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Jewelry Findings Guide
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Jewelry Findings Guide

Crafting Time:
  • Varies
Skill Level:
  • Beginner
Project Courtesy of: Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores
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Additional Information

Description
Jewelry findings are the components that aren’t beads, gemstones or stringing materials needed to make jewelry.  Examples include bails, clasps, jump rings, connectors, and head or eye pins.  They are typically available in different metal finishes, including gold tone, silver tone, antique silver, antique brass, copper and gunmetal.

Key Items:

Bails are simply used for attaching a focal bead or component to a chain to make a pendant. Using a bail provides an easy way to attach a pendant to a chain, without any metalsmith or soldering techniques being required.   

Bead caps are handy for helping to dress up beads.  You can give a bead a decorative detail or cover imperfections easily by placing a bead cap at either end of a bead when stringing.  You can easily turn a plain bead into a focal piece for a pendant, just by adding bead caps!  They come in various shapes and sizes to incorporate when designing tassels, multi-strand pries and custom design items.

Clasps are used for necklaces or bracelets. A clasp is the component that allows the two ends to close together.  Clasps are available in many different shapes and styles.  They can also add the perfect finishing touch to a project.  Some styles of clasps are: box, magnetic, lobster, toggle, barrel, and spring ring.

Earring findings are used for making earrings.   Stud earrings or post earrings are short lengths of straight metal, with a cup, plate or claw setting at one end.  A butterfly back is required to keep the earring on.  Hoop earrings are circles of wire, available in many diameters which can come with extra loops to add dangles.  Hoops can have a hinged closure, one wire end can tuck into the other, or they can have a post and butterfly. Earwires range from a fish hook shape  to the very delicate kidney wire which can have embellishments added.  Earwires either fit through the ear, or close by tucking the back end of the earwire behind a hook.

Head and eye pins are used with beads to make components for earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more.  Slide a few beads onto a pin and then use jewelry pliers and cutters to make a loop that will enable you to connect it to another component.

Head pins either have a flat or round end that acts as a stopper so that beads won’t fall off.  Eye pins have a connecting link so they can connect to another head or eye pin to make longer pieces of jewelry.  Sizes range from 1 ¼’ – 4”.

Jump rings are circles of wire used as connectors in jewelry-making.  The most common shape of a jump ring is round, but you can also find oval jump rings.  They are either open or closed.  Open jump rings have a split in them, so that they can be pried open with jewelry pliers. Closed jump rings are soldered shut all the way around, so they cannot be opened. Closed jump rings are best when you need a strong connector for jewelry that is either precious or heavy.  Jump rings come in a variety of widths and thicknesses.

Crimp Beads or Tubes are tiny circles or tubes of soft metal used to secure two loop ends of flexible beading wire, or other stringing material, to hold a bead strand place, or to secure a floating bead on a necklace or bracelet.  Once in positioned they are compressed around the wire using Crimping Pliers.

Crimp Bead Covers are used to conceal crimp beads.  They are placed centrally over the crimp bead and squeezed with a pair of pliers until the crimp bead cover is closed. Once closed crimp covers look like regular metal beads.

Connectors and links are generally used to join individual components of a piece together, although they can also be used as the centerpiece of a design.  Most have loops at each end to attach jump rings, eye pins or wire, but openwork and filigree pieces are also used.  Connectors or links can be used in a wide variety of pieces including bracelets, dangles, earrings, extenders, handmade chains, and necklaces. 

Spacer bars are designed for multi strand necklaces or bracelets, with the number of holes purpose is to hold the strands apart and aligned and prevent tangling. 

Other information:
  • There are even more findings including necklace extenders that make a necklace longer and plastic earring stoppers that slide and prevent a wire earring from accidentally coming out of the ear. 
  • Most findings come in a variety of sizes and metal finishes.  Typically the same metal is used throughout  a piece
  • Crimp beads are essential for any designs made with wire.
Questions to consider:
  • What metal finish are you using?
  • Are you repairing an item or creating one from scratch?
  • What size beads/wire/stringing material?
  • What tools do you have?




 
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