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Stringing on Wire 1

Instructions for stringing beads on bead stringing wire combined with jewelry wire to make stronger necklaces.

Instructions for using jewelry wire with bead stringing wire to make necklaces and bracelets that are stronger

This jewelry making project combines solid jewelry wire, stranded beadstringing wire and beads to make a necklace.  We will show two approaches to making necklaces with jewelry wire and beadstringing wire in two different articles.  This first approach is an advanced approach, but our second approach is even more advanced and will be described hereOur third approach to using solid jewelry wire to connect stranded beadstringing wire to a clasp is described here.  These these three approaches are not suitable for beginners to working with wire.  Each successive improvement makes a necklace that is slightly stronger.  The price for the added strength is slightly higher complexity in making the necklace. 

The first approach to making a necklace that we show here is one of our preferred WigJig approachs to stringing beads.  In this approach we use solid, jewelry wire to make the connection between the clasp and the thread or stranded beadstringing wire.  Using beadstringing wire adds permanence to the necklace as it is less likely to break.  Using solid jewelry wire, with the end cones that we show in the necklace at right, makes the necklace even stronger and more aesthetically pleasing.   The edges of the clasp, particularly with magnetic clasps can be sharp and abrasive.  With thread and bead stringing wire, the edges of the clasp can slowly saw on your thread or bead stringing wire.  While it may take years for the clasp to saw completely through the bead stringing wire, with this approach we can avoid that completely by using round, solid, jewelry wire to connect between the clasp to the bead stringing wire.  By also using an end cone finding, we can hide our crimp beads so that the finished necklace will be as professional looking as possible. 

The necklace design shown here uses bugle beads, 4mm fire polished glass beads and 6mm fire polished rondelle beads along with 6x10mm orange on black dichroic glass beads made by Paula Radke.  Toward the bottom of this article we will show six different altertative necklace designs and one bracelet design along with the bead combinations we used to make that design. 

Beginning of Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads Orange Beads NecklaceMiddle of Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads with Orange Beads Necklace
 

Jewelry Making Supplies

Jewelry Making Tools Required

  • One commercial magnetic clasp
  • Two end cone jewelry findings 
  • Seven inches of 20 or 22 gauge wire
  • Thirty jet black 2x7mm bugle beads
  • Forty-four 4mm round, fire-polished jet black beads
  • Twenty six 6mm rondelle, faceted beads jet black
  • Twelve 6x10 dichroic glass beads
  • 28 inches of size .019 Soft Touch Bead Stringing Wire.
  • Two 2x2mm Gold Filled Crimp Beads
  • Flush cutter for cutting Soft Flex and wire.
  • Round nose pliers
  • Bent chain nose pliers
  • Nylon jaw pliers
  • standard bead crimping pliers
  • Plastic hemostat
  • Ruler
  • 60 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to use crimp beads and bead crimping pliers to connect bead stringing wire to other components.
  • Ability to bend wire using bent chain nose pliers.
  • Ability to make a loop in wire using round nose pliers.
  • Ability to cut with with a flush cutter.

 

Stringing Beads to Make Jewelry with Wire and Beads Orange NecklaceOverview of Jewelry Making Project:

The first steps in this jewelry making project are to cut the 20 or 22 gauge jewelry wire that will ultimately be used to connect to the clasp and to begin shaping this wire.  Once we have a loop in one end of the jewelry wire, we can use that wire to connect to our bead stringing wire. That connection is made using crimp beads and bead crimping pliers. 

We made this necklace by connecting one end of the bead stringing wire to the loop in the jewelry wire and stringing our beads on the opposite end of the bead stringing wire.  For some people, it may be easier to string beads from the middle of the bead stringing wire.  That is perfectly fine, but our instructions will describe how we strung the beads by fixing one end and stringing from the opposite end. 

Once the beads are fully strung, you will need to connect your bead stringing wire to a similar loop in jewelry wire on the opposite end.  This project is finished by adding end cone findings to either end and then connecting the jewelry wire to the clasp on either end.  For this project we used a magnetic clasp because it is just so easy to put on and take off a necklace with a magnetic clasp.

Step-by-Step Instructions for making a necklace:

Step 1:  Using your flush cutter, cut two segments of 20 or 22 gauge wire, each 3.5 inches long.  With a gold filled clasp and gold filled end cone findings, we recommend using 1/2 hard 20 or 22 gauge gold filled wire although soft wire will certainly work if you don't have 1/2 hard.  Brass wire will also work.

Step 2:  Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten both segments of wire.

Step 3:  Grasp the wire with your bent chain nose pliers about 3/4" from one end of the wire and using your thumb, make a 90 degree bend in the wire as shown at right.  

