Saturday, June 21, 2008

Basic Wire Work Jewellery Making Technique

1. Cut a four inch piece of wire (size depends on your preference).
2. Grip the wire at the end. The wire should not extend beyond the pliers. It is sometimes helpful to mark your pliers about one eigth of an inch from the tip to remember where to begin your loop.
3. Hold the stem of the wire with your fingers and roll the wire toward your fingertips, keeping pressure on the stem to hold the shape of the angle.
4. If you are unable to turn your wrist any further, release the wire, keeping them in the loop, rotate backwards and turn a bit more until the loop meets the stem.
5. You have completed the first loop.
6. Place a bead on the wire.
7. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4.
8. By attaching several more of these links you can create a beautiful bracelet, necklace, or earring link. Remember when opening or closing a loop twist it, do not spread the circle open.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How to Use Crimp Beads


How to use crimp beads with jewelry pliers, when making your own beaded jewelry.


1. Gather your supplies. When you are ready to attach a clasp (or any end-piece you are using in your design, such as a jump ring, or extender chain),first thread the end of your wire through a crimp bead.
2. Loop the wire through the clasp or extender chain, and then fed back through the crimp bead, forming a loop. It is a good idea to leave a tail of wire at least a couple of inches longer than you think you need so you will have some wire to work with.
3. Slide the crimp bead up close to the end of the clasp or end-piece. Check the crimp bead and make sure it is not too close to the clasp or end-piece. You want to have a small loop around the clasp or end-piece, but not so small that it holds the clasp so tightly that it cannot move freely.
4. You have two choices to close your crimp. If you have a crimping tool or crimping pliers, follow this next step (5). If not, follow the next step for chain nose pliers, below (step 7).
5. You are now ready to squeeze the crimp bead shut. Place the crimp bead in the back channel of the crimping pliers, closest to the handle. Squeeze the pliers closed, gently but firmly. This will both flatten and place a dent in the crimp bead.
6. Place the dented crimp bead on it's side in the front channel of the crimping pliers, closest to the end. Basically, position the crimp bead so that it looks like the Letter C. You are positioning the bead upright like this so that when you close the pliers and squeeze, the bead will be folded closed right on the dent (bringing each end of the letter C together). Squeeze gently but firmly and make sure your crimp bead has tightly closed around the wire. If necessary, use pliers to make it close tighter. Tug gently to make sure the wire doesn't pull free. Continue with Step 8.
7. Using Chain Nose Pliers (flat nose). Using regular flat or needle nose pliers works to close crimp beads, too. There is only one step to closing the crimp. Simply grasp the crimp bead with the flat section of the pliers. Squeeze gently but tightly to smash the crimp bead flat. Check to make sure the crimp bead is tightly holding the wire so it won't pull free.
8. String your beads. Thread your first bead onto the wire. Thread both pieces of flexible wire through the bead hole if possible. Use your flush cutters to cut the cord off as close as possible to the bead. Thread the rest of your beads according to your design until you reach the other end.
9. When you are ready to attach your final clasp to the end of your piece, thread the crimp bead and clasp just like before, but now you will want to tighten all of your beads by pulling on the tail end of the loose wire. This will snug all your beads up together, leaving no gaps in your design. If you need more leverage to pull the wire tight, use your pliers; one to hold the clasp and the other to grasp and pull the wire. Crimp your final bead, and you're finished!


* Sometimes, you just don't get a perfect crimp. It either didn't fold over nicely or the wire pulls loose. If this happens, cut the crimp bead off the end, and just start over again with a fresh new crimp bead. This is another good reason to leave yourself a little extra wire to play with on the end of your design.

Beading Buds on Facebook Beading Buds on Twitter