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Beading & Jewellery Techniques | Beads Direct

Basic Beading & Jewellery Techniques

With a few simple techniques you can make a wide variety of different jewellery designs. You can master the most common basics by following the steps below.

Opening and Closing Jump Rings

Jump rings are used to attach one piece to another. Usually they are used to attach clasps and join charms to a design, but there are lots of possibilities for using jump rings. Here's how to use them:

1. Grip your ring on either side of the opening with flat and snipe nose pliers.

2. Turn the pliers away from each other in opposite directions to open the ring. This twists the ring open. Do not try to pull the join apart as it will lose the form of the ring.
opening a jump ring
3. Hook the ring on to your jewellery and close by twisting the ring back in to place. You should hear a 'click' as the join closes.
closing a jump ring
Buy flat nose pliers here.
Buy snipe nose pliers here.
Buy jump rings here.

Creating a Headpin or Eyepin Loop With Pliers

Beads can be threaded on to headpins and eyepins to create dangles and connecting pieces. Here's how to make your loop using round nose pliers:

1. Cut your headpin or eyepin app0rox. 1cm above your beads.
cutting a headpin

2. Use the pliers to bend the pin at a 90 degree angle.
making a headpin loop
3. Grip the end of the pin and turn to start forming a loop.
turning the loop

4. Bring the end all the way around to close the loop.
closing the loop
Your finished loop will look like this:

finished loop

Buy round nose pliers here.
Buy wire cutters here.
Buy headpins and eyepins here.

Creating a Headpin or Eyepin Loop With the 1-Step Looper

Turning loops with pliers can be difficult to get consistent every time, and can be hard work when you need to create a lot of loops for one design. The 1-step looper was invented to overcome this porblem. 

Buy the 1-step looper here.

Creating a Wrapped Loop

Wrapped loops are more difficult to master but they are useful when you want to make sure there is no gap in the loop. This can be important if you are looping on to a fine material that might come through the gap. Here's how to make a wrapped loop:

1. Don't cut your headpin or eyepin as you will need a long 'tail' to create your wrap. Bend it at a 90 degree angle a few millimetres above your beads.
bending pin
2. Bring the end around into a loop until it crosses back over the pin.

looping3. Grip the loop in some flat or snipe nose pliers and grip the end in your round nose pliers. Start to wrap the end around the base of the pin.

begin wrapping loop

4. Wrap around approx 3 times or until you have covered the visible base of the pin.

wrapping loop
5. Cut off any excess using wire cutters.
trimming wrapped loop

Your finished wrapped loop should look like this:

wrapped loop
Buy snipe nose pliers here.
Buy round nose pliers here.
Buy wire cutters here.
Buy headpins and eyepins 


Crimps are used with Beadalon flexible wire as this stringing material cannot be knotted. You can simply squash crimps flat to secure on a clasp or you can use crimping pliers to create a bead shape. Here's how:

1. Thread your crimp bead on to your wire. 
thread crimp

2. Thread the wire through the loop on a clasp and then back through the crimp.

clasp crimp

3. Place the crimp in the back cavity of the crimping pliers and close the pliers. This will form the round bead into a half moon shape.


4. Now remove the crimp and place into the front cavity so the crimp creates a 'c' shape as you look at it.

crimping 2

5. Close the pliers again to form the bead into a rounded shape. Your finished crimp should look like this:

finished crimp

Buy crimps here.
Buy crimping pliers here.