DIY Layered Beaded Necklaces

How to DIY Neck Mess Hero

We’ve been beading Across the Universe and back over here for Beadlemania, and I’ve Got a Feeling we won’t be stopping any time soon!

In celebration of the launch of The Bead Shop, we’re sharing all of our best tips on how to create eye-catching bead patterns, DIY layered beaded necklaces, and how to use our favorite new jewelry finding — clamshell endcaps!

Bead Pattern Tips


  • Play with size and texture! Create visual interest by mixing up beads of various scales and finishes. Mixing bright colors with gold or pearl beads can instantly create a playful yet polished look.
  • Use the color wheel! If you’re looking to create a simple but striking pattern, try choosing two colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel. These are traditionally called “complementary colors,” and for good reason — they compliment each other 😋, and can make each other appear brighter. Examples of complementary colors are: yellow and blue, green and purple, pink and turquoise, red and cyan – the list goes on and on!
  • Start with an accent bead! If you’re stumped on coming up with a pattern, choose your accent bead(s) first. It can be anything — polymer clay fruit, daisy chain flowers, or even a charm. Once chosen, you can then choose surrounding beads in coordinating colors or, if your accent bead(s) are bright, go with neutral colors so that the accent beads really stand out.

DIY Layered Necklaces


If you want your necklaces to lay completely flat (minimal overlap) we recommend a 1.5 -2 inch difference between each length. If you’re looking to create more of a “neck mess,” where the chains overlap a bit more, we recommend a 1-1.5 inch difference between each length.

Start by making your first necklace at your desired shortest length. Then, add an inch or so (whatever you want your difference to be) to each subsequent necklace. We recommend starting with the shortest, as it’s much easier to add more beads if needed before adding your endcaps than it is to take them off.

DIY Layered Necklaces Lengths

If you’re making a layered necklace set for someone else, here are the average lengths:

  • Shortest (closest to the neck): 16 inches
  • Middle: 18 inches
  • Longest: 20 inches

If you’re looking to DIY even more necklace layers, continue adding or subtracting 1.5-2 inches between those recommended lengths. Note: The average neck is 13-14 inches in diameter, so you may not want to go smaller than a 15-inch necklace (choker length) when gifting!

How to use clamshell end caps


Our favorite way to finish a DIY beaded necklace is with clamshell endcaps. These shell-like bead tips create a simple closure with a polished finish and will keep your beaded jewelry secure.


CLAMSHELL BEAD TIP STEP BY STEP GUIDEHow to Add a Clamshell End Tip Steps 1 & 2

Start by adding all of your beads to your desired string (we recommend Nymo thread) while it’s still attached to the spool.

Once all of your beads have been added, thread a clamshell endcap onto your beading needle through the center hole. Make sure that the open end of the clamshell faces the end of your string. Then thread on a crimping bead.

How to Add a Clamshell End Tip Steps 3-5

Pinch your crimp bead closed with some jewelry pliers.

Optional but highly recommended: Secure the crimp bead in the clamshell with jewelry cement! Then close your clamshell around the crimped bead using your jewelry pliers. Do your best to close the endcap using the loops rather than the “bubble,” as your pliers have the potential to dent the bubble.

Trim any excess string poking out of the endcap.

How to Add a Clamshell End Tip Steps 6-7

Finally, add your closures — a jump ring on one end, then a jump ring and lobster clasp to the other.

Push all of the beads as close to the finished end as possible, unwind 4-5 inches of string from your spool, and cut the thread. Then repeat these steps on the other side of your work.

Note: When adding the clamshell endcap to the opposite side of your strand, be sure to pinch the crimp bead as close to the last bead of your strand as possible. This will seem difficult at first, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice!

How to Layer Necklaces

There you have it! Our best tips for creating your own DIY Layered Beaded Necklaces – aka a DIY Neck Mess!

Having trouble with those clamshells, or need some bead pattern inspo? Drop it in the comments below. ⬇️

Be sure to tag us @theneonteaparty so we can see your new layered looks!!!

Peace, love & neon,

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