Monday, August 18, 2008

How to Make a Beaded Necklace (Bead Jewelry)

Beading jewelry is such a wonderful thing. Get a very simple step-by-step how to make a Necklace.

1. Gather your stringing materials. The best kinds are flexible beading wire and beading thread. Look for wire that has 21 or 49 strands of stainless steel wire, coated with nylon. (Strands that only have 7 wires will kink easily.) Beading thread is a great option if you are stringing lightweight beads.

2. 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.

3. You will need crimping beads and a special 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.

4. You'll also need a clasp and some tiny beads to use near the crimps.

5. 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 on after the crimp bead, and make a loop with the stringing material. Place the end of the string (wire or actual string) through the bead-crimp-bead combo, then use the crimping tool to crimp the bead in place. (If using bead thread, you may wish to put a dot of super glue 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.

6. Choose your beads and lay out your design 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.

7. Do the same thing as in step 3: use a tiny bead-crimp-bead combo, and put the other end of the clasp on and try to push the remaining stringing material into the bead holes. (The tail of your stringing material should not be visible upon completion of the necklace.)

8. 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.

9. Crimp the second end and cut the stringing material. 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.

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