From the outside they’re not much to look at, but even very inexpensive amber has a beautiful translucent quality hidden within its rough exterior. Because it’s so soft, amber is an easy material for home crafters to work with. If you don’t have a small rock saw or tile saw or don’t want to use one, you can easily slice amber with a hacksaw or wrap it in a towel and tap it lightly with a hammer until it breaks into small chunks that reveal the magic inside. If that’s still too much trouble, find pre-cut chunks of amber for sale at online jewelry supply outlets.
by craftbits (shellie wilson)
What you need
5 pieces of rough amber in random sizes and shapes (the center piece in this project is 2 inches long and ¾ inches at its widest point)
5 ¼-inch green-blue glass beads
Power drill and a 3/32 drill bit
9 inches of 20-guage silver beading wire
A linked silver chain with closures attached
2 silver jump rings
Needle nose pliers
The rough amber used for this necklace is of a very low grade and was quite inexpensive; less than 5 dollars worth of amber was used and yet this necklace looks like it came from an expensive boutique. If you can’t locate affordable amber make this necklace with crystals that have been pre-drilled with a hole for stringing.
The dimensions used here result in a necklace that is approximately 16 inches long. You can adjust the length of your chain or the amount of beading wire used to make one that fits you perfectly.
Decide which pieces of amber will look best and in which order you should place them and drill each with a hole for stringing. Be aware that amber is soft and cracks easily. Drill slowly and don’t apply the maximum amount of pressure. Try to drill each piece so the holes line up as closely as possible. If possible, practice drilling on a chunk or two before drilling the best pieces.
Alternately thread the amber and glass beads onto the beading wire.
Use your needle nose pliers to take the linked chain apart, leaving approximately 4 inches of chain intact on each side of the closure. Attach a jump ring to each end of exposed chain. Twist the beading wire around one jump ring, circling twice to ensure a secure connection. Bend the end of the wire completely towards the jump ring and crimp it slightly to create a smooth finish. Repeat on the other side.
Your necklace is done! Now get ready for the compliments.
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