How to Make a Braided Pearl Necklace

SKU VID-1113
Designer: Julie Bean
Skill Level: Intermediate
In this video learn how to make a statement necklace featuring 3 strands of gorgeous pearls braided together. They are then connected to toggle rings and a pretty rolo chain. This necklace design can easily be adjusted to be a long or short necklace.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
(relaxing music) - [Julie] Hi, this is Julie with Beadaholique. In this video, I'm gonna teach you from start to finish how to make a braided pearl necklace. So this is really gonna be a statement piece of jewelry. You're going to need three different strands of pearls. Now, these are 15 inches each. If you have a shorter strand, not a big problem because we're also gonna be combining it with chain, so you're gonna have a lot of flexibility for the length of it. You're going to need some toggle clasps. And yes, I did say clasps, as in plural. I'll show you in a minute what I mean. Some knot covers, jump rings. We're gonna use some little teeny seed beads. We're also gonna be using Griffin Silk, G-S Hypo Cement. And then your tools are gonna be a chain nose plier, a cutter, a second pair of chain nose pliers, and a scissors. So because I don't have a finished example to start with, I want to show you a brief mock up of what this is gonna look like so you know the direction we're heading in. So what we're gonna be doing here is we're gonna be taking these strands and we're gonna be braiding. Just for the purpose of this mock up, I'm gonna twist them so you can just see that they're gonna just be all together. They're gonna look really pretty and together. We're gonna keep them long for our purposes, but, like I said, if you have shorter strands, not a big deal. So you're gonna have this pretty, twisted focal. Then we're gonna bring them to a end here and we're gonna secure them with these knot covers and Griffin Silk. They're all gonna come up to a toggle ring. Then we're going to finish off the length of our necklace with some chain and a toggle clasp here. The little seed beads are just to help us with our knot covers because we're gonna be using a size four Griffin Silk. So that's kind of a quick mock up of approximately what this is gonna look like so you can know where we're going. Now, for the Griffin Silk, I pulled three different cards of it because there's three different colors of pearls. Now, you can definitely buy a matching color for each pearl, or you can just find the middle ground one. Like, I would say this gray one would really go with just about everything. You're not gonna really see the gaps between the white ones. So I'm just gonna purchase one card of gray silk for this and not worry about the other two. So let's begin. Let's start actually constructing this piece. It would be wonderful since these are already strung if we could just go ahead and somehow secure them to this toggle bar as is. Unfortunately, we can't. We have to restring them. Like I said, we're gonna be using Griffin Silk because it is really ideal for pearls. So let me just use this big, beautiful strand right here. So if you're not familiar with Griffin Silk, it comes on a card like this and you get two meters. So two meters is gonna be plenty to do all of our strands. When you open it up, you're going to notice down here at the bottom is this piece of wire. This is actually a needle. It's a very thin, twisted wire needle which is ideal for going through pearls. So go ahead and take all of your Griffin Silk off of your card. And then what I like to do is because you see it's pretty kinky, I just go through it and I just try to straighten it out as best as I can. So I'm just running it through my fingers with my nail really pressing on it. I'm gonna do that one more time. OK, and I inadvertently tied a knot in the base. Not a big deal. I'm just gonna cut that off. So now we're gonna cut our pearls off of our strand. We're ready to start by securing a knot cover over our knot at the end of our thread so then these beads will have a stopping point and our strand will be secure. So this here is what the knot cover looks like. You'll see it's got two halves, which we're going to squish together over the knot. You'll also notice it has a nice loop up top, and it has a pretty good size hole down at the base. That is where these little seed beads come in. These can be any beads you have at home that are small enough to fit within that little clamshell. So go ahead, string on one bead and go through the knot cover through that little hole in the base. Then pull all this down to the end of your silk. Now we're gonna secure that bead within some knots. Pull it good and tight. We do that a couple times. OK, so the only limit you really have is you don't want that knot to become too big that you can't close your clamshell, but you see it's big enough that it's not gonna pull out of that bottom hole. So after you've done that, we're gonna open up some of our G-S Hypo Cement. If you've not used this before, it's really ideal for this type of application because it's a super fine applicator tip. We're gonna pull our knots down into our clamshell. Then we're just gonna apply some glue over the knots. Then you've got this needle that you put back into the applicator tip. Then we're gonna take our chain nose plier. This one might be better. And we are gonna close the clamshell. I have not trimmed my tail yet. I'm gonna just wait and trim that at the very end. So I'll just use a fine scissor to trim that. So now we have basically a bead stopper at the end of our silk. So now we're just gonna string on our pearls. And because we do have that really nice, thin wire needle, we're able to very easily go through the pearls. If you wanted to, you could do pearl knotting between each of these pearls. That is definitely an option. I'm not gonna do it in this case, but you can. Really, if you're creating heirloom quality jewelry, you might want to do that. We have a video. Actually, I think we have several teaching you how to do pearl knotting. Basically, what pearl knotting does is it creates a little cushion between each pearl. Just if you expect to really wear the necklace a lot, it just prevents wear on the pearls themselves. I'm not using beading wire on this type of project, which is something in which is a really good stringing material, like beading wire and crimp beads, just because you can't always get it through pearls, even some of the thinner beading wires. These pearls have good size holes, but not all of them do. The beauty of this project is you can really use whatever pearls you want. Just pick out three really pretty contrasting strands. I've strung all my pearls, so we're ready to add the other knot cover. We're gonna go ahead and take our needle and go through that base hole, and then we are also going to string on a seed bead. You're gonna pull it all the way down to the base. Now, we don't want this to be too stiff because we are gonna need to be twisting and braiding it. So what I like to do is just at this point when I'm about to tie up this end, just kink up my pearls a little bit so that I know they can move for me. Now, we also have the situation, we have a lot of this thread left and it's gonna be