How to Knot Pearls or Restring Pearls

Photo tutorial - how to knot pearls or restring your own pearl necklaces. You've asked for it and here it is!

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Here are instructions on how to restring pearls. On this page is one method. I've added lots of photos to show you the process.

There is a simpler method you may like to also try. More complex methods involve adding wire or tubing on the thread by the clasp or going back through the last three pearls for added strength.

The best way to learn how is to watch it being done.

If pearl necklaces, or bracelets are worn often so the thread is soiled (which weakens it), if the thread is broken, if the clasp is broken, or if you want to upgrade the clasp,

You have two choices.

Professional services, which will be done well and right and for a price.

Or, you can attempt it yourself.

After all, if it doesn't turn out the way you like, try it again or take it to a jeweler.

Yes, it is possible.

If your strand is valuable it is recommended that you have a professional re-knot it for you. However, after some practice on a cheaper necklace, maybe an artificial pearl necklace, you may want to give it a try on your real pearls.

Your present clasp can be used if you're happy with it. OK Let's get started. First things first.

Wash your hands. That way the white silk or synthetic thread will stay white while you learn how to knot pearls, plus it's easier to work with pearls when hands are squeaky clean.

NEEDED SUPPLIES for Knotting Pearls

how to knot pearls

1. Pearls Loose or necklace needing to be restrung.

2. Clasp Use the original or purchase new one.

3. Beading needle, which is a very fine needle with a large eye which fits through the hole in the pearl. It makes learning how to knot pearls possible, but one lady I know makes her own needle out of beading wire, simply by folding it over and cutting it into a point.

4. Thread This comes in a variety of colors, but the most common is white. Either silk or synthetic thread works well. When using silk thread, I use size E.

5. A match or lighter for burning off the loose ends of the synthetic thread. This isn't needed if using silk thread. (not pictured)

6. Super Glue & Tooth Pick if using silk thread to secure the last knot.

7. Something to keep the pearls in as you learn how to knot pearls or restring them. A non-rolling surface or tray (a large piece of felt or foam works well). You'll want to keep the order of the pearls, especially if they are graduated in size. (not pictured)

Another option with graduated pearls is to thread each one on as you take them off.

8. Scissors or Clippers for cutting apart the necklace and for cutting the new silk thread.

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1. Assemble supplies Knotting a pearl necklace should be finished at one sitting, not left half done. Pearls can easily get misplaced and lost. Having the supplies at hand in the beginning will aid in the process of learning how to knot pearls.

2. Thread needle Threading the needle is a three step process

FIRST: Take about 10 inches of silk thread, cut it off and separate it into finer strands.

how to knot pearls

SECOND: Take one of these thin stands and thread it through the eye of the beading needle, tying a knot so it makes a loop or circle through the needle's eye. This loop will hold the thread that actually is used to restring your pearl necklace or bracelet. Keep this loop on your needle as you will use it over and over again, until, of course, it becomes weak and breaks. It's like enlarging the "eye" of the needle into one big loop.

how to knot pearls

THIRD: Cut off a generous (at least three times the length of your necklace) strand of thread, double it over and put the loose ends through the fine loop you've already made, pulling them through far enough to avoid them easily slipping out. Yes, there will be some waste...but nothing much.

how to knot pearls

how to knot pearls
Your needle is now threaded.

Now for the fun part of how to knot pearls.

3. Cut off one of the clasp ends on the original necklace and loop the thread through it. Simply put the threaded beading needle through the ring on the clasp and then back through the end loop in the thread.

how to knot pearls

Presto, one side of the clasp is attached. I find it helpful to tie a knot close to the clasp. Tying a knot here keeps the loop from slipping up onto the ring incorrectly. (I did not show that in the photos.)

how to knot pearls

You're coming along fine in learning how to knot pearls. Keep up the good work!

4. Remove pearls from necklace by cutting the old thread. This can be done, one at a time, starting at the same end where clasp was removed, in which case, the pearl will be strung immediately on the thread.

