Basic Jewellery Making Techniques...Easy!

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From jump rings to french wire A few little basic techniques to make your jewellery projects easier and more professional! I am constantly adding when I get a moment.

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Opening & Closing Jumprings

Sounds simple but there is one technique that best. Hold both sides of the jumpring with pliers. Bring one closer to you pushing the other away from you! Closing is reversed. Opening a ring outwards or apart changes the shape and actually weakens the ring. 

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a Simple Loop

Cut the eyepin/headpin with @1cm above the bead. Hold at the top of the bead and bend it over with your fingers to form a right angle. Wrap the end over round nose pliers to form a neat loop (the size will be determined by where you wrap on the pliers) and take the end past the base of the loop. Trim off and close. 
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a Wrapped Loop

Using round nose pliers grip the wire above the bead & press down with your fingers to make a right angle. Wrap the loop around the pliers to form a neat round loop. Hold the loop with the pliers and wrap the end around the base as many times as you like then snip off. (To get a close snip I sometimes use nail clippers). You may need to squeeze with the pliers if the end sticks out a bit.
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a Wrapped Link

Cut a length @3cm longer than the beaded length you need (remember you can always snip off excess but you can't add). Make a simple loop at one end and thread on your beads. Then turn a wrapped loop. The simple loop can be opened to attach to the previous wrapped loop. Wrapped loops at both ends look great too..you just attach it to the previous one THEN make the wrapped loop, creating a chain as you go. 

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A Wrapped Bead

Make a wrapped loop and thread on the bead (or beads). Make a second wrapped loop but don't cut off the excess. Wrap it down the bead in a spiral (loose or tight, this ones a loose spiral) and wrap once more & trim!
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Wrapped Bead with Wire

Take a long strand of wire & fold it in half (or quarters) and thread it through the bead leaving a loop. Make a wrapped loop at the other end. Bring the  wire back down the bead in a loose spiral, wrap once around the end and then back over the bead again, as many times as you like. Finish as above and either leave the strands together or separate them as I have done here.
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Crimp Beads

These are small tidy, and very effective in finishing the end of beads as well as adding a clasp, loop, charm etc.
First thread your tiger tail through the crimp bead, then through the loop (or whatever you are attaching it to) and back into the crimp. Pull firmly to move it to the top & pull excess tiger tail, and squish closed with your pliers!
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Crimp Bead Covers

These give a nice finished look to the crimp bead. Place the cover (looks like a clam with it's mouth open) over the crimp bead. Using pliers gently squeeze it closed over the top. Viola! They come on a variety of plated/solid metals and finishes from polished to frosted (here) brushed etc.
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Using Charlottes

These are great for a neat professional look. Thread the tiger tail or thread through the tiny hole and knot or crimp (sometimes I use 2 crimp beads & fold it over). Then simply fold the 2 halves together! Hides the knot!  I am crazy about security so dab I drop of glue before closing.
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Bead Caps/Cones

Using a head/eyepin or wire @2cm longer than the length needed, create a wrapped loop at one end (this is much more secure as you don’t want the thread falling off!). Thread through the string/tiger tail and crimp as you normally would. Poke the eyepin/wire through the cap/cone up till you cant see the wire below and make another wrapped loop. It looks really great with several strands or as a tassel!
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Wire Guards

These are great for thread too as they stop it fraying, and just look ..well...fancy! Thread through a crimp, up through one side of the wire guard. Place the guard around the loop and bring the thread through the loop & through the other side of the guard. Lastly thread back through the crimp, push the crimp up & remove excess thread from the beads, and squish the crimp closed.
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Cord Ends

4 ways to finish cords. 1 a coil wrapped end (diy or buy complete) by winding wire first around a form, then popping in the cord, pinching the last coil to hold. ( see 'coil ends'   2 down). 2. Glue in or wire or conical beads. (For added security follow 1. first.  3.  Using a crimp cord end, lay the cord in the channel, fold over flaps and squish firmly.  4. glue in cord ends ..again I love e6000 glue but supa glue also works well.
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French Wire

This is a another great way to not only protect your thread from wear & breakage but looks incredibly professional and expensive!  Cut as much as you like, I use 1cm. (As the hole is only 1mm use very fine wire to help pull the thread through like a needle) Thread the wire covered thread through the clasp loop to halfway, gently bend it around and thread it back through the bead so you only see the French wire. Now secure with a drop of glue, or leave enough before threading to use a crimp.
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Coil Ends

These work really well for ribbon, cord, leather etc & they make great tiny tassel tops! Add a drop of glue, you can go without but it gives a double strength, and pop on the coil. With pliers squish the last 2 coils furthest from the end, tight against the coil ( not too tight or you could just cut the cord!)
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Memory Wire Ends

These are 2 ways to end your memory wire loops. 1. Using your pliers make a simple loop (a basic loop can be a bit tricky with this stuff). You can even pop on a dangle!   2. Using a drop of glue pop on a small bead, sometimes I even use crimp covers, and let set.
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Securing elastic cord

Elastic cord can be the very devil to work with, especially to knot as it starts to undo itself almost straight away!! The main knot craters and jewellery makers reccomend is the surgeons knot, but I like it keep it as small as possible. I use the basic square knot, not overdone as it can get to big to hide, just a simple double knot. The trick is to pop a dab of super glue on it to stop it unravelling! To  tidy it up I thread one end under the nearest bead and pull to knot into it, adding another tiny glue dot to hold it hidden.
Using a bead cap in a necklace
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Using a bead cap in a necklace

Questions

I have taught classes in high schools and still teach small classes, so I buy findings by the 1000 lot. I sell small lots in my store so you're not left with stuff you don't need. I am constantly listing depending on what projects I set. Please feel free to ask me anything I love a creative challenge! 

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