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View Full Version : Ack! Finding QUALITY Plastic Pearls?!


Hiway
07-30-2004, 02:38 PM
Hi there!

I am doing repair work on several pieces of vintage jewellery and fashion jewellery for someone. She has now asked me to lengthen and 'jazz up' a graduated triple strand 'pearl' necklace (the lower strand had broken; several pearls are missing).

This piece dates back to around 1952 -1954. I have never worked with plastic beads before (doubt I ever will again, either!) but this necklace is from Birk's and carried a retail price of $65 back then. [The name "Birk's" may only mean something to Canadian WCers; it is a family jewellery, fine china and silver services store that has been around for almost 100 years.... until now, I had thought they had only carried estate and seriously expensive jewellery.]

My problem: I've searched the web like mad trying to find quality plastic pearl beads; the very few places that I've come across require that you order in huge volume. Does anyone here know of a place that has these items available in smaller quantities.... perhaps fifty or less? It looks like I need 6mm in a white cream shade (closer to white).

I'm so sorry to bother you, but I really like this person and would love to be able to do this for her.

All my best,

Claudia

Oskadis
07-30-2004, 02:58 PM
Hiyas, sent you a PM.

Hope it helps you.

Greetings

Karen

TheBlueBetween
07-30-2004, 04:42 PM
do they have to be plastic? What about Swarovski Crystal Pearls?

http://www.artbeads.com/swarovski-5810.html

Hiway
07-30-2004, 05:56 PM
do they have to be plastic? What about Swarovski Crystal Pearls?

http://www.artbeads.com/swarovski-5810.html

Hi there, Pam!

Oh yes, they absolutely have to be plastic, as she wants all the original components of her necklace plus some additions to "jazz it up" (her term!)

I already have a lot of Swarovski pearls - I love them! Yep, I even have 6mm in this color. However, the glass is sooooo much heavier than the plastic, and the 6mm go right at the top next to the clasp (the largest of the graduated plastic pearls are huge!) and thus the weight of them would pull everything around... and they would look strange, too.

By the way, don't you just love the term "jazz it up?!" :rolleyes: I gave her A Look and said "why...... sure." What exactly I am going to do hasn't quite hit me yet. Czech glass comes to mind.... I'll have to do a careful balancing act so not to cause the necklace to slide in one direction or another, rather than remain perfectly balanced. Arrrgh.

Best to you,

Claudia :)

Hiway
07-30-2004, 06:04 PM
Hiyas, sent you a PM.

Hope it helps you.

Greetings

Karen

Hi Karen!

If you've checked your mail, you know I received your PM. She has the perfect pearls - but they don't have holes! I was thinking of getting out the Dremel, but...... well..... you know..... :evil:

I wanted to post the web site you so kindly shared with me:

http://www.bsueboutiques.com/

If anyone is into vintage design, or the repair of such, this site is absolutely wonderful! I spent ages there, and I'm not done yet! There is a minimum order of $25, but when you see the goodies she carries, you can tell that it wouldn't take long for anyone to reach that limit.

Thank you again!

Claudia :)

P.S.: OMG! I've just discovered she carries the crystal chatons that I need (a pin repair)!!!!!! And she takes PayPal, which I always like (I hate calling her 'she'.... I think the name is 'Sue?') You are a life saver, Karen! THANKS SO MUCH!

beclectic
07-31-2004, 10:13 AM
Here is a site with vintage beads. He has mostly glass but may have some plastic.

Maybe you can find what you need here.

http://www.jewelex.com/

Hiway
07-31-2004, 09:38 PM
Here is a site with vintage beads. He has mostly glass but may have some plastic.

Maybe you can find what you need here.

http://www.jewelex.com/

Hello there, Barbara!

Jewelex is one of the first places that I looked, actually.... I love their web site, not only for the wonderful vintage beads, but also for his hysterical descriptions. So much fun to read!

He, also, only has them in bulk; a mixed variety. However, he mentions something about the 'no hole' plastic pearls that is interesting: burning a hole through them with a hot needle! I'm not too sure about this - wouldn't want the sides of the holes to become 'goopy' from melting - but if all else fails, I may give it a try.

In the meantime, I'm still searching!

Best to you,

Claudia :)

lunamoonshadow
07-31-2004, 11:52 PM
You might try Beadin Path (www.beadinpath.com) in Maine--they do a LOT of vintage resins/lucites....I'd try their "contact us" link & see if they can maybe point you somewhere if they don't carry them--they're very nice people!
--Lyn

Bangs
08-01-2004, 12:00 AM
Claudia, Ornamental Resources has some of the no-hole variety in smaller quantities if you decide to go that route, but only one color offering--have no idea if they are of the quality you need.

www.ornabead.com Click on miscellaneous.

