How do I Use Loose Pearls?

Sheri Cyprus

Loose pearls can be crafted into beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. You can use the pearls alone or combine them with crystals. Rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches are all possibilities for using loose pearls depending on whether your gemstones are drilled or un-drilled.

Loose pearls have many uses, including jewelry-making.
Loose pearls have many uses, including jewelry-making.

Without holes drilled for beading, the use of loose pearls is more limited, but they are ideal for making clusters. Jeweler's glue can be used to adhere the pearls to each other to form beautiful cluster jewelry. Using this method, you could form pendants for necklaces or charm bracelets. A jewelry finding hanger must be glued onto the top of each cluster. The pearl clusters could be left as is or glued together along with smaller crystals to add sparkle.

Gold wire is recommended for piece made with gemstones.
Gold wire is recommended for piece made with gemstones.

Cluster-style earrings and brooches could also be made from loose pearls. The jewelry findings you use for these items should be strong enough and of good quality to hold the weight of the clustered pearls. Whether you add smaller crystals or not, you still don't have to use all the same size of pearl. Letting your imagination guide you to create a one-of-a-kind pearl cluster designs you love can be the key to a successful project.

For drilled pearls, you can use these like beads. Whether you choose to string them to make classic stranded necklaces or something more creative, there are many different possibilities when the loose pearls are hollow in the center. Other than necklaces, you could also make drop earrings and bracelets. Even a simple stretch bracelet made by alternating pearls and crystals can be stunning. Drop earrings can be made with pearls using a long jewelry finding called a head pin as well as an earring fitting.

If you have some colored pearls as well as neutral ones, mixing these in uniform designs may work well. If you'd like something more unique, consider using a quality wire with drilled loose pearls to create structured shapes that showcase the colored gems. For example, Tahitian pearls are often uniquely colored; surrounding these with white or black pearls in an original design you create can be stunning. It's a good idea to use gold wire and jewelry findings when creating pieces from gemstones. Depending on the colors of the pearls you use in your crafted jewelry pieces, you may decide on either white or yellow gold findings and wire.

Loose pearls with drilled holes are ideal for making necklaces and bracelets.
Loose pearls with drilled holes are ideal for making necklaces and bracelets.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- If you have drilled pearls, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make them into a bracelet or necklace. Even if you try one of those projects and it doesn't work, what is the chance of really doing any damage to your pearls?

I do agree with you when it comes to putting pearls into settings. Get someone qualified to handle a project like that. The risk of ruining your pearls is too great.


Pearls are quite expensive. Shouldn't you get a jeweler with experience in making custom pieces involved in mounting those pearls or making a necklace? Unless you know what you are doing, you could damage those pearls and that would be a real shame.

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