Or the pearls can be removed all at once, being careful to lay them in the same order. If they were knotted, you'll need to cut between each one. Be careful not to let them fly away from you.

how to knot pearls

If using new pearls on a string, a few can be removed and strung together saving time.

5. String all pearls on the thread. There should be plenty of extra thread.

how to knot pearls

Starting to put pearls on thread.

how to knot pearls

At this stage, your pearls are literally "restrung", but wait! You're not finished yet.

how to knot pearls

6. At this point the needle should be removed and a double knot tied at the end where the thread has 2 loose ends. This prevents the pearls from slipping off while you tie knots.

how to knot pearls

7. Push the pearls to the end of the thread where you tied a knot. (Not shown)

8. Bring the first pearl close to the clasp and tie a knot close to the first pearl.

how to knot pearls

I find it helpful to hold the loop down on the pearl and tighten.

how to knot pearls

Hold the thread tightly next to the pearl as the knot is pulled shut.

how to knot pearls

how to knot pearls

After tying each knot, separate the threads and pull them tightly apart to move the knot closer to the pearl. I do this after each knot.

how to knot pearls

Finished knot on first pearl.

how to knot pearls

Putting a needle through the knot and using it to guide the knot tightly against the pearls also can help. It's good to start out that way! (Not shown)

how to knot pearls

Bring the next pearl close down and tie a knot.

how to knot pearls

how to knot pearls

Keeping a finger tightly over the knot as it's being pulled helps keep it snug against the pearl.

how to knot pearls

Keep on knotting between each pearl, keeping each new knot as close as possible to the next pearl.

how to knot pearls

This is where practice comes in handy.

how to knot pearls

Eleven pearls are knotted so far. The rest await their turn further on down the thread.

It's not as easy as it seems to keep these knots close to the pearl. After a few tries, or maybe a few necklaces of experimenting, you'll develop a system which works for you. Don't expect your first necklace to have tight fitting knots...only practice brings this.

When I was selling cultured pearls, the girls who made my pearl necklaces taught me how to knot pearls or restring pearls. They got their whole family, brothers, mothers and fathers involved in knotting. It was fun to see families working together and I'm glad they taught me how to knot pearls. They are fast. I don’t ever plan to match their speed.

9. After a nice tight knot is tied between each pearl, cut off the end thread knot and put those ends through the other side of clasp.

how to knot pearls

Pull thread tightly up to knotted pearl strand and tie a good double knot.

how to knot pearls

If using silk thread apply a tiny dot of super glue with a tooth pick being very careful not to get any glue on the pearl or pearl hole. It is extremely difficult to remove super glue from a pearl hole. Cut the thread close to knot after glue is dry.

If using synthetic thread, cut within a 1/4 inch of knot and flick with a small flame to melt the short loose ends.

It's happened to probably all of us when using synthetic thread, to hold the flame just a second too long and POOF, it burns through, undoing the knots on the clasp, ruining your whole job. If so, smile, and repeat process. A sense of humor is a good thing to keep with you when learning to how to knot pearls or restring pearls.

CONGRATULATIONS!....You've just completed your first knotting or restringing.

Click here for a second, simpler method of how to knot pearls.

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Your Pearl Knotting Photos & Questions

Show us your pearl knotting progress! Was it successful? Well, maybe not so good this time? A total failure? Share photos and ask questions here about pearl knotting.

More Pearl Knotting Experiences

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Curious about the clasp ? 
Hi. I have a pearl necklace from my grandma with the exact same clasp pictured. I'm wondeting if it is original to the necklace or if they were restrung …

Special Kaye 
I just finished watching your video on restring a pearl necklace. I am very excited about doing this project. I am a 64 year old grandmother of 12, 2 of …

Gabriella Knots a Mikimoto Pearl Bracelet 
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How to Remove Thread Caught Inside Pearl 
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Joining Thread 
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Restrung Wedding Pearls 
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Miss Ann Strings Pearls & Beads 
I have been stringing pearls and beads for a long time. And each strand is different. Some more difficult than others. I love doing it.

