I've seen a few Morse code necklaces around and love the idea (I just googled it and apparently Anthro had some for a while). I filed it away in my brain box as a possible DIY project and then there was a day last week when I was going to lose my ever-loving mind if I didn't get out of the house so I grabbed the kids and we made a trip to Hobby Lobby.
This SHOULD be a quick and easy DIY as long as you learn from my mistakes. It took me an hour to do necklaces 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 (including a few minutes of swearing and shaking my fist at the heavens in between iterations) so I'm thinking probably only 20 minutes or so. Really. It's fast and easy.
A note before I jump in: I am not a jewelry making person. Honest. I was standing in Hobby Lobby going, "I need a bead that like..smooshes. To hold stuff together. HEY! Crimping beads! That sounds good." So this tutorial probably has glaring construction issues. If you know jewelry making, feel free to leave a comment about how to do this correctly! For example: I feel like I should have used jump rings at some point??
Materials (I spent just under $10):
- Silk cord ($1.99) - I bought 2 but if I hadn't screwed up a couple times then one pack would have been sufficient. The one I got is REALLY thin, which made threading the beads easy-ish but I think next time I'll go up a bit in size.
- Beads ($2.99 and $1.47) - you need dots and dashes. Most of my time at Hobby Lobby was spent in careful consideration of my bead options. I ended up using gold crimp beads as my dots (since I needed them anyway) and short gold tubes as my dashes.
- Crimp beads ($2.99) - if you don't get them as your beads, you'll still need them anyway.
- A clasp of some sort ($1.47) - mine are pretty big lobster clasps. In the future I'll use something a bit smaller since they seem disproportionately large next to my fine silk cord.
- Pliers - already had 'em in my tool kit!
2. Take your silk cord off the card. It will have a bunch of kinks in it. You can either iron it out or pull it through your curling iron or straightening iron. It doesn't have to be perfect. The kinks will relax out on their own eventually.
3. Figure out your lengths. This was where I made my first mistake. In Necklace 1.0 the uppermost strand was choker length. It looked awful and didn't feel great either. By the time I got to 3.0 I had figured out that I wanted strands that were 16.5", 17.5" and 18.5". Go longer or shorter according to your preferences and how many strands you want.
4. The silk cord comes with a convenient little piece of thin wire attached to the end for easy beading. I put my beads for "Aaron" on, pulled them to the end, then cut 16.5 inches off that end. Repeat with the next set of beads and cut 17.5". Repeat with the last set of beads and cut 18.5".
5. Lay out your strands how you want them (make sure all the names are going the same way!). If you'd like, tie a little knot by the outermost beads to keep everything in place (I skipped this mostly because I didn't want it messing with my lengths) then take a crimping bead and poke the threads through. This is where I make the fatal mistake with Necklace 2.0- keep the ends even and do the best you can to keep the threads in the right order. If you start rolling them around then you're going to finish your necklace and the strands are going to be all wonky and you won't be able to untangle them because they'll be crimped in place. No bueno.
|Laid out in the right order and right direction|
6. Pull the threads through one piece of your clasp then stick them back through the crimping bead. It's easier if you give yourself a looong tail and get the ends through and then scootch everything back toward the clasp. As not demonstrated in the photo below.
|One thread is back through|
|You can see how I kept the threads straight and in the right order when I put them through the bead and then crimped.|
I had a bunch of extra cut cord laying around from Necklaces 1.0 and 2.0 so I made one into a bracelet. I crimped a bead on each end to keep everything in place in the middle of the bracelet. It says "Let it go."