DIY Retro Bakelite Inspired Necklace

Retro Red Necklace from Jesse James Unique BeadsHi folks, Candie here with a jewelry making project idea!

As a long time collector of vintage jewelry, I was immediately smitten with this acrylic chain, now available on the Jesse James Beads website–available in tortoise shell and black..  It’s super in quality and the design possibilities are endless.  Acrylic chain from Jesse James BeadsSlightly transparent too, so it catches the light beautifully!Beautiful beading supplies from JesseJamesBeads.comThe Sangria Boho Pantone strand was my starting inspiration point and then I worked in red Chain Reaction #13 and tortoise acrylic chain.  By the way, I recently learned that the JJB Chain Reaction chain is all made by hand!  It made me appreciate all the little wrapped loops even more!Wire Wrapping and jewelry toolsYou will also need your basic jewelry plier set, jump rings and some 20 gauge Artistic Wire.  Ok, let me tell you a little bit about the “ins and outs” of constructing this piece.Chain ReactionI started by cutting some equal lengths of the Chain reaction and splicing them in between the tortoise chain.  They are connected with jump rings.  To be honest, I had no real design plan for this piece, I just let my hands do whatever they wanted…  Sometimes, it’s nice not having any plans! Right?!?Beaded chain from Jesse James BeadsThen I added a second strand that would sit on the outside of the first with the bottom middle having an extra set of Chain Reaction.  I ended up using two strands of the Chain Reaction for this custom made chain.  Crystal Toggle Clasp from JesseJamesBeads.comThen, I opted to bring more red in with one of the Jesse James Beads crystal toggle clasps!  They come in all different colors, but this garnet red color is stunning!Retro Inspired Necklace with unique chainAt this  point, I felt I was done with this necklace.Make a beaded chain with Jesse James Beads Boho style beadsBut then…  Well, I still had a third strand of Chain Reaction and a beautiful strand of beads looking at me longingly (that was the starting inspiration point after all!), so I whipped up a second necklace that could be worn with the first.  I started by connecting the three Jesse James Boho style beads with wrapped links made from Artistic 20 g.  wire.Acrylic links and red beads from Jesse James BeadsThen, I split the chain evenly in half and connected the wire wrapped beads to either side with a heavy jump ring.  I still had some scraps of acrylic chain so I broke those apart and worked in two links on either side.  I topped it off with another, simpler gold toggle.  Done and done.Retro Red Necklace with acrylic chain and findings from JesseJamesBeads.comOh. But. Wait.  Then, after talking with Sarah James, she suggested adding one more Boho style bead to the bottom of the first necklace.  We just can’t get enough of these pretty beads!  How’s that for saucy!?Retro Red Necklace from Jesse James Unique Beads

Layering necklaces are all the rage right now in fashion.  I hope you find this project inspiring.  If you make your own version, please share it with us on Facebook and be sure to join the fun on Google + and Pinterest where you can see more day to day musings of the Jesse James Beads crew!!

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