My favourite, and quickest, way to make necklaces as of late is to make most of it from ribbon. Ribbon is very trendy right now, and comes in so many textures and patterns. It blends with larger beads really nicely. Below is a brief description of what I did:
I purchased the pearls already strung at the dollar store of all places, but I've also seen similar beads sold in strands at shops like Walmart or Michael's. I kept the same pattern as was already strung, and attached them to large jump loops with crimps. I haven't wrapped wire around the strands yet, and I may or may not. When you wrap wire over the crimped filament, it just cleans up the necklace and makes it look more professionally done. The ribbon is this beautiful, grey velvet which I bought on discount. It came on a lovely wooden spool - almost too lovely to use. I bought these beads specifically for the ribbon.
Hope this gives you some inspiring ideas!