Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

December 21, 2015

How to Re-String (or Make) a Necklace

A few summers ago, I found this coral necklace at a yard sale for a buck!  I loved the length, but hated that the coral was strung on a ratty cord that ended in a knot.

How to Re-String a Necklace
Coral Beads

It didn't look polished and even though I gave it a good wash, I totally grossed myself out thinking about how much neck sweat was trapped in that cord, so I never wore it.  I finally decided to re-string it and add a clasp.

Here's how to re-string a necklace (it's super easy!):

How to Make a Necklace
Beading Supplies
Crimp Pliers


String a crimp bead onto the coated wire and then add one end of the clasp.  Thread the wire back through the crimp.  Using the small indentation in the crimp pliers, bend the crimp into a "C" shape.  If you don't have crimp pliers, you can buy a small crimp and just squash it flat with needle nosed pliers, but using the crimp pliers creates a tidier, more secure closure.  Occasionally, a squashed crimp would fail, which is why I finally invested in this tool. 

How to Use Crimp Pliers

Using the larger indentation of the crimp pliers, fold the "C" shaped crimp bead onto itself, clamping it tightly.

How to Use Crimp Beads
How to Attach a Clasp to a Necklace

Then, simply string on your beads, burying the end of the bead wire in the necklace.

Bead Stringing Tutorial

When you get to the end, thread on a crimp bead and the other half of the clasp.  Pull the coated wire through a few beads and pull tightly.  Trim the end of the wire and bury the tail in the necklace.

DIY Beaded Necklace Tutorial

Repeat the process for securing the crimp bead, and you're done!

DIY Beaded Necklace
Vintage Coral Necklace
DIY Necklace Tutorial

With this simple technique, you can make striking necklaces and bracelets from scratch, or re-work pieces you own, in minutes! 

A note about coral: Coral is a marine invertebrate that lives in colonies.  These colonies form a hard skeleton and the skeleton of this sea creature is what is used for coral jewellery.  Coral is important to marine life but is being harvested indiscriminately, which is a serious problem and could lead to depletion.  This is why coral jewellery can be unethical to wear and I was conflicted about purchasing this piece.  Truthfully, I'm not sure if my necklace is real or faux, but it seems a waste not to enjoy it.  I bring this up because the use of coral is problematic, so to ignore this issue would be irresponsible on my part.  If you're interested, you can read more about coral here.   


  1. Tanya, you're a star ! I love your tutorials, and this one's great :)
    Have a happy holiday season. Love from Germany.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I'm so thrilled you like my tutorials.
      Happy holidays to you as well :)

  2. I enjoyed the tutorial and will likely use it to restring several necklaces that I have. Also, thank you for mentioning that coral is a problematic material. I feel like purchasing something like this second hand is less of an issue than were it to have been a new item.

    1. Happy you enjoyed the tutorial! I agree that when something is second-hand, the ethical concerns are different but I do also worry about perpetuating the popularity of something, which in turn could encourage someone else to buy a new version...

  3. I enjoy reading your tutorial, Tanya! You always inspire me in so many ways. Will definitely try to recreate that coral necklace. Happy Holidays and may you have a wonderful year ahead of you.

    1. Thanks, Jessie, that means a lot to me! I have seen some gorgeous faux coral beads at beading supply stores, so I think you'll have an easy time creating a similar look. Happy holidays to you as well!


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