Tag Archives: stringing pearls

Knit? Knot!

Not knitting, knotting. I learned to string pearls! Pretty cool. I had a choker length necklace that broke, and it’s been waiting for about a year for me to fix it. I finally decided to give it a try. New silk cord (comes with needle attached), an awl, really pointy tweezers. Check.


It looks as good as new! There is a knot on either side of each pearl, and about 1/2 inch of silk cord between each pearl. Here’s how it goes: Start with a length of cord twice as long as you want the necklace. Too much is better than too little! Tie the non-needle end of the cord around a seed bead. I can’t tell if I have a square knot, or not! It’s too small for my eyes. So I tied 3 or 4 times. Then add the bead tip (the clamshell shaped thing that the bead sits in; this will also attach to the clasp). You don’t have to tighten it at this point; just let it hang there.

*Make a simple overhand knot about 1/2 inch away. I used the awl to slide the knot close to where I wanted it, and then just my fingers to tighten the knot in place. Add a pearl. For the knots after each pearl, I used the awl to place the knot, and then used the tweezers to slide the knot against the pearl. The tweezers were really helpful in getting the knots snugly against the pearls. Repeat from * until the strand is the desired length.


Add another bead tip, and then tie cord around another seed bead about 1/2″ away. Dab some glue (Elmer’s is fine, according the the helpful woman at the bead store, but superglue is not; it cracks) on the end knots (the ones on the beads). Let dry, clip the excess cord. Close the clamshell bead tips around the beads. Attach clasp to the hook on the bead tip; pinch closed. Voila!


I did have to do this twice. The first time I got to the end, I put the end bead on before the bead tip that it sits in. The end beads should always be LAST. They’re the ENDS. Oops. I couldn’t get the knot out to fix it. And of course this happened 15 minutes after the store closed last night. I had to wait for morning to buy more cord and re-string the whole thing. Practice makes perfect.

I think I could actually do this without a little bead in those end thingies, if I tied a triple or quadruple knot to go inside the bead tip. That would make it easier to close the clamshell completely. My original necklace didn’t have bead tips at all; the cord was just tied around the jump rings. I don’t trust my knots enough to do that, yet.

I completely winged this, so if there’s a “right way” that’s different, I don’t know. But I liked it so much that I made a necklace for my sister’s birthday, too!


I also made these stitch markers with goodies from my trip to the bead store. Cat Bordhi suggests stitch markers labeled by letter for some of the socks in her New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. I plan to use these soon!