Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Basic Bracelet Tutorial: Using Crimps

I wrote up this tutorial for my VB, Brittany over at House of Sorensens, but wanted to share with y'all in case you didn't make it over for a visit :)
This is next edition in my series of basic jewelry making tutorials. If you missed the first one please click here and enjoy! If there are any techniques you would like to learn please let me know! I am always open to ideas for more on tutorials!

Now, for this next tutorial I chose the basic bracelet: using crimps. Once you master using crimps you can make necklaces, anklets, etc! So fun! Like the first tutorial so I took tons of pictures!!! Please feel free to contact me,, with any questions, comments, and/or suggestions you may have! I would love to hear from you!

• Gather your tools - you will need flat-nose pliers and cutters (these tools are easily found at all craft stores and even Walmart).
• Gather your materials – you will need soft flex beading wire, a measuring instrument, one jumpring, two crimps, desired clasp/toggle and beads.

Useful Notes: I use Soft Flex Beading Wire – Size Medium – because it is versatile and can be used for most beads. There are different sizes so be sure to check the type of bead you are using and then select your beading wire accordingly. There are several varieties of beading wire but I strongly recommend this exact brand. It does cost a little more but it is worth the investment.

The measuring instrument can be a bead board or tape. I have and use both but I recommend having a measuring tape with both inches and mm. This comes in handy when you are trying to purchase online and all the measurements are in mm….can you tell I learned this the hard way
For the jumpring I chose a 5mm open ring I had on hand. I use this size because anything smaller would make it difficult to attach a clasp to when attempting to wear the piece of jewelry. Please be aware they have open and closed jumprings – both have their uses but again I prefer the open styles.

The crimps are so tiny so it is important to bead on a surface using a beading mat or towel so if it falls it won’t bounce into oblivion….again learned this the hard way. This is where the measuring tape also play a vital role because they have tiny and then speck of sand tiny crimps. For this project and most of the ones you’re likely to do use 3mm crimps.

For the clasp, I used a basic springing clasp I had on hand. Again, this is based on preference. There are so many styles and options so feel free to choose your favorite.

Beads are a no brainer – make something you want to wear or give as a gift. Don’t feel obligated to copy me exactly. The concept is the same no matter what the product looks like in the end! I chose beads I had hand and needed for a charity donation. Think Pink!

• Slide your beads onto the stringing wire. DO NOT precut the beading wire. Leave that to the end for sizing purposes.

• Once you have the desired length, take the crimp and slide it onto the stringing wire followed by the jumpring.

• Loop the stringing wire around the jumpring and back through the crimp.

• Slide the crimp all the way up to the jumpring making it as flush as possible.

• Using the flat nose pliers smash the crimp onto the stringing wire. Be sure to smash it down against the stringing wire laying side by side not stacked so it will smash down nicely and as tightly as possible.

• Using the cutters, cut the stringing wire closely to the crimp but not flush with the crimp! Since these beads have bigger holes I like to leave a little tail to tuck in for more stability. Please note, if your beads are smaller you will not be able to tuck the tail so it is important that you have smashed the crimp correctly as outlined in STEP 6 to ensure stability.

• Tuck the little tail in and slide the beads down to the crimp so they are as close to the crimp as possible. This is easy but very important! Make sure while working on the other end that these beads stay flush with the crimps. NO GAPS ALLOWED!

• Now its time to cut the stringing wire from the spool. I usually cut 2 ½ inches from the last bead to give myself enough room too work and at the same time not waste any unnecessary stringing wire.

• Slide the last crimp on followed by your clasp/toggle of choice.

• Loop the stringing wire around the clasp/toggle and back through the crimp.

• This is SOOOOOO important! You are going to have to work on how you handle your hands….make sense? In this step you have to again pull the crimp as close to the clasp/toggle as possible but at the same time make sure the beads are still flush with the crimp at the other end. This will ensure you have no gaps in the bracelet when you are finished. I hold my bracelet up during this step and pull at the same time to make sure both ends are flush with the crimps. This has to be the trickiest part of the entire process which after practice is a breeze!

• Time to smash the final crimp and cut the tail! Since my beads have larger holes I will leave a small tail to tuck into the bead hole for added stability. Please note if your beads have small holes and you are not able to tuck the tail please cut off the tail as closely as possible to the crimp. This will ensure stability in this instance.

Voila! You have just made a rocking bracelet! I hope you have fun following along! Please send pics of your creations to! I would love to see what you’re creating!


  1. I am GOING to try this! you make it look SO easy!

  2. I have to tell you - my mother in law saw this tutorial on my blog last week and said she needed to try it. LOL. Now she is home and she said she was going to Joann to get all the materials and she wants me to email her your blog post. :]

  3. I gave up my feeble attempt at beading because I always got stuck at the 'crimp' stage. Your tutorial and pictures have made it crystal clear and I'm really excited about giving it another go....Thanks!

  4. Your tutorial and images are the best i have seen on the internet and even in books. It is so easy to see exactly what you need to do. Love your down to earth instructions, I was able to follow every step.

  5. I have several bracelets like this one. I always wanted to make some but the crimp always looked so daunting. Thank you so much for showing me that I can do this! Your directions are so clear! Thank you, thank you!!!

  6. Just found your blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE your tutorial...I have put you on my craft blog roll list. thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I so like your tutorial. You make it look so easy. I now understand how to get the crimp beads in position and make them work for me. Thank you so much for sharing and having detailed pics to help.

  8. My beginner tips, (sigh) are when making a bracelet using wire & clasp, it's a good idea to add a couple of really smaller beads, maybe little silver/gold spacer beads, about 2 - 4mm, at both ends....this makes the bracelet easier to get on & off! Or use colour co-ordinated beads....or seed beads! I found this out the hard way. Wish I'd read that tip about 3mm crimp beads! I have to get me some....I think mine are 2mm. I even paid money for a crimp tool, doesn't work like they say it does, Reason? The crimps are too small! Great tute...makes it look easy, all I can say is practice, practice....Good luck everyone....x

  9. Thank you. Been looking for a while in how to get started. I think this has helped a lot.

  10. I prefer using a crimping tool. Smashing a crimp has not worked well for me and does not look as neat. I also suggest not getting the crimp quite up to the ring. It can put too much stress on the wire. Using wire guards also protects the wire.