Need Some DIY Bead Necklace Ideas? Try a Cute Design With Clamshells

11 Materials
1 Hour

Hello fellow jewelers! Today, we’re continuing our DIY bead necklace ideas with a new technique. I’m going to teach you how to make a multi-strand necklace using clamshells. Not literal shells, but the tiny clamshell fixings that look like little clamshells when they’re open.

By the end of this video, you’ll be an expert on how to use clamshells, whether it’s for a necklace, a bracelet, or anything else you want to make! Now, let’s get started making our DIY multi-strand beaded necklace with clamshell fixings.

Tools and materials:

  • Long nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Cutter tools
  • 6 Clamshell fixings
  • Small beads
  • Crimping beads
  • Beading wire
  • Chain (5 inches)
  • 1 Lobster clasp
  • 3 Jump rings
  • Superglue
Cutting the string on a strand of beads

1. String your beads

First, you want to start stringing your beads. I’m using really small beads for this DIY multi-strand beaded necklace because they work better for this design. However, they take forever to string, so I’ll show you a few time-saving hacks I use. 

My beads come on a string already, like the one pictured. So, what I do is I snip the end of the string off.

Threading a group of beads onto necklace wire

Then, I grab a bunch of beads together and transfer them to my silver beading wire in one go. It doesn’t always work, as they sometimes move in my hand, but in general, this is so much quicker than trying to string the beads one by one. 

I like to string my beads directly onto the spool of silver beading wire because it saves a lot of wire, rather than cutting off more than I need and shortening it later.

Securing the clamshell fixing with pliers

2. Secure the strand with a clamshell fixing

Once your beaded strand is complete, it’s time to secure it with a clamshell. You can secure one string per clamshell, but I’m using two per clamshell, as I think it creates a nice effect with the multi-strand necklace.

Feed the clamshell through the string. Then, grab a crimping bead with your long nose pliers, feed it through the string, and crimp it to secure.

Cutting off the excess necklace wire

Cut the other end of the wire.

Crimping a bead into a clamshell fixing

Now, repeat the process at the other end of the strand. However, with this side you want to be sure that the clamshell is positioned right at the end of the beads, so you won’t have any wire showing in your necklace. Crimp the crimping bead in place with the long nose pliers, as tight as you can.

Threading a bead strand into the clamshell

3. Add the second strand

Next, string your second strand. I’ve used a darker bead for contrast. Once the strand is ready, feed the end of the string through the same clamshell hole, and secure with a crimping bead - the same process as before.

Repeat on the other side. Make sure there are no gaps between the beads and the clamshell.

Trimming the necklace wire with a cutter tool

4. Trim the wire

Cut off the excess pieces of wire sticking out as far into the clamshell as you can.

Applying superglue to the clamshell

5. Apply superglue

Next, add a tiny bit of superglue into the open clamshell. 

Closing the clamshell fixing with pliers

6. Close the clamshell

Close the clamshell with pliers. The superglue ensures that it 100% stays in place. Repeat on the other side.

Making a DIY multi-strand beaded necklace

If you’re making the same exact DIY multi-strand beaded necklace as me, repeat this two more times, so you have six strands total.

Attaching the strands of beads together

7. Attach the strands to jump rings

Now it’s time to attach the strands together. Grab a jump ring and thread the clamshells onto it. The order doesn’t matter for the first side, but make sure the order is the same when you come to do the opposite side. I also threaded a short necklace chain on last, as I’m making my multi-strand beaded necklace adjustable at the back.

Closing the jump ring with pliers

Close the jump ring with your pliers.

Repeat on the other side in the same order.

Cutting the necklace chain with a tool

8. Add the lobster clasp

To add the lobster clasp at the back, cut the chain in the middle with a cutter tool. 

Threading a lobster clasp onto the jump ring

Add a third jump ring to one end of the chain, then thread the lobster clasp onto it. Close the jump ring with pliers.

Wearing a DIY multi-strand beaded necklace

DIY bead necklace ideas - how to make a multi-strand necklace

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to use clamshell fixings and make a multi-strand beaded necklace. Perhaps it has inspired some DIY bead necklace ideas of your own.

I really love this super-cute multi-strand beaded necklace. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Suggested materials:
  • Long nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Cutter tools
See all materials

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