Catalogs FAQ


 
 
These are the essential tools that every beader should have in her tool box to successfully string beads, flatten crimps, attach clasps, create loops and work with jump rings.
  Side Cutter
The small, sharp
angled blade makes
it easy to precisely
cut soft metal wire
or tiger tail.
  Round Nose Plier
Multiple loop sizes can
be made with the
graduated, cone-like
jaws of these pliers.

Chain Nose Pliers
These pliers have smooth flat jaws that narrow to a tip and are most commonly used for gripping and reaching into tight places. They can be used to flatten crimp beads, open and close jump rings, or bend wire.
Beading Mat
A fleece beading mat in a neutral color is
essential for keeping your beads from rolling
aimlessly around your work surface. A piece
of corduroy fabric or a terrycloth towel can
also work in a pinch.
 
 
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A few other tools are “nice to have” in your toolbox. These tools will help
you take your designs to the next level.
 
 
     
  Crimping Pliers
    These pliers’ jaws have two notches to transform crimp beads and tubes
into “folded” crimps. While chain nose pliers are sufficient, crimping
pliers offer a more professional finish to your stringing project.
  Flat Nose Pliers  
  Ideal for creating sharp bends in wire, these pliers have flat jaws
that will hold any jewelry component without marring. They can
also be used for flattening wire that has become kinked and for
working with jump rings.
 
     
  Bent Nose Pliers
    Ideal for wire wrapping, these pliers can do everything chain nose pliers
can however the bent tip helps you hold or reach into difficult angles.
  Scissors / Snips  
  Always have a pair of sharp scissors or snips handy for cutting
threads and cording materials other than tiger tail or wire.
 
     
  Tweezers
    Beading tweezers have a very narrow, tapered end. Tweezers are useful
in creating and positioning knots tightly between beads.
     
  Bead Design Board
    Flocked design boards are helpful when planning necklace or

bracelet
designs. Simply space your beads in the channel that

corresponds with
the length of your finished design. Graduated

channels are especially
helpful for planning multi-strand
designs.

 
 
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There are so many stringing materials to choose from for creating beaded
jewelry. Remember that the
string serves as the backbone to your design;
therefore it is always best to use the strongest material
possible to ensure
you can enjoy your jewelry for many years to come.
 
 
 
 
A. Stretchy Cord
Sold under a variety of brand names, stretchy cord is typically clear elastic cording ideal for making
bracelets that can be slipped on and off without a cumbersome clasp. If you are using heavy beads,
consider stringing your beads onto two lengths of cording to ensure your design consistently springs
back into shape.

B. Tiger Tail
Also called flexible beading wire, tiger tail is the most common stringing material used for beaded
jewelry. It is made of multiple wires twisted together that have been coated with nylon and is available
in a variety of diameters ranging from very fine (.012”) to very thick (.026”). Consider the smallest hole
size as well as the transparency of the beads in your project when selecting tiger tail.

C. Transite
Clear monofilament also known as “fishing line”, transite is a clear stringing material with very little
stretch, making it ideal for illusion or “floating” designs.

D. Leather, Suede, Cotton and Fibers
Natural fibers add color and texture to beaded jewelry. They are available in a variety of widths and can
be used to create simple to more elaborate designs.

E. Wire
Wire has become an increasingly important material in fashion jewelry. It comes in a variety of
thicknesses or malleability including: dead soft, half hard, and full hard and is typically sold in spools or
in continuous lengths and is offered in a variety of gauges from 26 ga (extremely fine) to 18 ga (thickest
gauge available). Remember, the higher the gauge, the thinner and more delicate the wire. The most
commonly used wire gauges are 22 and 24.

F. Chain
Chain is everywhere! From fine, delicate chain to large, open links adding chain to your design
immediately conveys “modern”. Consider interspersing beaded eye pins between links of chain and
even using individual chain links as decorative jump rings.

 
    Common Bead Sizes
 
    Common Strand Lengths
 
Type Length
Bracelet 7 in
Anklet 10 in
Choker 16 in
Princess 18 in
Type Length
Matinee 24 in
Opera 32 in
Rope 48 in
   
 
 
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The term “findings” is a general term applying to the metal components,
such as clasps and head pins,
which are
used
in jewelry design. Findings
are available in a wide range of metal types and finishes.
 
 
 
 

A. Crimp Beads & Crimp Tubes
Crimp beads and tubes are used to finish designs strung on tiger tail. When flattened, they attach a
clasp to the
wire, finishing off your design with an extremely secure hold.

B. Cord Ends
Use cord ends to finish off designs using leather, suede, cotton or other fibers. Simply place the material
into the
end and flatten with chain nose pliers. The cord end has a loop on the end to which a clasp can
be attached.

