Two-Tier Bib Necklace (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg.
This two-tier bib necklace project is a great opportunity to play with color.
In my version here, I chose colorful flat teardrop beads dripping from dark antiqued brass chains.
You could use any shapes and colors of beads, accented against your choice of chain color.
Can you tell I love color? 🙂
(I purchased all of my supplies from various sellers on etsy.com.)
- 18 beads of your choice.
I used front-drilled, acrylic flat teardrop beads, 12x18mm (0.47″ x 0.71″) size, in a rainbow of colors.
You could use beads of any shape and color – and they could be either front-drilled like mine (which attach to the chains with jump rings), or centered drilled (which would attach to the chains with headpins).
- Chain in your choice of color.
I used antiqued brass round cable chain with link size 4x5mm (0.16″ x 0.20″).
I used 4 pieces of the chain:
- 1 piece of 157mm (6.18″) for the shorter top bib chain.
- 1 piece of 213mm (8.39″) for the longer bottom bib chain.
- 2 pieces of 125mm (4.92″) length for the neck chain (for a necklace that’s 16″ around the neck). You can choose your own length for these 2 chain pieces to create your preferred size around the neck.
- Jump rings (or headpins) to attach your beads to the chains.
I used 6mm (0.24″) size jump rings.
I used 18 of this size jump rings – one for each bead.
If you’re using center-drilled beads, you’ll need enough headpins to have one for each bead.
- 2 larger jump rings, to connect the chains together on each side of the necklace.
I used 12mm size jump rings.
- 1 Clasp.
I used an antiqued brass lobster clasp, 7x14mm (0.28″ x 0.55″) size.
- 2 small jump rings – one jump ring to attach the clasp to one end of the neck chain; and one jump ring to attach to the other end of the neck chain, for the lobster clasp to hook onto.
- Wire cutter – for cutting your chain lengths.
- Chain nose and flat nose pliers – for opening and closing jump rings.
- Round nose pliers – if you’re using headpins instead of jump rings to attach your beads to the chain.
How to Make a
Two-Tier Bib Necklace
If you’re new to using jump rings, see my quick tip, How to Open and Close a Jump Ring.
Start by cutting the two chains for the two tiers of the bib, as described in the supply list above.
You should have one shorter chain for the top tier, and one longer chain for the bottom tier:
Now lay out your beads and chains, and decide which beads will go where on your chains.
Spacing Between Your Beads:
On my top (shorter) tier chain, my spacing is 3 empty chain links between each bead.
On my bottom (longer) tier, my spacing is 5 empty chain links between each bead.
Depending on the size of your chain and your beads, you may want to use some other arrangement.
Spacing at the Ends of Your Beaded Chains:
At each end of the top (shorter) tier chain I left about an inch (25mm) of empty chain beyond the last bead.
At each end of the bottom (longer) tier chain I left about 3 links of empty chain beyond the last bead.
You can look at the photos of my finished necklace to get an idea of the amount of empty chain you’ll want to have on the ends of each tier.
Now it’s time to attach your beads to the top (shorter) tier chain.
I start attaching the center beads to the chain first, and then work outward toward the ends of the chain.
Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open one of your jump rings.
String your bead onto the jump ring, then string the jump ring through the center link of your chain, and use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist the jump ring shut again:
I’m using an even number of beads on my chain, so I’m starting by attaching the two center beads to the center of the chain:
Next I’ll add the two beads that go on either side of my first beads:
Then I continue adding the next two beads that go on either side of the existing beads:
And so on:
My finished top (shorter) tier looks like this:
Now it’s time to attach the beads to your bottom (longer) tier chain.
As with the top tier, I attached the beads starting in the center of the chain, and then working outward to the ends:
When you finish beading the second tier chain, your two tiers of chain may look like this:
Now we’ll attach the two tiers of beaded chain together.
Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open your two large jump rings:
String the chain ends onto the jump rings:
Now it’s time to add the two side chains that go around the back of the neck.
Attach each of these neck chains to one of the large jump rings:
Now your necklace should look something like this:
And now we’re ready to finish off the necklace by adding the clasp ends to the neck chains.
On one neck chain end, use a small jump ring to attach the clasp.
On the other neck chain end, attach a medium-size jump ring:
My finished neck chain ends look like this:
And the fastened clasp looks like this:
Your finished two-tier bib necklace may look something like this: