Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling

My bohemian-chic Alina necklace combines thread, crystals painted beads in an entirely new way! I was inspired to make this design based on intricate glass folk beads by Cousin – the combination of black and slightly metallic rose gold caught my eye.

Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling

These beads totally reminded me of those painted eggs you see in Ukranian, Polish and Romanian culture. I have a wonderful friend in Romania whom I reached out to, for her insight into Romanian fashion and culture. Don’t pass up the opportunity to learn and share knowledge! I asked her to give us a little information about fashion and style, including traditional wear, from Romania where she resides. She put together this fabulous excerpt that we can all learn from:

“Like everywhere, Romanians are interested in the global influences on fashion​,​ especially where women’s clothing is concerned​ and ​a mixture of tastes can be found.​​ ​So skinnies and skyscraper heels are just as common here as anywhere else. O​ut of the cities, traditional costume is worn in many of the festivals around the country though​,​ which is a delightful and very colourful reminder of the country’s cultural ​and rural ​heritage. ​Art and​ textile production uses, amongst other things, motifs such as flowers and the small geometric patterns seen in needlepoint. The traditional costume consisting of blouses (‘ie’ in Romanian), calf length skirts and decorative aprons, is a good example of the display of these motifs.​ It is great to see that the fashion industry is determined not to forget these influences – this is a nice link on the Free Dictionary showing how designers are incorporating the traditional onto the catwalk.  ​Anyone who has seen a picture of some Romanian painted eggs might also recognise these patterns.​ Man’s artistic tendencies are strongly linked to nature and Romania is surely a country which, through it’s traditions, demonstrates this in very practical ways. Your soul is touched, simply but directly, by seeing the artistic expression in daily life.”

Caroline​ Heywood​ @hongkongsnoopy (Instagram)

Thanks Caroline for the writeup and finding the images below!

Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling

Keeping what Caroline said in mind, I wanted this design to reflect some of that culture, so I chose to use thread and just add a little bit of my signature sparkle with copper bicones. The result is a timeless piece that will surely catch attention! Let’s start.

Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are scissors, embroidery floss, folk painted beads (mine from Cousin), and round plastic links ( I found these near the embroidery  / yarn section in my craft store). If you don’t have the links, you can use any large metal / wood link (from the beading section). You will need clear monofilament, a class / jumpring, crimps, and flat nose pliers. I also used 6mm metal filigree beads and 4mm copper bicone crystals, also from Cousin.

Cut a 2 foot piece of embroidery floss. Tie an overhand knot on the link, and then start wrapping tightly around the link. Keep it snug!

Step 2: Finish wrapping the link. With the excess string, thread on a metal bead, then the folk bead. Tie off at the end. Repeat twice more (I used brown thread on the second link).

Lay out the bead pattern you want – I alternated metal beads and painted folk beads.

Cut a 1.5′ piece of monofilament, and thread through a red link. String on beads to the grouped sides, until the the necklace is half as long as you want it. Add a clasp, crimp, and crimp shut. Repeat to the other side.

To connect the middle links, cut a 6″ piece of monofilament, string on a crimp, and then string on enough bicones to enclose both links, plus a little more for wiggle room. You don’t want these too tight!  Crimp shut and cut the extra. Repeat to catch the other two links.

Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling

Feel free to switch out colors based on your beads. Add wrapped links for a fuller necklace, or just use one link to keep it simple.

Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling Alina necklace diy by Allison Beth Cooling

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