a little difficult to tie knots with this much thread on the end. So go ahead and cut yourself a comfortable length, and then you can just save this one for you next strand. So down here we've got that seed bead trapped. What we want to do is want to pull it up a little bit so that we can trap it in our knot again. And here, I'm gonna pull out some pearl knotting tweezers. It's just a little easier for me. Some people are really good at tying close knots. I'm not one of them. This is how you would normally pearl knot actually. I made a little loop. You're gonna go into the loop and grab the end where you want the knot to rest. So I'm just gonna do that right now. Then you just pull and your knot ends up nice and down low. Then we're gonna do that a couple more times. So just again make a regular knot, just a simple overhand knot, and then go through the loop and grab it where you want it to rest. I'm using my tweezers to pull on it, or I should say push on it to make sure it's tight. So we're starting to build up that knotting in there and not so wide that that we're gonna exceed the depth of those pearl knot covers. OK, another little loop. OK, and then through the loop and grab where you want the knot to rest. All right, and I'm feeling good about that. I'm gonna be adding glue, too. So let's grab our Hypo Cement again. We're gonna be putting glue over the knots. There we go. That was actually a bit of glue. OK, so now we need to close that knot cover. Just need it to stay still first. There we go. And we've got it secure. And again, I'm gonna wait for the glue to dry and trim off the end. I put my G-S Hypo Cement over here and you see what happens when you don't put the needle back in it right away. It does spill out a little bit. There we go. So what you'll do next, and I'm gonna do this off camera because it's the exact same technique, is you're gonna let this dry, trim your ends, and then you're gonna repeat the exact same technique with your two other strands again using your Griffin Silk, again using your knot covers and the little seed beads as well. And then after that is done, we're gonna be ready to braid these and attach them to the toggle rings. I've completed all three of my strands. You're gonna notice there's a little bit of wiggle room with my beads and that's because when I went ahead and tied their end knots, I went ahead and I kinked it up a little bit. So that's good. We've got some play room when we start braiding these. I just want to show you how much silk I had left. These are all strung using the same card of silk and we have plenty left over. So now, let's go ahead and braid. I'm gonna do this a little bit differently than if I was not on camera just because I want to be able to show this to you as clearly as possible. We're gonna start by anchoring all of our strands to one toggle ring, and we're gonna do that using jump rings. We're just going to take a jump ring, I have a few already open here actually, and slide that little loop into it, and then slide that onto the toggle ring and close it back up. In a minute, I'll tell you the little bit of a different technique I would do for braiding these. It's very minor. It's just an anchoring situation. Make sure your jump ring is really good and closed in this instant because if you look at these little ends, that is a pretty thin loop and you don't want it slipping out of your jump ring. We're gonna take one jump ring for each strand and attach it to the toggle ring. It really doesn't matter what order you put these strands on. OK, now here is where I would do something a little different if I wasn't on camera. I'm going to lay this out in front of me, and I'm going to separate all three strands, and I am just going to hold it like this. If I was not here on camera on this table on this cloth, I would secure this to my work surface with probably some tape. I would tape it, maybe some packaging tape. I'd hold it down so that I had a film anchor to braid from. I've heard people who use safety pins and they put the safety pin through the little loop and they pin it to a seat cushion or a part of your couch. That works as well. But because I don't have anything to anchor it to, I'm gonna just hold it. We're gonna do a traditional three strand braid. We've got all of our pearl strands and we're just gonna go one. So the right one went over the center one. The left one goes over the new center one. This is just as if you're braiding hair. And then the right one goes over the center one. The left one goes over the new center one and so forth. This is why we wanted the wiggle room. It allows our beads to move. Just gonna keep doing this. I personally love the look of braided pearls. The reason I'm braiding them and not necessarily twisting them is because the braid is gonna stay put, and if you just were to do them in a twist, that twist can easily become undone. Move my hand down. You'll notice your beads start to get a little bit stiffer towards the end. That's because we're eating up that wiggle room we left in the cord. So this is starting to get a little bit stiffer. That's fine. Keep working your way down. OK, so at this point, we're going to attach it to the other toggle ring. We are just going to make it work. You see these aren't all even after we've done the braiding, which is fine. Here's a nice open jump ring already. We're gonna link it on one of the pearl strands as well as the toggle ring, and close it back up. Now we want to do the next one. And you'll notice it's a little loser here than here, so what we're gonna do is now that we're attached to both of our toggle rings, we're gonna lay this in front of us, and we're just gonna use our fingers to even it out. That is how it's gonna lay on your neck. Now we need to decide how long do we want our necklace to be. The pearl part of it including the toggle rings is about 15 and a half, almost 16 inches. You can wear this right up towards the top of your neckline, or you can wear it a little bit longer. I think I would like to make this. Hmm, let me see. If the toggle ring and bar is going to add an inch, we've got about 17 inches notwithstanding the chain. I'll make this a 20 inch necklace. To do that, we need three inches of chain total, which means an inch and a half on each side. So we're just gonna measure an inch and a half. Just cut through one of the chain links and separate it out. I want even number of chain links on each side. Cut right here. Then we're just going to use jump rings to attach our chain to our toggle bar and rings, and then we are done with this necklace. OK, there we go. Let's put the toggle bar through the toggle ring like so. And we are done. And we made a braided pearl necklace. Of course, you can use whatever pearls you want to use for this project. Actually, you could use other types of beads, too. I just think the pearls are particularly pretty when you see them all combined like that. We have all the ingredients for this project listed on this video below, and you also can find them on Also on Beadaholique, you'll find other projects similar to this showing you different techniques using pearls and different stringing methods as well. Thanks so much for watching.

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