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Beading FAQs

Sometimes, we all need a little help from the experts! Our team of designers have practically “seen it all” (and made a few mistakes along the way). We’ve asked them to answer some of your most pressing beading design and technique questions!

Question Index

Questions with Answers

Q: I’m having a difficult time with making stretch bracelets. My knots seem to slide and come undone because the cord is so slick. How can I make sure the knots stay put and stay tight? -Celia from Covington, KY

A: Celia, this is a common problem with an easy fix! When you’re making stretch bracelets you need to make an overhand knot holding BOTH ends of the cord as one, instead of a square knot, which can be pulled apart as you stretch the bracelet over your hand toward your wrist. Make sure to pull the excess slack from the cord and place a drop of super glue, such as Loctite Easy Squeeze Super Glue, on the knot. Then let the glue cure overnight before wearing the bracelet. -Your Beading Buddy, Molly [back to Question list]


Q:  My jump rings get so deformed when I have to open them, and I can’t seem to get them to come back together neatly and closely. What gives?  -Janet from Greenville, NC

A: The secret to tidy jump rings is to ALWAYS open them by using chain-nose pliers and twisting the two sides apart rather than pulling them away from each other. It works best to use two sets of pliers, holding one still and pushing the top of the other set away from your body. This way, the circle of the ring won’t become distorted. Use the same technique on simple loops when making a chain.  -Your Beading Buddy, Molly [back to Question list]


Q: I want to use leather cord to make a simple necklace with a Bead Gallery® pendant, but I don’t know how to finish the ends of the necklace. How do I make it look neat and also get a secure finish? -Beatrice from Berne, IN

A: Beatrice, what you need is called a cord end. There are many options for you to choose from, but one that works in many instances is fold-over cord end, which has a loop at one end with a cavity in which to place your cord. Place a drop of super glue in the fold-over cord end, place the cord within the cavity so that the loop is where you would attach a clasp, and then use your chain-nose pliers to fold the panels over the ends of the cord, holding it in place. Let dry overnight for a secure fit.  -Your Beading Buddy, Molly [back to Question list]


Q: I’m having a terrible time crimping clasps onto my beading wire. What could I be doing wrong?  -Pamela from Potsdam, NY

A: Pamela, crimping is one of those techniques that takes some practice to get just right. First, check that you’re using the correct size of crimp with your flexible beading wire. The spool of beading wire lists the correct size to use. Second, make sure that the wires are not crossing within the crimp tube; when this happens, the crimp doesn’t fold correctly, allowing the wire to slip through the crimp. Lastly, check to make sure that you’re turning your crimp a quarter turn within the crimping pliers after you make the original dent in the crimp. If you don’t turn the tube, it isn’t completely folded and won’t be secure.  -Your Beading Buddy, Molly [back to Question list]


Q: My bracelets seem to always be so stiff and don’t want to lay correctly around my wrist. What am I doing wrong?  -Carolyn from Silver Bay, NY

A: Carolyn, it sounds like you have too much tension on the flexible beading wire. To get the perfect drape for a necklace or a bracelet, lay your piece on your work area in a circle so that the beginning and end of the piece nearly touch. Finish the piece with a crimp in this configuration and be sure not to remove ALL the slack from the piece, as this won’t leave enough room for your beads to follow the contour of your wrist or neck.  -Your Beading Buddy, Molly [back to Question list]