If you’re new to making DIY jewelry, you may have asked, “how do I use beadings findings?” Beadings findings are at the heart of DIY jewelry projects. Without them, all you have are cords and wires.
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A Note Before Experimenting with Beadings Findings
Create a comfortable, well-lit workplace for yourself once you’ve gathered all of your project materials and tools. Choose a comfortable chair that promotes excellent posture, a table or tray to set your jewelry-making tools on, and good-quality task lighting to illuminate your workspace. When working with small beads, reading glasses or lighting magnification can be helpful.
Laying out the beads on a beadboard will help your stringing job move more smoothly, no matter what type of craft you’re working on. Each channel is labeled in inches and millimeters on the beadboard. Decide on the length of your finished project first. Then, calculate how many inches of beads you’ll need to lay down on the beadboard by subtracting the length of the clasp and any other findings.
Place your first bead in the middle front (the zero mark), and then add beads on either side in whichever order or arrangement you desire. Next, place an equal number of beads on either side of the central bead until the channel of the beadboard is the correct length. For instance, if you’re building a 16-inch necklace with 1-inch rings and clasp, you’ll need 15 inches of beads. On either side of the center bead, half of the total bead length (712 inches) should be set out. When you’re happy with your design, use the appropriate technique to string your beads.
Stringing Beadings Findings
The easiest part is stringing the beads. Learning some easy closing techniques is required to complete your strung jewelry. This chapter contains a series of simple, step-by-step instructions for finishing your strung jewelry.
Crimp beads are commonly used to attach the ring and clasp to projects made with flexible beading wire or transparent nylon cord. Crimping secures rings and clasps to the ends of certain stringing materials by folding or compressing a crimp bead tightly. Other types of crimp findings, such as coil crimps, fold-over crimps, and ribbon crimps, are commonly used in projects with round, flat, or large-diameter stringing materials.
These techniques will help you finish various jewelry styles, finish various types of stringing materials, and add various clasps.
Using Common Jewelry Findings
Using Flat Nose Pliers to Crimp
Flat nose pliers are the best tool for flattening any size crimp bead.
1. Wrap the flexible beading wire around a crimp bead and one side of a clasp.
2. Loop the end of the wire through the crimp bead and the clasp’s loop.
3. Flatten the entire crimp bead with flat nose pliers. Pull-on the wire to ensure the crimp is secure. The entire crimp bead will flatten when you squeeze the crimp bead with the flat nose pliers. Crimping should not be done using the jaws’ tips.
4. String on a few beads and tuck the flexible beading wire’s tail end through them. With wire cutters, trim the tail to be buried among the beads. To get as close to the bead as feasible, use the flat side of the wire cutters’ jaws. When the piece is worn, the wire will not poke the skin because of this positioning of the cut.
5. String the remaining beads, the second crimp bead, and the clasp on the opposite side. Return the end of the flexible beading wire to the crimp bead and string the final bead. To tighten the slack, pull the tail.
6. Flatten the second crimp with flat nose pliers. Wire cutters are used to cut the tail.
Before crimping, hold the strung piece in a gentle curve to provide correct tension. If the piece is too loose, the flexible beading wire will be visible next to the crimp beads. The garment will feel tense and will not hang smoothly if it is too tight.
Using Crimping Pliers to Crimp
To make a folded crimp bead, you’ll need crimping pliers. Crimping pliers of various sizes are available to deal with various crimp beads.
1. Wrap flexible beading wire around a crimp bead and one side of a clasp. Put the flexible beading wire’s end back through the crimp bead, forming a loop through the clasp’s loop.
2. Examine the crimping pliers’ jaws and notice that the hollow closest to your hand is crescent-shaped, while the other is circular.
3. Squeeze the crimping pliers firmly to center the crimp bead in the crescent-shaped hollow.
4. Rotate the crescent-shaped crimp bead 90 degrees in the circular hollow. It should now be vertically seated in the crimping pliers’ jaw, with the curved (concave) side facing your hand. Next, fold the crescent-shaped crimp bead in half using the crimping pliers.
5. Add the remaining beads, the second crimp bead, and the clasp’s other side. Return the end of the flexible beading wire to the crimp bead and string the final bead. To tighten the slack, pull the tail (see Tech Tip below).
