Arthritis – Trouble Holding the Top of Memory Wire or Stretchy Cord While Beading

by Leighann.

Arthritis - Trouble Holding the Top of Memory Wire or Stretchy Cord While Beading  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

Our challenge is holding the top of the memory wire or stretchy cord while beading.

Arthritis makes it difficult, painful and discouraging, but we still want to make jewelry.

Any good ideas on how to hold it while beading? Thanks!


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  • Hi, Leighann, would any of the ideas in these posts help?
    And be sure to also read all the comments below each of these posts:

    Get a Grip – an Easy Way to Grasp Things (video with transcript and photos).

    Tools for a Person with Difficulty Using Hand.

    Help – How to Make Jewelry with One Hand?.

    I hope this helps, and I’d love to see other ideas! 🙂

  • Jaelene Huffman says:

    I’m watching for ideas from others. I have trouble with my hands and have been looking for ideas as well. I have found a couple things that help me a little. I have a rectangle container thats not very deep but holds things I may need and catches anything I drop. It’s deep enough to catch and stop most things from bouncing out, saving me the pain of hunting. It also has narrow sides I can attach clips to. That brings me to my next thing I do.
    I have lots of assorted clips. I can clip them to the sides of my catch All container I can use my clips to hold the string, wire, leather and many other things to the side and hold it still. Depends on what kind of project Iam doing. Sometimes I clip 1 piece on each side. Its less in my hands. I have even clipped earring wire so I was able to put beads on and close it up tight when done without holding the wire.
    How much this helps varies depending on the project being done.
    I use larger tools, full size . Easier on my hands. Locking pliars can be helpful on many things. Holding things still, or turning/moving things that requires a tight and/or constant grip. They come in many sizes and type.
    Hope to see more ideas

  • barb carpenter says:

    When it comes to elastic or stringing wire; anything on a spool; I leave it on the spool till I’m done stringing the beads on. This keeps them from coming off the other end and also saves on wire or elastic . There is also a thing called a third hand that is clamped to your table and holds the piece so you can work on it..

  • Leslie Schmidt says:

    Several things come to mind ~ when I was teaching beginning jewelry making class, I used binder clips (and they come in fun colors now, too). You can also buy special spring clips that hold multiple strands (they look like a slinky). If you are using elastic or stretch cord, the one tip that I found extremely helpful was that you cut 10-12 inch pieces for a bracelet, then holding each end in your hands, pull and stretch 10 times to pre-stretch the cord so it won’t stretch out later on. Then I clamp one end with a binder clip, start adding beads, then clamp the other end until I am ready to tie them off. Use a surgeon’s knot to tie the ends together (one extra loop over either at the beginning or end of your knot). I buy cookie sheets at the dollar store and also solid vinyl shelf liner there (not the one with holes in it) and cut it to fit my cookie sheets. This keeps your work from rolling away from you. I prefer this to the special bead mats that never fit my trays.

  • Barb says:

    I have found clipboards handy. They come in different sizes and you could set one in a box/cooky sheet, etc. mentioned above. I can also clip on a sheet of paper with notes if I am designing a pattern.

  • Barb, what a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing that! 🙂

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