Why Finishing Techniques Matter: Stitch and Wear Your Beaded Jewelry

Aug 20, 2010

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily.
I have had a beadalicious wild ride learning how to seed bead recently. Thanks to my Beading Daily peeps for your suggestions, ideas, and support as I’ve dived into the world of those tiny beauties. I simply cannot stop peyote-stitching the nights away. How long before people notice my bloodshot eyes in the morning?

 

Folks learn new jewelry-making techniques in a variety of ways—through books, magazines, videos, and classes. I find when learning a new technique, I have to do it over and over again until my hands have memorized it and it’s as automatic as a reflex. That’s precisely what took place with my obsessive peyote-stitching. One day I had a pile of beads and a needle; soon I had six beaded cuffs in the works. 

Spacer 10x10 pixels
Making jewelry closures—the next chapter

I thought the actual bead stitching was the hard part. But no, my dear beady readers. In order to wear those beauties, one must finish them with a closure.
Spacer 10x10 pixels

Spacer 10x10 pixels

Snap

The basic closure is the snap. You can stitch in any size snap from your local craft store. I thought the large snaps would be the most secure and stitched one onto my first cuff. Lesson learned here: more is better (in chocolate as well). Two snaps would keep the bracelet edge from flapping.

 
  Five-loop slide clasp

This slide clasp will be my next pick. Once closed, they look so seamless and elegant. The perfect way to finish off a stunning seed-bead masterpiece! Once you finish weaving your beaded cuff, simply attach two rows of seed beads per loop and tie a knot. Weave in the tail threads and trim.

     
  Button loop

Button-and-loop closures have endless possibilities due to their popularity and functionality through the ages. Simply string beads through the button shank to attach to one end of the bracelet. Then stitch some simple peyote rows on the opposite end to create the loop. (Just be sure the loop slides over the button, but doesn’t have too much slack in it.)

.
. .

 Spacer 10x10 pixels

Sure, the fun part of stitching a new jewelry-making masterpiece is watching your bracelet, cuff, or necklace grow bead by bead. But it’s not the whole enchilada until you finish up these babies. Better that you add a snap, clasp, or button and loop to them so you can proudly wear them, rather than let them sit undone in your studio!
Spacer 10x10 pixels
Get up close and personal in finishing your UFOs (unfinished objects) with Michelle Mach's article on "Perfect Endings: How to Choose the Right Clasp" in Best of Step by Step Beads. Plus, you can learn my beloved peyote stitch, as well as a boatload of others.
Spacer 10x10 pixels

Spacer 10x10 pixels

What's Your Sign

Have fun with this week’s free project, tons of designs for great dog tags by Leslie Rogalski and Crystal Hudson. Brick stitch makes these pendants nice and sturdy.


Featured Products

Bejeweled Crystal Bracelet

Availability: In Stock
Was: $4.00
Sale: $2.80

eProject

A lacy bracelet that is a good introduction for bead weaving.

More

Best of Step by Step Beads 2010

Availability: Out Of Stock
Price: $14.99

Magazine Single Issue

40 Fun & Easy Jewelry Projects: Bead by Bead

More

Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

AdrienneC58 wrote
on Aug 20, 2010 12:54 PM

I love using the button and loop closure but have had problems with getting the correct size loop. My suggestion for fixing this problem is stretchy cord!  It is sometimes hard to make a loop large enough to fit over the button or bead without having a huge gap at the end or worrying about breaking the loop from over-stressing it.  When finished weaving the bracelet try weaving a length of stretchy beading string through the last few rows and then add your loop.  This allows the loop to be smaller in size, stretchy enough to go over the button/bead clasp, and helps avoid a wide gap at the end of your bracelet.

AdrienneC58 wrote
on Aug 20, 2010 12:54 PM

I love using the button and loop closure but have had problems with getting the correct size loop. My suggestion for fixing this problem is stretchy cord!  It is sometimes hard to make a loop large enough to fit over the button or bead without having a huge gap at the end or worrying about breaking the loop from over-stressing it.  When finished weaving the bracelet try weaving a length of stretchy beading string through the last few rows and then add your loop.  This allows the loop to be smaller in size, stretchy enough to go over the button/bead clasp, and helps avoid a wide gap at the end of your bracelet.

KimberJ wrote
on Aug 20, 2010 3:32 PM

Who says you have to finish the piece with a clasp?  

Unfortunately, I don't have the patience for doing a whole bracelet, let alone a necklace, but I love doing peyote stitch.  I found an excellent solution to my lack of attention span.  

Using barrette blanks, I'll do more of a peyote "swatch" (3" or less, depending on the barrette blank), then I use E6000 to glue the piece to the barrette blank.  These can be left "plain", or using another length of thread, you can add dangles to the bottoms.  I'll do 10 seed beads, a matching Swarovski crystal, then 10 more seeds and make a "loop" through the ends of the peyote, using more and more seed beads (I use 8/0's and 6/0's so counting those tiny beads is easier) towards the middle for a fan effect.  Sometimes I'll add small charms.  And since I've discovered Shrink Film, I'll often make my own charms with pictures to add to the barrettes.

It's a great way to have fun with peyote if you can't focus long enough to do a full piece.