Thursday, February 26, 2009

How to String Pearls and Other Beads on Silk

Making your own jewelry can be very rewarding. With this step-by-step guide you too can create professional looking jewelry with a few simple tools and a few dollars worth of supplies.

Every outfit can have its own adornment by learning this skill. The best way to learn from this article is to read my blog article “Tools and Supplies Needed for Silk Knotted Jewelry” before you start. After you have done this, gather your supplies and take each step at a time.

The first time you knot beads it won't be perfect but that is okay because you will still have a beautiful necklace to show for your efforts. Don't give up. Once you get through one complete necklace you will feel better about your knots and each subsequent necklace will look better than the last.

Note to reader: Very shortly I will be adding photos to this article of each of the steps below.

The Steps:

Step 1

Unwind the silk thread from the card. It is easier to work with if you run the silk through one of the slits on the card to help straighten the bends in the silk. One end of the silk will have a fine wire needle. On the end without the needle, tie a knot at the very end of the silk and a second knot directly on top of the first knot. This will make a bulky knot.

Step 2

Insert the needle end of the silk into the clam shell of the Double Cup. The needle should come out of the hole. The knot should be inside the clam shell part of the double cup. Add a drop of G-S Hypo cement. Close the clam shell with your chain nose pliers. The knot should be securely inside the closed double cup. All the remaining silk with needle should be coming out the hole of the double cup.

Step 3

Tie another knot with the silk as close to the double cup as possible. Use your tweezers to push the knot as close to the double cup as possible.

Step 4

Use the needle end of the silk and string your first pearl moving it all the way to the end near your double cup.

Step 5

If you are right handed follow these directions for knotting. If you are left handed just do the opposite in each hand. Holding the pearl and double cup end in your right hand, wind the silk over the index finger and middle finger of your left hand. With your two fingers spread apart slide the pearl into the silk between your two fingers and pull through the loop.

Step 6

You should have a large loop. Lay the large loop over your pearls, taking your needle nose tweezers pinch the silk down as close to the pearl as possible with the tweezers inside the large loop. Pull the silk so that the knot abuts the pearl. Before the knot is completely tight use the tweezers and move the knot closer to the pearl while pulling the silk. This will make a nice close tight knot.

Step 7

Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until you have used all of your pearls.

Step 8

Adding your final double cup is fairly simple. Take the needle end of the silk and go up through the hole of double cup. The needle and silk should emerge from the clam shell. This is instead of going down into the clam shell like you did to start. Tie a double knot (one on top of each other) using your tweezers for a tight, snug knot inside the clam shell. Add some glue. Snip the end of the silk as close to the knot as possible without touching the knot. Add a little more glue into the clam shell and close with your chain nose pliers.

Step 9

Adding your clasp is the final step. Hook the double cup on one side of the clasp's small ring. After you have done this, with your chain nose pliers curl the hook on the end of the double cup so that it meets itself in a loop. The clasp is now attached to one side of the double cup. Repeat this on the other side and your necklace is finished. Be sure to give your glue a chance to dry completely before you wear your necklace. It is fast drying glue. Ten to fifteens minutes should be sufficient.

Congratulations, you now know how to make a beautiful knotted pearl necklace. This skill with a little practice will serve you well. Be sure to try other types of beads using this method.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Thanks! I can't wait to show my daughter! I think she has used the "bad" stuff in the past...