Upcycling a Strand of Vintage Pearls into Beach Jewelry

Upcycling a Strand of Vintage Pearls into Beach Jewelry

The first time I saw my friend, Emily, after she had returned from a trip to France, she was wearing this amazing pearl necklace crafted from linen and pearls. It was positively gorgeous in person and I just fell in love on the spot. But, seeing as I couldn’t just jet off to France and buy one myself, I decided to DIY my own version. Wouldn’t it be a fun project to upcycle a strand of vintage pearls from the thrift store into beach jewelry like this?

Pearl and linen necklace from Paris as inspiration for beach jewelry with vintage pearls

My version would be a touch simpler, though. In fact, I decided to make a bracelet first to see if my replication idea would even worked.

First, I scouted out a stand of vintage pearls from the thrift store.

Vintage pearls at the thrift store for upcycling into beach jewelry

And instead of linen, I used some hemp cord from the craft store.

Hemp cord from the craft store for jewelry making with vintage pearls

Once I had everything I needed, I sat down and began making the beach jewelry I had envisioned.

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Upcycling a Strand of Vintage Pearls into Beach Jewelry

First, I cut several lengths of hemp cord for my beach bracelet. Randomly, I cut seven strands of hemp, mostly because I like odd-numbered things.

Strands of hemp cord for making the beachy jewelry with old pearls

Well, it wasn’t until I was finished that I realized Cottonball had stolen a strand and I ended up only using six in the beach jewelry.


Anyway, I started by making a loop at one end of the bundle of hemp cord.

Jewelry making with hemp cord to make the beach bracelets

Then I wrapped it tightly with jewelry wire to give it an “unfinished yet finished” look.

Wrapping the ends of the hemp cord with jewelry wire to make beach bracelets

When all was said and done, that’s what it looked like. 

Upcycling the thrift store jewelry into beachy jewelry with hemp cord

After deconstructing the vintage pearls from the thrift store, I began knotting and stringing the pearls along the strands of hemp cord.

Adding the vintage pearls from thrift store jewelry to the beach bracelets

For any of the pearl beads that had a smaller than normal hole, I used a reamer to gently enlarge it so that it could more easily slide onto the hemp cord.

I continued knotting the vintage pearls on the hemp cord while checking the length along my wrist. 

Beach jewelry by upcycling the vintage pearls from thrift store jewelry

When I was satisfied with the fit, I created another loop that I wrapped with jewelry wire. Finally, I added a jump ring to each loop and then added clasps to the jump rings.

Upcycling a Strand of Vintage Pearls into Beach Jewelry with Hemp Cord

That was it! I had recreated the fancy French necklace into a bracelet version in just a few minutes for just a few dollars.

Beachy jewelry with hemp cord and vintage pearls that have been upcycled into a bracelet

My pearl bracelet is not as amazing as Emily’s pearl necklace- and I don’t have some fabulous story about finding it in Le France.

But with just a handful of materials, a few measly American dollars, and lounging on my kitchen floor on a lazy weekend morning, I achieved a somewhat similar look. I really do love how this beach jewelry turned out!

Upcycling the thrift store jewelry into beach bracelets with vintage pearls and hemp cord

I still have oodles of vintage pearls from the thrift store jewelry left over. So, I’ll definitely try making a necklace with the hemp cord, as well. 

And I’ll make sure that Cottonball doesn’t steal one of my strands of hemp cord next time!

Vintage pearls from thrift store jewelry and hemp cord as beachy jewelry

Before you go, feel free to check out my friend, Salvage Sister & Mister’s, refashioned pearl necklace idea here, too!

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea with thrift store jewelry, then you’ll love this hardware organizer that I made from a Tupperware veggie tray!

Hardware organizer and parts bins for Craft Storage by upcycling a Tupperware serving center

Craft on!


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PIN ME!Upcycling a strand of pearls from the thrift store into the beach jewelry with hemp cord

Recycling the vintage pearls from thrift store jewelry into beachy jewelry


  1. Oh I love how this came out! It’s gorgeous! Wow!

  2. auntiepatch69 says

    I hope you hunted down that missing string. If Cottonball eats it………..$$$ vet bill!

  3. This is so pretty! Easy, too! I’ll have to try it out soon! I’ll be sure to link back when I do 🙂


  4. So pretty! Great work! I love the way it came out and the amazing tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Would love to have you visit me sometime 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  5. Instant love!! This is gorgeous!

    • I’m so glad you like it, Jen! And it is CRAZY EASY to make…and it’s definitely fun to give new life to dated pearls collecting dust at Goodwill! If you make your own version, I’d love to see a picture!!

  6. What a lovely idea. It turned out so beautiful.

  7. Love rustic look of your bracelet, casual but gorgeous, great first try. I have some pearls my ex- husband gave me for wedding gift over 54 yrs. ago. Couldn’t make myself get rid of them. Seeing your wonderful creation think I’ll use them to make a bracelet for oldest daughter (of ex-husband). Think she has right to them. I love this way to give her something she can treasure. So glad I clicked on this post. Meant to be. Happy Spring

  8. I have the itch to make some jewelry now! Love this project!

    I would love for you to share you creativity with us at Show-Licious Craft & Recipe Party! We are live now and start each Saturday morning at 8:00 am EST!

    ~ Ashley

  9. Love Love Love. I really like how these pearls turned out, what a great upgrade to an old set of unwanted pearls. Best part is you are likely to ware them more to keep the color true.
    Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Social, looking forward to seeing what you share next week.

  10. This is lovely, and though you don’t have a “picked it up in a little store in France” story you have a “made it myself, totally unique” story. Just as good!

  11. Brilliant! So happy to find this. I have a pearl necklace that just isn’t my style…but your bracelet totally is. So…I’ll be trying this this afternoon. Thank you!

  12. Gorgeous! You did a beautiful job. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I adore this and you have inspired me!

  14. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says

    I think your bracelet looks amazing! Enjoy:@)

  15. I always notice cat’s paws when ever they show up, have a cat too. His name is Guy (in Finnish though = Hemmo).
    Absolutely adorable cat you have there. They always want to join and help, don’t they? 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this bracelet tutoring.

    Greetings from Helsinki!

  16. Mary Helene says

    I have several strands of old Pearls and didn’t know what to do with them. This idea is just wonderful and can’t wait to try it.

  17. This is so pretty… do you have these in your Etsy shop? If you don’t, you should!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you!! And I don’t…but you’re right, I should! They’re so easy to make…this project is actually three years old now but I still have the bracelet. 🙂

  18. Omg !! I have pearls just like this and have been holding onto them just waiting for inspiration. I purchased them at a second hand store and fell in love. I hope u don’t mind if I use your wonderful design to make either a necklace or bracelet.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Happy crafting, Carol! All I ask is that you let anyone who asks know where you got the idea from. 🙂

  19. Janice Guarino says

    Hi, have a 16 year old kitty who looks very similar to Cottonball, his name is MacGregor and just as handsome as can be. He says to say hello.

  20. I’m thinking of trying this project but use embroidery thread. Sooo many colors to choose from. A girl has to have options.LOL

  21. Hello, if the hemp is to big to enter in the bead, what do you used to have the bead bigger, tks


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