Sunday, 23 June 2013

Finishing Beading Wire with Calottes


Jewellery made with beading wire is held together with crimps, tiny metal tubes (crimp tubes) or rounded tubes (crimp beads). The quickest and easiest way is simply to thread the wire through a crimp, then through a fastener or jump ring and back through the crimp and the first few beads, then squash the crimp with flat nose pliers to grip the wire.




As this doesn't look so pretty, the crimp can be scratchy on the neck, and the wire can poke it's way out from between the beads, there are ways to hide the crimp to give a more professional finish to the jewellery.

One way is to use calottes, or necklace ends, which are a cup shaped finding with a hole in the centre to thread the wire through. This one has a hook which closes around the jump ring or fastener.




You then crimp the wire inside the calotte, leaving a tiny bit of the wire sticking out of the crimp, just enough so that you can see it. Then you know it is well gripped and not caught by just one edge of the crimp. Gently close the cups of the calotte over the crimp.




Close the hook of one calotte over a jump ring, and the hook of the other one over a jump ring and fastener.




Another type of calotte has two loops above the cup,



Use it in the same way, attaching the jump rings through the two loops.




Calottes are best suited to lightish necklaces. Some beaders aren't keen on them, finding them quite weak, but I would say (again!) that there is a quality issue here. Good quality calottes and crimps will hold a necklace or bracelet together for a long time.

If you are new to crimping, it's a good idea to try and tug the wire out of the crimp. If you can't, you'll know it is gripping well.

Next time - using crimp covers.

Have a look at Handmade Monday for a great selection of crafty blogs

20 comments:

  1. making the ends look nice and not scratch is the hardest part of making the necklace I think. You make it look very easy here and nice clear photos should encourage people to have a go!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you like the photos. I'm always a bit critical of my photos, and silver is so pale, I just hope that people can see the detail clearly enough.

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  2. I've never made jewellery (not unless you count the stitched stuff I've done) but I think if I took it up I'd be back checking out your blog for useful tips!

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  3. This is a very clear tutorial. Have you ever used crimping pliers? I only ask as they make the crimp beads circular rather than flat and I wondered if they are less scratchy. I need a lot more practice with them before I can really tell!

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    1. Thank you!Yes, I have used crimping pliers. There are two types, the ordinary ones and the magical ones. The Magicals are the ones that turn a crimp into a round bead. They aren't scratchy but they do take a little practice. With the ordinary ones, which fold the crimp over itself, I think I'd always use a crimp cover or calotte. I'll be covering both over the next couple of blog posts, but, in the meantime, I have a "How To" guide on the website for the Magicals. It's on the pliers page.

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  4. It's so interesting to hear how someone carries out their craft. Jewellery making is too fiddly for me with my huge hands, but it's nice to see the work involved in creating a piece of jewellery.
    Have a fun week.

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    1. Thank you, I hope you have a fun week too x

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  5. I have made a few necklaces and bracelets, but always struggled with the fastenings. Your photos and blog post help to make things clearer!
    Wendy x

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  6. some great tips here for budding jewellery makers! x

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  7. I like the idea of the double loop calottes as I find the single ones can come undone. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Yes, they've become at least as popular as the one with the hook.

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  8. What detailed instructions,thanks for sharing them with us all.

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  9. I never made jewelry but this is a very clear tutorial that I will remember for the future should I ever make a necklace.

    Just popped over from Handmade Monday

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  10. This is really useful - I've wondered what those jewellery findings were called with a view to making some crochet jewellery. I think they would give the neat finish I'm after. Thank you x

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  11. Yes, you can use them with thread too, but not with crimps, which are really just for beading wire. To use them with thread, you can tie your thread ends around a seed bead inside the calotte and add a dab of glue on the knot.

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  12. Thank God I found your website because I bought similar item but do not know how to use it...Well done..thanks a lot too

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