Sun Ray Bead Frame Necklace
Designed by Jill MacKay
Presented by Debba Haupert

Sponsor: Shipwreck Beads

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Chains don’t necessarily need to be made of metal! Use a variety of crystal bead links to make this dramatic beaded necklace.

Material needed

From Darice: The MacKay Collection
1 - #JMC0104S Celestial Toggle Clasp
6 - #JMC0303S Sun Ray Bead Frames
46” Beadalon® Stringing wire, bright

From Shipwreck Beads:
#3FC257 – DL Czech Fire Polish Smoke Topaz
6 - #8FC257-3 Czech facetted round dark smoke topaz beads
100 - #6GP358T Brown Glass Pearls 6mm
40 - #74CC557 Smoke Topaz AB Czech cut crystal rondell
#10SB458 Root beer 10/0 seed beads
11 - #PW1999-S Bead Spacer –Silver 6mm
#10SC5592 seed beads
4 crimp tubes
1 Beadalon® crimper tool
1 Beadalon® wire cutter
Beadalon® bead board


Tip: When laying this out on the bead board lay out your 6 bead frames as your mail elements. The beads board is at zero at the center bottom and counts out both left and right in one inch increments. Place three of the six bead frames in the 0-4 section (both sides) and place the other three frames between the 4-9 areas (both sides).

1. Cut 2 lengths of stringing wire. One 26” and one 28”

2. Attach one end of the longer strand to the female end of the toggle clasp. To do this string on a crimp tube then a 3mm Czech fire polished bead (FPB), then thread through the small loop on the clasp, then back down through the FPB and crimp tube. Snug the stringing wire tight so the glass bead is right up to the clasp and only the string wrapping around the silver loop of the clasp is showing. Crimp and trim off extra stringing wire with wire cutters.

Attaching Clasp
Note – When attaching the stringing wire to the clasps, put a small glass bead between the clasp and the crimp bead because it gives it a more finished look with minimal effort and no extra special crimp covers.

3. String on an inch and a half of a random mix of smaller beads: seed beads, 3mm FPB and include a silver spacer.
4. Begin to string with all materials (except for bead frames and 8mm Dark Topaz Czech faceted round beads that fill the frames) now. String randomly for about 4.5 inches.

  • Always separate pearls with a single seed bead.
  • Always separate silver spacers with a single seed bead.
  • Do not separate the faceted 6mm Rondells with seed beads or other beads when stringing more than one in a row.
  • String a 3mm Fire Polished Bead before and after every Sun Ray Bead Frame.

5. String the first bead frame at this point (about 4.5 inches).

How to string a bead frame
String on a 3mm Fire Polished Bead
String through one end of a MacKay Collection Sun Ray Bead Frame through the 8mm Czech faceted, round dark smoked topaz bead, out the other end of the bead frame and through another 3mm Fire Polished Bead.

6. Continue to string with the various materials: the glass pearls, seed beads, and crystal faceted rondells between the bead frames. Use the silver spacers and the 6mm faceted rondells as accents. Do not space any of the bead frames evenly.

7. Continue stringing until you have strung all six beads frames and then finish stringing until you have strung a 22” strand. String on a crimp tube, a 3mm Fire Polished Bead, and then loop the male end of the clasp in the appropriate opening on the clasp and then back down through the bead and crimp tube. Crimp and trim.

Note: To determine the length of the necklace, string down the first side of the first strand and hold the necklace up to you in front of a mirror to gauge the length desired and adjust accordingly.

Attach the second strand of stringing wire to the female end of the clasp in the same manner as you did the first strand. On this second strand you will only be stringing seed beads, pearls and Smoke Topaz AB Czech cut crystal rondells.

8. For flexibility string on three or four seed beads before your first pearl. Then begin your random patterning and combinations of the pearls, seed beads and crystal bicone spacers.

9. String until you have filled 21” of length. String a crimp tube, a 3mm Fire Polished glass bead and string it through the appropriate loop on the male end of the clasp. Snug, crimp and trim.

Debba Haupert and Katina Forte'

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