How to Make Crimp Bead Covers – Tutorial

by Rena Klingenberg.

You can neatly cover your crimp beads and beading wire ends by making your own easy, coiled crimp bead covers:

Left: no crimp bead cover; Right:  with handmade crimp bead cover.

Left: no crimp bead cover; Right: with coiled crimp bead cover.


Covering up your crimps and beading wire is a simple way to give your finished jewelry a more professional look.

See the coiled crimp bead covers in action – between the last blue bead and the beginning of the chain, on each side of this necklace:

Coiled crimp bead covers in action - between the last blue bead and the beginning of the chain, on each side of this necklace. (Necklace by Rena Klingenberg.)


Necklace by Rena Klingenberg.

Note – One Limitation to Using These Crimp Covers:

Unlike manufactured crimp covers, these handmade ones 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:

make-crimp-bead-covers-10

Then you place a jump ring or split ring in the end of the beading-wire loop that’s peeking out from your coiled crimp bead cover.

Then attach a chain, clasp, or other component to that jump ring or split ring.

Supplies:

  • Round wire in a color that looks good with your beading project.

    (In my example here I’m using 20-gauge Artistic Wire in an antique brass color.)

  • Some sort of thin mandrel for winding your wire around.

    (I used a size 4 knitting needle; you might also use a kebab skewer, small dowel, fireplace match, etc. Your mandrel needs to yield a wire coil with an inside diameter that’s a little larger than your crimp beads.)

  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Wire cutter.

Handmade coiled crimp bead cover by Rena Klingenberg

How to Make Coiled Crimp Bead Covers:

First, measure how long of a space you need to cover up.

You’ll want to hide your crimps (I usually use two crimps at each end of my beading), and probably part of your beading wire loop.

I find it’s easier to measure in millimeters for this, since it’s usually a pretty small area.

Here I’m measuring about 10 mm to cover both of my crimps and part of the loop on this end of my necklace; so that’s the length I’ll need to make my crimp bead covers:

measuring for crimp bead covers

Now pick up your mandrel (I’m using my knitting needle) and the wire you’ll use to create your crimp bead cover.

Since I don’t know exactly how much wire I’ll need, here’s how I avoid cutting off too long or too short of a piece:

Instead of starting out by cutting the wire, I just pull the wire directly from the wire spool as I wind it around my mandrel – and then I cut my wire off from the spool when I’m done.

Start out by placing the end of your wire across your mandrel – leaving a 2″ (5 cm) tail of wire sticking down below your mandrel, for easy gripping.

Grip your mandrel and wire in the jaws of your flat nose pliers:

make-crimp-bead-covers-3

Now wind your wire tightly around and around your mandrel, with each coil lying snugly next to the previous one:

make-crimp-covers-4

Stop coiling your wire after a bit, and measure to see how close you’re getting to the length you need.

I measured 10 mm at the beginning of this project, so I’m winding my wire around my knitting needle till my coil measures 10 mm:

measuring finished crimp cover

When your wire coil is the right length, slide it off your mandrel and clip both ends of your wire as close as possible to your coil:

How to use handmade crimp covers

To use your coiled crimp cover, simply slide it over the beading-wire loop and crimps on one end of your beading project:

make-crimp-bead-covers-10

Then place a jump ring or split ring in the end of the beading-wire loop that’s peeking out from your coiled crimp bead cover.

Then attach a chain, clasp, or other component to that jump ring or split ring:

Handmade coiled crimp bead cover by Rena Klingenberg

See how nicely your handmade crimp cover hides the structural elements at the end of your beading strand?

Now, instead of seeing utilitarian crimps and beading wire on your jewelry, people will see your fabulous wire coils:

periwinkle-yellow-czech-glass-necklace-03

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. I had an epiphany recently and decided I was suppose to start making jewelry. I am finding out there is so very much that goes into this and I want to be the BEST at what I do and have to best to offer. I would like to say this website is very impressive and I really enjoy your ideas and help. I found your site on Pinterest, which I am so happy I did. I will be saving my money to be able to purchase your book, it is EXACTLY what I am looking for and need. Thank you

  2. This has a really clean and finished look to it. I had been stacking up large-holed beads to cover the crimp but sometimes they needed to be too much bigger than the beads in the necklace on the other side of the crimp and looked clunky. Using stacked-up jump rings looks sort of like this, but they flop all over the place.

  3. This is a great technique I plan to start using right away. Thanks so much for this, and ALL your wonderful ideas!

  4. What a clever idea…on of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments for me – LOL I am always running out of crimp covers, but I’m almost NEVER out of wire. I plan to start using this technique the next time I’m in the studio! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Welcome, Brenda! I’m so glad you’ve found us.

    Thanks so much to all for your comments! :)

    Cathy, that’s exactly how I came up with this idea – I had no crimp covers and no beads with holes of the right size to substitute as covers . . . and wire is always my go-to item when I need to “MacGyver” something.

    One thing I especially like about using wire coils as crimp covers is that you can use any gauge and type of wire, and any diameter of mandrel, so you can always make crimp covers that are a perfect size and perfect style for your project!