Step 4:  Using your round nose pliers make a loop in the wire at the bend in the wire.  Visit our beginner's jewelry making instructions here if you have any questions about how to make this loop.  As shown in our beginners instructions, making the loop is a two step process.  To complete the loop, you will need to bend the wire about 180 degrees, reposition the wire in your pliers and then complete the loop.  Make as small a loop as you can comfortably.  When you have completed the loop your wire should appear as shown at left. 

Step 5:   Now we need to wrap the wire tail around the stem of the wire.  We do this by grasping the loop in our bend chain nose pliers and holding it firmly.  (This preserves the round shape of the loop.)  While holding the loop, wrap the shorter wire tail around the stem of the loop one or two times as shown at right.  Keep the wire tail perpendicular to the wire that you are wrapping it around.  This helps to keep the spacing of the wire as tight as possible with no gaps in the wrap.

Step 3 to Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads Step 4 to Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads Step 5 to Stringing Beads to Make Necklace Jewelry with Wire and Beads
Step 3 Step 4 Step 5

Step 6:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire.  Keep the flat side of your flush cutter toward the finished piece so that you will have a flat or flush end on the wire.

Step 7:  After cutting the wire, you will have a very small piece of wire that sticks up where it was cut.  You will need to squeeze this wire so that it doesn't stick up.  This is best done by using one pair of chain nose or bent chain nose pliers to grasp the loop and a second pair of chain nose or bent chain nose pliers to squeeze and twist the cut end flat.  See the picture below-left for how the wire component should appear.  Follow the above instructions to complete two segments of wire. 

Step 7 to Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads





Step 8 to Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads






Step 9 to Making Necklace Jewelry by Stringing Beads on Wire
Step 7 Step 8 Step 9

Step 8:  Now you are ready to connect your bead stringing wire to the loop you just completed.  We recommend the Soft Touch product in size .019 as this is both the strongest and most supple bead stringing wire available.  We also recommend using 2x2mm crimp bead tubes as they are the best option for crimping.  The 2x2mm crimp bead tubes work with the standard size of bead crimping pliers.  To fix the end of your bead stringing wire to the loop you just made in your jewelry wire, you first slide a crimp bead on your bead stringing wire, then slide the bead stringing wire through the loop in your jewelry wire and finally slide the end of your bead stringing wire back through your crimp bead with about 1" of excess wire.  See the picture above-right.  Using your fingers, position the crimp bead as close to the loop in your jewelry wire as possible and pull all the slack out of your bead stringing wire, then using your crimping pliers, squeeze the crimp bead closed.  Please visit here to view detailed information on how to close a crimp bead.  Please also visit here for additional information. 

Step 9:  At this point you are ready to begin stringing beads. First, let's assemble our beads.  You will need 2x7mm bugle beads, round fire polished glass 4mm faceted beads, 6mm rondelle faceted fire polished beads, and 6x10mm dichroic tube beads.  You can choose the colors that best matches your needs.  We chose jet black bugle and fire polished beads to go with orange on black dichroic beads.  The black beads would go with almost any color of dichroic beads.  

Step 10 to Stringing Beads to Make Jewelry with Wire and Beads (Orange Necklac)eStep 10:   In the picture at right, bead type 1 are the bugle beads, type 2 are the 4mm fire polished, round, faceted beads, type 3 are the 6mm rondelle, faceted beads and bead type 4 are the dichroic beads.  Starting at one end string the following types of beads in sequence:  1-2-1-2-3-2-1-2-1-2-3-4.  In the picture at right, the first type 1, bugle bead is shown partially covered by the end cone. 

Step 11:  The middle sequence of the necklace begins with the dichroic glass bead, type 4 that ended the starting sequence in step 10 above.  Starting with that bead and including that bead in the sequence (don't include two dichroic beads) the sequence of bead types is as follows:  4-3-2-1-2-1-2-3-4.  This sequence appears as shown above-right.

Step 12 to Instructions for Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads on WireStep 12:   Continue the above sequence until you have added the 12th dichroic glass bead.  Please note that as you set the strand of beads down, use your plastic hemostat to clamp the end of the strand so that your beads won't slip off. 

Step 13:  After adding the 12 dichroic glass bead you are ready to repeat the beginning sequence, but this time in reverse order as the ending sequence.  The ending sequence (starting with but not including the 12th dichroic glass bead) is 3-2-1-2-1-3-2-1-2-1.  When all these beads are strung, clamp the end with your plastic hemostat.  Now is the time to inspect your work to make certain that the sequence is correct.  If you have done this correctly, you should have about 22 inches of beads and the pattern should be symmetrical and consistent. 

