Skip to main content

The Simplest Way to Make Knots Between Beads - the Knot-a-Bead!


Knotting between beads is my technique of choice when I'm stringing up pearls and other gemstones. There are many different tools that you can use to make knots between beads which is great because different techniques appeal to different people! At Beadalon, we've found that people who have been struggling with knotting between beads and pearls trying other techniques love the Knot-a-Bead Tool.

I always say that it takes knotting up at least 4 full necklaces before you really "get it". The first necklace will be loose in lots of places, with a couple of missed and double knots, but you'll get the hang of the technique. The second necklace will be loads better, but you'll still have some loose places, and maybe one or two double or skipped knots. The third necklace will be almost perfect, but you'll probably have one or two loose beads. And when you make the fourth necklace, you've probably got it! Remember, slow and steady gets the best knot.

This week's Facebook Live is a long one, but that's because there is a LOT of information to go over when it comes to Knotting. Here are some of the high points:
  1. Chose the correct size silk that will fit through your beads once and when knotted will not slip back through the holes. Look at the holes of your beads. Usually with pearls, a size 5 or 6 is a good place to start. Check if the beads fit on the silk. Make a knot in one end and test to see if it will hold a bead. Adjust your silk larger or smaller if you need to.
  2. Stretch your silk to take out the kinks.
  3. If you are adding a clasp, you'll need to use the Battery Operated Bead Reamer to enlarge the holes in 6 beads. If you're doing an endless design, ream the holes of 3 beads. 
  4. Tie a knot in the end of your silk about 6 inches from the end.
  5. String on your reamed beads. This is a good time to double check and make sure that your silk will fit back through your reamed beads. If you're adding a clasp, follow the instructions here. Otherwise, string on the rest of your beads and you're ready to go.

When you've mastered the technique, you can play around with the Knot-a-Bead Spacers to make Tin Cup Style Necklaces. The two pack comes with a .5 inch and .75 inch foam and metal spacer. Place the Spacer over your silk next to the bead, then tie the knot using the Knot-a-Bead. Using the Spacers insures that the space between your beads will be the same each time. Pro Tip: you can put both spacers together to make a space of 1.25".

Next week, we're going to focus on finishing techniques. If you want to play along, knot up some designs to get ready to finish off. 

Thanks for watching and happy beading!
Meredith