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Leather & Pony Beads

Instructions for making Leather & Pony Beads Necklace out of leather chord, beads and jewelry supplies using common jewelry making tools:

 

First, let's discuss leather versus simulated leather (Pleather).  With leather, the chemicals used in tanning the leather in some countries can be carcinogenic to children under 14.  The chemicals used are not as harmful to adults.  Since much of the leather sold for making jewelry is made outside the US, no one can ensure that that leather is free of potentially harmful chemicals.  For this reason, we recommend using the Pleather simulated leather product.  This product is free of tanning chemicals, and has the added benefit that it is almost impervious to sweat. 

The beads chosen for this project will need to have holes that are larger than 1 mm.  This eliminates pearls, and Swarovski Crystals from consideration for this project.  The beads recommended should be either Pony Beads, Lampwork beads, or dichroic glass beads with larger holes.  The necklace made will need about 3 to 5 inches of beads.
 

Leather Necklace made with black beads showing connecting the clasp to the leather.
Leather necklace made with Dichroic Beads and black beads
Leather Necklace

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • 19, 25 or 26 inches of 1 or 2mm Pleather 
  • 3-5 inches of Pony Beads, Lampwork Beads, or Dichroic Beads in combination.
  • Purchased clasp
  • Crimp style connector or Clam Shell connector
  • 4 inches of 20 gauge jewelry wire to match the clasp.
  • 30 minutes of free time

Step-by-step instructions for making Leather & Pony Beads Necklace using common jewelry tools, leather chord, beads and common jewelry supplies:

Step 1:  Cut a 19 inch length of Pleather.

Completed clasp connected to Pleather using common jewelry tools.
Finished Clasp

 

Step 2:  Lay the Pleather on the connector and wrap the loose end around the loop in the connector as shown at right.  The Pleather extends around the loop in the connector so that the connector can grasp both sides of the Pleather.  This makes a much stronger connection than contact with just one side of the connector.  .  
 

Making a Leather Necklace Jewelry Making Project Step 2 showing common jewelry supplies used to make necklace.
Step 2

 

Step 3:  While holding the Pleather and the connector, use your bent chain nose pliers to squeeze one side of the connector closest to the end of the Pleather down on top of the Pleather.  
 

Making a Leather Necklace using common jewelry making supplies -- Step 3
Step 3

 

Step 4:  Now squeeze the opposite side of the connector down.  The connector should be relatively flat and the Pleather should be firmly in place and should not slip when pulled. 


Making A Leather Necklace using common jewelry making tools -- Step 4
Step 4

 

Step 5:  Cut the excess Pleather at the end using your flush cutter. 


Making A Leather Necklace using common jewelry tools to shape jewelry supplies.
Step 5
Step 6:  Now with one end fixed with a connector, string your combination of beads onto the pleather.  You need about 3 to 5 inches of beads.

 

 

Step 7:  Once you have completed stringing your beads, add the second connector to the end of the Pleather using steps 2, 3, 4, and 5.
 

Making a Leather Necklace using orange Dichroic beads and common jewelry supplies.

 

Step 8:  At this point you have about 18 inches of necklace with loops on either end and you need to add the clasp.   The easiest way to add the clasp is to make two Figure 8 connectors out of jewelry wire.  Black Artistic Wire was used for the Figure 8 connector because it matches the color of the black Pleather. 
 

 

Finished Clasp Jewelry Making Technique made using common jewelry tools.
Finished Clasp

 

Step 9:  Open one end of the Figure 8 connector and hook that open end in one of the loops at the end of the necklace.  Close that end of the Figure 8 connector.

Step 10:  Open the opposite end of the Figure 8 connector and hook that end into your commercial clasp.  In the clasp shown above-right, a magnetic clasp was used.  Close that end of the Figure 8 connector.

Step 11:  Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the opposite end of the necklace.  At this point you are done.

Alternative designs for making necklaces using common jewelry making supplies and jewelry tools:

Orange & Black Leather Necklace made out of common jewelry making supplies using jewelry tools.
In the necklace clasp shown at right, a wrapped bead link was used in place of the Figure 8 connector.  The technique for making a wrapped bead link is discussed here.  This technique allows incorporation of beads into the clasp to add style.  The beads shown at right are black 6mm round beads and complement the black Pleather. 

Finished Clasp Jewelry Making Technique completed using common jewelry making tools.
Pleather Necklace Jewelry Making Project made out of common jewelry supplies.

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

Necklaces made out of leather aren't appropriate to wear in all situations.  Leather necklaces are probably best worn in casual situations.  If you want to dress up your blue jeans outfit, consider adding a leather necklace.  This jewelry making project is quick and easy to make. 

 

 



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