Pearl Knotting Tutorial |
Jewelry Making Instructions


Pearl Knotting Tutorial - Part 2: Learn a knotting technique for  making beaded jewelry with pearls the fun and easy way.

Complete Part One of How to Knot Pearls before doing the steps below.

Part one of this tutorial on knotting 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

How to Make Bead Jewelry
Part 2: Knotting Between Pearls by Hand

Hand Knotted Pearl NecklaceKnotting Results in an Elegant Hand Knotted Pearl Necklace

Below, part two of this tutorial on knotting between pearls by hand will show you:

  • How to tie knots between pearls
  • How to attach clamshell bead tips (calottes)
  • How to a attach clasp to make a necklace

Pearl Knotting Instructions Continued from Part One

6. Tie an Overhand Knot.

Now that you have selected the size of bead cord to use, on the end of the bead cord without the needle tie an overhand knot (How to Tie an Overhand Knot).

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 6 - Tie an overhand knot.


7. Thread one beading tip onto the needle attached to the bead cord.

Thread the needle "through the throat" of the clamshell bead tip, into the hole and out the back of the bead tip.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 7 - Thread one beading tip onto the needle attached to the bead cord.


8. Pull the entire length of the bead cord through the bead tip.

Pull the entire length of the bead cord through the hole of the bead tip until the knot in the bead cord rests in the depression or "jaws" of the clamshell bead tip.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 8 - Pull the entire length of the bead 
cord through the bead tip.


9. Begin to tie an overhand knot.

In one hand, between your thumb and index finger, loop the long end of the bead cord over and behind the bead cord end with the bead tip on it.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 9 - Begin to tie an overhand knot.


Pearl Knotting Instructions Continued

10. Pull the long end of the bead cord through the loop.

With the thumb and index finger of your other hand reach into the loop and pull the long end of the bead cord and pull it all the way through the loop.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 10 - Pull the long end of the bead cord through the loop.


The long end of the bead cord should now be in and through the loop.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 10a - The long end of the bead cord should now be in and through the loop.


11. Begin to tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.

In one hand, between your thumb and index finger, hold the long end of the bead cord.

In your other hand pick up the knotting tweezers and hold them with your thumb and index finger.

Reach the knotting tweezers into the loop and firmly grasp and hold the bead cord right above the hole in bead tip.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 11 - Begin to tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.


Closeup: firmly grasp and hold the bead cord right above the hole in bead tip. Be sure to reach the tweezers into the loop in the bead cord.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 11a - Closeup: firmly grasp and hold the bead cord right above the hole in bead tip.


12. Tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.

Pull on the long end of the bead cord until the knot is tight against the tips of the knotting tweezers.

The tighter you can pull the bead cord against the tips of the knotting tweezers, the better knot you will make.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 12 - Tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.


Pearl Knotting Instructions Continued

13. Remove the knotting tweezers from the knot.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 13 - Remove the knotting tweezers from the knot.


14. Tighten the knot even more.

To tighten the overhand knot even more, hold the bead cord, right above the knot, between the knotting tweezers (about 1/2" (1.3 cm) from the tips of knotting tweezers).

Firmly squeeze the knotting tweezers and pull tightly on the long end of the bead cord to really tighten the knot.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 14 - Tighten the knot even more.


Doing Step 14 will result in tight knots with no gaps between the pearl and the knot.

This is a bead knotting tip that I learned by watching a pearl knotting demonstration given by pearl jewelry designer Wendy Simpson Conner at a bead show.


15. Thread a pearl onto the needle attached to the bead cord.

Thread a pearl onto the bead cord. Bring the pearl along the length of bead cord until it rests snugly against the knot tied in Step 14.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 15 - Thread a pearl onto the needle attached to the bead cord.


Pearl Knotting Instructions Continued

16. Repeat Steps 9 through 15.

Steps 9 through 14 are repeated here with abbreviated instructions showing a pearl in the picture.

Begin to tie an overhand knot. In one hand, between your thumb and index finger, loop the long end of the bead cord over and behind the bead cord end with the bead tip, knot and pearl on it. (Same as Step 9)

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 16 - Repeat Steps 9 through 15.