C. Clamshell Bead Tips
Clamshells are the ideal finding for finishing designs strung on lightweight silk, cotton or linen cord. The
final knot
of the design is “cupped” between the two sides of the shell. To conceal the knot, simply close
the clamshell with chain nose pliers.

D. Clasps
Clasps are the finishing element of any strung design and allow you to open and close a piece of jewelry.
Lobster
and spring ring clasps are simple and effective solutions while decorative toggles can serve as
the focal point of your design.

E. Multi-strand Clasps
Multi-strand designs are increasingly popular. Standard clasps can accommodate a few strands of small
beads,
however multi-strand clasps ensure your strands stay evenly spaced and lay flat as intended. The
number of loops
at the end of the clasp determines how many strands it can accommodate.

F. Jump Rings
Jump rings are small wire rings that are used to link different materials together or to attach charms to
a chain.
A small opening in the ring allows it to be easily opened and closed with pliers. Offered in a
variety of shapes and
gauges, circle and oval jump rings are the most widely used.

G. Split Rings
Split rings are shaped like a tight key ring and provide a secure attachment because they do not open
easily.

H. Connectors
The term “connector” applies to any shape or link that is used to connect different segments of a design
together.

I. Earring Findings
Like clasps, there are a variety of choices when it comes to earring findings. Most commonly used types
include:
kidney, French ear wires, lever back, hoops and chandeliers.

J. Head Pins
A head pin is a piece of wire with a nub, ball or decorative design on one end which prevents beads
from sliding off.
They are used to create beaded drops or dangles. 1.5” and 2” head pins are the most
versatile lengths.

K. Eye Pins
Similar to head pins, eye pins differ only in that they have a loop at the end instead of a nub. The loop
makes it
easier to create beaded links, as it eliminates the need to create one of the loops.

 
 
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The way you attach a clasp to finish your design depends
upon the stringing material used. The
most
common
ways
to attach a clasp are listed below, with the corresponding
stringing material(s)
listed in
parentheses.
 
 
    Using Chain Nose Pliers to Crimp
    (Tiger Tail, Transite or Stretchy Cord)
   
  1. Slide a crimp bead or crimp tube onto a piece of tiger tail. Next, string on one half
    of a clasp set. In this example we are using a lobster clasp.

  2. Thread the tiger tail around the clasp and back through the crimp bead/tube. Be
    sure to leave a little excess tiger tail that can be thread back into the first few
    beads of your design.

  3. Flatten the crimp bead with your chain nose pliers. Tug on the clasp to ensure the
    crimp has gripped your wire/cording.

  4. String your beads in desired pattern. Cut excess wire/cording with your side cutters.
    Position the blade as close to the bead as possible to make a clean, flush cut.

  5. Repeat the above steps to attach the second side of your clasp set.
   
    Using Crimping Pliers to Crimp
    (Tiger Tail, Transite or Stretchy Cord)
   

  1. Slide a crimp bead or crimp tube onto a piece of tiger
    tail. Next, string on one half
    of a clasp set. In this
    example we are using a lobster clasp.

  2. Thread the tiger tail around the clasp and back through
    the crimp bead/tube. Be sure to leave a little excess
    tiger tail that can be thread back into the first few
    beads of your design.

  3. Place the crimp bead into the crimper area of the pliers. Squeeze gently
    to transform the tube into a half moon shape.

  4. Move crimp bead up to the rounder end. Squeeze the pliers, bending the
    half moon shape together.

  5. String your beads in desired pattern. Cut excess wire/cording with your side cutters.
    Position the blade as close to the bead as possible to make a clean, flush cut.
    Repeat the above steps to attach the second side of your clasp set.
 
 
 
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When using stretchy cord, it is important to use beads
that have smooth holes, as rough or jagged holes can
nick
and weaken the cording. Select a gauge of stretchy cord that will slide easily through the holes of your
 
 
 
  1. Measure and cut the cording at least 4” longer than the desired length of your
    finished design.

  2. Tying a simple
    overhand knot
     
     

    Secure one end of the cording with a piece of transparent tape.

  3. String on beads in your desired pattern.

  4. Finish your piece by tying a simple overhand knot.

  5. Add a small dab of glue directly on the knot.

  6. Cut the excess cording as close to the knot as possible.
 
 
 
       Using Cord Ends
(Leather, Suede, Fibers and Thicker Cording Materials)

  1. Place one end of your cording in the channel of a cord end.

  2. Use your chain nose pliers to flatten one side of the cord end down onto the
    cording.

  3. Repeat step 2, flattening the second side of the cord end down on top of the
    first.

  4. Thread a split ring onto the hole at the end.

  5. Thread one side of your desired clasp onto the split ring.

    Repeat steps 1-5 to complete the second side.

 
Quick-drying, Clear Glue
Applying a small dab of glue to the end of a knotted design protects the knot
from coming undone. Look for tubes of glue with a precision applicator tip.