6. Secure the second crimp with crimping pliers. Wire cutters are used to cut the tail.
Pull lightly on the flexible beading wire to ensure your crimp bead is secure. If the wire starts to slip, tighten the crimp with flat nose pliers.
Using a Bar and Tube Clasp
Multistrand necklaces and bracelets look great with tube and bar clasps. On either side of the clasp, there are two, three, or five loops. The clasp comprises two components that fit together and snap together. For increased security, some types are magnetic. To secure strands to loops or bars, use a crimping technique.
1. Separate the tube and bar clasp components by sliding them apart. Then, crimp the top loop with the first strand of flexible beading wire.
2. Crimp the other end of the first strand to the top loop on the other side of the tube and bar clasp, and string it to the correct length. Make sure the top loop of either side of the clasp is facing up before crimping—there is only one way to connect the tube and bar clasps.
3. Crimp and attach extra strands to the tube and bar clasp.
Crimp two strands to each loop of a two-loop tube and bar clasp to form a four-strand necklace or bracelet. Next, make a six-strand necklace or bracelet with a three-loop tube and a bar clasp, and so on.
Using Coil Crimps
1. Apply a drop of super glue to the cord and insert it into the coil crimp. Allow 1 minute for the adhesive to cure.
2. Gently squeeze the last coil of wire at the end of the coil crimp with chain nose pliers. Flatten the coil as little as possible. Control the plier pressure to avoid cutting the cord with the coil crimp.
3. Squeeze carefully as you turn the pliers around the last coil of wire at the end of the coil crimp.
4. Gently pull on the coil crimp to secure it securely to the cord.
5. Grasp the side of the loop that comes off the top of the coil with flat nose pliers to open the loop on the end of the coil crimp to add a ring or clasp.
6. Push the open side of the loop away from the side of the loop being held by the pliers with your fingers or another set of flat-nose pliers.
7. Thread a ring or the end of a clasp through the loop. Pull the open side of the loop back towards the side of the loop held by the pliers to close it. Rep with the opposite end of the cord.
Do not pull the loop apart as a circle is being opened. Stretching the metal in this way weakens it.
Using Fold-Over Crimps
1. Apply a dab of super glue on the cord and fold it over the crimp. Allow 1 minute for the adhesive to cure.
2. Fold one side of the crimp down over the cord with chain nose pliers.
3. The fold-over crimp on the cord should now be secure.
4. Fold the crimp’s second side over the first.
5. Use a jump ring or split ring to attach a clasp. Reverse the procedure on the opposite end of the cord.
Using Ribbon Crimps Properly
1. Apply a tiny line of super glue to the inside of a ribbon crimp with a toothpick.
2. Insert the ribbon or flat cord into the crimp and wait for the adhesive to dry.
3. Squeeze the sides of the ribbon crimp together firmly with chain nose pliers.
4. Using a jump ring or a split ring, attach a clasp to the loop of the ribbon crimp. Rep on the other end of the ribbon in the same manner.
Closing and Opening Jump Rings
Jump rings are commonly used to attach the clasps on strung jewelry. Unfortunately, the clasp and rings are put under a lot of strain when putting on and taking off strung jewelry. Maintaining the integrity of the metal requires appropriately opening and closing a jump ring as you attach it.
1. Using flat-nose pliers, grasp the jump ring from one side.
2. Pull one side of the loop away from the other using your fingers or another pair of flat-nose pliers.
3. Do not pull the loop apart since this will cause the wire to break. From the side, your open jump ring should resemble this.
4. Add a chain, pendant, or another embellishment. Close the jump ring with the pliers. To close any gaps, gently move both ends of the ring or loop back and forth.
Using Split Ring Pliers
A split ring is a crucial ring-like continuous double circle of wire winding. Split rings are more durable than jump rings, and they are less prone to be unintentionally opened. The split ring plier is a beneficial instrument for opening and closing split rings.
1. Insert the tip of the split ring pliers’ curved jaw between the layers of the coil near one of the ends. To open the coil, squeeze down on the tool.
2. Slip a chain, a charm, or a clasp onto the end of the coil while holding the split ring open.
3. Take the split ring tool out of the equation. Slide the chain, pendant, or clasp around the split ring coil until it freely moves around both coils.