How do you knot pearls & other beads? - Spoilt Rotten Beads

How do you knot pearls & other beads?

How do you knot pearls?

Pearl knotting can be one of the most therapeutic beading techniques but there are other reasons for knotting your pearls:

·         Security – if your strand breaks then  you’ll only drop one pearl as opposed to the whole strand

·         A knotted strand of pearls is very flexible and drapes beautifully

·         Protection – knotted pearls cannot rub against or damage their neighbours


Griffin Silk Thread*, Freshwater Pearls, 3mm Silver Beads, French Wire, Clasp, Knotting Tweezers, GS Hypo Cement

*FAQ: What size Griffin silk thread do I need?


If you’re using freshwater pearls from Spoilt Rotten Beads then either the size 3 or 4 Griffin silk will be fine since we know what size holes all our pearls have (approx 0.65mm), however if you’re using pearls from somewhere else then you’ll need to find out what hole size they’ve got…generally you want the silk to be just a little bit smaller than your hole size (size 3 Griffin is 0.5mm). If your silk is too small then the knots will slip through the beads and if it’s too large then you won’t get it through the pearls…

Please read all of the instructions below prior to starting the project – we recommend you work in an area with good lighting and use a bead mat to prevent your beads from escaping!


1.     Begin by cutting two 1cm lengths of French Wire

2.     Select four pearls that you can thread the silk through twice (don’t get them mixed up with the rest of your beads!)

3.     Take all of the silk off the card that it comes on (you will have 2 meters which is enough for two average length necklaces)

4.     Tie a knot near the end of the thread

5.     Thread on two of your set aside pearls, two silver beads followed by a piece of French Wire and then half of the clasp (please note that the diagrams do not show the two silver beads but these sit between the clasp and the pearls).

6.     Next thread the silk back through the silver beads and the first pearl – pull tight and your French Wire will now loop and protect the silk from rubbing against the clasp

7.     Using your needle end of the thread tie a knot around the thread the pearls are strung on



8.     Thread through the second pearl and tie a knot as you did with the first, seal this knot with a small amount of GS Hypo Cement

9.     You are now ready to string several pearls for knotting so take approx 5 pearls and thread them onto your silk thread

10.   Side a pearl down to your last knot and make an overhand knot, use your tweezers to secure the knot tight up to your pearl by placing the tweezers through the loop and lightly holding them flush with your pearl as you pull the knot

11.   This is the tricky bit…When the knot is as close to the pearl as you can get it remove the tip of your tweezers from the knot and place them on the silk outside of the knot. Do not close the tweezers completely, simply use them to block the knot and then pull the thread end away so that the knot is pulled up towards the pearl by the tweezers – don’t move the tweezers, move the thread instead. Your knot should now be nice and snug up against the last pearl – nice tight knots come with practise so don’t lose heart if your first attempt isn’t perfect!

12.   Continue to slide a pearl down to your last knot, make a knot, slide a pearl down, make an knot and so on and so on until you have the length that you need less the other half of the clasp and the last two pearls

13.   When you are ready to finish thread on the remaining two set aside pearls, a piece of French Wire and the other half of the clasp

14.   To finish you are doing the same as when you started the piece – thread back through the end bead, tie a knot, thread back through the next bead and tie a knot, secure with GS Hypo Cement and cut off the silk.


Copyright – these instructions & illustrations are the property of Spoilt Rotten Beads & are subject to copyright, they cannot be copied or distributed without the permission of Spoilt Rotten Beads

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