A New Skill: Restringing Pearls 
A couple of months ago, a reader asked if I could restring some pearls for her. She had three strands that I believe belonged to her mother-in-law, …

An Easier Way to Knot Pearls 
Fret Not! I have an easier way to knot pearls. Place a thick sewing needle into a round pin cushion (point side down) Thread on a pearl (I use Japanese …

My First Two Strings of Pearls 
Hi Kari, You are correct. If it is a skill, it takes practice. My first string of pearls was really spacey. By the time I got to the sixtieth of sixty …

Pearl Knotting 101 Class Photos 
We had a great time at our pearl knotting class last Saturday...wish you could all have been there. Lots of laughs, good talks, good knots, bad knots, …

Size of Thread 
Hi, I'm a new at this. I'm trying to restring a 5mm size pearls with a pretty tiny hole. I bought no.4, 0.60 mm Griffin silk cord. I could not pass …

Unique Knotted Pearl Necklace 

Was this necklace strung incorrectly? 
I have a long necklace that I love - it is made of "chocolate" pearls. But, when I wear it - the necklace pinches the hairs on the back of my neck!!!! …

Size of Pearl Knotting Thread 
Hi dear, I read through the instruction you wrote how to restring the pearls. The size of the string is size E, but what I find in the jewellery supply …

Garage Sale Pearls! 
I love hunting for treasures at garage sales and thrift stores, and was delighted to recently find a real pearl necklace for $5 at a garage sale near my …

Pearl Necklace 
First of all, I want to thank Kari for this great website, useful information and everything about pearls. At the beginning of the year I …

Knotted Pearl Necklace 
My grandmother gave me a pearl necklace a few years ago, and i absolutely fell in loooove with it. It was gorgeous and I could wear it with anything. Unfortunately …

The Mall Doesn't Help! 
My sister, Barbara, our adult daughters, Jennifer and Rebecca, and I were visiting one of our local Malls in Louisville, KY several years ago. Barbara …

Knotting Pearls -- Harder than it Sounds 
Pearls are a newly found love for me. I accompanied a friend to a bead shop, and the moment I saw the pearl section, I was lost. Not wanting to subject …

A knotty problem of pearls and needles 
A friend who is a great dresser with a penchant for autumnal colours chose a strand of olive-bronze-avocado freshwater pearls from my stash to have made …

Ovaline Pearl 
When I found these olive green pearls I just about died. I of course the lover of pearls have to have pearls to go with every outfit. These pearls were …

Kitty Pearls and Dental Floss... 
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It's not easy bein' green 
This was my first attempt to string pearls. I didn't want to waste my good silk thread, so I opted to try out the stuff that comes on a card with a needle …

Click here to write your own.

If I Can String Pearls Anyone Can! 
My step-daughter lost a strand of pearls that she had received from her mother so I purchased some loose pearls in order to make a strand for her. I had …

Pearl Knotting -- Pitiful First Attempts 
My first attempts at pearl knotting were daughters made sure I knew that! It took severl tries and lots of practice to perfect the art …

I need a picture lesson.  
This seems so hard. can you send me mor visual instructions? I saw Japanese string pearls, but he put all beads on one string-then somehow looped over …

Thank you very much. Not rated yet
I am learning to make pearl necklace so that I can give my mother. Before making it perfect for her,I wanted to practice and the difficult thing for me …

That was easy! Not rated yet
My pearl strand broke about 10 years ago and having worked in jewelry sales, I knew how costly restringing can be, so I never did it. I want to wear them …

A Good Skill For Pearl Girl Not rated yet
I started learning to restring my own pearls after a jewelry store ruined the luster on my first strand. They said they always "clean" them when they …

Thread stuck in pearl Not rated yet
As I was cutting the thread away from my necklace, some of the thread (i guess the knot) got stuck in the pearl, how do I get it out?

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