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Friday, July 20, 2012

DIY Triple Strand Toggle Pendant Necklace

Andrew and I spent the week of July 4th at the beach in Ocean City, NJ with his family. Spending time in Ocean City is an annual tradition that we look forward to each year. There are lots of fun things to do there, but one of my favorite places to visit is the Potomac Bead Company. They have a huge store right downtown. I found some beautiful beads there again this year and decided to use them to create a variation on the toggle pendant necklace. This version uses three strands of beads rather than just one. Here's what you'll need if you'd like to make your own...

  • Beads (three types)
  • Pendant Bead
  • Toggle Clasp
  • 3 long head pins (I recommend sterling silver and it's a good idea to have some extras on hand in case you make a mistake)
  • 6 wire covers (horse shoes)
  • 6 crimp beads
  • 2 cones
  • 6 crimp bead covers (optional)
  • 1 small bead that coordinates with your pendant (I used a flat silver flower type bead)
  • Beading wire
  • Jewelry tools: wire cutters, flat nosed pliers, round nosed pliers

Step 1: String one type of bead onto your spool of beading wire. Continue adding beads until the strand is as long as you'd like your necklace to be.

Step 2:  Once you've reached the desired length string on one crimp bead. Next thread your wire through a wire protector then back through the crimp bead and through some of the beads on the strand. Use your flat nosed pliers to flatten the crimp bead securing the end of the wire. If you are using crimp bead covers, add them over the crimp bead.

Step 3: Trim the other end of the wire off of the spool leaving a tail of several inches. Repeat step 2 on the other end of the wire, this time making sure there aren't any gaps in your strand.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your other two types of beads. When you are finished you will have three strands. Each strand will have wire protectors on both ends. Make sure all of your strands are roughly the same length. I staggered the lengths of mine, just slightly, so that they would lay flat (rather than bunched up) when the necklace is around my neck. The photo below shows the variation in lengths that I used. When the centers of the three strands were lined up, this is the staggering that occurred on each end.

Step 5: Now it's time to join the ends of your three strands together. Start by using your wire cutters to cut the flat end off of one of your head pins. Next, use your round nose pliers to create a small loop toward one side of your head pin. There should be about a 1.5" tail on one side of the loop and a 2"-2.5" long tail on the other side.

Step 6: String one end of each of your three strands onto the wire loop you just created.

Step 7: Use your flat nosed pliers to bend the longer end of the wire up slightly, right at the point where the two wires cross. Then wrap the shorter end of the wire around the long end to close the loop. Trim off the short end tail.

Step 8: Thread one of your cones onto the wire. It should fit over the wire protectors and create a clean finish to the ends of the three strands of beads.

Step 9: If you'd like, you can add a bead to the wire so that it rests at the tip of the cone. Use your flat nosed pliers to bend the wire at a 90 degree angle.

Step 10: Use your round nose pliers to create a loop at the bend in the wire.

Step 11: Slip one end of your toggle clasp onto the loop you just created. Use your pliers to wrap the tail of the wire around the base of the loop. Trim the wire tail.

Step 12: Repeat steps 5 through 11 with the other ends of your bead strands and the other piece of your toggle clasp.

Step 13: Time to make the pendant! Thread your remaining head pin through the small bead and through the large pendant bead. The small bead helps to keep the pendant bead on the head pin. Some pendant beads have large holes and will not stay on the head pin on their own.

Step 14: Use your flat nose pliers to bend the top of the head pin at a 90 degree angle. Make sure that your pliers are flush with the top of your pendant bead when you make the bend.

Step 15: Use your round nose pliers to create a loop right at the bend that you just created.

Step 16: Slip the loop you just created onto the ring of your toggle clasp.

Step 17: Wrap the wire head pin tail around the base of the loop, securing it to the toggle ring. Trim off the tail of the head pin wire.

Step 18: Try on your beautiful new necklace!


  1. Beautiful, Rebekah! I love the beads and colors you chose.

  2. This looks beautiful and as usual, the photos make the tutorial amazingly clear to follow.

  3. Love your necklace. We are in Sea Isle City and my daughters and I are planning a run to Ocean City for beads for our annual arts and crafts while on vacation.

  4. Amazing job with the colors

  5. This looks sooooo nice!
    Check out my blog:


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