellow druk in last.

I decided at the very last minute not to include the green Swarovski minis, because they seemed to clash a little with the other shapes, colors, and textures. So far, I haven’t been able to come up with any ideas for how to use them, so they’ve gone back to the stash until something appears in the night.

Tropical Toucan Necklace Tropical Beaded Flowers

Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading and Friends
Images Hosted by Pinterest
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+


  1. Beautiful!!! I live in Central America, and you have given me an idea for something that will fit right in as both art and jewelry here.

  2. Wow! As a beginning beader, I especially appreciated hearing about the process of creating this wonder.

  3. That is fabulous!! I love it!

  4. Mortira, I recently discovered your blog, and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts! The recent spiral rope tutorials have been great, but you really have inspired me with this necklace. Your use of color and your creativity are super, and the flowers are as unique as they are lovely.

    I've wanted to make a floral necklace or bracelet for some time and have decided to tackle that feat this year. My basic idea is to wrap a central herringbone core with vines and flowers. Though I have a book on flower construction, it would be great if you would share some of your tips on making flowers, especially how you made the blue flower with the yellow druk center in the foreground of the close-up photo.

    Thanks bunches for the lovely inspiration!

    A. C.

    1. Thank you! Your idea sounds fantastic - lots of fun freeform possibilities. I have two full tutorials for small beaded flowers, which you can find here:

      If you want to experiment, I recommend just starting with a circular brick stitch base, then add some of your favorite stitches and embellishments and see what happens! You can get a basic tutorial for brick-stitching round beads here:

      Have fun!

  5. WOW! What a stunning necklace, Morti! Toucans are a favorite bird (have had the good fortune to see many in Costa Rica) and I love it that they were the inspiration for your gorgeous necklace!

  6. This is a wonderful necklace, Morti. I love it and so admire your creativity & skill. Thanks for this!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With and