Monday, 28 April 2014

Create your own Beaded Enamelled Choker

Well, that's one New Year's Resolution blown! 

Having promised myself that not only would I get back to blogging but that I would also do it regularly every week, I find that I am (in the words of my 14 year old niece..) a total fail! because it is now the 28th April and this is my first post for 2014...oops! (Don't think I'll mention the other resolution to limit my chocolate and sugar intake... ha ha!... quitely lifts corner of carpet and sweeps it neatly underneath, whilst hiding Green and Black 85% chocolate wrapper behind back.)

Hey ho! I'm back! and I promise to post more regularly. :)

So, I wonder what everyone has been up to so far this year. I know it has proved to be a busy and somewhat trying one for me so far. Firstly, I seem to have lost my voice more times than I care to remember (I know that as we grow older we are more prone to misplace things but I really did think that my voice would not be one of them - and before those of you who know me say anything, I know that I can talk for the whole of England, but really?!?) There do seem to be a lot more nasty bugs flying around this spring and they also seem to linger longer these days, so I hope all you crafty peeps out there are staying bug free.

I've also been on Create and Craft tv again... another show coming up on 10th May (can't wait!) and I've made an appearance on Jewellery Maker tv too - that was fun! What lovely welcoming people and a whole 4 hours to play with Efco's fabulous Efcolor powders - I know I'm addicted but there's soooo much you can do with them. On the show they asked me to see what I could do with their metal scales and I ended up making one half of a pair of earrings. (Sorry I can't show you it as I forgot to take a photo before I left the studios.) But it got me thinking about all the other things I could do with them, so as soon as I got home I logged onto their website and ordered a pack for myself. Up until last week they have been sitting on the side patiently waiting for me to get my act together.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that said act was got together finally and this is the outcome...

I decided to enamel the scales with turquoise and spring green Efcolor powders to tie in with the 2.6mm blue, green and turquoise metallic Indian beads (also from Efco). The choker was made on a bead loom and then the scale feature added afterwards. 

So, to make this yourself, you will need:
Bead Loom (I used Rick's Beading Loom from JM tv)
Blue Metallic Indian Beads 2.6mm (Efco code: 10 221 47)
Turquoise Indian Beads 2.6mm (Efco code: 10 221 57)
Green Metallic Indian Beads 2.6mm (Efco code: 10 221 61)
Beading Thread & Needle
Small Scales (Jewellery Maker tv)
Efcolor Stove (Efco code: 93 717 06)
Turquoise Efcolor Powder (Efco code: 93 700 45)
Spring Green Efcolor Powder (Efco code: 93 700 61)
Precision Jewellery Glue
Clasp or piece of ribbon
Silver Earwires for earrings

For the Choker: First enamel 9 scales. Cover each one with turquoise powder and then add a dusting spring green around the hole. Heat on the tealight stove until melted and then remove and allow to cool. If only enamelling one side be careful not to get any powder on the back as it's not easy to clean off once melted. If you want to enamel both sides, enamel the concave (or hollow) side first and then use the stand to enamel the convex (or domed) side. 

Follow the bead loom instructions to make the beaded choker. I made mine approx. 28cm (as wide as the loom would take) with an even number of bead rows (108). Having made the choker whatever length you need on the beading loom (I just alternated the bead colors to give a blue/green effect), find the centre two rows of your choker and pass a long thread down one row of beads to roughly the centre of the thread. Thread 11 beads onto the bottom thread, pass it through the hole in an enamelled scale (front to back) and then add 5 more beads. Pass the thread through the hole of another scale (front to back) and add another 5 beads. Pass the thread through the last scale (front to back) and back up through all the beads to the choker and through the second centre row to the top. 

Thread back down the next row of beads (moving away from the centre of the choker) and repeat the sequence of beads and scales, this time only adding two scales ie 11 beads, 1st scale, 5 beads, 2nd scale. Pass the thread back through all the beads and through the next row on the choker to the top and then back down the row next to it. Add 11 more beads and 1 scale before passing the thread back through the beads and the next row in the choker. Thread back and forth through several rows to secure the thread before trimming the excess. 

Then go back to the other end of the thread in the centre of the choker. Thread this down through the next row of beads and add 11 beads, 1 scale, 5 beads and a 2nd scale. Pass the thread back up through all the beads and through the next row along in the choker. Thread down through the next row and add the last beads and scale as on the other side and secure the thread end before trimming the excess. 

To make sure that the scales hang right, flip them over so you can see the backs. Pull the threads straight so that they line up with the point of each scale and add a dab of glue.

You can either fix a clasp to the ends of the choker or attach a ribbon to the back of the beaded band to complete it.

For the earrings: Enamel 12 scales in the same way as for the choker. Take two scales and using a dab of glue at either point stick them back to back. When dry take a piece of beading thread and pass it through the hole in the scales. Pass the ends through 5 beads and tie a knot in the threads. Holding the threads so that they line up with the top point of the scales, add a dab of glue to secure them. When dry, add a scale to either thread end (this time passing the threads back to front through each scale). Slide the scales down to sit on top of the beads at the knot, overlapping the bottom scales. Add a dab of glue to the inside top point of each scale and, lining them up with each other, leave to dry for a minute or two. When dry, repeat the process with another 5 beads, a knot in the threads to join them, a dab of glue to secure the threads at the top point of the scales before adding two more scales and sticking them together at the top point. Thread on 11 more beads before passing the ends of the threads through the loop of an earwire. Tie a knot in the threads to secure them to the earwire before passing them back down the top 11 beads and trimming the excess. Add a dab of glue to the knot for extra security. Repeat for the second earring.

If you prefer shorter earrings you could just use 11 beads with 2 scales stuck back to back at the bottom.

The instructions may sound a little complicated but they should be easy to follow if you bead along with them and refer to the photo. If you have any questions or need any further help just add a comment below or contact me through


Fee x