Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Beginners Bead Stringing Tutorial

Photos and instructions by Shayna Butler

Two pairs of pliers, any kind
A pair of wire cutters, flush cutters, or old scissors
Tape measure or ruler
Plastic or wooden bowl
Crimp tool
Optional – bead tray

20 grams E beads
20 grams seed beads
Natural stone chip beads
Glass focal beads
Wire (I use Beadalon .018 inches)
Bead or tube crimps
Crimp covers
Small jump rings
Medium rings
Large chain
One lobster clasp
One toggle clasp

Wrap Bracelet Instructions

Step One: Cut two lengths of wire, each about 4 to 6 inches longer than you want your finished product to be.  You might want to give yourself 6 inches if you are a beginner. 
I wanted my finished necklace to be about 20” and my wrap bracelet to be about 36” so my pieces were cut to 24” and 40”. 

Step Two: Use a crimp to add a medium jump ring to one end of the 40” wire.  First slide the crimp bead onto the wire, then the jump ring, the thread the wire around and back into the crimp bead. 

Slide the crimp down close to the end of the wire and position both parts of the wire side by side.  Make sure one does not overlap the other inside the crimp.

The crimp tool has two slots; the one on the outside looks like two half circles, and the one on the inside has a notch on one side.  First you will need to close the crimp using the inside notch.  This will separate the wires.

Then you will need to finish closing the crimp with the outside slot. 

I like to cover my crimps with a crimp cover.  It protects the crimp and gives your piece a finished look.  Place the crimp cover over the crimp.  Make sure the wire lines up in the groves of the crimp cover and close it gently with your pliers.  If you have nylon covered pliers use them to keep from scratching this crimp cover.  If not, be gentle and use smooth pliers instead of pliers with teeth.

Use the wire cutters (or scissors) to trim the tail of the wire.  Leave enough tail to string about two or three E beads over.  If you cover the wire you will not have to worry about it slipping or sticking out and poking you. 

Step Four:  String the beads on the wire.  I strung about two and a half inches of E beads, then one glass focal bead, 2 ½” E beads, 1 focal bead, and so on until I reached the desired length.  The last group of E beads I had to make about three and a half inches to make it the right length.  I held the end of my wire to keep the beads on and wrapped the bracelet around my wrist to make sure it wrapped around enough times, and that it did not have a gap too big for it to fit like I wanted it.  I left about one and a half inches for the clasp and jump ring.  I knew if I did not the necklace might be too loose. 

Step Five:  Once you have measured your bracelet out and double checked it on your wrist, it is time to close it off.  First you will need to add a small jump ring to your lobster clasp.  Then slide on a crimp bead, the jump ring/clasp combo, and slide it back through the crimp bead and into two E beads.  Pull the wire close to the jump ring but not too tight.  Line the wires up side by side and close the crimp bead with the crimp tool.  Cover with a crimp cover.

Step Six:  Attach an extender chain to the medium jump ring on the other end of the wrap bracelet.  This will give you a bit of room to make your bracelet looser.  You will also be able to wear this as a necklace, so you can use this to adjust the length.  Five to six links should do, but I ended up adding about ten to mine so I can wear it around my ankle too.  Add a charm or beaded headpin to the last link for a decorative touch.

Toggle Clasp Necklace Tips

You will use the instructions above to create your toggle clasp necklace, but a few things will be different.  Make sure to cut the wire shorter.  I cut my wire to 24” because I wanted my finished necklace to be 20 inched long.  Second, make sure not to secure the wire too close to the toggle.  It will need to rotate to fit through the other end of the clasp, and if the wire it too tight it will not be able to move freely. 

You will also need to make sure the wire will double through the seed beads.  If it does not, add two or three matching E beads to the start and finish of the necklace rather than cut the tail off.  My wire went through my seed beads without a problem.   Also, make sure not to put any large beads close to the toggle or the opening will not slide down the necklace far enough to let you close the clasp.

For my necklace I did about two and a half inches of seed beads, then a pattern of chip bead, seed bead, chip bead, seed bead until I achieved the desired result.  I alternated lengths of 1 ½”, 2”, and 2 ½” seed beads in between each group of chip beads.  I wanted the necklace to be a bit asymmetrical, so I did not space the pattern precisely.

Since you will not be able to add an extender, it is important that you carefully measure the length of this necklace and check it on your neck before you close it off.  

My necklace ended up being the perfect length to wrap around my wrist three times (and around my ankle twice). 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at nativebloom@outlook.com.  For a PDF version, click HERE, and if you want to check out the video follow THIS LINK.    

No comments:

Post a Comment