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Now that you know how to crimp onto tigerwire jewelry and you’ve made yourself a great necklace, you need to know how to end the wire properly in order to put the clasp on. Bead tips, also known as cups or clamshells, are an ideal way to finish the wire. When the bead tip clamshell is shut it makes a smooth ball shape that is comfortable against the skin. There is no single definitive way to use bead tips, some materials work better one way than another. I will demonstrate one way that I use them. Let me know if you have a great way to end Beadalon/tigertail wire and I will post it here.
1. At one end of the necklace, string a clamshell bead tip onto the wire through the bent end first.
2. At the spot you’d like to end the necklace, fasten a crimp tightly to the wire using a jewelry crimping tool.
3. Fold the clamshell over the crimp so that the crimp is completely covered by the bead tip.
Now you have the wire finished, but you need to put a jump ring on in order to fasten the clasp on.
4. Place a jump ring on the curved part of the bead tip. Either curve the metal to secure the ring, or flatten the metal around the ring to secure it.
5. Either secure a clasp or a clasp ring onto the jump ring
6. Voila – you have finished one side of your necklace.
Do the same to the other side of the necklace to finish things off.
- Sometimes the tigertail has a plastic coating and the crimp won’t hold very well and may slide off. Not so good considering that the necklace will promptly fall off the wearer’s neck. For my necklaces I actually tie a knot in the tiger wire and secure the crimp before the knot. This way the crimp can’t go past the knot even if it has a slippery plastic coating on it. If you choose to try this method, make sure to have a few jump rings on the necklace so that the necklace can come apart easily if it accidentally gets caught on something. Tiger wire is very strong. You also need to be very careful in tying the knot because the wire will bend and kink very easily. To get around this, I first pull the knot carefully with my fingers until fairly tight. Then I use thin flat pliers to hold the wire on the necklace side carefully (as near to the knot as possible) while pulling with another pair of pliers at the end of the wire. It takes practice and you’ll probably find your own way to do this without creating kinks.
- When I first started making tigertail necklaces, I ended them simply by looping the wire and securing it with a crimp bead. But after wearing my necklaces for a while I found that the crimps do rub quite a bit and aren’t very comfortable. I’d recommend using bead tips to prevent rubbing and scratching
If you would like to buy premade jewelry, check out our handcrafted fine gemstone jewelry page. Other topics you might find interesting are Ideas for Making Stretch Bracelets as well as learning how to put on crimps (in case you haven't read that section yet): Using Jewelry Crimps on Wire.
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