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The Beginners Guide to the Perfect Crimp
By: Maria Nerius
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You can't make most strung jewelry without out knowing how to crimp. Crimping is the process of attaching your beading wire (thread) to your clasp or closure. For example in making a necklace, you'd have to crimp the toggle clasp (2 pieces) to each end of your bead wire. You'll crimp one end of the clasp, string your beads, and then crimp the second part of the toggle clasp to finish your necklace.
You will need a crimping tool and crimping tubes or rounds (beads). There are many styles of crimping tools and many sizes of crimping tubes and rounds. Make sure you select crimping tubes or rounds that are appropriate for your jewelry project. The larger or more weight to your piece of jewelry the larger the tube or round should be. The real key to crimping is practice. Take your time and get a feel for the crimping tool in your hand.
To crimp you will slide the crimping tube onto your beading wire, place one part of your closure onto the wire, then thread the wire back through the crimping tube. Make sure you snug the wire down so the closure part is secure and hold the wire in your hands (you'll be holding both the length of wire and the raw end in your hands). You'll bring your crimping tool to the crimping tube and squeeze. Some crimping is a single crimping action, while with tubes you often do a second crimp to shape the tube. Click the link at the bottom of the blue imitation suede necklace to see the different crimping tools, crimping tubes and rounds, and crimping styles.
If you don't properly crimp your closures, the closure can slip causing your jewelry piece to fall apart so practice, practice, practice. Crimping is a technique that often frustrates new jewelry artists, but practice will improve your skill and you'll master it in no time.
Great projects to Practice Your Crimping Skills:
FaveCrafts Jewelry e-book: Learn how to make stylish jewelry for yourself or a friend
Citine Safari Bracelet uses Beadalon's Scrimp style of crimping
Corazon Necklace has a heart as its focus
Katie Hacker's Double Daggers Bracelet is charming. You can use a combination of different colors for a greater effect
Margot Potter's Edwardian Influenced Waterfall Necklace is a layered delight
Even if you're a beginner at this whole crimping thing it can be easier than it looks; just take one step at a time. If you want to make strung jewelry for yourself then learning how to crimp should be your first step. Good luck!
Maria Nerius is one of our crafting experts and also the author of several scrapbooks and crafting books.
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