Step 14:  As we did in step 8, we now need to thread a 2x2mm crimp bead onto the bead stringing thread in preparation for finishing that end of the necklace.  Once the crimp bead is in position, thread your bead stringing wire through the loop in your second segment of 20 or 22 gauge jewelry wire and then back through the crimp bead.  Now pull everything tight and remove all the slack from your bead stringing wire.  When the beads are flush against the crimp bead and the crimp bead is adjacent to the jewelry wire loop, squeeze the crimp bead closed as you did in step 8. 

Step 15:  Now we are ready to finish both ends of the necklace.  Start by sliding your end cone finding onto your jewelry wire until it is as far down as possible.  It should cover part of the end bugle bead as shown at right.

Step 16:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grip the wire immediately above the end cone and hold the end cone tightly in position on top of the beads.  Bend the wire over 90 degrees as shown at left.  The distance between the end cone and the bend in the wire is determined by the thickness of your pliers.  Remember this thickness because you will want to do the other end the same way.

 

Step 14 to Instructions for Making Necklace Jewelry by Stringing Beads on Wire


Step 15 to Instructions for Stringing Beads to Make Necklaces

Step 16 to Instructions for Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads on Bead Stringing wire and using jewelry wire.
Step 14 Step 15 Step 16

Step 17:  Just as you did in step 4, make a loop in the wire with your round nose pliers.  For this loop, since it will connect to your clasp, you need to make  a rather large loop, about 3/16" in diameter.  Please see the picture at right.

Step 18:  Now slide one side of your clasp onto this loop. 

Step 19:  At this point we need to grasp the loop in the jaws of our bent closing pliers and wrap the end of the jewelry wire around the stem of the loop about 2-3 times.  Keep the end of the wire perpendicular to the wire stem while you are wrapping as this will minimize any spacing between the wraps.  When the wraps are almost touching the end cone, cut the excess wire with your flush cutter.  While continuing to hold the loop in your bent chain nose pliers, use a second pair of pliers to squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire flat. 

Step 17 to Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads and combining bead stringing wire with jewelry wire.


Step 18 to Instructions for Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads on Bead Stringing Wire


Step 19 to Instructions for Making Jewelry by Stringing Beads on Bead Stringing Wire
Step 17 Step 18 Step 19

Step 20/ Finished Necklace Made by Stringing Beads on Bead Stringing Wire and Using Jewelry Wire to Connect the Clasp.Step 20:  Perform steps 15 through 19 on the opposite end of your necklace with the other side of your magnetic clasp.  When you have completed, put the necklace on and go find a mirror.  At this point you are ready to admire your efforts. 

Summary of Jewelry Making Instuctions:

This same approach will apply to almost all bead stringing projects.  We believe that the use of solid jewelry wire to connect to your clasp will remove one potential breakage point and make your finished necklace more permanent.  We also like the use of end cones to hide the crimp beads used. 

Alternative Necklace Designs Using our Advanced Beadstringing Technique:

These alternative designs use a combination of solid colored beads with cloisonne accent beads.  The solid colored beads are spaced apart by using one seed bead between each of the other beads.  The cloisonne beads are spaced about two inches apart.  For the solid colored beads we  used black onyx grade AA beads in sizes of 4mm, 6mm and 8mm.  We also used Swarovski Crystal pearl beads in white and peach colors.  The black onyx beads tend to work best with the white cloisonne beads.  The colored cloisonne beads work best with the white, cream or cream rose Swarovski crystal pearls and can even be combined with complimentary colors in the crystal pearl beads like the green cloisonne beads and the peach crystal pearl beads shown below. 

For each necklace shown below, we also show the items from our store used to make that necklace.  All of these necklaces were made using magnetic clasps.  Our feeling is that the magnetic clasps are just so convenient.  Since we were making the necklace for gifts, it just makes sense to use the magnetic clasp.  (We can't tell you that magnetic clasps will either help to sell necklaces or deter someone from buying a necklace.  We don't know.  As gifts, the magnetic clasps are very well received.)


