September 2, 2011

Pearl cluster necklace

 Voila! Remember the necklace I told you I wanted to make in a recent post? It came from this inspiration on my Pinterest "jewels" board. I was a little uncertain as to whether I could pull this off, but it was so easy! I am definitely adding jewelry to my repertoire. Not sure that I've mastered it well enough to add it to the shop, but I'll definitely be making myself some more pieces in the near future! I did hit a few bumps in the road, but nothing major. I'll share with you what I'll do differently next time, and how to prevent the problems I had, so you too can make your own jewels! Here's how:

First, you will need the following supplies:
Necklace chain *(more on this soon)
Pearl beads
Head pins (varying sizes)
Clasp with findings
Needle nose pliers
Wire cutters (NOT scissors! I know they are in the picture. Ignore that part of the picture. I later found they don't work near as well!)

Here are the head pins a little closer. I didn't know what they were until I started thinking about making my own jewelry. They look like a straight pin, but they are dull on the end. I bought a package of three different sizes, and used the small and medium size depending how small or big the pearls were.
 First, I put on my clasp and findings (the two circles on each side of the clasp). For the left finding, I simply pried it open it a little, looped it through the chain, then squeezed it closed with my pliers. For the right finding, I pried it open the same way, connected it to the chain, and also connected it to the clasp. Then, I squeezed it closed.

Next, you're ready to start adding pearls! Thread your headpin through the pearl (by the way, you'll want pearl beads with two openings so you can thread the pin) :)

Then, pick a hole on the chain where you want your pearl to go. For the first set of pearls, I placed one every three holes. 

Then, holding the pearl, start to bend your headpin over 90 degrees or a little more. 

Once you've done that, it's time for your pliers. Even though the headpins are really pliable, the pliers make this process much easier. I actually used them more to hold still the pearl and chain, and used my fingers to do most of the bending. 
Holding the headpin close to your pearl, bend the pin over the top of the pliers' nose like so:
Now, I made the loop big, so that you could better see the detail in the picture, but you will want to bend it tight around the nose of the pliers so your loop isn't so big.
You can stop there once the headpin meets itself at the base of the pearl, but I chose to give it an extra loop. I feel like it might be a little more secure this way. But I in no way, know if this is true or not. Do what you feel man! :)

Once my headpin met itself at the base of the pearl, I simply bent it around the base 360 degrees. You know, for that extra security.  :)
I did this for all the pearls. Like I said, at first, I added pearls every third hole. I added some to the right, then evened out the left. I found I am equally obsessed with symmetry in making jewelry as I am with plucking my eyebrows. But with my brows, I never feel like they look the same! So frustrating. Anyone else out there want to testify?! Sorry... 
I kept holding it up by the clasp to see how much further I wanted to add pearls. Once they went as far up the sides as I wanted, I started using different size pearls to fill in the blank spaces. Again, I held it up a lot in between until I felt like I had a finished product.  

Now, all I had to do was trim the headpin excess. See the extra long wires in the picture above? It does look kind of cool in my opinion, but I can imagine at the right angle, they might give a good poke!

This is where I learned a little lesson. I started out using my Cutco scissors, because they cut almost anything! They did cut the headpins, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't that easy. At one point I cut the entire necklace chain when I was trying to only cut the headpin. So, I had to put the necklace links back together.

That's when I noticed something on my pliers... not the rust, I already knew that was there... look closer
By George, is that what I think it is? There in the middle, near the hinge? Wire cutters? Why yes they are! Yippity skippity! I was so excited! Once I started using these puppies, it was like cutting through butter. I snipped right through all those extra wire ends. 

And there you have it! In just a couple hours you have a beautiful, handmade pearl cluster necklace!
This really is an easy project. I was even able to catch up on some television shows while I did this.

**Now, let me share with you some information that will make this process even easier. Don't buy a super cheap chain like I did. I got my chain from the clearance section at Walmart. I think I paid less than a dollar for a 6 foot chain. I used this same chain for some other projects I did, and it held up just fine.
But the little bit of tugging I did while adding the pearls would cause the chain links to come apart slightly causing the necklace to come apart. This happened to me about 25 times. It was an easy fix as I just used my hand dandy pliers to pinch them back together, but it was annoying nonetheless. Next time, I will purchase a little bit more sturdy chain, as I suggest you do too.

I have a bunch of materials left, and an old chain bracelet I don't wear anymore. I think I'll make a bracelet this time!
Have fun making your own pearl cluster necklace! You will be so pleased. Share with me when you do!
I'll be partying here, here & here this week!



  1. Love the look, and sooo easy thanks to your pictures!! So glad I found this via Make It Wear it Thursday

  2. oooo! I love it! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  3. I have got to try this! You did a great job-beautiful!

  4. That is so elegant. Hope you don't mind if I pin it to make later:)

  5. This is a really beautiful piece! You did a really fabulous job! Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!

  6. Thank you all for your kind words! Happy to share with you!

  7. Awesome! You so inspire me! I just might have to try this myself soon! Love it!

  8. What a beautiful piece! Great job. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  9. This turned out beautiful! I LOVE it! I need to try making jewelry one of these days! I would love it if you would come link this up to my Ta-Da Tuesday Link Party!!
    xoxo, Ashley J

  10. Thanks so much Ashley! I'll be over at mommy by day crafter by night on Tuesday!

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  12. What a beautiful design! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Cool stuff! Wonder if it will be nice to wear a full pearl necklace, not only the front half :>

    call Bangladesh

  14. That is a great necklace!! I love it and I'm pinning it.

  15. What a beautiful necklace! I featured this at So Creative.

  16. This turned out fantastic. I love the simplicity and versatility of this piece. What a great addition to your jewelry collection. This is going on my "to-do list".

    This will be featured at this weekend's link party! Thanks so much for sharing! Come grab a featured button, if you want, and hope to see you at the party again this weekend!

    Krista @ While He Was Napping

  17. Hi! I'm Nicole from Romanian Princess. I saw your blog on a link up and decided I better add you! Please return the favor and follow me back at:!

    XoXo Nicole Mariana

  18. Thank you all so much for your features on your blogs. I've added all of you to my featured page so everyone can check out your awesome blogs!

    Nicole- I'm following you too! Can't wait to get to know you through your blog!

  19. it was great to see you at scrappy saturdays! come back this weekend to link up more great posts! :)

  20. It's gorgeous!! Thanks so much for linking up to Sassy Sites for our FFA party! Have a FABulous Friday!!


  21. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial. You are so talented :)

  22. So pretty. Love pearls...and I love they way the pearls looks with the silver metal. Great job and thanks for the tutorial!

    I would love for you to stop by and link this up to my new diy fashion linky party called DIY Diva Thursdays! We party until Monday, so you have plenty of time to stop by. Hope to see you!


  23. Awesome tutorial! I'm going to try making one for my daughters. Thanks

  24. this is beautiful! I love it!

    Thanks so much for linking up to Tuesday Talent Show! I would love to have you stop by and link up again with more great projects!

  25. I love this idea. It turned out so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I would love for you to share it on my link party at

  26. Thanks so much Karena! I'll definitely see you over at!

  27. Awesomeness. Can't stop looking at it.

  28. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing Pearl necklacerelated this tutorial. You are so talented :)


  29. Pearl cluster necklace is fantastic. Luminous pearls are gathered on this stunning necklace. Glimmering crystals set in imitation rhodium swirl through the pearls; as well as dangle between them. Necklace measures an adjustable 16 inches long and fastens with a lobster claw clasp.

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  31. It is looking gorgeous. Splendid! I will try to make one necklace with black pearls on my own now. Thanks for this inspiring blog.

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