Themes and palettes are all well and good, but sometimes it’s fun to just throw out all the rules. As I’m preparing all of the details for my submission to this year’s Ugly Necklace Contest, I’ve been craving some more eclectic and freeform designs. And now that heavy coat weather is over, it’s also a good time to experiment with layered outfits and wild styles. With this idea in mind, I went in search for some interesting, exciting, and eye catching pieces to pair with a great statement necklace.
I started with a chunky multi-strand bead and chain necklace. With a great mix of neutrals, it would be that much more fun to play with patterns and textures. For each outfit I combined pieces that had prints or patterns, with a few complementary colors to bring out the personality in the necklace. I also added lots of chunky bracelets, a few with some great examples of trade beads at work.
If you’re in the mood to let your beads run wild, here are a few tutorials for similar designs in necklaces and bracelets:
This Trail of Turquoise necklace project from FusionBeads.com is the perfect combination of chain and chunky beads. The soft colors work harmoniously with the metals - for extra fun, try adding some striped beads!
For a more traditional approach, combine floating beads and chain in a cascade necklace from HowDidYouMakeThis.com
Daggers and spikes add even more texture in the Gulf Stream Necklace project from Artbeads.com
Like the idea, but want it a little more demure? Pair a handful of bold beads for a smaller statement with a Multistrand Statement Necklace tutorial from HappyHourProjects.com
If you're not comfortable with freeform but want the look, start with a simple technique and add lots of bead varieties. The Vegan Wrap Bracelet from Beadaholique.com provides a great place to start.
Layering bracelets is a great way to add personality to any outfit. The simple seed bead Stratum Bracelet tutorial from AuntiesBeads.com projects lots of color in a totally stackable size.
Natural elements in jewelry look great when they're big and bold. The combination of links, leather, and big beads in Live In Art's Chunky Bracelet Tutorial really delivers.
And here are my favorite Polyvore collages features some of this month’s picks:
What’s your favorite freeform technique?
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