How to Make My Own Curved Metal Tube Beads?

by Lynda Catt.
(Las Vegas, NV)

How to Make My Own Curved Metal Tube Beads?  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I have been looking at several types of metal curved tube beads for bracelets or necklaces, and am wondering if anyone has a tutorial on how to make them.

It would be great to have them handmade here in the USA.

Some are intricate designs. Some are stamped. Most of them are plain.

I don’t have a photo of my own, but I’m sure everyone knows what these curved tube beads look like.

Lynda Catt

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  • Judy Bjorkman says:

    Lynda, without a photo I can only guess what you want. I have not made curved tube beads but I have read about a couple of ways of getting an even curve on metal tubing (practice on copper). One is to fill the tube with fine sand, close both ends, and then the tubing should curve evenly. The other is to fill the tube with water, freeze it, and then bend it carefully. Obviously, if you want to decorate the tubing, do that before bending. Hope this helps!

  • I would imagine you could start with a malleable metal like copper pipe and experiment. You would need something semi-rigid inside the tube that would allow the metal to be bent in such a way as to avoid creasing it. If you wanted to have designs or stamps I would do those to the metal first then bend it. Good luck!

  • Lynda,
    As said before, it is hard to tell what you are attempting to do. There are pipe benders that look like large springs where you put the pipe inside the spring and then bend it. The pipe should fit snugly inside the spring. They can be purchased at Amazon as well as other places including your local hardware store, I think you want the small set. I have tried them with bare pipe without much success. The metal (copper pipe) should be annealed before bending. Maybe it would work better filled with sand or ice.


  • Lyone Fein says:

    As Judypag mentions, there are tools for bending pipes. The spring type tools that she describes are somewhat primitive tools in this category. However plumbing professionals–and artists who do a lot of pipe manipulation– work with a more complex (and expensive) type of pipe bending tool. It is a machine into which you can thread your pipe between two steel channels. You set the desired angle on a type of protractor wheel. Then you slowly bring down a handle that draws the two steel channels together.
    The entire device is about 2 – 3 feet wide by 1.5 foot deep. The one I saw was free-standing on its own legs, though I imagine many sit on work benches and tables.

    Hope this info is also helpful?

    BTW, I make a lot of curved tube art work–mostly mobiles. And I just do it all by hand! No springs, sand, water, etc. needed.


  • Laura Joseph says:

    Hello ,Hope this helps the pipe bender spring like coils mentioned in another comment comes in several sizes all the way done to a quarter inch these size are intended to bend small metal tubing for pluming supplies and copper tubes filled with oil after shaping . I have used them for a long time. the idea is to bend and shape as needed with out crimping or causing a crack in the tubing I use a tube cutter to cut each length a small tool that you turn by hand and it cuts the tube a causing a tiny curve in word. Laura Joseph p.s. these are found in the pluming supply area

  • Laura, thank you for sharing this great tip! 🙂

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