Saturday, March 29, 2014

Make Your Own ~ Beaded Fringe Feather Focal

It's time for another tutorial! With my studio quickly becoming overrun by painted feathers, I'm finding myself thinking more and more about how to use them in jewelry. If you make beads or components, I'm sure you know that feeling—sometimes you make a new bead, but don't really know what to make with it. My feathers are perfect for earrings, but that's just a bit too obvious for me…

For my last tutorial, I made a wire-wrapped bracelet, so it seemed only right to make a necklace design this time—or in this case, a necklace focal. Enjoy!

Supplies you'll need:
- 20 gauge wire
- 24 gauge wire
- hemp cord
- assortment of small beads
- painted leather feather focal
(Ignore the 22 gauge wire—I thought I would need it and then changed my mind after taking this photo. :-)

Tools you'll need:
- tape measure
- round-nose pliers
- flat-nose pliers
- bent-nose pliers
- scissors
- tape
- glue

1. Using 20 gauge wire, make your focal bar with a wrapped loop on either end. You want this to be about 1 inch long between the wrapped loops.

2. Decide on the length of your fringe, double that length and add about 2 inches extra to accommodate knot tying. Cut 7 lengths of hemp cord, double over and tie onto the focal bar using a lark's head knot. Leave a little space between each knotted cord.

3. Put a piece of tape over the top of the cords to hold them in place while wire-wrapping.

4. Cut a 30 inch length of 24 gauge wire and wrap over the top of the fringe cords—wrap twice between each knot and once over each knot bringing the wire up through the two cords of each section. Remove the tape.

5. Here's how it will look when wrapped once.

6. Wrap back over the knots two more times.

7. Your fringe is ready for beads!

8. Glue and wrap the end of the feather focal to form a bail.

9. Chose the placement for the feather, string a few beads and tie a knot. (Remember my messy studio post? I found this lonely little polymer bird during the cleanup. :-) I really need to make him some friends.)

10. Randomly string the beads, adding a few knots here and there.

11. Wrap over the top of the knot using 24 gauge wire.

12. Curve the focal bar… and your done!! Go make a necklace with your new beaded fringe focal!

Happy Saturday!


  1. Gorgeous Rebekah and very original...

  2. I love it! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. What a beautiful style that goes so well with your lovely feather, Rebekah :)

  4. Love this! A perfect complement for your lovely feather. May be fun to try with some of my many spools of waxed Irish linen and vary the lengths of each fringe cord.
    Thanks Rebekah!

    1. I love the idea of the different lengths Sandi! I think I may try making a few more that are longer and with a pattern or even rows of colors… they are so much fun! I hope you'll share a link if you make one. :-)

    Thank you for sharing your tutorial...

  6. Oh, good. I love this idea. I may have to try it with one of your feathers I won. I love them.

  7. I love the bail you did with your feather! Simple but beautiful.

  8. cool focal piece. i wonder if u could make it into a hair acessory like a comb for a bun or ponytail?


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