In this episode of Emerging Creatively Tutorials TV, I teach you how to use wire guards (I kept calling them guardians! LOL), how to string and how to use crimp beads to make a necklace.
In my case, I was fixing a necklace I made for my mom many, many years ago. But you can use this tutorial to fix a necklace or make a fresh new necklace! Or, of course, you can use this tutorial to make bracelets as well.
Here’s the video:
Stringing with Wire Guards Tutorial in Step-by-Step Photos:
Tools and Materials:
- Beads (or a broken beaded necklace)
- Stringing wire
- Crimp beads (I use 2 on each end, 4 total, but 1 per end is fine)
- Crimp bead covers for each crimp bead (optional)
- Wire guards – 2
- Clasp of your choice plus jump rings to attach it
- Wire cutters
- Crimp tool or chain nose pliers
- Beading tray or something you can arrange beads on such as a piece of felt or a towel so they don’t roll around.
Arrange your beads in the order you would like. In my situation, I fixed a necklace that was already designed. Luckily most of the beads stayed on the original wire in the original order so I just kept that.
Cut your beading wire. Cut as much as you need to hold all your beads plus several extra inches to work with.
*I always say it’s actually better and less costly to cut a little too much wire than not enough because if you don’t cut enough you can’t use it at all and it’s wasted. If you cut a little too much it’s much less that will be wasted.
On one end of the wire, slide on the wire guard. There are two tubes and then the bent part is open. Just slide the wire through making sure to leave extra wire.
This will be pulled tight against the wire guard in the next step.
*NOTE: I added my clasp on at the end with jump rings. However, if you want to add a clasp now you can slide it onto the wire and situate it in the wire guard before the next step.
Slide a crimp bead over both of the wires and pull it against the wire guard. Pull everything tightly.
Now we’ll close the crimp bead with the crimp tool. You’ll notice that there are 2 notches in your tool. One is larger and closer to the handle and one is smaller and closer to the tip.
Place the crimp bead in the larger notch and squeeze it closed. You’ll smoosh the crimp bead closed and you’ll notice a notch or bend in the middle of the crimp bead.
Now place the crimp bead in the smaller notch. You’ll be folding the crimp bead in half.
Optional: Add a crimp bead cover to cover your crimp bead. I use my crimp tool to place it over my crimp bead and then close it. It should look like a regular bead when it’s closed.
I like to use 2 crimp beads per end and others use only 1. It’s up to you. I wrote a post why I used 2 here.
I use a crimp bead, a small regular bead and then an additional crimp bead. In the photo you can see that I have placed crimp covers over both crimp beads.
Now you can start stringing. Place a few beads over the shorter end of the wire. We’ll trim it later.
When you are done stringing beads, check the fit before finishing the necklace.
Complete the other end the same way you did the first end. However, you have to place the components on differently since there are beads on it now.
Slide on a crimp bead, a small bead, a crimp bead, the wire guard and then pull the wire around and back through the crimp bead, small bead, crimp bead and then a couple of beads from the end of the necklace.
(If you’d like to attach a clasp like I mentioned before without a jump ring, place it in the bend of the wire guard before pulling the wire back through the crimp beads and other beads.)
Pull everything tightly, close the crimp beads and add covers if you like.
Make sure everything is secure and then trim off the excess wire.
Using jump rings, attach your clasp to the end. I used a lobster clasp on one end and a jump ring on the other end. For help opening jump rings, click here.
And there you have it, your completed beaded necklace!