Yep, it's that time of year when I'm counting my blessings, both beady and otherwise, and pearls are at the top of my list of beads for which I'm thankful. I can't think of another type of natural bead that is so mysterious, so beautiful, and so affordable. It's that organic, natural look that makes the pearl such an important component for jewelry-making. Pearls soften the look of modern metal jewelry, add a touch of glamor to any bead-weaving project, and even pair well with the incredible sparkle of crystal beads.
These days, pearls aren't just for weddings. You can find them popping up in all sorts of beading projects, and I couldn't be happier to see the jewelry-making world embrace the power of the pearl. There are pearls out there that are perfect for all your favorite jewelry-making projects, if you just know where to look!
Natural pearls or man-made? Either way, you have lots of options.
There's certainly nothing as lustrous as the Swarovski crystal pearls. With a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and colors, these crystal pearls are a favorite of mine for bead-weaving projects, like my Vintage-inspired Pearl Earrings.
If you're looking for larger, heavier man-made pearls, the budget-friendly shell pearls from Lima Beads
are one of my favorite choices. The tightly controlled manufacturing process of these pearls results in highly consistent size, shape, color, and luster. It also makes them heavier than the crystal pearls, so they may not be as suitable for bead-weaving projects.
The allure of freshwater pearls. While I love the crystal pearls and shell pearls, freshwater pearls will always be my first choice for jewelry-making and beading projects.
I think the first thing that attracted me to pearls, even as a little girl, were the beautiful, organic shapes. I remember being given my first freshwater pearl bracelet when I was in fifth grade -- a combination of garnet, gold beads, and tiny rice-shaped freshwater pearls. I was completely captivated by those pretty little pearls. These days, there's nothing I like better to do at bead shows than to browse the tables full of shaped freshwater pearls. The irregular shapes, in particular, get my imagination working overtime on how I can include them in some of my bead-weaving projects.
And since leather and cord seem to be a hot jewelry-making trend that's
here for the long haul, I'm still in love with the large-hole freshwater
pearls from places like A Grain of Sand. These freshwater pearls are
drilled with a hole that can accommodate a cord up to 2mm in diameter,
which makes them perfect for Bohemian-inspired jewelry-making projects.
Pearls are perfect for elegant beading projects! I don't think there will ever be another natural bead out there that could possibly compete with the affection I feel for pearls. And right now, you can indulge in your love of pearls and save big on all your favorite pearl beading projects in the Beading Daily Shop! Whip up a couple of quick holiday gifts using your favorite pearl beads, or just make something sweet for yourself -- you're worth it!
||Pearlvescent by Kelli Burns
Do pearls make you feel like a princess? What's your favorite thing about using pearls in your beading projects? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!