Frequently Asked Questions About Beading
Clasps: Selecting the size of a clasp
In most cases, the clasp for a necklace or bracelet should be proportionate to the size and weight of the items used in the piece. For example, a large, chunky necklace would probably look a little silly with a 10mm lobster clasp, and the clasp might not hold up well over time.
Likewise, a clasp that is too heavy for a delicate piece will tend to fall to the front on a necklace. If the clasp is a featured part of the design, that's fine, but if it's strictly functional, the wearer will probably get tired of "fixing" the necklace throughout the day.
What is a “bead board” and why do I need it?
A bead board is just another tool in your arsenal for better results when beading. Available in different sizes and colors, these trays (usually plastic) have channels that allow you to design your piece and also to measure the length of your necklace or bracelet before you actually string up your beads.
I want to string a necklace on cord but I can’t find any beads with a large enough hole.
Most stone beads are not going to have a hole large enough to accommodate 1mm or larger cord but there are lots of other options available. Bone, Wood, Artisan Glass beads and Ceramic beads tend to have a larger diameter hole and can be used with many different types of cord.
I am allergic to metal and would like to create a necklace, bracelet or earrings.
You can use thread or cord and make a simple toggle type clasp with a flat bead or button at the end of your necklace or it can be incorporated into your design.
Simply create a loop with a knot at one end that is large enough to go over your button or bead but small enough to remain closed when clasped.
Another option is to use findings made of Niobium. Niobium is a pure metal and most people who have metal sensitivities can wear Niobium.
What does “stabilized” turquoise mean?
Turquoise can be very soft almost chalky and needs to be hardened by resin other material to keep it from crumbling and also to keep the color stable. Natural turquoise will change color when worn frequently because it absorbs oil from the skin.
I am not creative or artsy. Will I be able to bead?
Like many other people out there, if you believe there is something special or mythical about creating a necklace, take deep breath, relax, and just let that thought go! Beading can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can be as “messy” or as organized as your mind will allow and if you “mess up” guess what? You can start again!!!
Yes, as with any craft there are physical requirements. Your hands must be somewhat dexterous and you might need a magnifier to find the bead hole but beyond that, the sky is the limit!
My necklaces keep coming apart and I don’t know what I am doing wrong.
The first thing I would look at is where the necklace is “falling apart” if it is at the ends the problem could be that you are not crimping properly or that you are using too large a crimp for a finer wire.
If it looks like your wire or thread has broken or frayed in another spot, your beads may be cutting into the stringing material. One thing you can do to prevent this is to take a bead reamer and smooth out the holes of your beads. This is especially true of stone beads and can happen to necklaces that that are handled frequently.
I bought a strand of stone beads and I cannot get the wire through some of them.
Stone beads are often hand drilled and for that reason the hole can be slightly off center. If you have a bead reamer you can try to enlarge the hole slightly and then try the wire again. If that doesn't work, you can try a smaller diameter of wire.
What are the differences between saltwater and freshwater pearls?
Saltwater pearls are created by oysters that live in the ocean while freshwater pearls are created by mussels that live in freshwater lakes, rivers and streams. The pearls created by both types of mollusks are made of the same substance, nacre. While cultured saltwater pearls usually have a mother of pearl bead at their center that the animal has coated with nacre, freshwater pearls are almost always created without a bead nucleus.
How do I ensure that my open jump rings stay closed?
Having a jump ring open up after you've closed it is a common problem in jewelry making, often due to the fact that the ring was not closed properly. Here are a few tips to ensure that the rings stay closed.
Jump rings should be opened "side to side" rather than outward as the metal has a "memory" and will hardened making the jump ring almost impossible to close without leaving an "opening".
What kind of clasp should I use in my jewelry making?
The kind of jewelry clasp to use in your jewelry making endeavors depends on the purpose of the clasp and what you are making.
You should make your decision based on the type of jewelry you are making, the value of the piece, how often it is likely to be worn and whether the person wearing it is "hard" on jewelry or more delicate.
Clasps- Finishing without a clasp
When working with thicker cord such as satin or leather, you can create a casual piece of jewelry by tying each cord end to the opposite side of the cord.
Use basic overhand knots, tie them fairly snugly, then snip the excess ends off and you've got a necklace that can be adjusted by pulling the knots along the length of cord.
Are gold filled beads the same as gold plated beads?
Gold filled beads and gold plated beads are two separate kinds of beads.
Gold Filled (GF) is a layer of 10Kt or better gold mechanically bonded under heat & pressure to one or more surfaces of supporting base metal, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. In the jewelry industry the quantity of gold must be at least 1/20th by weight of the total product. The amount of real gold used is why GF items are always much more expensive than their gold plated counterparts (or items that say they are 'Gold Filled' that don't specifically tell you the karat rating!)
Gold plated beads have a thinner layer of gold, and do not last as long as gold filled beads. Better quality jewelry will have gold filled beads because of their durability.