Crimping Heavy Beads

by Fabia

Fabia wants to know about crimping heavy beads, especially for multi-strand beaded necklaces. She wrote,


I have been practicing and doing a lot of research on how to finish a necklace or bracelet. I am planning on selling my jewellery and want to make heavy multi-strand necklaces, etc. but I am so confused!

I have seen people flat crimp only, I have seen crimping with the crimping tool (which is what I've been doing), I have seen crimp covers, wire guards and french guardians and all the above!!

Which is the most secure and best method? I personally don't mind the look of a crimp without a cover but I am so worried that it will all break! Please help! Thank you:)

Comments for Crimping Heavy Beads

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Using Crimp Beads with Heavy Beads
by: Wanda

Hi Fabia,

You have brought up a heavily debated topic within the beaded jewelry making community! Thanks for asking and allowing me to respond.

There are three primary considerations: The diameter of your beading wire, the size of your crimp beads and how you crimp the crimp bead.

1) Beading Wire Size
Use .024 diameter beading wire with a high number of strands per wire. The test strength on this size wire is greater than that of smaller diameter and fewer strand wires.

For example, the Soft Flex brand size .024 diameter 49 Strand beading wire has a test strength of 40 pounds. The Soft Flex company states that this wire is "ideal for abrasive materials, large stones, lampwork and bracelets."

Now, that being said you can use this wire to bead necklaces too. However, you really want to consider the weight of the gemstones used in your beaded necklace. Even though this wire says it can hold 40 pounds, will the person wearing the necklace want to carry 40 pounds?

Consider the person who has to wear the necklace. How comfortable would be it for them? And, from a design standpoint, how many strands of large gemstone beads will you be able to add to a multi strand beaded necklace?

2) Crimp Beads Type and Size
Use crimp tube beads, you know, the one shaped like a cylinder, and not round crimp beads.

Then take a look at the size of the crimp tube bead that you use. You will need to use at least eight 2 x 3 mm or a 3 x 3 mm size. Of course, you may need to use the Mighty Crimper tool instead of regular crimping pliers.

You may want to also use sterling silver or gold filled crimp tube beads. Plated crimp tube beads may not be strong enough.

3) How You Crimp the Necklace End
A) Crimp the necklace end twice: Add a large crimp tube bead, and a spacer bead and then add the second crimp tube bead.

B) Crimp the crimp tube bead twice. There are two ways to do this, which are shown here.

C) If the hole in your beads is large enough to accommodate two strands of wire try using two strands of beading wire to string your beads onto.

Other Consideration
Have you considered using a cord that you can actually knot? Maybe use some Chinese or macramé knots for the necklace ends.

I hope these beading tips help you in crimping heavy beads to make gorgeous beaded necklaces.

Happy beading!


Crimping Heavy Beads
by: Fabia

Wow! Thank you very much for your detailed answer.

I have started using silver crimp tubes and already have the .024 strand so that's a start.

Thanks for the advice regarding the crimping at the end of the necklace. It sounds like crimping twice with a spacer bead will hold up well and that was a big concern for me.

Seriously you've cleared up a lot and thanks for the great info! I've learned quite a bit from your answer and will follow your advice. 😊

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