MAKING A SIMPLE NECKLACE OR BRACELET
|You Will need:
Gimp (Very fine hollow metal tubing which you cut to size)
|Select which stringing medium to use, most things can be strung onto a flexible beading wire, tiger tail, Acculon, Beadalon being examples, but also just brand names. Some care needs to be taken with these as they can kink, and once kinked they usually stay that way! There are many other stringing mediums on todays market, think about what will hold the weight of your beads, also, think about colour showing through etc which would change your design. Pearls are usually strung onto silk as they are soft and would gradually rub away.
STRINGING USING CALOTTES
Calottes are small hollow clam shell cups, sometimes with a hole in the bottom, sometimes with a hole in the side.
Cut your stringing medium to length, I usually allow an extra 5 inches. Knot your thread or wire, and take it through the hole in your calotte.
Start to string your design, If you are aiming for something more intricate which requires a certain length to make it work, use a design board. These are very useful pieces of kit, and come with inches and centimetres marked off on a board which you can lay your beads into. Godsend!
Once you are happy with your design, take your thread/wire through another calotte in the opposite direction. Tie another knot as near to the hole as possible, making sure its nice and secure. Sometimes it is a good idea to use a pin or needle to slide the knot exactly where you want it.
Once you are happy, close both of the cups. You are now ready to add your end finding. Clasp/Toggle etc. This is where the hooks on the calottes come in. Using round nose pliers if you have them add your clasp, and roll the hook round so that it forms a loop which is closed onto the top of the calotte. Repeat the same procedure on the other side with ring or toggle bar etc whatever you are using.
STRINGING USING CRIMPS AND GIMP
Onto your wire string a crimp bead. Cut a length of gimp about 1cm long and take your wire through the centre of it. You now have a crimp followed by a length of gimp. Now add your Clasp.
Now, take your wire back through the crimp bead in the opposite direction. Pull the crimp up tight to the gimp which should pass through the eye of your clasp making a neat horseshoe, which will hide the wire and protect the clasp. It also looks very professional.
If you are using crimping pliers insert the crimp bead into the teeth nearest to the hinge. The ones that look like a smiley face! Press down hard. This will separate the wires into two separate halfs and form a dent into the middle.
The second stage uses the front teeth. Use pressure onto the sides of the crimp to fold in half. Pinch the folded crimp together with the nose of your pliers to secure. Give the crimped end a good tug to check that it is secure. The whole weight of your necklace relies on this crimp!
You can just flatten crimps onto your wire, however this can cause metal fatigue, where the crinps will just split on the sides, and it also gives a sharp edge which isnít pleasant worn against the skin. I would advise using crimp covers, which are small clam shell shaped beads which you can cover the squashed bead with to make it look like a bead.