working with crimp covers

22 Nov

After a few trips to the bead store, I finally had everything I needed to create one of my holiday gifts; a multi-strand necklace. Jack’s mother had seen my Dreams of Gold necklace and hinted that she would like one specially made for her. She’s always very fashionable in black and white with splashes of color, so I decided to make her a black and white version for Hanukkah.

full view necklace

This time I chose a new (to me) method of finishing a multi-strand necklace: crimps with crimp covers. This allowed for a different type of clasp that is less restrictive than using bead cones, which I’ve used in the past. I spent a couple of hours stringing all these little seed beads onto 14ga beading wire, and I’m getting pretty fast with it considering I don’t have a bead spinner. I think the 9 strands I did here took me about as long as the 6 I did in the Dreams of Gold necklace. Here you can see I already have a few strands finished off.

strands laid out

Once I had crimped a finished strand to the clasp, I added a crimp cover to give it a more finished look.

crimped bead wire

Crimp covers are basically little silver (or gold, I suppose) C shaped beads that are closed around a crimp and look like a regular bead from afar. Here it is after I’ve closed it a bit with my fingers, but you can see the basic shape.

adding crimp cover

Next I took a pair of chain nose pliers from my trusty Beadsmith tool kit and carefully closed the cover.

closing crimp cover

Here’s how it looks once it’s closed. You can see that there’s a bit of a seam where the edges meet, so I chose to overlap the edges and give it a cleaner look. Carefully squeeze down the corners to smooth out the seam.

closed crimp cover

And here’s a closeup of the clasp once everything was finished off. The only thing that I’m not super keen on is the fact that these little covers take up extra space, so I don’t feel like it lays as neatly as it could. But then again, you won’t see that as it’s the back of the necklace and it lays really nice once you put it on.

final clasp closed

There are two things I really like about this particular clasp: because it slides together perpendicular to how the strands are attached, the tension on the necklace won’t pull the clasp apart. There are some clasps that offer a similar aesthetic but they clasp together parallel to the tension, so they can sometimes come undone. The second thing I like about these is the amount of strands you can add to these is really dependent on how you finish the ends. I’m making one of a 12-strand one for myself and I won’t be using crimp covers to see how much more room I end up with. This multi-strand stuff is still a bit of an experiment for me!

I’m really happy with how this turned out, and I can’t wait to see her expression when she opens her gift.

Now, go forth and create something multi-stranded!

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