  6. Oooh, I’m going to definitely try this, Rena. Would be a great crimp bead cover up for a more substantial necklace, but also a nice bit of interest in the design!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a great idea. I will certainly be using this one. I need to find you on Pintrest………… Thanks again

  8. What a great idea! I’m looking forward to giving this a try. Rena, thank you for the easy to follow tutorials.

  9. Love this idea…thank you for sharing it with us!

  10. Beautiful idea.

  11. Great idea! This cover finishes off the necklace perfectly – neat and pretty with no ugly crimps showing. I don’t string but I do use a similar cover on the ends of my Viking Knit chains.

  12. Great tutorial thanks! I love beading and wirework and this DIY will come in very handy.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Rena! This looks like a great tip for a more professional looking piece of jewelry!

  14. Great idea … it really does look so much more polished and finished. Thanks for the tutorial.

  15. What a cool idea! AND…what a pretty necklace you made! =D

  16. Great Idea..thanks.One more idea, if we wrapped wire around a round nose pliers or a pokey stick we would get a cone, instead of a cylinder and the necklace with end up looking more graceful, esp if there is no extension chain and the crimp comes right at the closure.

  17. I like this way of covering the crimp, and the necklace in your example is beautiful. Thanks for the tip.

  18. Thanks for showing how. Linda

  19. thanks!!!

  20. Great solution to bare crimp beads, I will have to make some crimp covers next time I string a necklace.

  21. This is awesome. I hate bare crimp beads. Next necklace I make I going to try this. Thanks for sharing. I repined this on my pinterest tracysc6323

  22. Rena, you are genial again. I would never have thought of wiring around a knitting needle, but it obviously works! You do great demo’s!

  23. What a difference this crimp bead cover made in the finished look of your necklace. Such a clever idea!
    Hugs, Mary Beth

  24. Great! I only make jewelry for myself as it is a real talent that I don’t have but like piddling.

  25. Virginia Donald says:

    What a wonderful idea Rena. I ran out of bead and crimp covers and now with your clever technique I will be able to finish my creations with a professional edge. Thank you

  26. Oh my… that is so much prettier! Thank you so much for showing us how…! :)

    hugs x
    Crystelle

  27. What a great looking necklace. Excellent tutorial too. Pinning.

  28. Great idea! It is true – necessity is the mother of invention! Your crimp bead looks very finished!

  29. Love this idea- great tutorial. Really gives the piece a finished look!

  30. Great tutorial, Rena! I’m really liking how that coil looks. Pinning this!

  31. Another great and helpful hint from you. Thanks for sharing.
    p

  32. You always have the best tutorials. Thanks for sharing at Fluster’s Creative Muster. I’m looking forward to seeing what you link up next week.

  33. Gorgeous necklace! Thanks so much for sharing another fab jewelry making technique on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  34. Beautiful! Great tute also. Thanks so much. Fabulous blog! Linda

  35. Hi Rena, as seems to happen often when reading your journal, this clever and artistic technique comes just in time. I was about to use crimp covers on a four-strand bracelet and was just not satisfied with the look. I have been using wire spirals on a lot of my wirework recently, but I hadn’t thought of using them in this context. Thanks for sharing your wonderful solution! You’re the best!!

  36. Deb, thanks so much for letting me know JMJ is so helpful to you! I love to hear that. :)

    Thanks to all for your kind comments and thoughts on this project!

  37. How pretty, I’ll have to show this to my daughter, she loves making things like this. Thank you so much for sharing with Saturday Spotlight last week. I hope you come by tomorrow to share more of your awesome creations!

    April

  38. Thanks, Rena! I have coils made in many colors & sizes, but was only using them as beads & spacers. Never occurred to me to use them in this way! Sheer genius! I like to use a soldered jumping & put it on my wire before stringing back thru the crimp. That way I don’t have to worry about the jumpring opening or breaking. This will give a marvelous finishing touch to my pieces since I can match colors and finishes. Wonderful!

  39. MadHatter Alice, Thanks so much for letting me know how helpful this idea is for you! The addition of your soldered jumpring is a wonderful touch! And cool that you already have a collection of coils to work with. :)

  40. Fabulous idea! Will definitely be using this one! Thank you!

  41. very helpful, thanks!

  42. Jeree P says:

    I just had a melt-down finding out that the rather expensive crimp covers I’d bought were no where near big enough to cover the darn crimps. No way was I going to buy another lot of crimps, so I just slid a small bead over the two ends of the wire looped around the clasp and super-glued it in place (after having to take two pairs of pliers to the glue tube that had stuck its own cap to itself!) Battered, glued, pinched and fed up, I found your site and your wonderful advice. A real light-bulb moment! Thank you so much!

  43. A really nice way to cover crimps!

  44. Hi Rena, I’ve recently signed up to your wonderful site and find so many inspiring ideas and posts. Your ideas for covering crimps are great and I always use wire guardians when I’m using Beadalon etc, so wondered if you have any ideas how to cover the crimps in this case. I love your idea of the large hole beads but don’t think they would work over guardians and again, the coils are a good idea but do you have any other suggestions?

    I hate those pesky crimp covers! Using one at the start of the stringing is ok but I find judging the amount of space to leave at the other end for it to fit right is very hit and miss- mostly miss!

    I would appreciate any suggestions you can offer for either alternate crimps or using crimp covers correctly. Thanks.

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