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Pretty big pearls necklace and earrings

Wear three or four shades of these shell pearls around your neck - or strung from your ear lobes - tonight!
Pretty big pearls_full earrings
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If pearls this large had been formed inside an oyster, they would cost you a fortune! Thankfully, these beauties are shell pearls, which are manufactured from the shells of oysters and mollusks for consistent shape, a wide range of sizes, and one reasonable price tag.

SUPPLIES

necklace 18–20 in. (46–51 cm)

  • 9 15–16 mm shell pearls
  • 3–4 3–8 mm metal beads and spacers
  • 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm) 20- or 22-gauge half-hard wire
  • 10–12 in. (25–30 cm) chain, 5–7 mm links
  • 1 1/2-in. (3.8 cm) head pin
  • 2 4–6 mm jump rings
  • lobster claw clasp
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

earrings

  • 2 15–16 mm shell pearls
  • 2 3–4 mm spacers
  • 2 1 1/2-in. (3.8 cm) head pins
  • pair of hoop earring findings
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Shell pearls from Rings & Things, rings-things.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS

Necklace

Pretty big pearls_necklace 1
1. Cut a 1 1/2-in. (3.8 cm) piece of wire and make a plain loop. String a shell pearl and make a plain loop perpendicular to the first. Make nine pearl units.
Pretty big pearls_necklace 2
2. Open a loop of a pearl unit and attach another unit. Close the loop. Attach all the pearl units.
Pretty big pearls_necklace 3
3. Cut two 5–6-in. (13–15 cm) pieces of chain. Attach one end of each chain to an end pearl unit.
Pretty big pearls_necklace 4
4. On a head pin, string three or four 3–8 mm metal beads and spacers. Make a wrapped loop.
Pretty big pearls_necklace 5
5. Open a jump ring and attach a lobster claw clasp to one end of a chain. Close the jump ring. Use another jump ring to attach the dangle from step 4 to the other chain.
Pretty big pearls strand

PEARLS OF WISDOM

  • If you use 20-gauge wire to make the pearl units, completely straighten the wire with nylon-jaw pliers before stringing the pearl, otherwise the wire won’t fit through the hole.
  • If you have 3–8 mm pearls in the same shades as the shell pearls, use them instead of metal beads to make the chain dangle.

Earrings

Pretty big pearls_earrings 1
1. On a head pin, string a spacer and a pearl. Make a wrapped loop.
Pretty big pearls_earrings 2
2. String the dangle on an earring hoop. With chainnose pliers, make a right-angle bend 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) from one end of the hoop. Make a second earring.
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