Bead Crimps

Written by Sarah Provost
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Crimp beads are most often used to start and end a beaded piece strung with beading wire. The crimp bead at the beginning keeps the beads from falling off as you work, and the one at the end creates a loop for attaching a clasp. They can be used instead of a bead tip, or in addition to a tip.

There are two kinds of crimp beads, tube-shaped and round. The tubes are most often sterling or gold-filled. The tube-crimp beads are easier to work with and recommended for beginners.

How to Attach a Crimp Bead

You will need a pair of crimping pliers, or a pair of regular chain nose pliers. Crimping pliers have two oval holes in the nose, one of which has a dip in it. Put the crimp bead on the end of the beading wire, then loop the wire back through the crimp bead, leaving a small tail. Put the crimp bead in the second oval of the pliers (the one with the dip) and close the pliers to compress it.

Then turn the crimp bead on its side, and put it in the first oval. Compress the pliers to make the crimp bead round. Trim any extra wire or tuck it back inside the end bead, so that it doesn't scratch the wearer. In order to tuck it inside, your end bead will need to be at least 4 mm.

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