here's another medium that is great for making jewelry: rice. it provides weight, it is easy to handle, and most importantly, it's cheap. i sewed a "tube" that is about 2.5" wide when flat, using a fabric that was previously tie-dyed in striped pattern. tie off one end of the tube about 5" in, fill with 2 table spoons of rice and then tie off the resulting "bead" using a waxed jute string. repeat until your necklace is the desired length, and make sure it will fit over your head. stitch the remaining ends together and then wrap string over the whole closure. done!