This Autumn necklace is one of my first published designs. I was invited to create a project for the Beadworker’s Guild back in 2006. It was to go in their October journal, so I decided to take the Autumn theme as a starting point. I have always loved making beaded components. At the time I was making this particular necklace, I was still struggling with very low energy levels with my CFS/ME, so I created something that I was able to make in short stages. The necklace is made from a series of beaded leaves, using brick stitch, plus little beaded acorns, made with Peyote stitch and then berry clusters made using basic jewellery making or wirework techniques. I was able to make each component separately, store them all safely and then assemble the whole necklace at the end.
For this project, you are going to be working with size 11 seed beads. I used Matsuno brand, but any of the brands will work – just make sure you stick to the same one. I chose a series of autumn colours for my leaves, but you can easily alter these to just use one colour. The leaves will look great with delica beads, but you may find that rocailles (seed beads) are better for the acorns as they will give a ‘softer’, more rounded shape. As the autumn necklace is made from all these components, you have a lot of flexibility: you might choose to just use one or two of them. You could make some matching acorn or berry cluster earrings, just using that element of the pattern. Any of the components can also be turned into a bracelet, so you can create a full set of autumn jewellery to wear. If you need any help with any of the techniques for this beading project, you can find free tutorials covering all of them in the free tutorials section on this website.