Rit Dye Pearl Necklace

Rit Dye has compensated me for this post.

DIY Faux pearl necklace with dyed wood beads

When the folks at Rit Dye contacted me to come up with a project using their new Pearl Grey dye, I knew I wanted to make a pearl necklace! I love the look of dark pearls, and an homage to real pearls made out of dyed wooden beads would perfect.

The challenge I had to overcome was that dyed wood takes on a very flat look, and pearls are not. They have a luster that comes from inside the pearl itself – and I found a way to replicate that look with wood! Check out how these Rit dyed pearl beads are made.

To make the necklace you will need:
RIT Dye
HOT water
Small containers
Large Wooden Beads
Ribbon
Wooden Skewers
Darice Americana Decor Wax
Paintbrush
Soft Cloth (I often use an old sock)
Jewelry Clasps and Jump Rings
Krazy Glue

Put the hot (almost boiling) water in the small containers, and add a little of the Rit Pearl Grey dye. With this color – a little goes a long way! Mix, then add your wooden beads.

dye the beads pearl grey with Rit

Once the beads are your desired color, rinse them until the water runs clear, then lay them on a towel to dry overnight. The beads will have a stripe through the middle, as a result of the grain of the wood absorbing the dye. Don’t worry about this – it will virtually disappear by the end of the project!

allow beads to dry

Time to wax the beads! Pour a small amount of wax into a disposable container. Add a dash of dye and stir to mix.

add dye

Using a paintbrush, paint each bead with the dye-wax mix. I found the best way to do this was to thread them onto skewers and paint several at a time.

paint wax onto beads

Paint on three coats of the dyed wax, allowing it to dry for a few minutes between each coat. Then let the beads dry completely.

Time to bring out the shine! Using a soft cloth (I used an old tea towel), buff each bead until it glows.

buff beads

Here you can see the difference. The bead on the left has been waxed and buffed. The bead on the right has only been dyed.

buffed bead vs non waxed bead

 

Once the beads are buffed, start stringing them onto the ribbon, tying an overhand knot between each bead.

string and knot beads

Once you have your faux pearl string at the desired length, add a jewelry finding to each end. I threaded one side on.

add lobster clasp

Then tied it in place with an overhand knot.

add overhand knot

I tucked the tail into the hole of the last bead using the pointy end of a skewer, then cut off the excess.

poke excess ribbon in

I repeated this process with the other side, then added a bow to cover the clasp.

faux pearl necklace with ribbon

I dabbed some Krazy Glue at the knot, and ends of the cut ribbon. This will keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying, and keep the knot secure.

glue on ends of ribbon to prevent fray

Let the glue dry, and you are all done!

make a diy dyed pearl necklace

 

dyed beads no longer look like wood

 

dyed bead pearl necklace

 

wooden beads are made to glow like pearls

 

Comments

  1. So clever!! I really love the necklace and now want to make one of my own! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Such a good tutorial! This is a really cute project. Thanks for sharing!

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