Stone necklaces are one of the oldest ways to adorn oneself since the moment someone discovered how to create stringing material and pass it through a hole in a rock. They’re easy to make, and can be as simple or as complex as you wish, you can use any type of natural stone that you like, and give them away as gifts.
There are no right or wrong ways to make a stone necklace. You can use moon stone, quartz stone, chunky stone that’s rough or bumpy, and even spiritual stone that represents the colors of the chakra.
What Are Stone Necklaces?
Stone necklaces are made using stone beads, tumbled stones, shaped stones, crystal points, and anything that’s stone. The earth has created a fantastic array of stones that range from common (agates and jaspers) to semi-precious (amethyst and citrine) and precious (sapphires, rubies, emeralds).
There is no limit or restriction on the types of stone you can use to make gemstone necklaces — all that’s required is your imagination and a little time to string, wire wrap, or macrame around the stone to hold it in place.
Tips for Making Stone Necklaces
Making stone necklaces is easy, but you want to make sure that you use sturdy materials for their stringing and closure. Stones get heavy fast, which means your stringing materials and closures are up to the task of carrying their weight. They can sometimes have sharp edges that cut into your stringing materials and cause the necklace to fall apart.
In order to avoid issues later, you need to use the right materials, closures, and tools now. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Use flexible beading wire
You can use anything you like for the stringing of the stones. But if you want your piece to last, you’ll want to use braided cable – also known as beading wire. Braided cable is a thin wire material that’s flexible, soft, and can be knotted if you so desire. It’s constructed the same way the cables for a suspension bridge are made, making this one of the most robust stringing materials you can buy.
Braided cable is covered in a flexible plastic coating that doesn’t crack or shred over time and prevents a sharp edge from cutting through the cable. The bonus of braided cable is that it’s inexpensive, and you can get multiple necklaces from a 30-yard spool.
Consider waxed cord for knotting & stitches
If you’re planning on doing a simple crochet stitch, netting, or knotting between the stones, waxed cord is the way to go. Waxed cord comes in fibers that include linen, polyester, cotton, artificial sinew, and polyester. It also comes in various thicknesses, enabling you to thread through small holes and make knots of a size that meets your vision for the final piece.
Another benefit to waxed cord is that it comes in a rainbow of colors, which means you can use the thread as an accent to the colors of the stone.
Leather cord works for larger holes
Leather cord is another option; it also comes in a rainbow of colors and finishes. The only restriction to using leather cord is the size of the holes in the beads. The leather cord goes down to 0.5mm in diameter, but color options tend to be limited at this size.
You’re best served by reserving the use of leather cord for beads that have large holes and are intentionally drilled for use with leather cord.
Thread works, too
Just about any thread will work for making stone necklaces, especially if you want to crochet or knot the design. Any size of thread will do as long as you can pass it through the holes.
Grab some basic tools
You don’t need much in the way of tools to make stone necklaces, but you’ll want them to make stringing and finishing as easy as possible. Make sure to keep the following tools handy as you work:
- Needle nose or round nose pliers
- Crimping pliers
- Side cutters
- Crochet needle
- Awl for knotting
Use jump rings to join elements
Jump rings are used in various ways in handmade stone necklaces. They’re used as connectors for chains and clasps and as their own element. Start with a package of assorted sizes so you can meet different design needs.
Split rings, a type of jump ring, look like miniature keychain rings. They’re mainly used to connect the clasp to the necklace and eliminate the risk of the jump ring working itself open at the worst possible moment.
Pick the right closure
Just about any type of closure works for making stone necklaces. You can use a toggle, lobster claw, spring ring, or even a carabiner if you so desire.
Make sure that the clasp can support the weight of the stones you’re stringing.
Crimp the ends
If you’re using a type of beading wire, you’ll need to crimp the ends to secure it to your closure. Crimps come in plated base metal, sterling silver, gold-filled and gold in varying karat weights. The most common crimp size is 2mm, and has an internal diameter that’s wide enough for drawing the wire twice through the crimp.
However, you can get crimps in many lengths and diameters. Bear in mind that base metal crimps break more easily than ones made from precious metals.
