The Red Bead Supplies

Basic Jewelry Crimping Instructions

Wavy Weave Bracelet Tutorial

Materials List

  • Soft Flex Flexible Beading Wire
  • Crimp Tubes metal color to match your clasp
  • Crimp Covers, optional (metal color to match your clasp)

  • Tools

  • Bead Stoppers
  • Crimping Pliers
  • Cutters

  • You've spent all of the time planning your bead purchases, acquiring your material, and designing your stringing lay-out for your bracelet or necklace. Now protect your jewelry creation by using a high quality beading wire and giving the finishing touches to your closure a professional look. For bracelets we recommend using .019" or .024" wire since bracelets receive a lot of wear and tear, much more than necklaces. If you find it is necessary to use .014" we recommend examining your bracelet from time to time for signs of additional wear.

    String your beads onto flexible beading wire in the order you desire for your bracelet or necklace. String a crimp tube onto each end and use the bead stopper at one end to prevent the beads from falling off. Place the beading wire at the opposite end through the small loop in one side of your clasp and back through your crimp tube leaving a loop in the wire large enough for the clasp to move freely. See photo below.

    Secure your crimp tube using the following instructions:

    After stringing, place the crimp tube in the channel of the crimping pliers closest to the handles. This section of the crimping pliers looks something like a lima bean. Be sure that your beading wire strands lay side by side inside the tube and are not crossed. This is very important! If you look down the end of the crimp you will see both strands plus the tooth of the crimping pliers hovering between them.

    Squeeze the crimping pliers firmly. Be careful not to squeeze so tightly that the crimp bead bites into your wire, just squeeze with enough pressure for the crimp to firmly hold the wire. The tooth in the crimping pliers has now separated both strands, creating a channel between. The crimp tube should now have a slightly rounded bottom with a channel running down the middle on the top. The wire should be held firmly by the crimp tube at this point.

    Turn the crimp tube one quarter of a turn, either toward you or away from you. Reposition it in the second channel of the crimping pliers and squeeze gently at first then firmly to fold the crimp tube over. You can watch this happen if you look at the end of the crimp tube as you are squeezing. It is important that the crimp tube is perpendicular to the channel in the crimping plier when you start to squeeze for it to fold over evenly.

    Arrange your bracelet or necklace into the shape it will be when worn (for example a bracelet might be more circular while a necklace might be more oval) and crimp the remaining end, repeating the steps for the other side of your clasp. If you lay your necklace in a straight line and crimp it, for instance, and then put it on, there might not enough room to allow it to form a circle, or if it does the wire will always be under tension and the potential for it to snap will be much greater.

    Leaving the crimp exposed can work with some designs, but if you want a more finished look, cover your crimp with a crimp cover.

    Variation: You do not always need to place your crimp right next to your clasp. You can also string one or more beads onto both wires before adding your crimp. Some designers like to use this method when concerned the crimp might cause additional wear to the wire if placed next to the clasp. Just remember any bead added in this fashion will need a hole large enough to accommodate two strands of beading wire. In the photo above I used 2 pewter beads next to both ends of the clasp before adding my crimp.

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