Necklaces from Leftover Beads

by Kathy Zee.
(Fiddletown, California USA)

I just grabbed handfulls of my leftover pinks, blues, whites, some pearls, used headpins and put them on this heavy silver chain. Its 40 inches long, can be doubled

I just grabbed handfulls of my leftover pinks, blues, whites, some pearls, used headpins and put them on this heavy silver chain. Its 40 inches long, can be doubled

Most of us have more beads than we can work with in a lifetime. I know I do. I made these necklaces out of leftover beads.

Pink leftover gllass beads with leftover chain

Pink leftover gllass beads with leftover chain

I have a shoe box of leftovers and so I dug out all the orange, and all the pinks, blues etc. and put them in separate containers. Then I tried to get creative and these are what i came up with.

Leftover beads used to create this necklace our of antique silvery chain, glass beads and pearls

Leftover beads used to create this necklace our of antique silvery chain, glass beads and pearls

Bone beads, Howlite beads, turquoise round beads on chain

Bone beads, Howlite beads, turquoise round beads on chain

I also added dangley beads to the necklace and have sold several already. Most of them are 35 or so inches long.

The silver one with pink and blues and white is a 40 inch chain piece of chain. I am trying to use up my beads instead of buying more. Any comments and or ideas for color combinations would be welcomed.

Kathy Zee

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  • Faith says:

    Love these. I’d never think they were made from “leftover” beads.

  • TessaGems says:

    Oooh, I wish I had this kind of stash as leftovers. Love the orange glass and the howlite chains best.

  • kathy Zee says:

    I have been making jewelry for years and have a shoebox and several plastic small containers of leftover and or orphan beads as i call them. Lots of odds and ends and a drawer full of chains of different lengths, sizes etc. I am so glad you like what I made. I am working on some other pieces and will post when I get then done. Its fun to take a handful of beads and try to do something with them. I spent a whole week just organizing all the colors. Then there is the shoebox of orphans…so stay tuned. I appreciate your comments. Thank you.

  • Arely says:

    Wow love them all, great way to put them together, love the color combination, the bead combination and how delicate they look.

  • kathy Zee says:

    I had pieces of chain in several drawers. Some pieces were one link, some three, some four, just odds and ends. I made them all three links then used artistic wire to make the beads in between. The orange beads were just tossed in a shoe box. When i took anything orange out of the box, I had enough to make that necklaces. It was fun to get creative…Same with the pink one. That chain was from a different project that i did a few yrs ago. The pink beads were ones that I did get on sale. They are all different sizes/shapes. Give it a try. I would love to see what you come up with…ok.

  • Kathy, great idea to focus on using up leftover beads instead of buying more! I should follow your example. 🙂 With the designs you’ve made, no one would think these beads were odds and ends. I really like your mixing the beads with chains – my favorite is the one with pink glass beads and dark leftover chain. I’m not surprised several of these have sold already!

  • Rae says:

    I like the bone beads necklace the best! I love ethnic looks. I don’t use much chain in my work, but I have plenty of orphan beads, so maybe I’ll just have to buy some chain and get started. Great use of beads!

  • Timmi says:

    I love this. Each one is beautiful and unique.
    I use my leftover beads (my daughter calls them “fairy findings”) with copper wire to make cuff bracelets. I use 14 gauge round wire to make the cuff and then wire on the beads with a 22-26 gauge wire. This works great with any beads in most any combination, especially those tiny loners in the bottom of my bead soup box. ..and customers love them.

  • Timmi, I love your daughter’s “fairy findings” name for leftover beads! 🙂

  • Pam says:

    I love this idea, it’s a GREAT way to downsize the odds-‘n-ends we all have! I’ve done this some with wire crochet necklaces. Sometimes adding those few “extra” beads to a design, really adds a special “pop” of a different color, size, shape or texture. If there are only a few of the beads available, I’ll either distribute them evenly across the length of the pattern, or focus them toward the front center – whichever works better with the piece. Wire crochet lends itself really well to pumping up with a good variety of complimentary colors and textures – but I LOVE the necklaces shown here, and will keep this in mind now when working different kinds of projects! 😀

  • Pam says:

    PS – LOVE the pinks and tangerines on the antique copper/bronze chains! Would never thought of pink with the dark contrast – what a GREAT look! (Feminine and earthy at the same time! – so modern and pretty!)

  • Christa says:

    I love the pink and orange one, beautiful.

  • Val says:

    Beautiful color combinations. A perfect way to use up those odds and ends. That respond to your request for color combos, black and white would be cool. Those colors together are classic!

  • kathy Zee says:

    Val, I just made two new necklaces and sent them in. One is in black and white. I am sure it will be posted shortly. Thank you for the suggestion. let me know what you think of it when it shows up here. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know. I have so many beads in plastic containers all mixed together and a shoe box of odds and ends. That’s going to be my next one, one using all those weird beads…

  • Ellie says:

    Here’s an example of a memory wire bracelet made with left over beads.
    I just bought some memory wire and sorted the leftovers into colors and came up with three colors, orange, green and yellow to combine.

    Very quick and easy.
    Thank you for the suggestion of the chain necklace, I know I have chain lying around and I’ll try out your method.

  • Karen Watson says:

    So Pretty! Love your website!

  • Sue Shade says:

    Oh they are so pretty. Who would think they were made from left over beads.

  • Debra Lowe says:

    These are great and no one would know they were originally orphans…I will look at my “orphans” with more respect now~
    Great ideas and beautiful work!

  • I love making charms while watching TV, especially the single beads. Instant gratification! (smile) The rust/orange colored is my favorite because those are my color. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

  • Catherine says:

    Kathy, I know what you mean about leftover beads. I have so many that I forget about them. I love the pink beads…also the orange bead necklace! I have a lot of clear acrylic beads in different shapes and sizes. I find that paired with black beads , silver beads, actually any color is pretty with the clear acrylic. To me they look like diamonds,, and every girl loves the diamond look without the cost?

  • Catherine says:

    By the way….I kept my beads in all my dishes, pill bottles, etc…too expensive to buy the organizers on jewelry supply companies. I now go to Lowe’s or Walmart in tool department and get organizers with 30 drawers for beads and 9 drawers for charms, jump rings, etc..they re only around $7.00,..they come in unsightly manly colors, but I’m spray painting mine white…maybe even pink! ?

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