How to Finish a Beaded Bracelet

necklace with blue beads image by timur1970 from

Things You'll Need

  • Unfinished bracelet
  • Clamshell bead tips
  • Crimp beads
  • Crimping pliers
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Jump rings
  • Lobster clasp

Being able to professionally finish a beaded bracelet is the first thing that distinguishes professional jewelry makers from amateurs. Children routinely create beaded bracelets with acrylic beads by simply stringing them onto beading cord or thread and then tying a knot. Finishing a beaded bracelet requires two things: a transition from the fabric cord to a component that will keep the beads on the string, and the attachment of a clasp to the bracelet.

Keep your bracelet with all the beads on the string flat on your table or workspace. If you do not keep the string mostly flat, all the beads will slide off and you will have to restring them.

Slide a clamshell bead tip and then a small crimp bead onto one end of the string. Make sure that your clamshell is large enough to completely cover the crimp bead.

Squash the crimp bead with your crimping pliers so that it sits securely on the beading cord and cannot move. Add a little superglue to the crimp to make sure that it will not come off.

Squeeze the two sides of the clamshell shut to hide the crimp bead inside. Cut off any extra thread that sticks out of the clamshell.

Open a jump ring by holding it with two pairs of chain-nose pliers and twisting them in opposing directions. Then thread the opened jump ring through the clamshell’s loop and close the ring by twisting the pliers together. This ring will serve as the ring to which you fasten a clasp.

Open a second jump ring, thread it through the second clamshell and a lobster clasp, and then close the ring. You should now be able to close the bracelet by fastening the lobster clasp to the jump ring on the opposing clamshell. Your bracelet is now ready to wear.