Cloisonne Beads Alternative to Making Necklaces with Wire and Beads Orange Necklace Alternative Design Necklace Made by Stringing Beads on Bead Stringing Wire and Using Jewelry Wire to Connect the Clasp.
Necklace design made using both bead stringing wire and jewelry wire. Full view of necklace made with our bead stringing instructions.
  • One 6mm AA Black Onyx Beads, Item 3281
  • One 6mm Round White Cloisonne Beads, Item 2387
  • One Oval White Cloisonne 7x9mm, Item 2389
  • One Size 6 Topaz Light Seed Beads, Item 0051
  • One 6mm Gold-Filled Magnetic Clasp, Item 0337
  • One 12x6mm Gold-Filled End Cone, Item 3285
  • One 22 Gauge 1/2 Hard Gold-filled wire, Item 3018
  • One 8mm AA Black Onyx Beads, Item 3282
  • Two Oval White Cloisonne Beads 7x9mm, Item 2389
  • One Oval White Cloisonne Beads 7x14mm, Item 2390
  • One Size 11 Gold Light S/L Seed Beads, Item 0003
  • One 8mm Goldplate Clasp, Item 0040
  • One 12x6mm Gold-Filled End Cone, Item 3285
  • One 22 Gauge 1/2 Hard Gold-Filled Wire, Item 3018

Alternative NecklaceDesigns Continued:

Our cloisonne necklace alternatives continue with these two designs.  The necklace on the left uses 4mm black onyx beads along with 6mm glass crystal beads to emphasize the larger white cloisonne beads.  The necklace on the right uses 6mm round Swarovski White Crystal Pearl Beads to offset 8mm round, red cloisonne beads.  Both the differences in size and the differences in colors help to emphasize the cloisonne beads.

Necklace made using our jewelry making instructions. Pearl Beads Necklace made using our bead stringing instructions.
Necklace made using our bead stringing instructions and combining jewelry wire and bead stringing wire. Pearl Beads Necklace made using our jewelry making instructions.
  • One 4mm AA Black Onyx Beads, Item 3280
  • One 4mm Round Swarovski Crystal AB Beads, Item 2795
  • One Oval White Cloisonne 7x9mm, Item 2389
  • One Size 6 Topaz Light Seed Beads, Item 0051
  • One 6mm Gold-Filled Magnetic Clasp, Item 0337
  • One 12x6mm Gold-Filled End Cone, Item 3285
  • One 22 Gauge 1/2 Hard Gold-filled wire, Item 3018
     
  • One 6mm White Swarovski Crystal Pearl Beads, Item 2711
  • Two 8mm Round, Red Cloisonne Beads, Item 2384
  • One Size 6 Topaz Light Seed Beads, Item 0051
  • One 6mm Gold-Filled Magnetic Clasp, Item 0337
  • One 12x6mm Gold-Filled End Cone, Item 3285
  • One 22 Gauge 1/2 Hard Gold-filled wire, Item 3018 

Alternative Necklace Designs Continued:

Our cloisonne necklace alternatives continue with this peach swarovski crystal pearl beads and green cloisonne beads necklace.

Peach Pearl Beads Necklace made by following our free jewelry making instructions.
Peach Pearl Beads Necklace made using our free jewelry making instructions.
  • One 6mm Peach Crystal Pearl Beads, Item 2743
  • One 8mm Round, Green Cloisonne Beads, Item 2376
  • One Size 6 Topaz Light Seed Beads, Item 0051
  • One 6mm Gold-Filled Magnetic Clasp, Item 0337
  • One 12x6mm Gold-Filled End Cone, Item 3285
  • One 22 Gauge 1/2 Hard Gold-filled wire, Item 3018

Other alternative necklace designs that merit consideration are using cloisonne beads with freshwater pearl beads in similar type of necklaces.  Finally, very attractive necklaces could be made using dichroic glass beads in combination with similar solid colored beads. 

All of these necklace alternatives are from the minimal, less is more school of design.  The elegance of these designs is their simplicity.  We haven't tried to do too much so that focus is on a relatively small number of accent beads set off and complimented by contrasting colors of solid beads. 

Once you have completed one of these necklaces, you will need to make some simple earring designs using the same types of beads so that you will have matching necklace and earrings sets.  The earrings don't need to be complicated, just and ear wire connected to a head-pin with beads would suffice.  The important point is that the beads in the necklace and earrings match.  Finding matching earrings and necklaces isn't easy when you purchase your jewelry from a store.  This is one thing that you can do to make your homemade jewelry more interesting.



Bali Beads Beadstringing Jewelry Making ProjectAlternative Necklace Designs Continued:

The necklace shown at right was made with the following products:

  • Round Bali Style Bead Item 3416 (2 packages)
  • Swarovski Crystal Pearl Beads Cream 8mm item 2727
  • 8mm Black Onyx Beads Item 3282
  • Size 6 Seed Beads Crystal Silver Lined Item 0063
  • 26 inches of .019 Silver Soft Touch, item 3313
  • Silver 2x2mm Crimp Beads (Tubes) Item 0462
  • Any commercial clasp.  We used a sterling silver magnetic clasp, item 0339

The order of stringing the beads in this project is as follows:

Black onyx bead, seed bead, black onyx bead, seed bead, black onyx bead, seed bead, crystal pearl, seed bead, Bali bead, seed bead, crystal pearl bead, seed bead then repeat this pattern.  The pattern ends after the 9th repetition of the pattern with three black onyx beads separated by seed beads. 

