Free Beading Project: Renaissance Diamond Chain Collar

I promised this free beading project a couple of weeks ago, and it's finally ready! The Renaissance Diamond Chain Collar is here! I had the idea for this collar floating around in my head for quite a while, and I wasn't quite sure how I was going to stitch it up. Then when I wrote up my tutorial for the diamond chain a few weeks ago, I realized that all the materials were sitting right in front of me! I used some lovely butterscotch colored Czech fire-polished beads mixed with two different colors of seed beads and some freshwater pearls and tiny 3mm Swarovski crystal bicones, just to give it a little sparkle.

This free beading project works up fast, so if you've got an extra day off this weekend for the Labor Day holiday, you can whip one up and wear it to work on Tuesday! One of the reasons that this collar works up so quickly is that the diamond chain drapes naturally around your neck so that you don't need to do any extra shaping.

To make a 17" necklace (not including the length of the clasp), you'll need the following materials:

  • 136 butterscotch opaque Czech fire polished beads, 4mm (A)
  • 33 freshwater pearls, drilled near the top, 5mm (E)
  • 66 crystal AB Swarovski crystal bicones, 3mm (F)
  • 1 gram metallic gold seed beads, size 15 (D)
  • 5 grams metallic gold seed beads, size 11 (B)
  • 5 grams red-lined amber AB seed beads, size 11 (C)
  • Clasp of your choice
  • Braided beading thread in color to match or contrast with beads
  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter

Base Chain

Begin by making a base chain consisting of 34 units of Diamond Weave. For each side of the unit, pick up 1 A, 1 B, 1 C and 1 B. Stitch 1 D in between each A for the second pass-through of the unit. Exit from a protruding C in each unit.

Adding the Pearls

With your thread exiting from a bottom C, pick up 1 D, 1 C, 1 F, 1 D, 1 E, 1 D, 1 F, 1 C, 1 D. Pass through the bottom C of the next unit. As you add the pearls, make sure that all of the pearls are facing the same way. Some of these top-drilled button pearls have a flat side and a rounded side, so you want to make sure that all of the flat sides are facing the same way.

Embellishing the Pearls

After you've added all the pearls, weave around so that you are exiting the last F added. Pick up 1 D, 10 C, 1 D and pass through the F on the other side of the pearl. You may need to adjust the number of seed beads added around each pearl so that they lie flat and completely surround the pearl. You can always make them a little larger for a longer drape around each pearl. Repeat across the chain.

Finally, add the clasp of your choice using a simple seed bead loop. Weave in your thread ends, knot and trim close to the beadwork.

If you make this free beading project, take a picture and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery so we can see what you did!

Bead Happy,


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