 
 
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(Lightweight Silk, Cotton or Linen Cord)
 
  1. Cut your desired length of
    cording, leaving at least
    6” to 8” extra inches on
    each end of your design
    to accommodate a simple,
    overhand knot.

  2. Tie your first overhand
    knot.

  3. Thread the first clamshell
    bead tip onto the cording
    by passing the cord
    into the center of the
    clamshell. The knot
    should be “cupped” inside
    the clamshell.

  4. Apply a small dab of glue
    onto the knot. Let the
    glue dry.

  5. Use a pair of snips or
    scissors to trim any
    excess cording as close to
    the knot as possible.

  6. To conceal the knot,
    simply close the clamshell
    around the knot with
    chain nose pliers.
7.

8.

9.

Thread one side of your
desired clasp onto the end
of the clamshell. Use your
chain nose pliers to close
the end around your clasp.
Press firmly to secure.

String on your desired
beads. At the end of
your bead strand, thread
your cording through
the bottom of another
clamshell.

Tie an overhand knot,
using tweezers to move
the knot to fit snuggly
against the hinge of the
clamshell. The clamshell
should fit snuggly against
the bead strand.

Repeat steps 4-7 to secure
the clamshell and attach
the second side of your
clasp.

 
 
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Creating a Simple Loop Using a Head Pin
 
  1. Slide beads onto the head
    pin in the pattern you
    desire. Leave a 3/8” portion
    of the pin uncovered. If
    necessary, use your wire
    cutters to cut off any excess
    wire.

  2. Use your round nose pliers
    to bend the exposed portion
    of the head pin until it forms
    a right angle with the rest of
    the head pin.

  3. Grasp the very end of the
    head pin with the tip of your
    round nose pliers. Roll the
    head pin toward you to form
    a round loop.
4.

5.

6.

Use side cutters to trim the
excess wire.

Use the tip of your round
nose pliers to center the
loop above the rest of the
wire.

To connect the head pin to
other materials, gently open
and close the loop with your
chain nose pliers.

       
Creating a Wrapped Loop Using a Head Pin
       
  1. Slide beads onto the head
    pin in the pattern you
    desire. Leave at least 1” of
    the head pin uncovered.

  2. Use your round nose pliers
    to bend the exposed portion
    of the head pin until it forms
    a right angle with the rest
    of the head pin.

  3. Grasp the bend in the head
    pin with your round nose
    pliers. Bring the wire up
    and over the top jaw of your
    pliers.

  4. Grip the loop you just
    created with your round
    nose pliers and wrap the
    wire down and around the
    bottom jaw of the pliers.
5.

6.

7.

Grasp the loop with your
chain nose pliers and wrap
the excess wire around the
stem of the head pin. Coil
the wire neatly until the
entire stem is covered.

Use side cutters to trim the
excess wire.

Use your chain nose pliers
to push the end flush against
the wrapped area to ensure
the sharp edge is minimized.

 
 
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  Using Jump Rings
  1. Hold jump ring with two pairs of pliers. To open jump ring, bring a pair
    of pliers toward you while holding the other pliers stable.

  2. To close jump ring, reverse step 1.
 
 
  Attaching Beaded Head Pins to Earring Findings
  1. Gently open head pin loop with chain nose pliers.

  2. Insert open loop through earring finding.

  3. Gently close head pin loop with chain nose pliers.
   
  Creating a Connector Using an Eye Pin
  1. Slide bead(s) onto an eye pin in the pattern you desire.

  2. Use your round nose pliers to bend the eye pin until it forms a right
    angle with the rest of the eye pin.

  3. Grasp the very end of the eye pin with the tip of your round nose
    pliers. Roll the eye pin back onto itself to form a round loop.

  4. Use side cutters to trim the excess wire.

  5. Use the tip of your round nose pliers to center the loop above the rest
    of the wire.

  6. To connect the eye pin to other materials, gently open and close the
    loop with your chain nose pliers.
 
 
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  1. Cut 3-4” of wire.
  2. Use your round nose pliers to bend the wire until it forms a right
    angle.

  3. Grasp the bend in the wire with your round nose pliers. Bring the wire
    up and over the top jaw of your pliers with your fingers.

  4. Grip the loop you just created with your round nose pliers and with
    your fingers wrap the wire down and around the bottom jaw of the
    pliers.

  5. Grasp the loop with your chain nose pliers and with your fingers wrap
    the excess wire around the stem. Coil the wire neatly around the
    stem.

  6. Use side cutters to trim the excess wire.
  7. Use your chain nose pliers to push the end flush against the wrapped
    area to ensure the sharp edge is minimized.

  8. Slide bead onto wire.
  9. Repeat steps 2-7 for other side.
  10. Tip: If you’re using more than one wrapped loop, be sure to connect the
    materials before coiling the wire around the stem.

 
 
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