Hi Eureka Fans! I’m here to talk to you about something super basic but SO important! CRIMPING!! Crimp beads may be such a tiny visual aspect of your bracelets and necklaces but they are literally what makes or breaks your beautiful creations! Those tiny little squished bits of metal hold your jewelry together for you, your friends/family, and your customers. Read on to learn how (or refresh!) on how it’s done properly.
What you see here is a Crimper Tool. There are also different Crimper Tools, so it’s important to know the difference! The one picture it’s a standard Crimper, meant for 2x2mm crimp beads. There is also the Mighty Crimper for 3mm crimp beads (though I find that the regular crimper fits all my needs when it comes to standard crimps), as well as the Micro Crimper for 1.5×1.5mm crimp beads (perfect for use with Soft Touch beading wire!). **Do you notice the 2 chambers in the jaws of the Crimper tool? Take note of them, we’ll be using both!
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You’ll see in image #1 that I’ve added a crimp bead to my Soft Flex Beading Wire and I’ve slid it to within a little less than an inch from the end and then through the loop of my clasp. Work with a tail long enough for you to comfortable manage. You’ll find over time that you need less and less and you’ll conserve wire.
Image #2 shows that I’ve taken that tail of wire and threaded it back through the crimp bead, creating a loop of wire that now attaches the clasp. Slide your crimp closer to the clasp, making this look a bit smaller – though not too close, as you want your clasp to be able to have some wiggle room.
Image #3 shows that I’ve placed my crimp bead inside the back chamber of the crimper tool. This chamber is not the one that towards the tip, but the one just behind it. When closed it looks like a kidney bean! Check out the top image in this blog for a better picture! Here is where you’re going to give your crimp it’s first squish! Note: If you can, position the 2 wires inside your crimp so they aren’t overlapping – this will help them not to squish into each other and prevent wire damage.
Now take a look at image #4 – you can see that your crimp bead hasn’t been squished flat, but rather it’s the same kidney bean shape as the space in the pliers we just used! This shape is crucial.
In image #5 I’ve now positioned the crimp bead in the front chamber of the Crimper tool – the one more towards the tip of the pliers. The other thing to note is that the kidney bean crimp bead is also now up on it’s side, sitting upright, so that way when I squish down with my tool, the kidney bean will neatly fold in half! This makes for one secure crimp bead!!
(See final image below) If your first few beads can be strung onto your beading wire and fit OVER the tail that’s there – allow that to happen rather than snipping off the tail at the crimp. If you’re able to do this, it means that if your wire ever does start to slip, you’ll have some time to catch it. Otherwise, if snipped at the crimp, it will pop right out if you had not crimped properly and your bracelet (or necklace) could immediately fall off. If the beads you’re using have holes that are too small to allow for this, consider starting with a few metal beads that will match and blend in with your clasp area that you can feed you’re wire into. Or, if not, just make sure you crimp very carefully and properly!
I implore you, fellow Creative Souls, take the time to practice and learn the proper way to crimp! Your pieces are SO worth it. Also, remember that not all crimps are created equal! The best type of crimp you can use is a Tube Crimp as they will crimp neatly, cleanly, and hold the best!
**TIP BONUS: Consider using a Crimp Cover to hide your crimp bead!! This is a lovely visual accent that will hide your crimp and camouflage it to look like a bead! Check out the link above and you’ll see a variety of crimp covers that we offer. For a standard 2x2mm crimp bead you would want to use the 4mm Crimp Cover to go over it.
Until next time, friends!