Q.How do I get started making jewelry with Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire?
Step 1 – Choose your wire strand count:
- 49 Strand is the most flexible, the most durable, and the most supple.
- 19 Strand is the perfect combination of strength, flexibility, and price.
- 7 Strand is strong, will hold its shape well, and is economically priced.
Step 2 – Choose your wire diameter:
- Use the largest diameter wire possible that will pass through the smallest bead hole in your design.
Step 3 – Choose your Crimp Beads/Tubes and Corresponding Crimp Tool: (see chart here)
- Look at your wire spool and it will indicate what size crimp bead or crimp tube to use.
Step 4 - Choose your Clasp:
- There are a variety of clasps to choose from. An easy one to start with is a Lobster Claw Clasp or a Toggle Clasp.
Step 6 - String your design.
Q. What is the difference between 7 strand, 19 strand, and 49 strand Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire?
A. Beadalon bead stringing wire is composed of tiny wires twisted together and nylon coated. The number of tiny wires, also known as strands, determines the flexibility of the wire. The larger the number of strands, the more flexible the wire will be - 49 strand is more flexible than 19 strand, and 19 strand is more flexible than 7 strand.
When choosing which type of wire to use, consider the amount of drape you want your design to have. 49 strand wire is very supple and will drape elegantly, giving your designs a thread-like appearance. 7 strand wire is not as flexible, but will hold its shape better. If you are new to bead stringing or unsure how much flexibility you require, we recommend starting with our middle grade, 19 strand wire.
Q. What size crimp bead/tube should I use? What size crimp cover should I use?
A. Refer to this handy chart to determine what size crimp bead, tube, cover and tool that you should use.
Q. What are 5 things I should NEVER do when making beaded jewelry?
A. Refer to this infographic and watch this video to find out!
Q. What is the difference between German Style, Artistic Wire and ColourCraft Wire?
A. German Style Jewelry Wrapping Wire is excellent quality shaping wire, available in several gauges and shapes like ½ round, round and square. German Style Wire either has a copper or brass core, is enamel coated in a variety of finishes, and has a tarnish resistant coating. This wire is half-hard temper.
Artistic Wire is a dead soft, copper and/or brass core, enamel coated wire available in the largest selection of gauges, colors and packaging choices. Artistic Wire is available in a wide range of Standard and Silver Plated colors. The wire has a tarnish resistant coating with the exception of Tinned Copper, Stainless Steel, Bare Phosphorous Bronze, Bare Copper, and Bare Brass. These uncoated wires will patina over time.
ColourCraft Wire is an economically priced range of the most popular gauges and colors of dead soft, copper and/or brass core, enamel coated, tarnish resistant wire available in a limited range of coils and spools.
The Wire Hardness Scale shows the range from dead soft to full hard and where these wires fit in.
Q. What glue should I use?
GS-Hypo Cement and Beadalon Bead Stringing Glue - Made for watch crystals and small watch parts, we recommend GS-Hypo for gluing beads to wire and cord. GS-Hypo has a very fine applicator for precision gluing. When working with these glues, hold the tube in your hand and allow the heat from your hand to cause the glue to flow out of the tip rather than squeezing.
GS- Hypo Fabric Cement - This clear-drying adhesive holds fast to fabric, textiles, leather, plastic, costuming, beads and yarn. It is also great for embellishing clothing with beads.
BeadFix Adhesives - BeadFix is ideal for glass, stone, metal, plastic, wood, and most other types of beads. BeadFix is unaffected by cold and heat, and is water resistant. It is quick setting, even on absorbent surfaces. We recommend BeadFix for attaching Memory Wire End Caps to the ends of Memory Wire. BeadFix Gel is the same formula, with a thicker viscosity than original BeadFix. It is good for filling small gaps.
2-Part Epoxy Single Use pack- Contains the right amounts of both ingredients that work as a very strong adhesive only when mixed together (mixing stick included). For best results, mix together the entire contents of both tubes completely. Working time is about 30 minutes. Allow 24 hours to cure at room temperature.
Q. What is the difference between Elonga and Elasticity and how can I be sure to get my knots to stay put?
A. Elonga is miniature, multi-fiber elastic ribbon that is very supple. It has a built in warning - once it begins to wear it will start to split, which is easy to see and replace. Elasticity is a soft single strand elastic cord that is strong and stretchy. Always pre-stretch your elastic material, glue your knots, and use an Elastic Cord Needle to make stringing easier and more durable.
This is the knot we recommend for Elasticity and Elonga. Add a drop of Beadalon Bead Stringing Glue or GS Hypo Cement to the knot and let it dry before cutting off any extra cord. After the glue dries, slide the knot inside the closest bead hole possible.
Q. When should I use thread vs . when should I use wire?
A. Often using thread in stringing projects is a matter of preference. However, we recommend using thread for weaving and looming projects, embroidery and embellishment designs. Beading wire is the stringing material of choice when it comes to strung jewelry.
Q. How do I avoid wire breaking?
A. Breakage is typically caused by abrasion on the wire. Beads can be sharp on the inside and can cut through the wire over time. We always recommend using a bead reamer to smooth any rough spots inside the bead holes. You should also use the largest diameter of wire that will fit through the bead holes. This will reduce the amount of friction inside the bead, thus reducing the potential for abrasion. Beadalon 49 is the most durable wire, so it should always be used for jewelry that is going to get a lot of wear and tear. Also, remember that it's important to maintain some "play" in your designs and don't string them too tightly.
A. The bead board serves as a tool to help in the design process. The outside channel has measurements to help determine the length of the piece that you want to make. It's a great way to visualize what the design will look like before you spend time stringing - so you can try out a variety of ideas and see what works for you. Starting in the middle and bringing your beads up to the 9" mark on both sides will create an 18" necklace, before the clasp is affixed. Experiment with multi-strand designs by laying out the different strands in the different channels. This will create a layered look - with slightly different lengths.
Q. What is base metal?
A. Base Metal is a generic term used to describe any non-precious metal. It can include brass, nickel, copper, zinc, pewter, and many other metals.