Working with vintage jewelry must be quite interesting. I hate repairing even my own stuff, though! Good luck!!

Hiway
08-03-2004, 10:07 PM
Claudia, Ornamental Resources has some of the no-hole variety in smaller quantities if you decide to go that route, but only one color offering--have no idea if they are of the quality you need.

www.ornabead.com Click on miscellaneous.

Working with vintage jewelry must be quite interesting. I hate repairing even my own stuff, though! Good luck!!

Hi Brenda Bangs! :D

Thanks..... I went to the link, but they aren't the quality that I need for this piece. <groan> I thought this would be such an easy search.... just plain ordinary, decent, white-to-palest cream plastic beads. I mean, if they had to be in chartreuse or something..... sheesh....

I'm going to take Lyn's advice (thank you, Lyn!!!!!!!!) and contact the people who own beadinpath.com in Maine; I've never ordered from them before, but I've always liked their web site and plan to in the future. Maybe they can help. I'm getting desperate here! :eek:

I've never really been into jewellery repair. My neighbor took a look at a bracelet watch that I'd made and mentioned "you must be able to repair jewellery, too" and it then dawned on me that yes, of course I can. I'd do it as a favor for a friend, but that was it. However, repairing the vintage stuff - so much personal history behind each item - is really fun. Interesting to note the methods that they used over 50 years ago or more; nothing much has changed. I am loving the idea that these people will once again be able to wear the stuff that has been hiding (unusable) in the back of their drawers for decades.

I also find that I can get up and walk away from it far easier than I can when I'm working on a project, too; with my back still causing problems, this is a good thing.

All my best,

Claudia

Juls
08-06-2004, 03:02 AM
Hi Claudia!

I may be able to help! My grandmother had a bead shop from the 60s to early 80s...she gave me piles of her stock a couple of years ago.

I dug these out tonite...they are white/cream leaning toward white in 6mm plastic...you are more than welcome to them!

If you think they will work, pm your address and I'll drop them in the mail!

Hiway
08-07-2004, 12:00 AM
Hi Claudia!

I may be able to help! My grandmother had a bead shop from the 60s to early 80s...she gave me piles of her stock a couple of years ago.

I dug these out tonite...they are white/cream leaning toward white in 6mm plastic...you are more than welcome to them!

If you think they will work, pm your address and I'll drop them in the mail!

OH_MY_GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't believe this..... those are them...... these are it..... them's the ones..... <rambles on incoherently>

EUREKA! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you, Juls, thank you, thank you! I had honestly given up. As I matter of fact, I had sadly and reluctantly returned the necklace to its owner yesterday afternoon. I could see how disappointed she was; this piece obviously means a great deal to her. She is going to be absolutely thrilled.

I'll PM you immediately!!!!

All my best,

Claudia :)

Hiway
08-25-2004, 11:46 PM
Hi Claudia!

I may be able to help! My grandmother had a bead shop from the 60s to early 80s...she gave me piles of her stock a couple of years ago.

I dug these out tonite...they are white/cream leaning toward white in 6mm plastic...you are more than welcome to them!

If you think they will work, pm your address and I'll drop them in the mail!

Hi there, Juls! :wave:

I received the pearls today and I just wanted to extend to you a public THANK YOU!!!!! for coming to my aid!

The package was so sweetly wrapped and I loved the card! I showed it to the lady for whom I am doing the repair work, and she was really touched; she didn't realize that a forum such as WC existed and can't get over the generousity and warmth. Her name is Gayle, and she sends you big hugs, as do I! I'll be putting a wee something in the mail to you very soon so that you will have a bit of Canadiana to add to you collection.

My back problem has kept me from walking to the post office - a friend finally picked up my mail for me today - so your wonderful parcel may have been there for a few days. Can't wait to get started and I'll make sure you see the end result!

Love to you,

Claudia :)

Juls
08-26-2004, 12:01 AM
AWW!! Warm fuzzies to you and Gayle!

I am happy to hear they arrived and will work for your project! :clap: I look forward to sharing the finished result with Nana, as I know she will love to see it.

Sorry to hear your back is troublesome...hope it eases!

hugs~
~Juls

PS..If you would like to send me something, a picture (via email) of your project will be more than enough!