Yule Crafts

Solar System Necklace

Are you looking for something to do while you're sitting vigil on the longest night of the year?  With a little experience in beading, you can construct this beautiful necklace and carry all the powers of the Milky Way around your neck.  Purchasing all the materials can be a little pricey, but beginning your project well in advance would give you time to gather the materials slowly, and allow time to charge each "planet" with the appropriate energy.


These instructions are from the Gallery of Designs at Fire Mountain Gems.



  •  14Kt gold-filled, 14mm smooth round(for the sun)
  •  mahogany obsidian, 8mm round(for Mercury)
  • dark green aventurine, 12mm round(for Venus)
  • Swarovski crystal, crystal, 4mm bicone(for the Asteroid Belt)
  • Swarovski crystal, jet, 4mm bicone(for the Asteroid Belt)
  • Seed bead, Delica, rainbow clear, transparent frosted(for the Asteroid Belt)
  • Seed bead, opaque white(for the Asteroid Belt)
  • red jasper, 12mm round(for Mars)
  • sardonyx, red and white bull's eye, 12mm round(for Jupiter)
  •  sardonyx, black and white, 12mm round(for Saturn)
  • tiger iron, 4mm round(for Saturn's moon)
  • moss agate, 12mm round(for Uranus and Neptune)
  • mother-of-pearl white, 4mm round(for the Milky Way)
  • globe bead, 12mm round (for Earth)


Findings and Tools:

  • Headpin, gold-color, 4-inch
  • Eyepin, gold-plated, 1-inch
  • Pliers, round-nose
  • Pliers, flat-nose
  • Pliers, side-cutting


 The Planets

  •  Most of the planets are very simple: choose a bead from the package or strand, thread onto a headpin, cut to whatever length you desire. At the top of the headpin, create an ''eye'' or loop (as on an eyepin).
  •  Use a 14mm gold-filled bead for the Sun, an 8mm mahogany obsidian bead for Mercury, a 12mm green aventurine bead for Venus, a 12mm red jasper bead for Mars, a 12mm moss agate bead for Neptune and an 8mm snowflake obsidian bead for Pluto.
  •  The Jupiter bead can be cleverly realistic. Red-and-white banded sardonyx often has red dots--a little careful observation can locate a bead to mimic Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot.
  •  A black-and-white banded sardonyx bead will be used for Saturn. To create Saturn's ring (with moon), thread the chosen bead on a headpin.


For Saturn


 1. At the top of the bead, bend the headpin 90°


 2. Curve downward, following the shape of the bead to its "equator"


 3. At the "equator", bend the headpin another 90° - it will now be perpendicular to the drill hole.  Thread a 4 mm tiger iron "moon" on to the headpin.


 4. Bend the headpin around the bead, following its curve, until the headpin "ring" expends all the way around to the back of the bead again.


 5. Run the headpin under the original bend and bend until planet hangs vertically.


 6. Then add an eye to the top of the hanger.  Twist eye sideways so planet hangs flat.

The Asteroid Belt


The asteroid belt hangs between Mars and Jupiter. To show the variety of asteroids, some made of rock and some made of ice, it is made of a series of headpins and eyepins and is assembled quite at random, using Swarovski crystal, mother-of-pearl, tiger iron and square beads. Some asteroids, such as Vesta, are rather large rocky masses, represented by tiger iron. Others are small, icy bodies, best imitated by transparent square seed beads.

The Milky WAY


The solar system hangs in the Milky Way, made here with 4mm mother-of-pearl beads on 1-inch eyepins.

For links without planets, string 3 mother-of-pearl beads onto an eyepin and create a matching eye at the other end.

For links with planets, string 1 mother-of-pearl bead onto an eyepin, string the planet by the eye, string another mother-of-pearl bead and create a matching eye at the other end.

Each link with a planet alternates with a link without a planet. These can be strung left to right or right to left. When you have finished stringing the solar system, you're ready to finish the necklace.

Finishing the Necklace


You have three choices to consider when finishing off the solar system necklace:

  • Finish the necklace with more mother-of-pearl links and a gold-plated bar-and-ring clasp.
  • Finish the necklace with a gold-plated heavy cable chain. Cut the chain in half and attach to the last links at the eye, using the existing clasp.
  • Finish the necklace with dark blue crinkled silk cord and a gold-plated bar-and-ring clasp.

For Uranus



 7. Use a 12 mm moss agate bead for Uranus.  The planet Uranus has a different rotation and pole than the rest of the solar system.


Thread the bead onto a headpin, snip off the head and form two eyes, one on each end.


 8. Take another headpin, snip off the head and bend in half.  Form two eyes, one on each end and attach to the eyes on the beaded eyepin.


 9. Create "shoulders" in the long pin, hold with pliers and twist.  Open the top of the twist to form an eye.  Twist eye sideways so planet hangs flat.


















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