Three Ways to Finish Beading Wire!

I absolutely love to use the crimping technique! With just a spool of beading wire and some crimp beads, it’s possible to create an endless number of strung necklace and bracelet designs! If you love to crimp as much as I do, then you have probably come up with designs in which you want an exceptionally nice finished look that your exposed beading wire and crimp beads just can’t achieve. Well, I am here to give you not one, not two, but three ways that you can finish your strung jewelry to achieve the most professional look possible!

Number One: Wire Guardians

The Using a Wire Guardian Technique shows you how to use a wire guardian for concealing the otherwise exposed beading wire, while also providing the added bonus of protecting your beading wire from abrasion! This option is the best one to use when your jewelry piece is heavier and is at risk of the clasp rubbing against the beading wire. The image below shows you the difference between the look of a bare crimped loop and a crimped loop that has been made with a wire guardian.

Number Two: French Wire

The Using French Wire with Beading Wire Technique shows you how to hide beading wire beautifully with a small coil of wire called French wire. This option is the best to use when your crimped loop is on display in your jewelry piece. This could be useful if the crimped loop is at the front of your necklace or if your piece is a bracelet, because the clasp is always visible. I especially love French wire because it cover the entire piece of beading wire, while wire guardians only partially cover the beading wire. The image below shows you the difference between the look of a bare crimped loop and a crimped loop that has been made with French wire.

Number Three: Crimp Bead Covers

I saved the best for last! Crimp Bead Covers are not only my favorite way to finish my beading wire, but I will not make a strung piece of jewelry without them! They can either be used alone or in conjunction with a wire guardian or French wire. Use the Crimp Bead Cover Technique to cover your crimp bead with, of course, a crimp bead cover! This will create the illusion that there is a small round metal bead in place of a crimp bead. The image below shows the difference between a bare crimped loop and a loop with a crimp bead cover.

Finishing your beading with wire guardians, French wire or crimp bead covers not only improves the look of your crimped loops, but it is also a great way to make sure that the metal colors on your jewelry pieces match. The basic Beadalon and Soft Flex beading wires are both a dark gray color, which can easily stand out on a gold piece of jewelry. By simply adding the simple touches that I showed you, you can make sure every speck of your gold jewelry is gold colored!

Happy Stringing! – Sara

22 comments to Three Ways to Finish Beading Wire!

  • Shelly

    Sara, On the crimp covers, how does one put them on. I know that sounds stupid, but each time I try, I usually end up flattening them, or they close crooked, or to an angle and look not so pretty. The ones you showed in your picture actually look like a bead, so did I miss some new ones that came out?

    Thank you
    shelly

  • Thanks for all the info! But I have the same problem as Shelly. I have never been able to successfully put on a crimp cover! Every time I watch or read about it, it looks so simple. Is there any really easy technique to use that I’m overlooking?

  • Carol

    Excellent post Sara! When I first learned beading a few years ago, I was taught to use wire guards for crimping and finishing, so this is what I use still today. The french wires look very attractive in your photo. I will definitely add those to my shopping list and give those a try. Thank you!

    @ Shelly ~ I experienced the same issues as you describe with crimp covers, when I used the Mighty Crimper to apply them. It was driving me crazy and I subsequently discontinued using them. One day, I had a discussion about the crimp covers with one of my LBS owners. She told me that she uses flat nose pliers to gently close the covers, so that’s what I used the next time I decided to apply them and the application worked beautifully. All you need to do is apply gentle pressure with the pliers, working slowly, until your covers are closed. Additionally, you may want to give the twisted crimp tubes a try. All you have to do is flatten those with your pliers and you’re done! No crimp covers needed with those and they look really nice! HTH!

  • Irene

    Ditto! What is the cure for sonny crimp covers?

  • Irene

    That should read WONKY crimp covers–another iPhone “auto correction!”

