OK, I just finished a bracelet and really like it... however, I didn't leave enough slack between beads and now they are so tight it is stiff and won't lay nicely on my wrist. Is there a way to undo a crimp bead so I can gain a tiny bit of slack or do I have to cut it and start over?? HELP!
My Blog (started long BEFORE I started beading!): Sunshine, Smiles & Stamps= Lovin' Life
Well........you could try to nip the crimp bead away but then you risk damaging the neighboring bead. I have successfully achieved this just once in all my years of designing jewelry. It would probably be easier to just redo it.
There was a time that I was having serious issues stringing too tightly and so I started putting an 11/0 seed bead somewhere in the work that it would be easy to access after I had the crimps on and then I would use either my round nose or needle nose pliers to break the bead (wearing eye protection of course) and that would leave just enough room for movement bu tnot so much that there would be bare wire showing. Eventually I just learned how to get the tension right without the bead :)
I feel your pain Budding Beadist! We've all been in your position,sadly, and it is so frustrating. I agree with Creative Eclectica in that trying to cut off your crimp bead (coming at it sideways with your wire cutters held parallel to the bracelet strand) might work, but I found that even if you get the crimp off successfully, the stringing wire is usually damaged &/or weakened. Your best bet is breaking off a glass 11, if you have one in the bracelet, or a 2 mm metal bead. If you'd rather not do that, cutting & restringing is your best bet. Good luck! Glassart Jeanine
In order to PREVENT this in the future:
I was taught to put a crimp on one end of my bracelet or necklace, coil the piece up (in about a 3 inch circle), and then crimp at the other end.
That COILING takes up a bit of space -- just enough to prevent what happened to your bracelet.
Hi.. If you have put the finishing touches to the bracelet then you need to start over as even if your beads get space but the tension in the wire will remain and it will be bit stiff on your hands.. Not only that the wire will show on the bracelet too and your design might get compromised.. When you redo it give the wire in the end some loops on a hook before cutting it.. this way you will get to know how much tension is needed for the bracelet to be flexible according to your choice. Gopika
Thanks for all the pointers everyone! I haven't done anything with it yet... still just admiring it. LOL!
Sue, I'm not sure I understand about the 3" loop that is crimped on both ends to prevent this in the future. Can you explain that in another way? Do you not think it is enough to just learn from my mistake and next time remember to leave a bit more space? Sounds like that might not be enough?!? I'm such a novice!
Remembering to leave some slack is very important, but I found that it was hard to estimate just HOW MUCH to leave. How much for a 7" bracelet? How much for an 18" necklace? What about a 30" necklace? The trick I was taught helped with that.
Let's say you have a 30" necklace. Add one part of the clasp and crimp that end. THEN do NOT lay the necklace out in a straight line. Instead, coil the necklace as tightly as you can. I leave the already crimped part on the table and find I can coil the necklace about four times -- you now have the necklace coiled four times in something like a 3" circle with the uncrimped part coming from the top. Leave the necklace coiled like that, add the other half of the clasp, and crimp it. Even if you crimp it close at that point, when you uncoil the necklace, you will find that there is some slack in the beads - JUST ENOUGH SLACK.
If it is an 18" necklace, you may only be able to only coil it twice. Add the other half of the clasp, and crimp it. When you unwind the necklace, you will find that there is some slack.
With a bracelet, you will only be able to wrap it in a circle maybe one and a half times. Add the other half of the clasp, and crimp it. When you straighten it out, you should find that there is some slack.
I think that it is a concept from geometry. "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line." So a curved line is longer.
Does that make more sense?
When I first started, I crimped my pieces while they were in a straight line, and I also used cheap crimps. As soon as I tried to wear the pieces, the crimps popped open and my pieces fell apart. I hadn't left enough slack. The owner of my LBS taught me this technique and also sold me some quality sterling silver crimp tubes!
I hope this helps you! It has really helped me.
OH!!!! Now I get it! SUE, thank you so much for bearing with me and taking your time to answer in such detail. Of course, you were saying loop it AFTER the beads are on. Silly me! Thankfully I do have some good quality crimp beads, I think.
I'm so excited about all I got to make this weekend during my dreadful garage sale. Just sat and happily beaded away all day yesterday! I watched some amazing you tube videos, made two rings, and so much more. Will be posting on my blog over the next few days if I get a chance.
I did post today a necklace and bracelet that I made last week. Hopefully my posts will show significant improvement as I go! ;) Here's a link to my blog since I can't figure out how to make a signature yet: http://sunshinesmilesstamps.blogspot.com/2012/09/beads.html
Sorry, I didn't respond right away, but I was blissfully off taking a half-day class.
I am so glad my explanation was clearer to you. As far as the crimps go, sterling silver or gold-filled tubes are recommended -- NOT base metal and NOT spherical ones.
I recently have also fallen in love with Twisted Tornado crimps from Via Murano. They are tubes with diagonal groves in them, and they are flattened with a pliers -- no need for a crimper. The diagonal groves add a little decoration to the finished crimp. Some people don't like them, because they are flat and thus show a little more. I don't mind any of that. I like them because even after all this time, I still mess up just about every third crimp when I have to use a crimper. (Sigh!)
Ooh, Twisted Tornado crimps, those sound cool! I'll have to look them up. I kind of like crimping though- something satisfying about letting a tool and a tiny bit of silver do such an important job! Unfortunately some of my stash my mom did not label so I can't know for sure, but many of the bags are labeled SS which I'm assuming means sterling silver... and a few of them aren't labeled and I can SEE the difference in color/shine. I'm not familiar with the spherical crimps unless they are called crimp covers. I did find a bag of those the other day... I was curious about them.
Thanks again for generously sharing your knowledge! I spent some time reading threads last night and am amazed at how much I don't know! LOL. Lots to learn, lots to learn!
I've been beading since 1996 or so, but I am still amazed at how much I want to learn. This artform has been practiced for centuries by many cultures. And lately there is all the new technical stuff and the new shapes of beads to explore. I am happy with each new bit that I learn. I also like to try a lot of things and then settle into what I like the most. I also have to make sure that I bead, and don't just read about it.
Yes, SS stands for sterling silver. There is probably a test using a torch to be able to tell SS from fine silver from silver-colored base metal from ...... usually each metal reacts differently under high heat.
The round crimps: Just stay away from LITTLE ROUND SEED BEAD-SHAPED crimps (often with some vertical grooves). They are cheap in price, but their walls are thin, and they just don't hold well.
Crimp covers are cool. For a while, I thought they would not fit over a flattened Twisted Tornado crimp. Then I learned that the crimp covers come in different sizes. That was news to me. Now I am on the look-out for larger crimp covers to see if they will fit over the TT crimps or not.
Well, I am off for another busy day, It has been nice talking with you.