Making your own jewelry - part 1
How to make jewelry
Learn how to make a beaded bracelet or
Using a crimp tube is one of the most
basic of all jewelry making techniques. This procedure is most
often used to secure the ends of your jewelry projects by attaching
it to a clasp, but it can also be used for other things as well. One
good thing is that this is done the same way for a simple handmade
bracelet as well as it is for a beautiful multi-strand necklace.
To perform this technique you will
Stringing wire - at least 2"
longer than your finished bracelet or necklace project
Crimp tubes - 2 ea. (1 for each
end of every strand of your completed jewelry project)
Jump rings or clasp - depending
on your project's design
Beads - again, depending on your
project's design and your taste
Smooth jawed pliers - to 'smash'
your crimp tube without marring the finish
As with any new skill, the more you
practice, the better you will become. We often recommend
experimenting on a 'test project', (similar to the inexpensive
practice kits sold at the Making Jewelry Fun - Store), prior to
attempting your jewelry masterpiece.
crimp tube and then the jump ring onto your stringing wire. The crimp tube
is the small relatively flat 'tube' shown closest to the fingers in the
if you are using a toggle clasp, do not use the jump rings. Substitute the
toggle for the jump ring. (Each end of the toggle clasp will have a 'ring'
attached to it - use one half of your toggle on this end of your project.)
the wire around and then back through the crimp tube.
good quality stringing wire, such as the type we use in our jewelry making kits,
will be flexible and resist kinking. We feel that using a good stringing
wire is the first step to enjoying your jewelry project ... while it is being
made, as well as while it is being worn.
the wire loop smaller by gently pulling on the long end of your wire. Leave a
small amount of 'play'
in the loop so that your jump ring can move about freely.
the crimp tube with your smooth jawed pliers. Be aware that this crimp
tube will remain visible on your completed bracelet or necklace project.
You will want it to be smashed flat, but not mangled.
your crimp to make sure that it is secure, by gently pulling on the wire and jump ring.
If there is any slippage, reposition your loop as shown in step #3 and 're-smash' your crimp.
Start stringing your beads
from the other end of your wire. Hide the small tail of the wire inside the first few
beads that you string. If this is not possible, clip the tail as close as
possible to the crimp.
After youíve strung your beads,
carefully check your project to verify that it is the desired length. (Our
library has a real cool tip on checking your bracelet length without spilling
your beads) If your jewelry piece is too long or too short, add or
subtract beads as needed.
It's now time to secure the
'other end' of your bracelet or necklace project.
steps 1 and 2. (Thread
crimp tube and jump ring on your wire; Loop
wire back through crimp tube). The only difference is that this time,
you should thread the tail of the wire back through the crimp tube
and the first several beads.
At this point, itís OK if there is space between your beads where the wire
shows. Also, remember to keep your loop soft and flexible. A large loop in the
wire is OK. Just be careful not to kink the wire.
the jump ring, grasp the tail end of the wire with your pliers and pull the slack
out of your piece.
Check your work to make sure there are no gaps. If
correct the problem and continue to pull the additional slack out of your wire.
Make sure there is
still plenty of room for your jump ring to move around. Do not pull the wire so tight that you loose
flexibility in your strand. If you think it might be too tight, gently
work the crimp tube and tail wire back until your necklace/bracelet is arranged the
way you like.
everything is the way you want smash the final crimp with smooth jawed pliers
just as we did in step
#4. If the tail wire is sticking out between beads, cut it as close to the bead
as possible. You may now add a clasp (see additional instructions).
finished! and . . ."you
made it yourself"!