How to Knot Pearls Tutorial |
Jewelry Making Instructions


How to Knot Pearls Tutorial - Part 1: Learn what jewelry making supplies to buy and how to choose the correct size bead cord. Easy beading!

Knotting Pearls by Hand

A pearl necklace is a thing of beauty. If you want a gorgeous beaded necklace (and a huge sense of accomplishment), learn to knot pearls by hand.

After knotting my first strand of pearls, I felt like I had really made jewelry (almost for the first time!). It was such a rush!

It took a little practice, but I got better at knotting between the pearls.

Hand Knotted Pearl NecklaceHand Knotted Pearl Necklace

Pearl Knotting Part One

Beading Tutorial: Bead Stringing - How to Knot Pearls

Finished Length of Necklace: 19 1/4" (48.9 cm)

Part One of this tutorial for knotting between pearls by hand will show you:

  • Jewelry making supplies you will need to buy
  • How to determine what size bead cord to use
  • How to tie an overhand knot

In part two of this tutorial on how to knot pearls by hand, you will learn how to knot a pearl necklace. You will actually learn how to knot between each pearl and attach the beading tips and clasp.


Pictures of Pearl Jewelry Making Supplies

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: Picture of pearl jewelry making supplies.
Pearl Jewelry Making Supplies left to right:
glue, findings, knotting tweezers (top), strand of pearls, bead cord


How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: Picture of pearl jewelry making supplies.
Findings left to right: lobster claw clasp,
split ring, closed jump ring, clam shell bead tips


Tweezers for Knotting Pearls

You will find knotting tweezers of different types. The difference is in the tips of the tweezers.

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: Picture of knotting tweezers.
Two different knotting tweezers.


I make a better (tighter and closer to the pearl) knot using knotting tweezers that have a very fine point.

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: Picture of the tips of knotting tweezers.
Close up of the tips of two different knotting tweezers.


Pearl Jewelry Making Supplies List

  • one strand of pearls, 16" (40.6 cm)
    (I used 10 - 11mm baroque pearls)
  • 2 clam shell bead tips (also called calottes)
  • 1 closed jump ring
  • 1 split ring
  • 1 lobster claw clasp
  • 1 package size 6 (.70mm) bead cord
  • G-S Hypo Cement® glue

Here's more information on bead cord used to string or knot between pearls and other beads.


Pearl Jewelry Making Tools List

  • Chain nose pliers
  • Split ring pliers
  • Knotting tweezers
  • Small sharp, pointed scissors (or wire cutters)

Here is an explanation and pictures of jewelry pliers used in bead jewelry projects.



Bead Jewelry Making Instructions
How to Knot Pearls


How to Chose Bead Cord to Knot Between Pearls
(and Other Beads)

1. Remove bead cord from cardboard holder.

Unravel the bead cord from cardboard holder. You will see one end with a needle and one end without a needle.

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: 
Step 1 - Remove bead cord from cardboard holder.

The needle is a fine gauge twisted stainless steel wire. It has a loop on one end which has the bead cord attached to it. This allows you to thread the pearls onto the bead cord.

For the size 10 - 11mm baroque pearls used in this pearl knotting tutorial, I tested a size 4 and a size 6 bead cord to see which I liked best.


2. Tie an Overhand Knot.

For both sizes of bead cord, on the end without the needle tie a knot. Just tie a basic knot which is also called an overhand knot ( How to Tie an Overhand Knot).

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: 
Step 2 - Tie an Overhand Knot.



How to Knot Pearls Part 1 Continued

3. Determining which size of bead cord to use: Test One

Does the Knot Pull Through the Hole in the Pearl?

After tying the overhand knot, thread a pearl onto each size of bead cord.

Pull the pearl all the way down the bead cord until it rests against the knot.

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: 
Step 3 - Determining which size of bead cord to use: Test One.


Test each knot by pulling on the long end of the bead cord to see if it pulls through the hole in the pearl.

If the knot does not pull through, then the bead cord is large enough to use to knot between each pearls.

If the knot does pull through the hole, then try the next largest size bead cord and repeat Steps 1 - 3.

Look at each knot. Which looks better to you for the size of pearl that you will knot? Knot the pearls using that size bead cord.

Repack the bead cord that you will not use.


How to Knot Pearls Part 1 Continued

4. Determining which size of bead cord to use: Test Two

How Much of the Hole in the Pearl Does the Bead Cord Fill?

Most of the hole, half of the hole or less than half of the hole?

I like to use bead cord that fills half or more of the hole in the pearl. So, in this case I would use bead cord size 6 (.70mm).

How to Knot Pearls Tutorial: 
Step 4 - Determining which size of bead cord to use: Test Two.


5. In a Nutshell - Determining which size of bead cord to use.

Basically, determine which bead cord size knot does not pull through the hole and looks best between the pearls.

After you have learned to tie a knot between the pearls, tie a second knot next to the pearl.

Look at each knot. Which looks better to you for the size of pearl that you will knot? Knot the pearls using that size bead cord.

Step 5 - Pearl knotted with size 6 bead cord.
Step 5 - Pearl knotted with size 4 bead cord.


How to Knot Between Pearls

Experience with tying knots between pearls will teach you which size bead cord you prefer to use with which size pearl.

Now learn how to knot a pearl necklace in Part 2: Pearl Knotting Technique.

Top of How to Knot Pearls page


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