A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative (Tutorial)

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:

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Left: no crimp bead cover; Right: with large-hole bead covering crimps

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:

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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:

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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?

Measuring for a Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

(2) How wide is the widest part of the squashed crimps?

Measuring for a Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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:
Large Hole Beads for A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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!

Important:

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

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Simply slide one of your large-hole beads over the beading-wire loop and crimps on one end of your beading project:

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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:

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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:

A Pretty Crimp Bead Cover Alternative - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. What a great idea! I would never have thought of this! The finished result is much more polished than a crimp bead cover.

  2. Love this! Thanks, Rena. It’s nice to have a pretty alternative to the same-old same-old crimp covers.

  3. This is a wonderful idea…thank you! Just wondering if using 2 crimps is the usual thing? I have only been using 1.

  4. Thank you for your lovely feedback!

    Tamera, I’ve always used 2 crimps on all my beading, just as an extra durability feature. I think it’s a good practice – and definitely if your beads (or the finished pieces of jewelry) are somewhat heavy.

    However, 2 crimp beads are twice as unsightly as 1 – so the finished item will definitely look better with some sort of crimp covers! 🙂

  5. Jennifer Prim says:

    I love the look of the large hole bead, but does the size of it make it hard to get the toggle all the way through the clasp?

  6. Hi Jennifer, Thanks for asking!

    No, I don’t have any trouble getting the toggle bar to go all the way through the circle end of the clasp. I have a jump ring between each clasp end and its large-hole bead, plus a bit of the beading wire loop exposed there too, and they provide enough extra space for the toggle clasp to fasten easily and completely.

  7. I started using large hole beads a few months ago and love it so much more than crimp covers. The idea hit me after reading another article of yours about coiling wire over the crimp beads rather than using crimp covers. I was having trouble with that when the idea to use large hole beads smacked me in the face. Now, I don’t anticipate using crimp covers ever again.

  8. Me too, Rachel! The large-hole beads and the coiled crimp covers you can make are looks I love, and I don’t plan to use manufactured crimp covers again either.

  9. What a great idea, Rena! As soon as I work my way through a few hundred crimp covers purchased just last week (LOL) I’ll be making the switch to large hole beads. Thank you so much for this extremely helpful tip!

  10. Great idea! I’ve always found those crimp beads unattractive and concealing them inside a bead really refines the whole look.

  11. I love the detailed instructions!

  12. I was wondering about those two crimp beads too. If you’re going to double them up, then a large hole bead is a great way to cover them up. It ends up looking very nice!

  13. Lovely jewelry! I really like the clasp you used.

    Navy Wifey Peters

  14. Such a good idea — and I know just where to find some larger hole beads!

  15. So pretty! Thank you for such well-detailed instructions.

  16. Great idea! I need to get busy beading again. I’ve misplaced some crystals and it is maddening! I need to get myself some better organization going.♥♫

  17. You have the best tutorials! Thanks for sharing!

  18. This is one of those ‘now why didn’t I think of that’ ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    Michelle

  19. Alisa S. says:

    Thank you! Thank you! I make ugly bead crimps, and the standard crimp covers are nice, but I don’t always have a matching one.

  20. Awesome idea! I hate the look of the crimps, and the covers don’t always fit well. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Wow! I am NOT a jewelry maker. I would have never thought about such a detail but it does really make a difference in the look of the jewelry. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Very clever idea!

  23. Yes, looks much prettier with the bead covering the crimps! Thanks for showing us how it’s done, such great step by step directions.

  24. I really enjoyed your handy tip for Jewelry Making.

  25. PhyllisC says:

    Ive always used 2 crimps ( safety & durability too), but I split mine up – one at the end, and one 3-4 beads down….. I;ve started using the little bigger hold beads, or some other bead/bugle/finding of some sort that will hide the crimp, that way I have the extra security. Lanyards, and Ceiling fan pulls can get some weight, and.or wear & tear on them, and it make Perfect sense!!
    THANKS for sharing Rena!

  26. I too have been using the coil wire and beads for covering crimps rather than the old covers that never quite fit and don’t look that good anyway. I have also been using the very flexible 49 strand wire I just discovered and love it. It is called Accu-flex do you have advice for stretch material to use also. I have found the strongest does not stretch much and the really stretchy does not seem strong enough to trust. thanks would love some input.

  27. Hi Lou! I use and love the 49 strand Accuflex beading wire too.

    However, I don’t use stretchy cord for beading. I don’t know about the newest versions of it – but many years ago I made a line of stretchy beaded bracelets that wound up breaking after a few wears. It was an awkward situation with my customers, and I decided then that I didn’t want to risk the possibility of making jewelry that breaks easily. So I’ve steered clear of making stretchy styles – but it’s possible that there’s a much stronger stretch cord available nowadays.

  28. LOL! I no longer risk making stretchy bracelets for the same reason; too many broke eventually! In looking at the post for the first time in a while, I am wondering if you have a tutorial for how you did the wire wrapped “bail.” It is very clean and elegant.

  29. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for asking about a tutorial for the wire bail on my donut pendant. I don’t have a tute for that, so I’ll add it to my list of tutorials to create! 🙂

  30. Thank you Rena!
    Again, your advice and tutorial are right on time for me!
    Beverly

  31. Beverly, you are so welcome! Thank you for letting me know! 🙂

  32. You are my hero! I’ve been looking for this technique forever!!

  33. Paula, thank you! LOL! 🙂

  34. I suppose my only concern is that there is no wire guardian and I would be worried about fraying over time. What stringing material are you using? Currently I use Beadalon 49 strand. Is there something stronger?

  35. Donna, I use Accuflex 49. I’ve never had issues with fraying or breaking, even with jewelry that’s been worn almost constantly for several years.

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