Jewelry Making Tutorial: Adjustable Deer Skin Necklace

This necklace is simple, elegant, and just the right amount of funky. Plus, a deer skin back strap is about as comfy as it gets, especially when made adjustable! Find a supply list and instruction for re-creating the beauty below. And, as always, happy beading!





For this necklace, you'll be using beadalon for the beaded segment, attached to the deer skin backing with a crimp + jump ring. Cut an approximately 20" segment of Beadalon wire, giving plenty of room for crimping later. Simply use your wire cutters to snip the Beadalon where you would like, and remember that having extra is always better! 



Before stringing, we recommend using a piece of scotch tape to prevent the beads from sliding off of the wire without creating a permanent closure. A design like this one is a great example of when stringing from the center of the necklace might be beneficial. This means we start with the pattern in the middle, and then can add from either side, instead of stringing a long segment, then the middle pattern, then crystal on the other side to match. 

To re-create our design, string one 15mm Brass Bicone in the center, followed by one 4mm Faceted Bronze Hematite Rondelle, and one 6mm Turquoise Rondelle. Then comes three 6mm B+W Striped Polymer Barrels, two 6mm Bronze Rings, one 6mm B+W Polymer Barrel, three 6mm Bronze Rings, two 6mm B+W Polymer Rondelles, one more 6mm Bronze Ring, and 10 6mm B+W Polymer Barrels. Repeat on the opposite side for a mirror effect.

You could easily add more polymer barrels to either end to increase the length of the necklace while keeping the design, or you can add length through the Deer Skin, but you may need more than one package to do so. 




Once your design has been strung, choose one side to crimp off first. Secure the opposite end of the necklace with scotch tape. String on a 2mm Crimp, followed by a 6mm Jump Ring. Loop the beadalon wire around the jump ring and back through the crimp. String it through several of the polymer barrels as well. The jump ring should be able to move and turn, but still be secure. 

Hold the jump ring in your non-dominant hand, and pull the tail of the beadalon (through the crimp and several beads) to tighten and adjust. Next, use your crimping plier to flatten the crimp bead on the beadalon. Once secured, use your wire cutters to snip off the excess beadalon cord.

For the other side, you'll repeat the process, but creating a secure loop becomes a little more tense since the first side of your necklace is already secure. Normally one side of a beadalon necklace has a jump ring, and the other has a lobster claw clasp, but this technique does not require a clasp.

For a quick reminder on how to crimp, check out the video below. For an in-depth tutorial, complete with step-by-step pictures, check out our Crimping on Beadalon LEARN page here.





Each package of Deer Skin contains roughly 3.5 feet. We ended up using just about three feet for this design, even though when being worn the Deer Skin is only about a foot in length. 

Begin by cutting your segment of Deer Skin approximately in half. Next, string one of the Deer Skin pieces through one of the jump rings. Fold the Deer Skin over itself, and adjust as needed so that the jump ring is approximately in the middle of the whole segment. Create an overhand knot, how you would when using waxed linen to string your beads, but keep in mind this material is much thicker and does not need to be pulled as tightly. 

Repeat for the other segment. 

At this point, you will have four open ends of Deer Skin. String the 8mm Hammered Bronze Brass Ring on to one side (two open ends). Carefully string the other side (two more open ends) through the ring. Gently pull each side of Deer Skin and walk your ring down each side so that you have a few inches of space after the brass ring on each section of Deer Skin. 

Next, tie off each piece of Deer Skin. To do this, create an overhanded knot with each individual piece. Ideally each piece and knot are equal to each other. Because of all of the other pieces, one knot per piece is large enough to prevent each piece from sliding through the ring. Once all four pieces have been tied off, trim off excess.