Beach Themed Jewelry from a Vintage Pearl Necklace

Beach Themed Jewelry from a Vintage Pearl Necklace

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 vintage pearl necklace from the thrift store into beach themed 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 vintage pearl necklace 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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Making a Boho Bracelet from Old Pearls

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 boho bracelet.


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.

Beach Themed Jewelry from a Vintage Pearl Necklace

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

boho bracelet from an old pearl necklace

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 themed jewelry turned out!

diy boho jewelry from a vintage pearl necklace

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!

beach themed jewelry from a vintage pearl necklace

Isn’t that such a fun way to repurpose an old pearl necklace? Super easy to make and it’s such a fresh look compared to a stuffy strand.

boho bracelet and beach themed 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 for upcycled jewelry, then you may absolutely LOVE this collection of even more DIY jewelry ideas!

upcycled jewelry

Craft on!


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craft project for a vintage pearl necklace

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  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

  22. April Simser says

    Hi … I love your blog and wonderful ideas!
    How can you tell if you are getting real pearls?
    My daughter in law says to rub them against my front teeth. So…I have crowns! Also not sure if that’s a good idea in this day and age. Interested in hearing from you…Thanks lots!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      That’s a great question, but I’m afraid I’m not an expert on such matters. I’m good friends with a couple of different jewelry makers; perhaps reach out to my friend, Lucy, who owns Bel Monili? (she’s also on Facebook and Instagram, if you search for Bel Monili). Maybe she can help!

  23. I really liked the hemp and pearls together. I have WAY too many beads and this would be a great way to use them. Reading the previous comment triggered an old memory. I was yard saling (Practice your suprised look here!) years ago and found a string of broken pearls for .75. Someone had used the last knotted pearl to catch the u-shaped clasp and unthreaded even more of the pearls and some must have been lost. So here I am, in the middle of a yard sale, trying to rub the pearls on my teeth. Bot ’em anyway. Brot them home. Compared them to my string of cultured pearls. Same heavy weight (nice fakes use glass beads to similate the weight), no peeling of the lustre. The jeweler I took them to rubbed them on the EDGE of his front teeth and said they are supposed to feel gritty; they were REAL. I had them restrung with a new clasp, and extender (replacement pearls would have cost $80 to lengthen the necklace, and gave them to my daughter for high school graduation. She is a blue-eyed blond; they would have looked lovely on her; she didn’t like pearls then; she does now! I knew someone who found ruby and platinum earrings at a yard sale for $3; he got $2200 for them and paid for his son’s tuition for the semester! Rubies cast a golden light when sunlight passes through them. These miracles DO happen!!!

  24. Love it
    How did you know how much hemp to use

    • It was an arbitrary amount, honestly. This project is so old that I don’t recall how long they were- but maybe 18″ or so? I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!


  1. […] Seasongoods’ beach-inspired knotted pearl bracelet is a great way to repurpose your pearl […]

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