From a design perspective, the necklace at right uses black onyx beads as the primary beads in the necklace and uses the Bali bead as the focus bead.  The crystal pearl beads are the accent beads to make the Bali bead stand out.  The crystal pearl accent beads could be replaced with any other color of beads. 

 

Bali Beads with Pearls and Red Jasper Beadstringing Jewelry Making Project Alternative Designs Continued:

The necklace shown at right was made with the following products:

  • Round Bali Style Bead Item 3413
  • Large round Bali Style Beads Item 3412
  • Swarovski Crystal Pearl Beads Cream 6mm item 2715
  • 8mm Black Onyx Beads Item 3282
  • 6mm Red Jasper Beads Item 2101
  • Size 6 Seed Beads Crystal Silver Lined Item 0063
  • Size 11 Seed Beads Crystal Silver Lined Item 0002
  • 26 inches of .019 Silver Soft Touch, item 3313
  • Silver 2x2mm Crimp Beads (Tubes) Item 0462
  • Any commercial clasp.  We used a sterling silver magnetic clasp, item 0339

The order of stringing the beads in this project is as follows:

4 crystal pearl beads separated by size 11 seed beads followed by a red jasper, then black onyx bead also separated by size 11 seed beads, then a size 6 seed bead followed by a Bali bead and a size 6 seed bead.  The pattern is completed with a black onyx bead and a red jasper bead separated by size 11 seed beads.  (The size 6 seed beads are recommended on either side of the Bali bead because of the larger hole in these Bali beads.) 

From a design perspective, the necklace at right uses red jasper and black onyx beads as the accent beads in the necklace and uses the two styles of Bali bead as the focus bead.  The crystal pearl beads are the primary beads in the necklace.  The red jasper accent beads could be replaced with any other color of beads. 

 

Bali Beads with Crystal Beads Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectAlternative Designs Continued:

The bracelet shown at right was made with the following products:

  • Round Bali Style Bead Item 3413
  • Large round Bali Style Beads Item 3412
  • Bali-Style Rondelle Item 3420
  • 5x7mm Crystal Teardrop Beads item 1082
  • Size 11 Seed Beads Crystal Silver Lined Item 0002
  • 13 inches of .019 Silver Soft Touch, item 3313
  • Silver 2x2mm Crimp Beads (Tubes) Item 0462
  • Any commercial clasp.  We used a sterling silver toggle clasp, item 0016

The picture of the bracelet is life size.  The order of stringing the beads in this project is as follows:

Clasp, crimp bead, teardrop bead, seed bead, round Bali bead, seed bead, teardrop bead, seed bead, round Bali bead, seed bead, teardrop bead, Bali Rondelle, large round Bali bead, Bali Rondelle, teardrop bead, seed bead, round Bali bead, seed bead, teardrop bead, Bali rondelle, and large round Bali bead.  That combination makes 1/2 of the bracelet with the last large round Bali bead being the center of the bracelet.  Repeat the series of beads  to make the opposite side of the bracelet. 

 

Four Necklaces with India Beads made using our free jewelry making instructions.Alternative Designs Continued:

There are four necklace designs shown at right.  These designs use our Rainbow AB specialty beads in red, yellow, blue and green colors.  We also use a new technique for making these necklaces that we believe is more professional than many of the approaches that we showed previously.  We like this technique so much that we intend to use it in all of our future beadstringing projects.  There are two reasons for this.  First, is that this new technique is stronger and more permanent than an approach that uses crimp beads.  Second, this technique is as nice looking as any of the other approaches to making necklaces. 

First, we will describe the approach that we used in making these necklaces.  After we have described the technique, we will discuss each of these four necklaces and the bead combinations used to make them.  We will also discuss alternative bead combinations using the same color Rainbow AB beads. 

Our new approach to making a necklace involves using about three inches of 20 or 22 gauge wire per side, beadstringing wire like Soft Flex, a pair of end cone jewelry findings, and a commercial clasp (we prefer the magnetic clasps.)  The tools required are round nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers, a flush cutter, and a hemostat or some form of clip.

 

Stringing Beads to Make Necklace Jewelry with Wire and Orange Beads

Blue Rainbow AB Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

Yellow Rainbow AB Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

Green Rainbow AB Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

 

 

 

 



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