- Arts and Design
Make a Pearl Illusion Necklace
Beads Seem to Float, Like Magic!
This illusion necklace looks beautiful and requires no knots, glue, or crimps to hold the beads in place. Try it with pearls or accent beads that would be too heavy to use as a full strand. I have shown it as a pearl necklace, with the example done using glass beads. You can make necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. The technique is super-easy, making this a great project for kids or jewelrymaking beginners. The beads seem to float in place on the clear cord.
Illusion Necklace Materials
Clear Beading Cord
e.g., Invisible Bead Cord, 0.010 inches diameter
6, 8, or 10-mm pearls or crystals look great. Feel free to experiment with sizes and shapes.
e.g., clear size 11 or size 15. I used size 11 silverlined crystal. Very small metal beads work well too.
The most challenging part of making this type of illusion jewelry is adding a clasp. I didn't specify a method for doing this (I included videos), because it depends on the type of clear cord you are using. I have had good luck with metal crimp beads and thicker cord (such as clear elastic). For fine line, like the Gudebrod cord used in this example, I prefer (a) melting the ends of the line into a ball with a lighter or match and attaching the clasp with a clamshell bead tip or (b) I tie the end around a seed bead, glue the knot (be careful to use an adhesive that doesn't dissolve or weaken the cord!), and use a normal bead tip.
Find Project Materials Online - Make an Illusion Necklace
One of the great things about this project is it doesn't take very many beads, so you can splurge on nice pearls or gemstones or you can make a necklace if you only have a small number (even one) of a type of bead you love! You can find materials at a bead or craft store or you can purchase them online.
Illusion Necklace - Step 1
You can either leave the cord on its spool or else cut a length somewhat longer than your desired final length (leave enough length to attach a clasp plus a bit more). If you cut the cord from its spool, go ahead and attach the clasp at one end. String a seed bead and let it fall down to the desired location for your last bead (or toward the clasp). Thread the end of the cord back through this seed bead, as if you were stringing a 'stop bead' (as in the photo, only much further down the cord).
Illusion Necklace - Step 2
String a main bead (e.g., a pearl or other larger bead) and another seed bead.
Illusion Necklace - Step 3
Thread the end of the cord through the new seed bead. Use your fingernail to snug the three beads together. To add another station, string a seed bead, run back through it again (a nice spacing is 1/2" or 3/4"). Add a main bead and another seed bead, string through the seed bead, repeat as desired.
The resulting stations are quite secure, but you can adjust their position if you gently loosen the cord around a seed bead. I gauge the initial distance between the stations visually and then neaten things up using a ruler once all of the beads have been strung. It's probably even easier to get the distances exactly right during the stringing process. Enjoy!
One Way to Attach a Clasp
There are a few different ways to attach a clasp to your necklace. One is to tie knots around a seed bead at each end of the necklace or else crush a crimp bead at each end, enclose the knots/crimp in clamshell tips and bend those tips onto the connectors of a clasp.
Video Examples of Making Illusion Necklaces
Do you have any questions about making an illusion necklace or comments about this lens? You've found the place for them!