Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finishing a Necklace with Bead Tips

Finishing a strung necklace can be done in several ways. Most basic stringing classes teach a method involving crimp beads and SoftFlex or Accuflex stringing material. Although I do like those 2 materials, I’ve never liked this method because it leaves some of the stringing material visible in the form of a loop, which is used to attach the necklace to its findings. I developed this alternative method many years ago. Although quite unconventional, I find it to be durable and it provides a more professional looking finish to handcrafted jewelry. It’s all about personal preference.

Using chain nose pliers, make a bend in your string material, leaving about a 1” tail. Insert this bend into a small crimp bead. Crimp, using 2-stage crimping pliers. This will leave the crimp bead round-ish.

String a bead tip so that the crimp is nestled inside the clamshell and both ends of stringing material go through the hole. Close the bead tip gently, but securely with chain nose pliers.

String the first bead, embedding the tail end through it. Trim that tail end close. String the remainder of your beads, ending with another bead tip. Tie an overhand knot and using a heavy needle or an awl, work the knot into the bead tip as far as you can. Tie another overhand knot OVER the first one. This can be tricky and may take some practice. Use the needle – it will help direct the knot where you want it. Insert the tail end of the wire back through the hole in the bead tip and through the last bead strung.

Add a generous dab of glue to the knot. I use Hypo-Cement because it has a narrow applicator which is perfect for inserting into the bead tip. Close this bead tip as you did the other.

Your piece is now ready for the clasp set of your choice.


Pricilla said...

Very useful. I have never used one of those...

Beadwright said...

Very nice Vicki. Good tut.