Stone Necklace Ideas
1. Single crochet stitch
Here is a great tutorial from Just Jen on how to use a single crochet stitch to connect multiple types of stone together into one necklace.
2. Netted or macrame pendant and cord
This tutorial from Sustainability in Style is excellent for making pendants out of tumbled stones that don’t have holes in them.
3. Advanced macrame tutorial for stone cabochons
This is an excellent tutorial for making stone necklaces in macrame. You learn how to knot the design and “set” the pendant through the use of knotting.
4. Stone lariat necklace with leather cord
Learn how to make a lariat necklace with leather cord, a stone donut, and copper wire in this fantastic tutorial from Rena Klingenberg of Jewelry Making Journal.
5. Long boho necklace with tassel, beads, and chain
This tutorial by Kimberlie Kohler of Emerging Creatively Tutorials shows you how to make a long boho-style necklace using chain, beads and a tassel.
6. Woven gemstone necklace with glass and stone beads
Learn how to combine glass beads with stone beads and create a sinuous number when you’re finished.
7. Beaded bar necklace
Making this design is quick and easy, and you can use any type of stone beads you like to change up the end results.
8. Simple stone necklace
The end result of this tutorial by Adrienne of Happy Hour Projects is similar to the beaded bar necklace, but uses a single stone and metal beads. You may like to change up the chain by using strung beads instead.
9. Simple woven choker
The tutorial uses crystal beads and pearls, but you can use stone beads of the same size and get the same effect. The necklace works up quickly and you’ll get the joy of near-instant gratification.
10. Netted collar necklace
In this tutorial from Happy Family Art, the lacy collar transitions from narrow ends to a full center using drops and rondelle shaped beads. This is another tutorial that uses glass beds, but you can make a stunning version with stone beads combined with seed beads in a matching color.
11. Faux-knotted beaded necklaces
Not ready to take on knotting, but like the look? Learn how to make a necklace that creates the appearance of knots without the effort with this tutorial from Beads Inc.
12. Multi-strand necklace with beads and chain
Use the pattern to make a lightweight and elegant multi-strand necklace that goes from day to night in this tutorial by Kris from How Did You Make This?
13. Stone chip and bead weaving choker tutorial
Learn how to combine stone chips with bead weaving to create a statement necklace in this tutorial from Etsy’s Beadesire Jewlery. This is a great way to use up strands of stone chips you didn’t know what to do with.
14. Twisted multi-strand necklace
Twisting strands of stones together into a necklace makes for a colorful and chaotic piece when finished, with this tutorial from Pearl of Beading Gem.
15. Multi-strand leather and stone necklace
This tutorial from Happy Family Art shows you how to connect multiple stone strands to thick leather and bring it all together in a clean finish. It also has a bracelet tutorial so you can make a matching set.
16. Multi-strand chain link necklace
A tutorial that shows you how to make simple links with stone beads and how to connect them together into a multi-strand necklace.
17. Wire-wrapped stone bead bar necklace
This tutorial from Cut Out & Keep is in the same spirit as the bead bar style, but it involves wire wrapping a strand of beads strung onto on one wire to a second wire.
18. Stringing a mala necklace
Malas are elegant necklaces that are used as part of meditation or as worry beads. This tutorial by Lisa of Creative Fashion Blog shows you how to string them in accordance with how they’re supposed to be used.
19. Knotting a mala necklace
Learn how to knot between stone beads without the use of a tool and string a pendant.
20. Wire wrapping a stone for a pendant
Wire wrapping is great for tumbled stones, the same as making a macrame pouch, but adds the look of metal to your finished work. Learn how in this tutorial from Muhaimina of The Craftaholic Witch.
It’s easy to get started in the art of making stone necklaces, but be careful. It’s addicting! You’ll find yourself looking for ways to expand your collection of stone beads, stringing materials, tools, and companion beads in no time at all.
There is no limit to what you can make, and it’s a zen activity that delivers quick gratification. You can string a necklace and have it finished with a closure in 30 minutes if time is of the issue.
Mother nature has provided humanity with an incredible selection of stones to use for its adornment. Take the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and find your own style as you learn how to make stone necklaces.