by Rena Klingenberg.
Here’s an artistic alternative to standard crimp bead covers. You can easily conceal your crimp beads inside a pretty, large-hole bead:
It’s a lovely way to finish off your beading and give your jewelry a more professional feel.
You can see these large-hole bead crimp covers at work here – they’re the last beads at each side of the necklace, just before the toggle clasp components:
Before we get into the tutorial, I want to show you some more pretty crimp bead cover examples made with this technique.
On each of these necklaces, the wide-hole beads serving as crimp covers are the last beads at the ends of the strands, right next to the jump rings:
I always keep an eye out for beads with big enough holes to cover crimps.
It’s handy to have a selection of colors and styles of beads you can use for this purpose!
Note – One Limitation to Using These Crimp Covers:
Unlike manufactured crimp covers, large-hole beads do NOT open on one side to fit around the crimp bead.
Instead, they’re strung onto your beading wire – usually over your plain finished beading-wire loop (before you put a jump ring or split ring into the loop) like this:
Then you place a jump ring or split ring in the end of the beading-wire loop that’s peeking out from your large-hole bead crimp bead cover.
Then attach a chain, clasp, or other component to that jump ring or split ring.
What Size of Large-Hole Beads
Do You Need?
To determine what size of large-hole beads you’ll need, measure some of your crimps that have already been crimped.
The easiest way to do that is to look at a necklace or bracelet you’ve beaded, and measure how long and how wide the finished crimps are.
(And because I always use two crimps at each end of my beading for extra security, I’m measuring the total length of the double crimps.)
So I’ll use the millimeter side of my ruler to measure two things . . .
(1) What’s the total length of two crimps?
(2) How wide is the widest part of the squashed crimps?
I measured 5mm length for my double crimps, and 2mm width for the widest part on one crimp.
So I’ll need some lovely large-hole beads that are just a bit larger than those two measurements.
A bead length of at least 6 mm and a hole of at least 2.5mm should work perfectly.
I had these 8mm round faceted acrylic beads, with a 2.5mm hole:
They fit perfectly over my squashed crimp beads, and are 2mm longer than the double crimp length – so the unsightly crimp beads are perfectly concealed!
Your crimp measurements may be different from mine – so be sure to measure the length and width of your own finished crimps!
How to Find Large-Hole Beads
That Are Just Right for Your Project
Once you know the bead measurements, you can do online searches for what you need.
I found that you’ll get the biggest variety of relevant search results if you search for just the bead’s hole size – for example,
“beads with 3mm holes”.
A good place to do this type of search for beads is Etsy.
How to Cover Your Crimps
with Large-Hole Beads
Simply slide one of your large-hole beads over the beading-wire loop and crimps on one end of your beading project:
Then place a jump ring or split ring in the end of the beading-wire loop that’s peeking out from your large-hole bead.
Then attach a clasp, chain, or other component to that jump ring or split ring:
When you’ve finished both ends of your beading project, you’ll have a lovely finished look that’s something like this – and not a crimp bead in sight: