DIY Briolette Necklace

Inspired by the lovely Ivarene Gems and a box of briolettes I had in my craft drawer, I made a sapphire necklace and I haven’t been able to stop churning out the gems since! Here is my DIY for an easy [to make] necklace that is super special.

A DIY Briolette knotted necklace in process
  1. Natural Silk size 2 thread (size 3 works, but was a bit tight for my beads)
  2. ~45 briolettes for a longer necklace, ~37 for something shorter (Etsy is the best place to find briolettes, or your local bead shop). My watermellon briolettes ranged in size from 3x6mm to 7x10mm
  3. A hat pin or thicker needle
  4. For clasp: 2 sterling thread protectors, a clasp, two small round beads, jewelry glue
Natural silk thread in size 2 is best for this project

Before we start, the main technique utilized in this project is tying knots with the aid of a hat pin (or thicker needle). This is a similar technique that is used to string a pearl necklace, but there is forgiveness in this project that doesn’t require your technique to be perfect (loose pearls isn’t a great look, but if you have some space between your knots and your briolettes your necklace will still look great). There are a lot of how to videos on youtube for pearl knotting that may be helpful to watch in advance, but generally the technique is to simply tie a loose knot (loop the size of a quarter), stick your needle into the open loop, pull the tail and use the needle to manipulate the knot into position. When the needle is tight in the loop, you can slide the knot up and down the string and position perfectly. OK, Let’s start!

The needle is used to position the knots. Tighten the knot around the needle before you pull it out

Step One: Begin by laying out all of your briolettes in the order you’d like them strung. I organized mine from smallest to largest to smallest (end to end).

You can also organize the briolettes by color for an ombre effect !

Step Two: Attach your clasp. Take all of your thread off the cardboard and wet the silk to get out the kinks (you can fully submerge). Thread one round bead (reserved for your clasp) onto the “needle” attached to the silk, then up / down the clasp protector and back down through the bead. Pull the string all the way through until you have a few inch tail, and utilizing the hat pin, tie a knot as close to the bead as possible to secure. Later, you will further secure this knot with a drop of jewelry glue.

Completed clasp at top of image. Tighten each knot down on the needle and use the needle to position
The tail of string shown on left is only a few inches long and will be cut off after the knot is glued
Briolettes organized by size

Step Three: Using the attached needle, thread all of your briolettes in the order you’d like them to appear. After they are threaded, I wrap the needle end of my thread around the card it came with to roll up my extra string. Do not cut the needle – we will need it later to finish the clasp.

Finished clasp and knotted briolettes

Step Four: Once all of the briolettes are threaded, starting at the clasp, tie three knots in a row, positioning with the needle, then push down the first briolette. Tie three knots in a row, positioning with the needle, then push down the second briolette, and so forth, until complete.

Step Five: Once all beads are knotted in place, unroll the remaining string, thread the second round bead, then up/down through the string protector, back through the round bead and tie off a knot to finish. Use jewelry glue to secure each end knot. Once glue is dry, trim the thread close to the knot.

Finished piece, prior to trimming the tails

Step Six: Attach your clasp to each thread protector. Complete!

The end tails can be cut closer to the knots and glued down (mine were ultimately trimmed further)