DIYdiy projects

DIY Bead Crochet with The Well Done Experience

by Jessica Marquez

DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez
Today I’m excited to share with you a bead crochet project from my friends Bert and Dana Freed, the mother-and-daughter creative team behind The Well Done Experience. Together they design and create beautiful jewelry, sell finished pieces, patterns and kits, teach classes throughout NYC, and authored the book, Bead Crochet Jewelry: An Inspired Journey Through 27 Designs. Their necklaces and bracelets — bold strands of colorful, textured beads — are truly wearable art. I’ve never seen these two out in the world without rocking their jewelry, which I am always in awe of. Even on Dana’s wedding day, she made a special piece just for the occasion.

In this how-to, Dana walks us through the steps of creating one of her Chain Stitched Necklaces. The necklace is versatile and can be worn a few different ways — loosely draped or wrapped a few times. It’s a quick project, a great introduction to bead crochet, and would make an elegant handmade gift.

We’re lucky today, too, because Bert and Dana are giving one reader a chance to win a copy of their book, Bead Crochet Jewelry, and one of their Chain Stitched Necklace Kits. Bert and Dana believe, “The process of making something is as valuable as the finished project.” For a chance to win, just leave a comment by Sunday, January 10th, sharing an experience of making something you truly enjoyed. —Jessica DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez design-sponge-bead-crochet-1143 DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez

– C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord
– 110 3×4 Thunder Polish Crystals
– 100 3×5 Side Drilled Pearls
– #2, #3, or #4 steel crochet hook
– Scissors


1. String the beads. Thread all your beads on to the uncut spool of C-Lon thread. Cut the tip of the thread at an angle to easily thread the beads. (Cut as needed, if the thread weakens or frays.) Set aside ten crystals for finishing. Note: We used a pattern of one crystal, one pearl but you can get creative here and make your own pattern.  DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez

2. Make a slipknot with a 6” tail. To make a slipknot, form a circular loop with the thread, almost like you’re tying a knot. Instead of pulling the thread fully through the loop, like you’d do with a traditional knot, pull a small loop through. Tug on both ends of the loop (the top and the bottom threads tails) to form a knot under a loop. Insert the crochet hook into the loop and pull threads to secure.  DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez

3. Chain stitch the necklace. Slide one bead down to the hook. Hold the crochet hook in your right hand and the thread in your left. Using the crochet hook, wrap the thread around the hook and pull the thread through the slipknot. This is a chain stitch with a bead. The pattern is: one chain stitch with a bead, one chain stitch without a bead. The detail images below illustrate the steps of crocheting this necklace. Top row, holding the thread and hook. Second row, chain stitching the pearl. Third row, chain stitch without a bead. Third row, chain stitch with a crystal bead. Repeat until all the beads have been crocheted.  DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez

DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez
Tip: If you’re finding the tension is too tight, Dana suggests you give the chain a good pull every few inches. The thread is tough and this will help tight stitches relax, lay flat and create a more uniform tension.

4. Finishing your necklace. Once all the beads have been crocheted, cut a 6” tail. Remove your hook from the chain, thread the tail end of the thread through the last loop and pull to secure. Tie the necklace ends together with three knots. String each thread tail with five beads, tie a knot at the base of each to secure and snip the tail ends. DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez DIY Bead Crochet with Well Done Experience for Design Sponge by Jessica Marquez

Suggested For You


  • Such a beautiful finished product! I just recently finished crocheting a baby blanket for my new niece–it was such a calming process. I loved coming home after a day of work and settling in on the couch with my yarn, crochet hook, and some old Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes on in the background!

  • Love sewing and crocheting. Especially enjoyed making crocheted snowflakes one year for Christmas gifts. This necklace pattern reminds me of a necklace I had in the 60’s – might try to make it.

  • I just arm crocheted a wall hanging for above our bed.. it has made our bedroom a cozier place and an empty wall happy!

  • I made a dress for my daughter when she was 4. It felt so good to be able to accomplish it :)

  • What a nice idea! I am currently in the process of crocheting a cover out of muslin strips for a worn-out footstool. So far, so good!

  • I like the thick tubular bracelets! I had an old bike trailer used for transporting my kids around on bike when they were young. When my kids outgrew this past-time, my friend borrowed it for a while… but never used it so it hung around in storage again. One summer, I pulled off all the fabric, replaced it with boards of wood, screws and gave it a nice black paint job and voila – it became a new bike trailer to carry around buckets of compost for a community project (Uber Decay). I felt really good making something with my hands.

  • What a lovely project ! I just finished woven wire and bead bracelet. Very new for me, but very gratifying.

  • Beautiful! I am going to try this project. I love knitting, especially hats and other accessories, and have been wanting to try a crochet project of any sort lately. Jewelry it is!

