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Crafty jewelry: Pearl cluster necklace tutorial

Beading and knotting, Jewelry making  |  September 14th 2011  |  0 Comment

Jewelry making

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.
Source: justdownthehall.blogspot.com