I remember the time when Vito Prints was just starting. I would be the one who would do the accessorizing of the masks. When we started the jewelry business I was the one who would do and execute the design. Today, its my sister who is doing the designs but we shared ideas once in a while. Let me share with you steps on how to make beaded jewelry.
- Gather your stringing materials. The best kinds are flexible beading wire and
beading thread. Look for wire that has 19, 21 or 49 strands of stainless steel wire, coated with nylon. (Strands that only have 3 or 7 wires will kink easily.) Beading thread is a great option if you are stringing lightweight beads, and it comes in several different colors. Also look for silk cord which comes in a variety of colors and thicknesses if you will be showing some of the stringing material in the project.
- Before cutting your thread or wire, determine the length of your necklace and add 4-8″, so that you have enough material to connect the clasp to the stringing materials.
- You will need crimping beads and a special crimping tool (a pair of chain nose pliers can be used in place of a crimping tool). Many beaders prefer sterling silver crimp beads. They bend easier than base metal ones, and grab the wire better, so your clasp stays secure. Crimp
beads come in different sizes and can be smooth or printed with a design. Be sure to use a size that works with the stringing material.
- Gather 2 crimp beads, 1 clasp, and the beads for the desired necklace.
- Slide a tiny bead (2-4mm) on the threading material, then the crimping bead, then another tiny bead on the stringing material about an inch or so down. Place one end of the clasp (the jump ring) on after the crimp bead, and make a loop with the stringing material. Place the end of the stringing material through the clasp section and then the bead-crimp-bead combo and use the crimping tool/ chain nose pliers to crimp the bead in place. (If using bead thread, you may wish to put a dot of super glue of hypo cemement on either end to ensure that the beads and crimp stay on.) These steps will protect the stringing material from rubbing on the ends of the crimp bead, which may cause the necklace to break.
- Choose your beads and lay out your design before stringing; using a beading
board can be beneficial allowing the design to be laid out and measured before stringing. When you are satisfied, string them onto your necklace. Be sure to leave about 3-4 inches of stringing material at the end.
- Do the same thing as in step 3: use a clasp section/ jump ring and the bead-crimp-bead combo and try to push the remaining stringing material into the bead holes below the crimp bead.
- Be careful not to pull the stringing material too tight. Leave a small amount of
slack in the necklace (2-4 mm or 1/4″). This leaves room for the beads to move and rotate, so they don’t rub on each other or the stringing material too much. If the stringing material is too tight the necklace will be rigid and this can make the design look angular instead of slightly rounded like a necklace should be.
- Crimp the second end and cut the stringing material with slush cutters. It is not recommended that you cut the wire too close to the crimp bead. An inch of wire, carefully hidden in the bead holes is good insurance against breakage.