  • I love this! It reminds me of making flower bead rings at camp one year as a teenager… and all the rings I made on my own afterwards. :) This would be a fun book to have!

  • What a great book! My daughter just learned to crochet and gifted me with a gorgeous blanket this Christmas.

  • I am a knitter and I love the decorative pillow I made. I got to try a new technique and I love being able to see something I made every time I lounge on the sofa.

  • Very clever design. My fav project was a quilt I made with my 8 year old grandson as the consultant. Fun time taking his ideas and making them work in a quilt.

  • Beautiful. I sew often and love the process of creating. I’m just finishing up a dress for a friend’s recently born baby. It’s such a fun process adding all the little finishing details.

  • Wonderful beadwork. I’m in the middle of a log cabin blanket crochet along. It’s turning out beautifully.

  • I can’t wait to make this necklace. I make beaded jewellery, and crochet, but have never combined the two techniques.

    I just cast off my first knitting project the the other day. I never thought I would be a knitter, as I’m not the most patient of people, but I’m really into fibres and colour, and have a beautiful collection of yarn I need to start using.
    This project made me slow down, and I truly enjoyed the process.
    Making can teach you many things, such as enjoying the journey and not simply the destination.
    I completely agree with your statement that the process of making something is as valuable as the finished product.

    Thanks so much!


  • I’ve been knitting for over 30 years and have taught dozens of women to knit. My current project is an Alabama Chanin-inspired scarf made from cast-off t-shirts. Not knitting, but very satisfying just the same. I am never without a project. I’ve always admired beaded necklaces and am eager to try this project.

  • I have never crocheted, but the allure of this beautiful necklace and the really clear instructions and great photos may finally get me to try it! Thank you.

  • Love the idea of beaded crochet. Two years ago I made two crocheted cowls–still my favorite crochet project.

  • I love working with beads and fibre. I found patterns for a simple crochet hat and fingerless gloves and made several for my granddaughters…I was so happy to make them correctly – and have the girls wear them!!

  • i love to crochet. I usually make scarves. I did crochet baby blankets for all three of my grandsons, and I have made some hats. I love the necklace, it will be what I try next! Thanks

  • This reminds me of how much I used to enjoy both crochet and bead work. Looks like fun!

  • This project would combine my two loves…beads and crochet! Can’t wait to learn more!

  • I have fallen in love with bead crochet jewelry projects. I have several kits ready to go, but need to give myself a refresher course, as I inadvertently pulled out my stiches on my circular bead crochet bracelet. This past year for the holidays, I made several snowflake ornaments for Christmas trees. I used several types of crystals, glass beads, and some ceramic beads as well. I both sold and gave away many of my creations. I am always looking for new projects to learn. Thank you for a wonderful article.

  • Wow! I would love to try something like this. The tutorial makes it look almost easy.

  • so beautiful.. wish I knew how to make them with my own hand and create special memories for the people I love.

    what a joy and blessing to be able to create such beautiful pieces.

  • Love this project as I have collected pearl necklaces for many years and some are so old they have broken….I wanted to do something original instead of just having them restrung and will try this ASAP ! I love the idea of an original piece that I can make with my own pearls! Great idea & I know what book I have to get! Thanks for this article! Love it!

  • I had an idea for a new top secret project and this has come in handy ? thank you so much for providing some creative technique inpspiration,

  • When I was little, I used to play with beads all of the time. Beading necklaces is still one of my hobbies, but I have never heard of bead crocheting before. However, I really like the look of the necklace that this post demonstrates being made and would really like to replicate it. How long does it take to crochet this piece of jewelry?

  • Please tell me where I may purchase the C-Lon thread you use. I have 6 various weights of thread but none will go through the pearl hole. Major problem! thank you so much. Shirley from Las Vegas, Nv.

  • Thank you for the excellent tutorial. I appreciate that you listed the cord/thread you used. I have crocheted for years with crochet cotton. Now I will try C-Lon.

  • I was wondering if there is a way to try and keep my beads going in the same direction? I crocheted a necklace alternating 8mm rounds with 4mm rounds. I used 5mm c lon cord. It is beautiful but it looks somewhat twisted, beads facing inwards and outwards. Much more so that the finished picture you show. Should I try and iron it? Or maybe wash it and flatten it? I feel as though I crocheted very consistently. Any ideas so I don’t ruin my hard work?
    Thank you.

  • I’ve crocheted for many years and have made a few jewelry items. I’m looking forward to learning beaded crochet.

  • I have been making crochet necklaces and have a hard time keeping them from spiraling. Have to twist the opposite way to get it to lay straight. Just not sure why that is? I want it to lay flat and straight especially when you wear it! Hope this makes sense and that you can help!!

  • In a word Lovely… at first glance I thought it was tatted as it is somewhat similar in style… tatting is what I do when making artful jewelry with beads, pearls or metal. thank you for sharing your method.