Don’t you think that stringing is the beads knees?
When you’re just starting out, stringing is one of the first things that most people learn. It’s simple yes, but is it really?
I don’t know how many people have come into the store, asking why their crimps don’t hold. The first thing I ask them, is what are you stringing the beads on? Quite often, the answer is Fireline, but let me tell you, that is not the answer I wanted to hear! Yes, there is pearl knotting with silk, but again that’s not what I’m going to be discussing in this post. You could even use C-Lon, Hemp, elastic, or waxed cotton cords, but of course, that’s for another post!!
One more thing! You would never use the string, or fishing line the beads come strung on!!!! It’s only meant for packaging, and is not an acceptable stringing material. Rant over!!!
In traditional stringing, you string your beads on some type of flexible beading wire (scroll down). BeadFX has a few types, including Soft Flex, Soft Touch and Econoflex. They come in a range of colours. This tutorial from makingbeadedjewelry.com, shows you step-by-step how easy it is to make a necklace! But necklaces are not all you can make with stringing. How about bracelets, earrings, key chains, lanyards, and even book closures? All are possible! Better still! Check out some of our “Inspirations“, for stringing, and other instructions on individual projects! All of the photos in this post have been taken from the BeadFX Inspirations page! Scroll down to see the photo, and view the instructions!
Necessary stringing supplies include one or more types of beads (glass, stone, metal, polymer clay, or even paper). Then you move on to flexible beading wire, crimps (tubes or rounds), crimp covers, split rings (although I’ve often just used jump rings), and a clasp. Wire guardians (not a requirement, and not in the tutorial) are a necessity for me, as they add strength, and a nice finishing touch. A bead board of some type is also necessary! If you design on-the-fly like me, you might just use a bead mat, but the measurements on a bead board certainly do help when you’re just starting out! Also, don’t forget crimp pliers!
Tip! Do not cross your beading wire, under the crimp bead. If you do, it will not hold!! Make sure that the wire is nice and straight, and lying side-by-side, before you crimp the bead.
As an intuitive beader, I normally throw all the rules out the door, but I do still use the basics of stringing. However, I might mix them up, by adding a mixed media element, or perhaps a section or two of chain, leather, or fabric.
Yes, there is such a thing as a leather crimp, but they’re not quite the same as the ones mentioned above. You can string your beads on round leather, knot in-between for interest, then finish the ends with a leather crimp, as shown in mias-craft-ideas.com. It’s pretty simple, then you just add jumprings or split rings, and a clasp. For security, I like to add a little drop of Super New Glue (It’s so good that it flies out the door!!!). Solid metal crimps/ends are a little more expensive, but definitely my preference for a more professional finish!
This is probably a back-to-basics post for many of you, but stringing is here to stay! It’s not something that I use all that much, but do plan on doing more in the future. My bead stash overfloweth, and its time I showed them off!! How about you?