How to Use Crimps When Making Jewellery

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How to Use Crimps When Making Jewellery

One way to keep a clasp in place at the end of a string of jewels is to crimp a bead at the base. This only works for jewellery made with wire, but it is very effective in anchoring a clasp to the wire. Crimp beads are basically small metal rings that fit around doubled over wire. The craftsman uses a special tool to close the metal bead over the wire and clamp it in place so that the crimped bead is hard to remove.


Crimping Pliers

Before starting the project, it is important to understand how to use crimping pliers. These pliers feature special designs, and regular pliers do not work. The nose of the pliers has two sets of grooves in it. When closed, these grooves form a circle in the front, and an oval in the back. The back oval gets its shape from a dip in the cutout. Both of these holes are necessary for crimp beads.


Thread the Crimp Bead

Take the wire and thread the clasp onto it first. Then move the bead into place behind it and loop the other end of the wire through the crimp bead so that the loop of wire contains the clasp and the bead holding the two wires together. If necessary, adjust the wire so only 10 cm of wire remains on one end and a longer portion remains on the other side for threading decorative beads. Once positioned correctly, tighten the loop to make it smaller around the clasp. Remember that crimping the bead is permanent so make the loop as small as necessary because it is not adjustable.


Crimp the Bead

Take the crimping pliers and position the bead in the rear cutout of the pliers. Gently press down until the bead curls around the wire and then close the pliers all the way. The bead should now resemble the shape of a 'C'.


Do the Final Crimp

Remove the bead from the pliers and position it in the first cutout in a way that curls the two ends of the 'C' together, and close them into a circle. After squeezing the two ends together, press down harder with the pliers to flatten out the bead. Once the wire is securely in place, string all the beads and charms onto the wire before adding the clasp and crimp bead to the opposite end of the jewellery.

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