wikiHow to Use Crimp Beads

How to use crimp beads with jewelry pliers, when making your own beaded jewelry.


  1. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 1
    Gather your supplies. When you are ready to attach a clasp (or any end-piece you are using in your design, such as a closed or solid jump ring or extender chain), first thread the end of your beading wire (jewelry cable) through a crimp bead.
  2. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 2
    Loop the beading wire through the clasp or extender chain, and then feed back through the crimp bead, forming a loop. It is a good idea to leave a tail of wire a couple of inches longer than you think you need so you will have some wire to work with.
  3. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 3
    Slide the crimp bead up close to the end of the clasp or end-piece. Check the crimp bead and make sure it is not too close to the clasp or end-piece. You want to have a small loop around the clasp or end-piece, but not so small that it holds the clasp so tightly that it cannot move freely.
  4. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 4
    You have two choices to close your crimp. If you have a crimping tool or crimping pliers, follow this next step (5). If not, follow the next step for chain nose pliers, below (step 7). Never use pliers with "teeth" inside because they will leave sharp edges on your crimp bead.
  5. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 5
    You are now ready to squeeze the crimp bead shut. Place the crimp bead in the back channel of the crimping pliers, closest to the handle. Squeeze the pliers closed, gently but firmly. This will both flatten and place a dent in the crimp bead.
  6. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 6
    Place the dented crimp bead on its side in the front channel of the crimping pliers, closest to the end. Basically, position the crimp bead so that it looks like the Letter C. You are positioning the bead upright like this so that when you close the pliers and squeeze, the bead will be folded closed right on the dent (bringing each end of the letter C together). Squeeze gently but firmly and make sure your crimp bead has tightly closed around the wire. If necessary, use pliers to make it close tighter. Tug gently to make sure the wire doesn't pull free. Continue with Step 8.
  7. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 7
    Using Chain Nose Pliers (flat nose). Regular flat or needle nose pliers work to close crimp beads, too. There is only one step to closing the crimp. Simply grasp the crimp bead with the flat section of the pliers. Squeeze gently but tightly to smash the crimp bead flat. Check to make sure the crimp bead is tightly holding the wire so it won't pull free.
  8. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 8
    String your beads. Thread your first bead onto the wire. Thread both pieces of flexible wire through the bead hole if possible. Use your flush cutters to cut the cord off as close as possible to the bead. Thread the rest of your beads according to your design until you reach the other end.
  9. Image titled Use Crimp Beads Step 9
    When you are ready to attach your final clasp to the end of your piece, thread the crimp bead and clasp just like before, but now you will want to tighten all of your beads by pulling on the tail end of the loose wire. This will snug all your beads up together, leaving no gaps in your design. If you have long tube beads in your design, you will need to leave a small, finger-nail length of a gap between the beads. If you are making a bracelet, you need to make sure the beads and wire make the small circumference around a wrist. If you need more leverage to pull the wire tight, use your pliers; one to hold the clasp and the other to grasp and pull the wire. Crimp your final bead, and you're finished!


  • Sometimes, you just don't get a perfect crimp. It either didn't fold over nicely or the wire pulls loose. If this happens, cut the crimp bead off the end, and just start over again with a fresh new crimp bead. This is another good reason to leave yourself a little extra wire to play with on the end of your design.


  • Wear safety goggles when cutting beading wire. Steel beading wire can snap and fly around!

Things You'll Need

  • Two Crimp Beads
  • Choice of Clasp
  • Length of Flexible Jewelry Wire (also known as beading cable or stringing cable)
  • Beads
  • Crimping Tool or Chain Nose (Flat Nose) Pliers

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Beading