Knotting Pearls with out Tools - Tutorial

During the Pearls! Pearls! Pearls! II Blog Hop back in June of this year, I posted a video that the folks over at Pearl Paradise shared which demonstrated the method of how to knot pearls with out any tools. 

I mentioned in another blog post that I use this method quite frequently and do it basically the same way they demonstrate in the video, only I seem to do it 'backwards' to the method in the video,...possibly because I'm ambidextrous.

 I've had several people ask me for a video of how I actually do this knotting technique and so here it is.   

I was working with a necklace using some of the waxed jewelry cord from Sandra over at The Knotty Do-It-All (LOVE her waxed jewelry cord - you should check out all the colors she offers!!) and decided, since it was a rather thick cord and I was using large hole pearls, it would be the perfect opportunity to show you how I do this method of knotting.

In the video I keep saying it's waxed linen cord - it's not linen, it's a synthetic waxed jewelry cord. Sorry I misspoke there. You cannot 'melt' the ends of waxed linen, but with this waxed jewelry cord, you can and I prefer to do that over using glue to secure knots for clasps, etc. 

The waxed jewelry cord tends to stay in place while I'm showing you what to do here in the video and it's also thick enough for you to actually see the knots on the screen, which is very helpful.

Now, if you've followed me for any length of time, you all know I'm super techno-challenged (that's my disclaimer - LOL!!), so keep this it mind as you watch, okay?

For some reason, it's a bit 'fast' in that is seems to be speeding up my voice and all - so I kinda sound a bit like one of the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz,...sorry. 

And although the camera was on a tripod, it appears as if it's 'moving (almost like there's a GoPro on my head or something), but I think you'll get the idea. 

MiShel Designs - Pearl Knotting with out Tools Video Tutorial

Feel free to ask any questions you might have or leave any comments here or over on the You Tube page!

Thanks for watching!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Pearl Knotting Fun!


  1. that was a great tutorial! and very clear to understand how you are doing the technique - thanks for posting!

    1. You're welcome Cynthia, thanks for the feedback!

  2. I agree - this is a GREAT tutorial. There is something so timeless about knotted pearls!

    PS: Love the the new wedding ring! :)

    1. Thank you Patti! Yes, pearls knotted on anything just make my heart go a flutter! (and thanks for the compliments on my new ring - I'm so in love with it!!) :-)

  3. Yes, your tutorial is clear as a bell and I'm excited to try out this technique. Would work so much better than the one I'm using.
    And agree with Patti...just getting a glimpse or two of that fabulous ring!

  4. I enjoyed your tutorial and will have to try your method which is a little different than what I have tried before. Also like the look using the waxed if I can only find some pearls with larger holes to accomodate the cord!

    1. I emailed you Lisa - I got the pearls in this video from Evergreen Trading co. down in Tucson at one of the gem shows, but Sandra over at the Knotty Do It All has some she sells and I thought a few of my other strands had come from either or Fusion, but I can't find any on their websites. Try, AylasOriginals, Lucky Gems ( or Majestic ( - Both Lucky and Majestic require a wholesale license. And, there's tons of people selling large hole pearls on Etsy. Just make sure you can see the hole they are drilling because sometimes people don't drill them correctly and they chip away tons of the nacre and the pearls are all 'chipped and beat up'. The nice ones will have cleanly drilled holes with little to no nacre damage on the pearl. Feel fee to message me if you need any help or have other questions. :-)

  5. HI, Shel...Any 'formula' you use for estimating how much cord to use on a piece?? I'm always a bit nervous about running out before I finish knotting a necklace. Appreciate the help.

    1. Oh, I'm awful Lynda because I 'eye-ball' it! LOL!! Kind of like when I cook,....LOL!! But, on a serious note, depending on the length I want I generally use approx. 2.5 to 3x's what I want the end length to be. I do this because many times I'm not sure what type of a clasp I'm going to use or I start in the middle, with a pendant or something, and then work up each side of the necklace and I don't like to run out of cord. But, say I was making an 18 inch knotted necklace with each pearl knotted next to each other, not 'tin-cup' style where there's room in between the knots, I would use approximately 45 or so inches. If I'm doing a 'tin-cup' style, with space in between the knots, depending on the space, I add up the 'stations' or beads I'm doing x's that by the length of space I want my beads to have in between and then add the extra cord for the length. (depending on how large my beads/pearls are and how long I want the finished necklace, sometimes I add more, preferring to have enough vs. not enough) Email me if you have any questions, and I'll help you as best I can! :-)

    2. Thanks for this help! Two more quick (I hope) questions about knotting, please?
      In your example of the 18 inch length necklace, when you suggest 45 inches or so, you are still using the double strand of cord, right? So the final cord length is about 23 inches? Does my question make sense?

      Also, please share any tips on how you finish the nylon cord ends at the final knots...Zapper or match? How long a tail do you leave before you hit with heat? I've been experimenting and not too happy with my approach. Thought about still using knot covers?


    3. Hi there Lynda,
      When I double my cord, that’s when it’s about 45 inches or so,….so I guess I misspoke and it should be approx. 90 inches in total length – and then I fold it in half. So, I’d say that for approximately a 17 to 19 inch necklace, I probably start out w/about 4ft of cord- either 4ft of a single strand or approximately 4ft once it’s been doubled, give or take a few inches. Now, I always have quite a bit left over mind you, but I used to cut things way too short and so I just learned to cut more than I truly need and then I have fun trying to figure out ways to use those little 8 to 12 inches left-over pieces from different projects.

      As for finishing my nylon cord, I do prefer to zap it with my thread zapper. I watched some YouTube videos that Sandra over at The Knotty Do It All had posted and watched her ‘zap’ her knots and just kind of do it the way she does it. My tail is usually pretty short before I zap – I’d say 5mm to 6mm maybe.

      Knot covers sound like a great idea. My thread zapped hasn’t been working good for the last couple of weeks. I think it needs a new ‘prong’ end – or whatever you call that heated up end part – and so I had to glue a couple of knots on some pieces recently and then I used some rather large crimp covers over them and it looked fairly nice and added a rather ‘finished’ look to the pieces, so that’s always an option, too.
      I've seen Sandra use a lighter - and boy is she quick and accurate w/it, too. All I have here at the house are matches and those long lighter-things used to light my grill, and I don't trust myself to use either of those without burning myself or starting a fire at my desk! LOL!!
      I guess I should try to do up a video of how I start and finish a couple of my pieces? Maybe that would help people out.

  6. Thanks so much! Your shared experience with this is helpful.


Thanks for sharing what you have to say - I love hearing your comments!