DIY Floating Pearl Illusion Necklace

Monday, July 1, 2013

It’s wedding season and if you’d like to make ‘something new’ for the bride or her bridesmaids, this classic floating pearl illusion  necklace is surprisingly easy!  We used a strand of lovely freshwater pearls that my husband purchased for me several years ago at the Tucson Gem Show.  By turning them into a floating pearl necklace, we were able to create three necklaces and earring sets, one for me, one for my daughter and one for a gift.  The key here is to use pearls with consistent size, though if you choose baroque style pearls it's also lovely, just different.  This method is so much easier than knotting or using crimp beads and the pearls really appear to float across the neck. It's a wonderful way to update your grandmother’s or mother’s pearls into jewelry the daughters and granddaughters can all treasure.  Layer them up for an even more glamorous appeal! 

You will need:
15 ½” 19-strand silver plated beading wire.
13 10mm round cream pearls
2 EZ-Crimps
EZ-Lobster clasp (or clasp connected with jump ring)
Small heart charm stamped with initial (optional)
2” chain
Permanent marker
Flush cutter
2 pairs chain nose pliers
Bead board
Measuring tape (optional)
Step One: Cut beading wire to 15.5".  The finished necklace is 16” with clasp and includes a 2” extension chain so it is adjustable to 18”. You can do one of two things here, either mark the center of the wire with a marker and use the bead board to make marks on the wire at one inch intervals.  This helps keep the pearls evenly spaced on the design.  (The space between the final pearl and clasp is 1.5".)  Alternately, you can use the tape measure method mentioned in Step Three.
Step Two: Put a small drop of glue on the wire starting at the center mark. 
 I used a metal tape measure as a well to help hold the pearls in place and provide an easy method for maintaining the measurements.  (The glue can be placed about 1/8” away from the targeted mark so it can move into the pearl as you slide it over.)  Slide pearl onto wire allow it to capture the glue as it moves.  Slowly twisting the pearl as you slide over the glue helps to bring the glue into the bead.  Carefully wipe off any excess glue.  Continue to add a pearl at 1 inch intervals.  After finishing one side, repeat the process on the opposite side.  When you finish, take a moment to look at the spacing and make any slight adjustments before the glue sets.
 Allow the glue to set before handling.  While glue is setting, attaching the metal ends using chain nose pliers to secure them on the wire.
Attach the clasp to one end using chain nose pliers.
Attach the extension chain to the opposite end with pliers.  I included a small metal charm stamped with the initial of the wearer, this is a lovely way to customize this design for your bridesmaids or if it’s for a bride, you can add two charms and include the initial of the groom.  If you’d like some easy metal stamping tips, you can get them here.
 That's it!  I suggest you practice a little with some inexpensive faux pearls and once you have the technique down pat (which shouldn't take too long, trust me) you'll be ready to rock and roll.  Aleene's adhesive works on wire and also on clear monofilament and fiber, each of these will produce a slightly different finished look.  
What do you think, has this become a timeless classic?  Would you make and wear a DIY Floating Pearl Illusion Necklace?  We'd love to see it if you do!  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and visit me at DIY Doyenne for more fashion and style!