Mia’s Jewelry Making Tips

These jewelry making tips will show you how to use crimp beads. These are small tubes of thin metal that are used with tiger tail or other nylon coated wire.

As these types of wire are hard to knot you can use crimp beads instead to hold the beads in place or create the loop to attach a clasp.

Materials and Equipment

  • 2 crimps
  • Flat nose or general purpose pliers with smooth jaws or crimp pliers
  • The wire, beads etc. for your necklace or bracelet
  • Super glue - optional

Mia's Top Tip


If using heavy beads you may wish to use two crimps side by side.

Cut the required length of tiger tail for your project, it’s a good idea to cut more than you need just in case you make a mistake.

It is so annoying when you have threaded on all your beads and don’t have enough wire left to finish.

How to Use Crimp Beads Tutorial



At one end of the tiger tail thread on a crimp.




Thread on a clasp then thread the end of the tiger tail back through the crimp.

Adjust the loop holding the clasp until you are happy with the size.




There are two ways of closing the crimp.

Using the pliers squeeze the crimp until it is closed.





Gently pull on the wire to make sure it is secure. Trim the end of the wire to about 1cm.





Using crimping pliers place the crimp in the 'U' shaped hole and squeeze closed.

Then place the crimp in the 'O' shaped hole and squeeze closed.





You should now have a nicely rounded finished crimp.

Gently pull the wire to make sure it is secure. Trim the end to about 1cm.


Thread on the beads right up to the crimp covering the wire end.

If the bead holes are too small try using a spacer bead with a larger hole to start and finish the project.

Alternatively you can trim the wire up to the crimp bead.

If you plan to do this it may be a good idea to add a drop of superglue to the wire before crimping.









When you have finished adding all the beads to your project pull the tiger tail tight through the beads by holding up the unfinished end.





Thread on another crimp and the other part of the clasp.

Hold the crimp as close to the last bead as possible.



Thread the end of the tiger tail back through the crimp.

Adjust the loop holding the clasp until you are happy with the size.

Trim the tiger tail allowing about 1cm to thread through the last bead.

Secure the crimp using one of the methods in step 5.

Mia’s Craft Ideas

As crimp beads are tiny the technique is quite fiddly and takes a lot of practice.

Use an off cut of tiger tail to practice on while you get used to using the crimp beads.

You will waste a few beads but they are relatively inexpensive.

If you try the technique for the first time on your bead project you may damage the wire and have to restring the whole thing.

As with all my jewelry making tips a little bit of practice first can save you a lot of work.

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