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How to Make a Custom Color Pearl Necklace

By: Sandy Huntress for AllFreeJewelryMaking
How to Make a Custom Color Pearl Necklace
This image courtesy of AllFreeJewelryMaking.com

Bored with plain white pearls? Learn how to make necklaces in every color of the rainbow with this amazing tutorial! We'll show you How to Make a Custom Color Pearl Necklace using Rit Dye in the shade of your choice. You'll never have trouble finding that perfect accessory to match your outfit again. Spice up the classic pearl necklace design with a little pop of color!

Project TypeLearn a Technique

Bead TypePearl

Time to CompleteWeekend project

Bead Project TypeNecklace

Intermediate

 

Materials:

For dying pearls:

  • 21 pearls
  • Rit Dye in color of your choice
  • warm water (not boiling)
  • small glass container
  • small whisk
  • paper towels
  • sieve

For necklace:

  • 21 dyed pearls
  • 22 eye pins
  • focal bead
  • one decorative head pin
  • 23 5mm jump rings
  • two 4-inch pieces chain
  • necklace clasp
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

 

Instructions:

To dye pearls:

  1. Add 2-3 teaspoons of powdered dye to small glass container. Whisk in 1 tablespoon warm water. 
     
  2. Add a small piece of paper towel to bottom of container; then add pearls on top of toweling. Add more warm water to cover pearls.
     
  3. Allow pearls to sit in solution for 10 minutes; then drain into a metal sieve. Rinse and allow to dry on toweling.

To make necklace:

  1. Slide a pearl onto an eye pin. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits pearl. Bend wire at 90-degree angle.
     
  2. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop. Reposition pliers to finish loop.  
     
  3. Use wire cutters to trim wire where it crosses beginning of loop.  
     
  4. Repeat to make 20 pearls links.
     
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 to add focal bead to an eye pin and to make one pearl dangle with decorative head pin.
     
  6. Connect all 20 pearl links with jump rings. Attach a 4-inch piece of chain to each end of chain of pearls. Add a jump ring to one remaining end of chain and a clasp with a jump ring to other end of chain.
     
  7. Attach pearl dangle to focal bead with jump ring.
     
  8. Use a jump ring to attach focal bead to center jump ring of necklace.

    How to Make a Custom Color Pearl Necklace

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This is a great idea and very easy to do. I have done it with other beads, mainly acrylics and yes it will come off if you scratch it. If you put a coating on the beads like finger nail top coat or a varnish it would last a lot longer!

I love the idea of dying your own pearls to get the color that you want and this is a great video that explains how to do this very well and it has this cute dainty necklace to make using your dyed pearls and a focal bead. This would be a great way to make a matching necklace for a wedding for the bridesmaid and even make some earring and bracelet to match or even to match your own outfit. It says to use any pearls even the cheap plastic ones but I would also like to know if they will peel off and if there is something to put on them to make sure they don't? Looking forward to this one.

What type of pearl would you start with? I've had some that are "white" or pearl colored but then it flakes off. I'm guessing those wouldn't work. So, what would I need to look for? Do pearls come with different finishes? I'd love to try this. Has anyone used the powdered vs. premixed dye?

Will the dye stay on or will it come off? I love the concept of this idea but I want to make sure the dye isn't going to come off

I should have watched before I asked anything but you mention pre-mixed RIT dye but then go on to show the powered dye; how much of the pre-mixed dye would be used to do this instead of the powered?

Can you do the dyeing with frshwater pearls? Looks like a beutiful necklacce!

wow! what other material will the dye work on?

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