Edelweiss – celebrating 120 Years

Inspired by the beautiful scenery – the rivers, blue skies and majestic mountains – where the Edelweiss flower is found, I designed this stunning statement necklace  incorporating pendant beads and Fancy stones, just two of the styles of this exquisite crystal. Using simple DIY techniques including Kumihimo, to create the fabulous coordinating ropes and plain bead links with chain, the design is at heart easy to make but challenging to get absolutely perfect! 

Eidelweiss on model final

Swarovski Eidelweiss Necklace

Creating a stunning piece of jewellery like this statement necklace looks daunting but when I design I like to make each element of the design easy to do – it is putting all the elements together that takes patience and a little skill. The length of chain, number of bead links and positioning of the crystals took me several days, but now that I’ve created the structure it will be much easier for you to look at my design and recreate it exactly following the instructions and images!


Swarovski crystals:

Edelweiss fancy stone 4753/G FS PF, foiled 23mm – two crystal blue shade, 14mm – one crystal blue shade

Edelweiss pendant 6748, 28mm – crystal, 18mm – two crystal, one crystal blue shade, 14mm – three crystal, four crystal blue shade

Edelweiss fancy stone settings 4753/S 1PH2OH: one 14mm and two 23mm – rhodium

Crystal pastel grey pearl 5810, 34 4mm, three 10mm

Crystal grey pearl 5810, nine 6mm

Crystal globe bead 5028/4, 14 6mm crystal blue shade

Silver-plated headpins, 24

Silver-plated jump rings, 5mm and 7mm

Silver-plated triangle bails, 8 small, 2 large

Silver-plated wire, 0.8mm for the largest bail

Silver-plated rollo chain, 30cm of 2.5mm and 50cm of 3.8mm

Silver-plated end caps, four with I.D. 5mm

Strong jewellery glue or gel superglue

Jewellery tools

Kumihimo rope, 50 cm of 5mm diameter

Made using:

Superlon thread in white, ivory, light grey and dark grey

Paracord 550, 50cm of white

Masking tape

Sewing thread for wrapping rope

Kumihimo round disk, weight and scrap cord

For more detailed information about the kumihimo technique get my book: The Knotting and Braiding Bible.

1.    To make the Kumihimo rope, cut two 2m lengths in each of the four colours of Superlon.  Lay a piece of masking tape sticky side up and arrange the cords in pairs spaced out over 1.5cm. In order : dk grey, cream, light grey, white, dk grey, cream, white, light grey. Wrap the masking tape around the end of the paracord so that the pairs of cords are equally spaced.

2.    Tuck the masking tape end of the paracord through the hole in the disc.  Arrange the pairs of cords on the disk as shown. Attach the weight to the bottom of the rope. You can use a peg style weight about 100g or add a loop of cord using a lark’s head knot. This knot can be moved up the rope as you work.


Setting up the kumihimo disk

3.    To work the 8 strand hollow round braid follow the moves as shown in the diagrams beginning with 1, then 2,3,4. Top left to top right, bottom right to bottom left and so on….Reposition the cords back to the starting point after move 4. Repeat until you have about 50cm of rope. Remove the rope from the disc and secure threads with a little bit of masking tape. You will find more information on working this, and other Kumihimo braids in my book: the Knotting and Braiding Bible.

8 strand hollow braid diag

Remember to reposition cords into the start position (1) after every 4 moves

4.    Wrap the rope several times at one end with sewing thread, tie a knot and then trim close to the wrapping. Measure 22cm and wrap again before cutting the rope length. Make a second shorter length of 20cm in the same way. Add a little glue inside the end cap and then push one end of rope in. Repeat to add an end cap to the other three ends, making sure the hoops on the end caps are facing in the same direction at each end. Leave to dry.

Attaching the cord ends

Attaching the cord ends

5.    Prepare the bead links for the necklace. Snip the end off a headpin and create a round loop. Pick up a selection of beads and then bend the wire over at 90 degrees. Trim to 7mm and then make the same size of loop on the other end. You will need about 13 links, some the same and some different.


Make a selection of bead links

6.    Set the large fancy stones into their settings. Make a loop on one end of a headpin and slot through the holes in the setting as shown. Bend end over, trim to 7mm and make a loop again. Repeat to add a second headpin. Add headpins to the other large fancy stone.

7.    Add a 2cm length of small rollo chain to the loops on one side of each large setting to create a little hanging chain. Use two or three links of chain to join the two stones together so that they are close but lying flat. Attach the bottom chain to one end of the shorter rope and then add a bead link to the other end of the rope.

8.    Attach the longer rope to the top hanging chain with a large jump ring. At the other end attach the ‘s’ hook. Attach the ring for the ‘s’ hook to the bead link.  This forms the structure of the necklace. You now begin by adding the smaller fancy stone with bead links and chain between the ‘s’ hook ring and the large jump ring on the other side as show. Begin to fill in the necklace with more chain and bead  links, varying the size of the chain. It is easier to work on a dressmaker’s dummy or necklace form to get an accurate drape on the chains. Always try it around your neck to make any final adjustments.

9.    Once you are happy with the structure, begin to add the Edelweiss pendants. You need wire bails that will fit inside the holes of the pendant but be long enough to allow the pendant to hang free. You can use 0.8mm wire to make a larger bail for the 23mm pendant: curve a piece of wire around a pencil or similar tool and then use pliers to bend the ends over to create the bail. Trim the ends to 2-3mm. Hook the bail over the rope and attach the pendant to finish.

flat shot final

Use this image as a guide to create the shape of the necklace

Dorothy Wood 2015


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