In order to make a necklace using beads you buy at the craft store, you must begin by adding a crimp bead. First, gather your materials together. You will need:
1) Wire - I use Beadalon #7. It is strong enough to hold my beads together and flexible enough so that it sits well around my neck once it is finished. The wire comes in different colors and strengths. Browse through the wire section at the craft store to find the one that is suitable for your project.
2) Yardstick - You will need this to measure the length of wire for your necklace. 21" is usually a good length for a necklace that sits on or around the collar bone. I measure the length around my neck before I cut, as well. This length also typically includes about two extra inches on both ends. You will need this in order to thread the beads through it once you begin and again at the end. This helps to give added strength to your necklace so that it does not fall apart.
3) Scissors - The wire mentioned above can easily be cut with scissors. Heavier wire will need wire cutters.
4) Crimp beads - These are also called "crimp tubes". They come in various sizes. The one I am using for this project is 2mm. The 1mm is also good for making necklaces with this type of wire.
5) Jump rings - These come in various sizes. They are small, round wire pieces that are used to hold the clasp to the wire. They are also used to hang charms, and to attach chain links and beads in various designs.
6) Crimper tool - This is used to pinch the crimp bead down in order to hold the necklace together.
This is what you will need for this particular Instructable. If you were making the entire necklace, you would also need a clasp, beads, two pairs of needle nose pliers, and any other materials that pertain to your particular project.
You will add crimp beads twice - once at the beginning and once at the end. Adding crimp beads will keep the beads from falling off the wire and it holds the necklace in place.
Step 1: Putting the Pieces Together
Once you have cut your wire, put a crimp on one end followed by a jump ring. A medium sized jump ring in a package of small, medium and large will work well for most projects. Use a larger jump ring if you are using heavier beads in your necklace.
Step 2: Looping the Wire
Next, loop the wire through the jump ring and pull the end down about 2" through the crimp bead.
Step 3: Tightening the Crimp Bead
Pull the crimp bead up so that it fits snuggly against the jump ring.
Step 4: Using the Crimper Tool
You will crimp the bead a total of three times. Crimping will help to keep the rest of the beads in the necklace from falling off the wire.
1) Take your crimper tool and put the crimp bead in the second slot from the top. Press the handles together to crimp the bead.
2) Next, put the same crimp bead in the slot at the top. As you crimp the bead a second time, twist it. This gives added security and strength to keep your necklace together.
3) Put the crimp bead back in the second slot from the top. Crimp it for a third time. No need to twist it in this slot. The crimping portion is now done.
Step 5: Adding Your First Bead
Once you have finished crimping, add a spacer bead or any bead of your choice to begin your necklace. That's it! After you have completed this part, the fun of creating your necklace begins using beads of various shapes, colors and textures. There are a plethora of beads from which to choose. Have fun! Use your imagination and create your own masterpieces in jewelry!