I don’t claim to be a perfect designer by any means, but I know what kinds of patterns I like to see in jewelry, and that’s how I design my own beaded necklaces thus far. Here are some examples:
This necklace (which is the slightly-messed-up one from last week) displays a couple of pretty design tactics:
- Symmetrical patterns–the necklace can be flipped left to right with no change
- Colorful beads interspersed with neutral beads (in this case, silver) to help set the colors off
- 3 sparkly beads used at the center of the necklace (bottom center of pic) to draw the light and the viewer’s eye
- Vary the sizes and shapes of beads used in a pattern for visual interest in a mono-colored necklace
- Use tiny beads to separate larger beads and make them look like they’re floating
- Let one unusual bead be the center of a symmetrical 5- or 7-bead pattern (you see this twice in the above pic)–surround the unusual bead with more normal beads to let it take the spotlight
- Juxtaposing different finishes of beads in the same color family (here, using lavender) can add a soft effect to your patterns.
- Creating a focal point in the center of your necklace can be just as easy as grouping 3 larger, lighter-finish beads and then surrounding them with smaller, darker-finish beads.
- Patterned or textured beads can add subtle flair when placed alongside smoother beads.
- Don’t be afraid to use oblong and round beads together–oblong beads, especially in clear or neutral colors, can be used as visual “spacers” to make your colorful beads pop more.
- Use smaller beads out at the ends of your beading project, and larger beads toward the middle–that creates a “graduated” effect which looks more graceful.
- Alternate opaque and translucent/sparkly beads for a playful pattern.
Working with symmetry, different bead textures and shapes, and colors which play well off each other can make any beaded jewelry project lovely. Try it out–just lay a few beads together on a table and rearrange them to your heart’s content. You just might come up with a randomly gorgeous pattern!