Why Finishing Techniques Matter: Stitch and Wear Your Beaded Jewelry

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. 

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.

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.)

 

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!

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.

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.

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