Gold add a bead necklace

If you are anywhere near my age,

you’ll probably remember the add-a-bead necklace.

It’s basically a gold chain with gold beads strung on it.

You pick the length of chain you desire and you add any number of gold beads.

I missed having mine from college…

so I decided to make my own early 80’s rendition.

I went to the bead store on a mission and

ended up coming out with a blast from the past.

It wasn’t really that hard to make.

Does this look familiar to anyone?


add a bead necklace


add a bead necklace



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  1. Oh my goodness. Yes, I remember those. This is defnintely one of the better things from that time!

  2. Oh my! I do remember those and I had a gold one on an 18″ chain with the little tiny ones in between the bigger ones. I worked in the jewelry department of a store and worked with those a lot. I new a girl who had one totally filled all the way around the chain. Goodness.

  3. Ooops. Spelling error on “new”. Obviously meant “knew.”

  4. Chris Waddell says:

    *raising hand* I remember them well. I had a gold one and a pearl one. I still have the gold one.

  5. Carrie White says:

    Oh yeah, baby! I rocked my add-a-bead necklace with 16 beads that I got for my 16th birthday. And I still have it.

  6. Thank you, for your comments!! Stacy, I agree with you!! Anna,I’ve never seen one filled all the way around….nor.. have I seen a pearl add-a-bead necklace, Chris. Carrie, you need to bring that baby out of the vault! I want to see it next Sunday :)

  7. Lisa Wylie says:

    I’m pretty sure I still have mine too, haven’t thought about it in a long time though. It was definitely the necklace to have in that era! Me & all my friends had one. It was usually a gift we had received, but I’m pretty sure they all came from the place…Belk.

  8. Thanks for commenting, Lisa. It’s fun to hear about all the necklaces!

  9. joan crawford says:

    Oh my I moved from illinois to alabama and I had one and it broke I have been looking everywhere here and can,t find one.

  10. Hi Joan, I couldn’t find mine…so I ended up making one. That might be your only solution.

  11. Hi Folks: Although this is from 2012, i hope someone will read my post. My friend and I went to a jewelry store in SC in 1975 cos they were having a sale on add-a-beads – $3.00 each. I bought 5. My friend, a former debutante, handed her add-a-bead necklace (which had about 20 beads on it) to the clerk and said, “Fill it UP!” My mouth dropped open. I’d love to have one again. Can someone share with me how to get the beads (10K gold or more, please) and a necklace? Thanks!

  12. Hi Teri, I made mine at the bead shop. I am sorry I got rid of mine years ago.
    Last year I decided I was going to take matters in my own hands and fashion one
    Myself…since there weren’t any available. You may have to order the beads.
    Hope that helps :)