How To Make A Freshwater Pearl Necklace By Doing Less

A freshwater pearl necklace is a beautiful statement piece of jewelry that will match everything in your closet.

They are also an elegant accessory that can be made easily by yourself.

Whether you want a freshwater pearl necklace strand, pendant, or single pearl necklace, there are tons of stylish designs to utilize when making your necklace.

Regardless of design, here are 4 key steps to DIY a freshwater pearl necklace.

1.Source Your Pearls

The first and most important part of making a freshwater pearl necklace -- sourcing your freshwater pearls. There are a few things to consider when choosing the freshwater pearl you want to feature in your necklace. The type, color, size, luster, shape, and treatment of your pearl will all affect how the pearl looks and feels. Determine your price point and visual inspiration to decide what kind of pearl you want to feature in your freshwater pearl necklace. 

2.Pick Your Strand

Because pearls come in many shapes and sizes, you’ll need to choose your pearl line accordingly. It will need to be thick enough for your pearls -- regardless of size.

Silk is the traditional choice for a freshwater pearl necklace and it comes in sizes ranging from thin (#0) to thick (#16).

The average size pearls fit a size #4. Smaller pearls, you’ll want to use a #2 thickness and large pearls should fit well with size #6. If you go with a silk strand, know that over time this can weaken.

To protect against this, rub a small amount of beeswax along the entire length of silk thread. Stretch the strand out once more after applying the beeswax to ensure it is pre-stretched correctly.

If you aren’t interested in making a classic strand of pearl necklaces, there are plenty of other fashionable pearl necklace designs to make.

Try adding a single freshwater pearl to a leather cord or adding a freshwater pearl to an already made chain. You can also incorporate the pearl into small pendants that will provide you with a fashionable freshwater pearl necklace.

3.Measure Your Strand

If you do go with a silk line, remember that it stretches and you’ll want to pull the thread taut to pre-stretch it once it is cut from the spool. This will ensure it stays the desired length that you cut it at.

  • Collar Length - 12-13 inches. This will lay across the middle of the neck without much loose line.
  • Choker Length - 14-16 inches. This classic style fits around the necklace comfortably.
  • Princess Length - 17-19 inches. This is one of the most common lengths for a freshwater pearl necklace and is suited well with plunging necklines.
  • Opera Length - 26-26 inches. This necklace will hang to your sternum in a hanging length of pearls.

For any knotted styles, a 5-foot length of silk thread can be used to create a 16-20 inch knotted strand.

4.Add a Fastener 

Regardless of what style of freshwater pearl necklace you want, you will need to figure out how to fasten the ends of the necklace together.

Add a jump ring to the end of your strand to connect your line to the clasp. You can add a lobster claw clasp, a toggle, an “S” hook, a spring-ring, or a barrel clasp according to your preference for the pearl necklace. 


Hopefully, this provided you with 4 key beginning steps to making your own freshwater pearl necklace.

This process will ensure you have a beautiful necklace to treasure for years to come!

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