Thinking about making a necklace with 1 strand of 2mm silver satin rattail, need some help?

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Posts 13
on Feb 26, 2013 5:49 PM

Hello, all! I'm thinking about making some ornate beads of 4mm birthstone bicones for sale for Mother's Day. I'm at a loss for what to string the bead on - I don't want to do metal chain for a variety of reasons, so I looked at leather cord - I felt it was too masculine for the bead. I'm thinking about 2mm silver satin rattail but I've never worked with it. Any thoughts, pro or con?

Then I was looking at end caps (since all the cones I looked at were way too big for the 2mm cord) and I can get end caps with a 2mm and 3mm interior diameter.  If I used them, I was thinking the 3mm would be easier to deal with, but I don't want a big transition between the cord and the end cap. I have to do my shopping online, as my LBS isn't really very L!

The design would be something like this: the bead would be about 1/2" in diameter, with a wire guardian and a nice little bail. I'm going to go all silver for accent beads, bails, the satin cord, the end caps and the clasp. I was thinking about a toggle clasp since these would be for older ladies and I wanted something easy for them to handle, but is this going to be enough weight for the toggle to hold well?  Would an S-shaped clasp be better?

I bow to your infinite pool of knowledge and experience, and am grateful for it.  Thanks in advance.



Top 150 Contributor
Posts 159
on Feb 26, 2013 11:12 PM

Maybe you can find some pics of what you would like. Then you can decide better. Like do you want to tie knots like macrame, or a no brainer like stringing beads onto a string? Or something more fancy with bead sewing? There are a lot of string options. Satin rattail, Chinese knotting cord, micro macrame cord, hemp, twine, wool, scoobidou strings. So many possibilities!

What I do when I'm stuck for a design. I get all the parts together and play around with the layout on a bead mat. Then I take some photos of the different layouts, so that i have a record of it. Sometimes, I'll just laze around the house with my graph paper and color pens. Doodling up stuff.

Top 75 Contributor
Posts 517
tcwhit wrote
on Feb 26, 2013 11:29 PM

I agree with blue, lay out your pieces on your bead board. If you don't have a bead board try a hand towel in a cookie sheet, something anything to keep them from rolling. Even if you don't have the exact beads you're using, try your test with something you have that's similar in size. You already have your color scheme and basic beads figured out, which is great, so now you need to figure out your sizes and the rest of your textures. You're already half way there!

Not Ranked
Posts 13
on Mar 12, 2013 1:51 PM

I decided to order both the 2mm and 3mm end caps and see which one looked better.  The 2mm cap goes on the rattail nicely with no big gap between the two elements, and I have some leather cording that will fit in the 3mm so I'll be able to use both.

I have the E-6000 jewelers' cement, which I have never used.  Will it hold up to the light tugging that a necklace goes through? I don't want to sell these and have them start falling apart.  Has anyone used this product that can give me any tips?



Top 25 Contributor
Posts 1,607
D.M.Z wrote
on Mar 12, 2013 3:02 PM

Cindy, E6000 is THE product to use. But it is stinky and needs to be used in a ventilated area, like your back porch or outside or garage. You can run a hair dryer on it for a few seconds to start it curing, but count on at least 24 hours for a full cure. It will quit stinking after a shorter time, so you can bring it in like overnight and work on it the next day. But be careful of it if it still smells.

I have never had an E6000 job come apart, but then again I've never glued rat tail to metal either. To me rat tail is something I knot and run a headpin through and put a bead cap on....and glue the bead cap to the knot and wire, then the wire goes to the clasp. There are two part epoxy type glues you can use, but I don't believe you need that much power. Are you planning on like knotting the end pieces at all through the bead cap?

Have fun and let us see  your finished product. Donna

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