One Hour, One Chance: Creating a 1950s Pearl Necklace (What Went Wrong!) - Affordable Jewellery Supplies

One Hour, One Chance: Creating a 1950s Pearl Necklace (What Went Wrong

You’ve got 1 hour left before you need to leave for a cocktail party and you don’t have a necklace that goes with your dress. What are you going to do?

Of course you are going to make one.

This actually happened to me recently. My friend found a book about how to be a 1950s housewife and so we decided it would be fun to have a 1950s style cocktail party. I had a dress and I thought I had the jewellery covered too but the necklace I was intending to wear just didn’t cut it when it came the vibe I was looking for. So I quickly sat down and made one – except – DISASTER STRUCK!

I’m also going to explain why you should always attach a clasp with a jump ring – or two!

The Design

Of course I thought of pearls. They scream 1950s housewife to me, but, I don’t really look like a 1950s housewife so I needed to edge it up a bit.  I settled on a pearl choker with a focal. I decided to use a lampwork glass heart as my focal. For the party, I actually made this necklace with a red heart which you can see here.

In the video, I decided to use a blue heart and I actually like it better than the red (wish I’d thought of that on the day!).





Watch the video or follow the instructions below.

Make the Focal

Take a ball pin and thread on one of the 3mm metal balls, then the heart and other 3mm metal ball.

Bend the wire to a right angle and make a loop in the top of the wire. If you don’t know how to make a loop, I suggest you watch this video about how to make the perfect loop

Measure Your Neck

Put the tape measure around your neck where you want the choker to sit.  Take the reading. This will determine how many pearls you need.

String the First Strand

I used 7mm glass pearls but you could easily use another size. I liked that they weren’t 6mm because that would have been too classic.  I could even have gone bigger but I wanted the heart to stand out and I don’t think it would have if I had used a larger pearl.

Cut the tiger tail in half.  Place a bead stopper on one end. Thread on 22 pearls (adjust the number if your need the necklace to be larger or smaller).

Thread on the loop of the focal heart component.

String on another 22 pearls.

Place a bead stopper on the other end.

Measure the strand to ensure it’s the right length. Remember that your clasp will take up some space and also the jump rings.

You also need to give yourself a little bit of room to move – more on that later.

String the Second Strand

The second strand is just pearls. You will need to thread on 44 of the pearls in the same manner as you did for the first strand.

Prepare the Clasp

Open a 4mm jump ring and thread it through one of the holes of the clasp coming in from the underside (this makes it easier). Close the jump ring.

Open another 4mm jump ring and thread it through the jump ring you just put on. Close the jump ring.

Repeat for all four of the holes.

Cut the French Wire

In this project I used French wire instead of a wire guardian. I felt it gave it a much nicer finish and was in keeping with the pearls and the clasp.

Cut 8 pieces of French wire about 1cm long.

Attach the Clasp

I used my Magical Crimp Tubes and Magical Crimping Pliers to crimp this necklace. If you don’t have one of these tools, you can use another way. Here’s a video showing you 3 ways to crimp

Here’s another video all about how to hide your crimp beads

Thread on a Magical Crimp Tube, then a piece of French wire. Thread the tiger tail through one of the 4mm jump rings you just attached. Thread the tiger tail back down through the crimp tube and through a couple of the pearls. Pull everything up so that the French wire covers the tiger tail going through the jump ring. Squeeze the crimp and cut off the short tail of tiger tail.

Repeat for the other end of the necklace, making sure that you don’t get it twisted and go into the jump ring on the same side.

Repeat for the other strand.

Disaster Struck!

What happened on the day I made this necklace was that the clasp broke. The tiny little pin that holds the clasp together came out and I could not get it back in.

Lesson Learned

The lesson I learned here was that you should always attach a clasp with a jump ring. Here’s why:

Lesson One

If I had threaded my tiger tail directly through the clasp without adding the jump rings I would not have been able to fix this. I would have had to start again.

Not good when you’re rushing out the door to a party!

Because I had used the jump rings, I could just whip off the clasp by undoing the jump rings, and attach a new one.

Lesson Two

The first time I made this necklace, I only used one jump ring on each side of the clasp. That would have been fine except that the choker was a little tight.  I added the second jump ring giving me about 8mm extra length which was just enough to make the difference.

 If I had not used the jump rings I would have had to start from scratch and restring the necklace. I’m so pleased that I did.

Always, always attach a clasp with a jump ring!

Jewellery I’m Wearing 

I’m wearing two focal necklaces here.

The shorter necklace is the Purple Indian Glass Bead Necklace I made when demonstrating how to fix loops.

The longer of the two is the Focal Necklace.

The earrings I’m wearing in this tutorial compliment the shorter necklace.

If you make this necklace, please let me know by sharing it on your social media and tagging me.



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