There is nothing more lovely than the classic elegance of a tin cup necklace. The floating pearl necklace is not only beautiful, but it can be easy to handcraft if you know how. These are step by step instructions on how to make a pearl tin cup necklace.
The first step is to gather your supplies. You will need a piece of thin sterling silver beading chain, nine pearls, two 2mm silver crimping beads for each pearl (so eighteen total), and a silver lobster claw clasp. This is to make a 16″ pearl tin cup necklace. If you prefer a longer length, you may want to add additional pearls. You should always use an odd number of pearls so that one will be in the center of the chain. Other useful tools will be needlenose pliers designed for jewelry making, a tiny drill, a ruler, and a smooth surface or tray upon which to work.
Once you have gathered all of your materials, it is time to begin. To make things easier, it is a good idea to gently enlarge the holes drilled through the pearls with your tiny jewelers’ drill. This will allow them to slide freely along the chain while you are spacing them. String all nine pearls onto the silver chain with one of the 2mm crimp beads on each side of every pearl. The crimp beads will be used to fix the pearls in their stations for the tin cup necklace design.
Next, affix the loop end of the lobster clasp to the chain using your pliers. Lay out your chain along the ruler, and attach the claw end of the clasp so that the finished length will be 16″ including the clasp. At this point, the pearls will still be sliding freely, but they will not be able to slide off the ends of the chain.
Then it is time to start spacing the pearls. It is extremely important that the spacing is even along the chain. The center three pearls are the most noticeable, so take extra care to get them spaced perfectly. You will secure the center pearl first. Hold the necklace up by the clasp ends so that gravity pulls all of the pearls to the middle of the chain. Squish the first crimp bead beside the center pearl. A handy trick is to then hold the necklace up by one end so that the pearl will fall down flush against the first crimped bead. You can then crimp the bead on the other side of that pearl, knowing that the crimp beads will be as close as possible to the pearl. When the tin cup necklace is complete, the pearls should be nice and still at their stations, with no gaps between them and the crimps.
After the center pearl is in place, set the two on the clasp ends of the chain. Lay the necklace along the ruler, and measure 1.5″ from the clasp into the chain. That is where you should secure the next pearl. Following the same procedure as with the center pearl, crimp the beads to affix the two end pearls. Next, go back to the center, and secure the pearls on either side of the middle one, again being careful that they are spaced equidistantly. Then finish it off by crimping the beads to position the remaining pearls, working back and forth to ensure that the spacing comes out evenly.
Ta-da! There you have it, a gorgeous pearl tin cup necklace. Not only will you get years of enjoyment from your floating pearl necklace, but you will have the feeling of pride which comes with making it yourself. And if you love the style of tin cup necklaces, but are not the crafty sort, don’t worry; you can always have one made for you by a jewelry designer, and you will enjoy it just as much.