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Sarah Millsop’s Bicone Cluster Necklace

“These Bicone Clusters are quick and simple to make, and a great way to add glamour and glitz to an outfit. You can make as many of them as you like and thread onto cords or ribbons to decorate. I’ve made three for this necklace and used left over bicones from previous projects! You only need 12 bicones per beaded cluster and 8 seed beads, so it can be an inexpensive make and perfect for beginners.” – Sarah Millsop

Jewellery Making

1-2 hours

Intermediate

You will need:

Instructions:

  1. Cut about an arm’s length of beading thread. It’s a good amount to work with and allows plenty of length for knotting and securing your work. Thread your needle onto one end and string on four bicones.

  2. Pull the bicones to the end of your thread, leaving a 15cm tail. Knot the ends together to create a ‘square’ cluster. Your bicones need to sit closely and tightly, but you still need to be able to pull your cords/ribbon through the centre of the circle, so it’s a good idea to test this. Adjust the tension if needs be by pulling tighter or loosening off.

  3. Once you’ve secured your knot, thread your needle through the next bicone (to move away from the knot). String three bicones and thread through the bicone that you’re exiting from, making a circle. Pull tightly so all the bicones sit together.

  4. Thread your needle through the 1st and 2nd bicones that you’ve just added. This should navigate you to the end of the row of beads. Pull your threads tightly to neaten your work.

  5. To add the next cluster, repeat steps 3 and 4. Add three bicones, return through the bead that you’re exiting, and tighten.

  6. Navigate your needle to the end of the beads.

  7. String one bicone and thread your needle through the very first bicone in your row. If you pull tightly at this point, your beads will cluster together to form a ‘ball’.

  8. You need to fill the gap on the other side of your beaded ball, so string another bicone and thread it through the very top bead in your row.

  9. Once your beaded cluster is formed, bring the four sides of this square face together. These were effectively the top and bottom bicones from your row, as well as the middle side beads. Join them together by adding a seed bead in-between. Pick up a seed bead and thread it through the next bicone in your ‘square’. Repeat this all the way around (four seed beads).

  10. Once you’ve met your first seed bead again, move your needle through the vertical bicone in your cluster. You now need to repeat the seed bead spacing on the opposite side of your ball, so tilt the bicones towards you and repeat step 9. If it helps you visualise it, the four bicones you’ll be filling the gaps between are our original four from step 1. You should have your thread tail exiting from these. Once you’ve added your four seed beads, navigate your needle to exit next to your thread tail. Knot the two together and weave each tail through your work to hide (I would suggest through ¾ beads for strength). For extra security, add a small dab of glue to all threads next to your seed beads. Once dry, trim the ends.

  11. Thread your clusters onto your cords/ribbon.

  12. Slur your cord/ribbon into your end caps. Open your jumprings, add a clasp to one side of your necklace, and connect your ring to the end cap on the other side.

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