Picture of Pearl Necklace Makeover With Tatting
Got a string of pearls you've never worn. Here's a simple way to make them over using basic needle tatting techniques.

You'll need a string of pearls, any size will work, I used 6.5mm-7mm cultured pink pearls.
small beading needle
cotton crochet thread size 20 (or 10 is you have larger pearls)
tatting needle size 7 (or 5 if you're going with big pearls and size 10 thread)

Basic needle tatting knowledge is needed and can be acquired in my learn needle tatting instructable.

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Step 1: Dismantle Pearl Necklace

Picture of Dismantle Pearl Necklace
First step is to rip apart that necklace...carefully of course. Once those pearls are separated, you will need to load them onto your thread. You will want a small beading needle since pearls tend to have small holes.

String them all on even though you may not want to use them all, there is no cutting and tying until the end of the necklace.

Step 2: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started
You will want to pull out well over the amount of thread you need onto the needle side. My finished necklace was around 44" so I pulled out around 60" at that point start with a small ring of 6 double stitches(ds) close and tie.

Step 3: The First Pearl

Picture of The First Pearl
Pull the first pearl down to the ring. Carefully tie the needle thread around the core thread keeping that thread straight.

Place the needle on the pearl and start the first chain. I chose to do 15 ds between each pearl, but you can chose to do more or less to create the look you'd like. Close and tie.

Step 4: More Pearls

Picture of More Pearls
Continue in this manner until you've reached the length you'd like. You will notice that the chains will curve and turn. Personally, I like the randomness of curves, the tighter you pull the chains the more curved they will be.
brivera71 year ago
I'm going to do this! I have one of those pearl necklaces just wasting away in my jewelry box I got from my aunt along long time ago. I'm sure she would have loved to see it worn more, but now it will;) Thank You! your so creative and I love that you share tatting is so fun.
lisadray3 years ago
I am new,have made now flowers and rings to make earrings with,but have got all this down except and don't laugh,the second bead,I just can't get it on and the link to look like this???
NJInjun4 years ago
Hi Pamela.
Thank you for this great re-use idea! Can you explain what you mean in the first sentence when you say tie the "needle thread around the core thread" Do you mean using the "tail" & putting it through the bead with the bead needle?
Thanks again, you truly are amazing & an inspiration!
i like the pearls, they look cute! loveeee you hair btw!
That is fantastic, i have been hoping to give my girlfriend a pearl necklace for several weeks now, not knowing how to go about it, i think this is the best option yet.

canida5 years ago
That looks awesome!  What a great way to turn an old pearl necklace into something more interesting.

Unfortunately the tatted detail blends in with the black shirt in your intro picture.
TotusMel (author)  canida5 years ago
...but that makes them look like they're *floating* I can get a better picture to show them off.
judith_ou5 years ago
KnexFreek5 years ago
 5 stars
ChrysN5 years ago
Pretty, a great way of turning a boring ole string of pearls into something unique!
Doctor What5 years ago
 That is a lovely necklace!  I love the strange design!