17. Pull the long end of the bead cord through the loop.

With the thumb and index finger of your other hand reach into the loop and pull the long end of the bead cord and pull it all the way through the loop. (Same as Step 10)

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 17 - Pull the long end of the bead cord through the loop.


The long end of the bead cord should now be in and through the loop.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: Step 17a - The long end of the bead cord should now be in and through the loop.


18. Begin to tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.

In one hand, between your thumb and index finger, hold the long end of the bead cord.

In your other hand pick up the knotting tweezers and hold them with your thumb and index finger.

Reach the knotting tweezers into the loop and firmly grasp and hold the bead cord right above the hole in bead tip. (Same as Step 11)

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 18 - Begin to tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.


19. Tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.

Pull on the long end of the bead cord until the knot is tight against the tips of the knotting tweezers. (Same as Step 12)

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 19 - Tighten the overhand knot against the bead tip.


Remove the knotting tweezers from the knot. (Not pictured here, but is the same as Step 13)

Pearl Knotting Instructions Continued

20. Tighten the knot even more.

Hold the bead cord, right above the knot, between the knotting tweezers (about 1/2" (1.3 cm) from the tips of knotting tweezers).

Firmly squeeze the knotting tweezers and pull tightly on the long end of the bead cord. (Same as Step 14)

Thread on another pearl (Same as Step 15).

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 20 - Tighten the knot even more.


21. Continue to knot the pearl necklace.

Now you simply continue to knot the necklace. Repeat Steps 16 through 20 until you have knotted the pearls to within 1" (2.5 cm) of your desired finished length of the pearl necklace.

Most 16" (40.6 cm) strands of pearls will yield at least an 18" (45.7 cm) pearl necklace.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 21 - Continue to knot the pearl necklace.


22. Thread on the second bead tip.

From the back of the bead tip, thread the second bead tip onto the bead cord.

Bring the bead tip down the length of the bead cord until it rests snugly against the last knot.

Tie a tight overhand knot into the 'throat or jaw' of the bead tip. Tie this knot as you have tied all the other knots (Steps 9 through 14).

You may need to be a little more careful (and patient) to make sure that the tips of the tweezers firmly hold the bead cord snugly against the back of the "throat" of the bead tip where the bead cord enters the hole in the bead tip.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 22 - Thread on the second bead tip.


23. Trim the excess bead cord.

On both ends of the bead cord, use sharp pointed scissors, or wire cutters, to trim the excess bead cord above the overhand knot. Take care not to cut the knot.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 23 - Trim the excess bead cord.


Pearl Knotting Instructions Continued

24. Saturate the knots with glue.

On each end of the necklace, saturate the knot within the bead tip and the knot between the bead tip and the last pearl with G-S Hypo Cement® glue.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 24 - Saturate the knots with glue.


25. Attach closed jump ring.

On the hook of one of the bead tips, slide on the closed jump ring.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 25 - Attach closed jump ring.


26. Partially close the bead tip's hook.

With your thumb and index finger, hold the bead tip so that its opening faces towards you.

Using the chain nose pliers, grasp the bead tip's hook and partially close the hook by rotating the pliers toward you. The small lip on the end of the hook should be slightly below the "jaw" or cup of the bead tip.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 26 - Partially close the bead tip's hook.


27. Close the bead tip.

Using the chain nose pliers, grasp the bead tip within the tips of the pliers. Press the pliers closed, closing the "jaws" or cups of the bead tip together.

The small lip on the tip of the hook should be inside the "jaws" of the bead tip as it closes, capturing it inside the "jaws" of bead tip.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 27 - Close the bead tip.


28. Attach the split ring and lobster claw clasp.

Using the split ring pliers, attach the lobster claw clasp to the split ring (How to Open Split Rings).

Repeat steps 25 through 27, attaching the split ring instead of the closed jump ring.

Your completed clasp should look like the one pictured below. Your pearl knotting lesson is over!

Pearl Knotting Tutorial: 
Step 28 - Attach the split ring and lobster claw clasp.


Completed Hand Knotted Pearl Necklace

Congratulations, you did it!!! You hand knotted a pearl necklace! Boy, what a great feeling...


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