Making a pearl bracelet for yourself or as a gift is a fun, easy project you can do in one sitting Bonnie Jennifer. Pearls are come in all different colors, shapes and sizes, and choosing your own can be half the fun!
First, pick what color pearls you wish to use. You can try for a color to go with a favorite dress, or maybe one to match your personality or mood. A variety will look stunning, and can really pull an outfit together.
Second, choose what size pearls you want. Small pearls will make a narrow bracelet, large ones a thicker band. You can graduate from small to large, or alternate sizes for a more interesting bracelet.
Third, decide if you want your bracelet to be made of classic spherical, oval bead-shaped, or irregular baroque pearls. Again, mixing and matching is by no means prohibited!
Freshwater pearls come in a variety of colors and are relatively inexpensive. Buy a few more then you think you will need – a good way to test is to tie a string around your wrist, then lay the string flat and line up pearls along it. Add half a dozen or so for good measure, and you should be set.
Remember to allow for your clasps or the bracelet will be too long. The bracelet will turn out a little longer than your thread anyway, as the knotting process will add a little length, so you can take this into account when planning to suit your taste for either a snug or loose fit.
Assemble the rest of your materials on a flat, level surface. You will need heavy silk or nylon thread, a needle that will easily fit through the drilled holes in your pearls, and a pair of tweezers. You should also have a set of ‘clamshells’ to anchor both ends of your bracelet and clasps to secure it.
Spill your pearls out gently on a piece of soft cloth or chamois. If you have decided on a pattern, lay them out in the order they should be strung. Cut your thread about three to four times the length of your desired bracelet and knot one end to a clamshell. Tie another knot in the thread, snubbing it up close to the clamshell with your thumbnail.
Now you are ready to begin knotting your pearls. Thread your needle, and string your first pearl all the way down to rest next to the knot beside the clamshell. Loop the thread around your fingers and run the needle through to form a loose knot. Slide the points of the tweezers through the loop and pinch the thread as closely to the pearl as possible. Tighten the loop around the handle of the tweezers, and pull the loose end firmly yet gently down towards the points.
The loop should close slowly as it slides down the tweezers toward the points, and form a knot right up next to the pearl. Carefully slip the tweezers out so as not to damage the pearl, and push the knot snugly up next to the pearl with your thumbnail as before. Tighten the knot securely, and admire your work. Congratulations! You have just knotted your first pearl.
Continue stringing and knotting your pearls until the desired length is reached. Knot a clamshell in the other end against the final knot. Trim your thread ends and attach your clasps to the clamshells, using a pair of light pliers to close the clamshell hooks.