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40 mins

How to make a pearl glasses necklace
Try hunting for old glasses in car boot sales or charity shops. We especially favour frames from old-style glasses, vintage shades, NHS spectacles, and the sort of glasses that Jarvis Cocker or your granny would wear.

Posted by Tatty Devine Published See Tatty Devine's 3 projects »

  • Step 1

    If you can find an old pair of children’s glasses for this necklace, they will give you a pretty, petite look. If not, adult specs will still look spectacular.

    Old spectacles frames are often really dirty when you first come across them, like all the best treasure. But don’t be put off: a good clean will get rid of years of accumulated grime. Warm, soapy water is the best. Harsh cleaners can corrode some old types of plastic and may strip away any lovely details that are painted or printed on the frames.

    Use a soft cloth to avoid scratches and get busy with cocktail sticks and cotton buds to get into all the nooks
    and crannies.

    When the clean-up is done and dusted, remove the arms of the glasses. Hold the glasses securely in a vice and, using the hacksaw, cut through the hinges as close to the frame as possible.

    Using the file, smooth off any sharp edges. These will be against your skin so the smoother the better.

    Hold the frames in the vice, and drill a hole approximately 3 mm deep into the top corner of the glasses frame, using the 1.2 mm size drill bit. Make sure you don’t hit the lenses or the metal inside the frames. Do the same on the other side.

    Mix up the Araldite on a flyer or playing card, using the cocktail stick. Dab a small blob of glue on to the screw-in eyelets and then screw them into the holes on the frame. Leave to dry.

    Make up the necklace; it looks best if it is long enough for you to hold the chain up to your face. Hold up the necklace by the clasp and, using the wire cutters, cut it in half, opposite the clasp.

    Attach the chain to the regular jump rings with the pliers, and then the jump rings to the eyelets. Pop it over your head, and voilå – simple library chic.

    Plain and simple is lovely, but if you want something a bit more snazzy, there’s a world of possibilities. Cartoon eyes look great.

    You need masking tape, Araldite and its accoutrements, and some little, tiny, flat-back black crystals. (Not only will they look amazing, they also make a genius tongue twister, tiny, flat-back black crystals, tiny, flat-back black crystals…)

    Have a quick peruse of a cartoon for some inspiration. Stick masking tape pupil shapes to the back of each lens, cartoonstyle. On the front of the shades, carefully glue the black crystals, following the masking tape shape.

    You’ll go a bit googly-eyed with all the sticking, but it’ll be so worth it. Leave to dry overnight. Peel off the masking tape, clean any stray blobs of glue with white spirit and cotton buds, and eye eye, you’re ready for your starry close-up.

  • How to make a pair of glasses pendant. Pearl Glasses Necklace - Step 2
    Step 2

    Take the beading silk and tie a knot 10 mm from the end. Thread on a crimp right up to the knot.

  • How to make a pair of glasses pendant. Pearl Glasses Necklace - Step 3
    Step 3

    Squash the crimp with the flat-nose pliers as above. Dab a tiny blob of superglue on to the knot. Let it dry, then snip off the thread end, as close to the knot as you can, with the needlework scissors.

  • Step 4

    Thread on a calotte, and squish it round the crimp.

  • How to make a pair of glasses pendant. Pearl Glasses Necklace - Step 5
    Step 5

    Things are about to get knotty. Thread on 38 pearls, leaving about 10 cm before the calotte, so that you’ve got room to tie a knot on the string without the pearls getting in the way.

  • How to make a pair of glasses pendant. Pearl Glasses Necklace - Step 6
    Step 6

    Slide one pearl down to the calotte, and tie a knot in the silk, right up tight to the bead so it’s nice and secure. Use the end of the silk with the calotte on for working the knot.
    Slide the next pearl down to the freshly tied knot, and tie another knot as close as you can get, after the new pearl. Make sure the knots are really tight, and the pearls are as close as possible. Keep on sliding and knotting until there’s only one pearl left. This time it’s not a knot you’re after, but a calotte.

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