  • Tammy

    I experience the same with crimp covers, so started to lightly use the crimp tool to close it, then carefully use plers with Tool Majic and finish closing. Also, sterling crimp covers tend to be light in material, and have noticed my fingers close them just fine.

    But they can end up dimpled alot with the crimp tool. Would be good to know a better way.

    Love the blog.

  • Kelly G

    Am I the only person who thinks crimp covers are too much? I think they stand out, thereby taking the focus away from the beads in the piece. If it’s a well-done crimp, it looks plenty “clean” and doesn’t need to be covered with something that makes the closure appear bulky.

  • I have to agree with Carol, the twisted crimps look really nice, especially with wire guardians. That gives my pieces a nice, professional finish. I don’t know what it is, but I have never been able to get the folded crimp to work for me. The only thing I use my crimping pliers for is to round off the burr from making a wrapped wire loop.

  • LouKap

    Try Scrimps; they look ever so much better than my crimps do…and, they are easily removable if you want to change things around!

  • Try using the Beadsmith Magic Crimp Pliers. They make my pices look so professional and are so easy to use! The crimp ends up looking like a small bead at the end. You can get them on Amazon for 16.95 http://www.amazon.com/Beadsmith-Magical-Crimper-5-Inch-Purple/dp/B000SX1G9S

  • FusionBeads.com

    We carry the Magical Crimp Tools, too! http://www.fusionbeads.com/shop/productchart/613/

  • FusionBeads.com

    To achieve a clean, smooth shape when you apply your crimp covers be sure to close them slowly and gently. The metal is thin and can be pushed out of alignment easily. If your finished crimp cover is out of whack use your flat nose pliers to correct it. The secret is slow, gentle application and practice.

  • diane

    Thanks for this! I’ve been looking at some higher end beadwork lately and I’ve never been happy with the finish on mine in terms of the exposed beading wire. I couldn’t remember what that coiled stuff was – French Wire! I feel like I’ve seen even better alternatives in finished jewelry, but can’t find anything commercial that looks better than the French Wire.

    I’ve been doing the crimp covers for years with thin-walled, larger hole Thai silver beads because many or most of those don’t have soldered seams. I use 2 pair of chain nose pliers to open them, and flat nose to close around the crimp. You can put the first one on without opening before you crimp that end – the folded crimp just slides right in, then add the other crimp cover at the other end by opening and closing it over the finished crimp to get the perfect tension on the piece, not too tight or too loose.

    I’ve even made crimp covers from large hole pewter beads because they are so soft you can cut them open with solder shears, and close them right back up again with the help of the flat nose pliers. I have yet to try the commercial crimp covers because I’ve still got hundreds of the Thai style.

  • FusionBeads.com

    These are some great ideas! Thank you for sharing them with us, Diane.

    If you’d like to have the aesthetic of French Wire, but prefer a higher quality material, you could make your own by tightly coiling a very thin gauge of sterling wire around a thicker gauge of wire or a skewer. You’ll need something thin, round and stiff to coil around. Here are links for the wire and a Beading Technique that could easily be adapted – you just need to create the coil.
    http://www.fusionbeads.com/shop/product/6363/
    http://www.fusionbeads.com/beadingfaq/techniques.php?bfid=144

  • diane

    thanks! That’s a great idea. I do some of that fine coiling occasionally in finished designs. One of these days I need to make wire coiling jig. I bought one, but it doesn’t do really tiny coils.

  • Joni

    When I was checking out the Magical Crimp Forming Tool on the Web, I found out that it is designed EXCLUSIVELY for 2mm sterling silver or gold filled crimps, NOT for the plated crimps that I was using for my suncatchers. It’s noted very plainly on all the other websites. It would be nice if FusionBeads would add that to their description. I almost ordered them before I found out that very important fact. I have the same trouble with closing the crimp covers, (which is why I was checking out the Magical tool!) so it’s good to read the tips on here.

