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: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:
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:
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.
- 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.
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:
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:
Now wind your wire tightly around and around your mandrel, with each coil lying snugly next to the previous one:
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:
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:
To use your coiled crimp cover, simply slide it 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 coiled crimp bead cover.
Then attach a chain, clasp, or other component to that jump ring or split ring:
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:
Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?
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.