crimps-001

Crimps

June 12, 2014 , In: Beadwork, General, Inspiration, Jewelry, Tutorials
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If you’d have asked me a couple of months ago how I felt about crimps, I could have spent a good 10 minutes telling you how much I hated them. But needing to use a strong thread for a bracelet I wanted to make with heavy beads with tiny holes, I couldn’t see an alternative, so I decided to give them another go. This time, something just clicked and now I love them! 

There’s a bit of a knack to them, you might already know, but I’m going to share what I found for anyone who doesn’t!

For my post today, I’m going to make a necklace and pendant.

To start, you will need some crimping pliers. They have a double tip with a curved crimp section and a section with a little spike in.

You will also need beads of your choice, wire, crimps and crimp covers. I found some beautiful rose gold plated covers. They are a great colour to match with copper and bronze.

Choose the components you want to add to the pendant. The stringing material I’ve used is Beadalon 7 strand wire. It’s 0.6mm and I’ve found it will fit most beads without any problems. 
I added jump rings to the glass drops and threaded them on to the wire, formed a loop and added a bead and crimp through both strands. I’ve found it’s better to leave loops and connections a little bit loose. It makes the design sit better and some of the gap will be filled when you add a crimp cover. 

For the first squish of the pliers, you need to use the section with the little spike in. Position the wires so that they sit side by side through the crimp.
Then squish it flat. You don’t need to do this very hard, and I found after destroying quite a few that you are better to crimp just hard enough to hold the wire in place. If you squeeze too hard, the crimp will break in the next step. I wasn’t sure if it would hold, but it does as the wire is plastic coated which helps to hold it in place. 
Next turn the wire as shown in the picture below and use the curved section of the pliers to fold the crimp in half. Trim leaving as small a tail as you can, this will be tucked away in the next step.

Next is the crimp cover. I disliked these as much as the crimps, they always squashed and ended up out of shape, but again, go in gently and they’ll look great. Position it over the crimp, then with some long nosed pliers, carefully squeeze going around the crimp on opposite sides until the two edges meet.

Thread your beads on to the pendant. As my beads had large holes, the seed beads disappeared in to the holes, so I added enough so that they just sat above the beads. 
Next add a crimp, then more seed beads. Form a loop with the wire and pass it back through the crimp. 
Finish as before, trimming and adding a cover to complete the pendant.

To make the necklace, I added a button clasp on one side of a length of multi strand wire using crimps, added seed and Czech glass beads and the pendant, then finished with a loop of seed beads large enough to go over the button on the other side.

The finished design is strong and neatly finished.

I’ve always been nervous about the strength of thread I’ve used with seed beads, but using the wire, I feel happier that my designs will last. Crimps are my new best friend!

Caroline 

Caroline Dewison

Caroline Dewison is a lifelong addict of anything creative. She settled on ceramic beadmaking 3 years ago and can be found most days at the bottom of her garden playing with mud in her studio. She draws her inspiration from the natural world and wishes there were more hours in the day to explore all the ideas in her sketchbook. You can see more of her work on her blog - blueberribeads.co.uk.
  1. Reply

    I love beading wire and crimps too! Very versatile. And I'm obsessive about covering crimps as well. I never want people to see "the little man behind the curtain"!

  2. Reply

    What a gorgeous necklace! Love the colours and components. Have a go with crimp tubes next – I find they are much more secure and also a little easier to crimp!

  3. Reply

    I've been beading for yrs and still forget which notch I use first….love your necklace.

  4. Reply

    Gorgeous necklace Caroline…I agree crimps should be covered and larger holed beads can work well if the design permits.

  5. Reply

    Beautiful necklace! Love the greens and purples together. I need to pull out my crimping pliers and do some stringing…thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Reply

    Beautiful necklace, makes me want to create something other than earrings again. I have a love hate relationship with crimps and crimp covers too but I need to get over it. They really do allow you to do things that would be very difficult without them.

  7. Reply

    Thank you for the tutorial! I've been doing it like this and I'm glad to find out that I'm doing it right! Although, I don't think mine turn out as nice as the lovely necklace!

    • Lynn
    • June 13, 2014
    Reply

    Love the necklace you made! Try using the front notch on the crimping pliers to slowly close the crimp cover until it meets—I think it's easier than using the flat-nose pliers. I agree with Rebecca about using crimp tubes—more secure. Lynn Carling 🙂

  8. Reply

    I adore crimp beads especially for making unusual tassels. Love the tassel clump you've made, gorgeous greens in the necklace!

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