During lockdown I have been flexing my craft muscle at home, making all sorts of things in-between drawing new collections of Tatty Devine jewellery for Halloween and Christmas, it has been really quite busy!
I've been missing seeing my friends so much as they have always been such an important part of what and why I make things. I am also missing my fantastic team and our amazing customers sooo much too, it is so crazy having the Tatty Devine shops closed after having been open for 20 years and going there pretty much every day ever since! When I was thinking about things to make I wanted to include everyone in some kind of a way - I dreamt up this necklace so they could be with me all the time even in a small way.
When we went into lockdown I bought lots of lentils and pulses, anyone who knows me, knows this is much more how I roll then pasta - so when looking around for items at home to make jewellery out of, the dried white beans in my kitchen seemed to echo the jars of beads I have at the studio so seemed like a perfect fit.
WHAT YOU NEED:
White beans, or any similar large dried pulse
Fine liner pens or dip pen and Indian ink
Paints and brushes or fine marker pens
A drill and a fine drill bit, the one I used was 1.8mm
Strong cotton thread or nylon and a needle
First of all, you’ll want to drill into your beans, this is better to do before you draw on any, as occasionally, they can crack as you drill them. Discard any that do.
Place each bean on a board you can drill into - i.e, not something you will be upset to get holes in. Hold the bean with the pliers (keeping your fingers away from the drill bit) and start to drill a hole about a third away from the top. This will help your bean friend's face stay looking outward when you wear the necklace, if you drill the hole in the centre they will spin more freely and might end up backwards when you wear it. Keep drilling until you have enough beads for your necklace - my necklace has around 80 beans so it is long enough to go over my head.
Using the blue tack stick one of the beans to the table in front of you and start getting creative! I thought about friends and people I admired when I was inventing my faces. You could do your family, pets, cartoon characters… anything really, even geometric or abstract patterns and colours - whatever makes it yours. I drew mine over a few nights and my daughter also joined in doing some, it’s a fun thing to do and easy to have on a tray whilst you binge-watch Normal People and drink Quarantini’s.
When you have enough people beads it is time to thread them. I used a strong normal cotton thread and doubled it as I didn’t have any bead threading string at home, you could even use a nylon fishing line. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end, big enough not to pull through the hole in your bean. Continue to thread all the beans. You might want to lay them out in the order you want them to be strung in. When you get to the end of the beans to thread, hold the ends of the necklace together and check the length is long enough to go over your head. If not add a few more.
When you have threaded the last bean put the needle back through the first couple of beans and tie a new knot to secure and trim off the excess cotton.
Put on your new necklace, have a cup of tea and think about how much fun you will have when you see your friends again.
Make sure to tag us in your Friends Necklace creations with #tattydevine and give us a mention @tattydevine. And if you loved this make, then head of the to the rest of the Crafting at Home with Harriet blogs here.