  • Hi, just to say you can make coils using a vice, a hand drill and the right size drill bit. Put the drill bit in the wrong way round so the smooth end sticks out, put the whole hand drill in the vice. Make a 90 degree bend in the end of your wire & poke it into the chuck. Hold the wire & turn the drill handle, guide the wire into a nice spring shape. Of course it can be made into jump rings too.

  • Busyhands

    i love all your work

  • genie

    I’m confused about what size crimp tubes to use with various size beading wire. For instance, I want to make a necklace using fairly heavy wire, probably .024 inch(.61 mm), with moderately heavy clay beads. What size crimp tubes should I use, for strength? I wander what the inside diameter of the tube should be, to have a wire 61mm x 2, passing through it & be crimped? 1.3, 1.4, 1.7, 1.8? Or something else altogether?

  • FusionBeads.com

    Genie, you have some great concerns about crimp beads! Fortunately, you can nearly always count on using 2x2mm crimp beads. I have yet to across a project with beading wire where a 2x2mm crimp bead did not have a large enough hole. If you are concerned with the strength of the crimp, your best bet will be to use sterling silver crimp beads (see them here: http://www.fusionbeads.com/shop/product/17897/). Our sterling crimp beads are much stronger than our base metal crimp beads. If your project requires a different metal than sterling, you can always cover up the sterling crimp bead with a crimp bead cover of a different color. I hope that helps!

  • [...] Beads Beads Beads|Pandora|Charm TweetClick here to visit the Bead Jewelry Site Jeannie wants to know how to attach wire to chain, jewelry making chain that is. She said, I’ve finished my bead design on wire – now how do I attach it to the chain? Answer:If you are stringing beads on beading wire, you can attach the chain to the rest of your bead design by using crimp beads and the bead stringing technique called crimping. Here are the steps… Step 1String a crimp bead onto the end of the wire. Step 2String the end of the beading wire through the last link on the end of the jewelry making chain. Step 3String a the beading wire back through the crimp bead and a few of the beads you’ve strung. Step 4Now crimp the crimp bead using crimping pliers. You can see the complete steps in this tutorial on How to Attach Clasps. Though the instructions are on attaching clasps to the end of beading wire, the process is the same for attaching chain, or most other stringing material, to beading wire. Method 2 for Attaching Wire to Chain If the wire you mentioned in your question is actually jewelry making wire, you can attach the chain to the end of by making wrapped wire loops. You’ll need these jewelry making pliers: wire cutters, round nose pliers and chain nose pliers. I hope these instructions provide the answer you seek. If not, just ask a clarifying question by clicking on the link below to leave a comment. Click here to visit the Bead Jewelry Site View the original article here Mouse here for Related LinksThree Ways to Finish Beading Wire!Tweet [...]

  • Shannon Nichols

    My question(s) probably stupid, but here it goes…
    1. I make quite a bit of necklaces in which the wire may not be completely covered with beads in the neck area. Sometimes the wire feels a bit sharp on the skin, especially on a heavier piece. Is there any type of wire cover for a length of wire, say 3-5 inches on each side (as an example) so that the wire doesn’t cut into or irritate the skin?
    2. I only recently started using wire guardians, although I don’t think I’m using them properly. Are they supposed to be crimped also or stay in the “horseshoe” shape? I know to put a crimp tube under it but I’m not sure if the guardian is to be crimped, as well.
    3. I love the crimp covers, and I’ve learned to close them – most of the time without denting them. However, I thought one of the functions of a crimp cover was to hide any sharp edges that may be on a crimp tube. The problem is, the crimp cover “hinge” can be quite sharp. I’m currently attaching them on the side part covering the crimp tube, so the “hinge” is pointing either up or down on the necklace, touching the skin. Am I putting them on wrong? Is there another way of attaching? Is there any way to keep them from scratching the neck?

    Pls also email me: ShannonG1129@yahoo.com
    Thx! Shannon

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