Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick Gift Tutorial: Beribboned Estate Sale Pearls

Classy, no?
Marie Antoinette, Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy... 
All the best dressed trend setting ladies know
a woman's wardrobe isn't complete without a sweet string of pearls.

Me? I collect them from thrift stores and estate sales.
 Marie Antoinette wore the real thing, but Coco knew a fake can be just as glamorous. 
So many of the good vintage strings have extra nice luster, or a gorgeous patina
So, I pick them up, but they are coming unstrung, they have no clasps, they have been abandoned.
They are often not quite as long as they need to be.

But they can quickly be revived and they will make a
breathtaking, inexpensive and really, quite quick handmade gift. 

You will need: 
  • Pearls removed from old and fragile string (at least 8 inches worth)
  • 2 pieces of ribbon at least one foot long
  • a beading needle
  • thick buttonhole thread
  • regular thread, same color 
Step 1: Thread needle with buttonhole thread, doubled. 

Tie a knot in the end and draw through one of the the ribbon 
(I used silk seam binding for my ribbon)
about 1 inch from the end, centered widthwise.

Draw tight against the back of the ribbon.

Step 2:
Load up the needle with pearls.

Step 3: 
Pull all the way through so the pearls rest snuggly against the ribbon.

Repeat until all the pearls are strung.
(you may want to set aside 2 pearls for the earring tutorial I'll post soon!)

Step 4: 
Stitch on the second ribbon similarly to the first. Centered widthwise,
about one ribbon width from the from the end. 
(The slant I cut here actually made it hard to finish the last step on this end.)

This part is actually the trickiest part.
After you pull the thread through the ribbon so that the ribbon is snug against the last pearl, 
make a tiny stitch to start to create your knot.

Now push your needle through the stitch and then slowly pull the thread to really secure the ribbon against the pearl. I held the ribbon and needle in one hand and pulled the thread through the knot with the other. If you aren't careful you will have unattractive thread slack. 
Tie off firmly and trim extra thread.

Step 5:
Thread needle with the regular thread  in the same color as your ribbon.
 Fold the ribbon over the knot by taking the close end and folding it at a 45 degree angle across the knot first down toward you and the up toward the top to create a point over the knot. 

Stitch it in place,  and all along the open side of the fold. 
Trim any ribbon tail that sticks out of the bottom of the fold on the back side.

And Viola: Simple, Elegant... Utterly giftworthy! 

Stay tuned for the tutorial for a few styles of cute matching earrings
for those stockings that need stuffing!

xxoo, Betty


Julia said...

I just really like your posts. I want to string pearls now! I have a couple of those fragile-threaded strands... looking for them now.

signed, chardgirl

Anonymous said...

The ribbon adds such a fantastic touch!

Anonymous said...

Stunning. Thanks for the tutorial.I think I like the velvet with the pearls rather then the pearls alone,really feminine,classy, a much more updated look.

wende said...

So gorgeous. I totally got hooked knotting pearls/beads this summer. It's addictive. So, the ribbon close is a great idea to add. :D Happy Holidays to you, darlin'!

jo said...

they look so great! a velvet ribbon would be gorgeous i think... but i don't know why i can't bring myself to wear a string of pearl round my neck, i just feel wayyy to dressed up for going out.

Sara said...

So lovely! Simple! Elegant!

Vivi said...

it's really pretty =)

Lorene said...

BB - I'm supposed to be decorating the xmas tree, cleaning house and wrapping presents...but I think I might just bag all that to string the broken strand of pearls I found in my mother's belongings when she died last year. Like so many relationships, this one was complex. What a lovely way to restring a broken so many ways. Thank for this Christmas miracle.

DaCraftyLady said...

ohhh that is excellent thanks for sharing, I love the velvet may just make these.. :)

k.somerville said...

wow - I totally dig those pearls with the ribbon. thank you!

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