Components for Beadwork
The term findings refers to jewelry or craft components that are used to finish, connect or shape jewelry. Though the most common findings are made from metal, there are a wide varieties of materials that can function as findings in beadwork.
These are two piece clasps that are threaded on each side, and screw together to close. Usually made from silver or gold, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
These can be one or two pieces, with lobster clay shape making up one side of the clasp. A small lever opens and closes the jaws of the clasp which can be attached to chain and jump rings.
These traditional clasps have a ring on one side which is opened with a small lever. Once the opposite end of the clasp is enclosed in the ring, releasing the lever will close it securely. These clasps are less popular, because they can be difficult to open and close.
These open-ended clasps are made from a simple S shape wire which can hook onto jump rings, chain, or other components. Custom S clasps are easy to make with wire working tools.
A bar and ring make up this two piece clasp, usually used for bracelets. The bar is passed sideways through the ring, then turned to lay across it, securing the ends. Both toggles and rings come in a wide range of styles, shapes and finishes.
Enclosures for jewelry and other beadwork can be made using simple materials such as seed beads and buttons.
Usually made from precious metals such as gold and silver, earwires are the base for creating dangle earrings. There are a variety of styles and shapes to choose from, and custom earwires can be made using a jug or other type of wire shaping tool. Most earwires have a loop at one end to attach dangles or other beadwork. Other styles include the S wire, which allows dangles and beads to be interchanged easily.
These blank earring findings can be glued to beadwork to create custom jewelry. The front of the post can vary in size and materials, allowing for a variety of different earring styles.
Headpins and eyepins made from wire are used for connecting beadwork with wrapped loops. Eyepins have an open loop at one end for holding thread, wire or cord. Headpins have a stopper such as a ball or paddle to hold beads, and can be used to make dangles and bead clusters. Most pins come in 22 or 24 gauge wire, but you can make your own from your favorite stiff wire as well.
Jump rings and split rings have a wide range of uses in jewelry making. Chainmail is made primarily from jump rings which can be soldered or left open. Both jump rings and split rings are also used to connect jewelry and beadwork components together. They come in a variety of sizes, gauges and finishes. You can also create your own custom jump rings by cutting wire that has been coiled around a tube form.
These metal cups are used to secure stringing material such as thread or monofilament by clamping down over knots. A hook at one end can be used to connect jump rings or other components. For very thin threads, you can tie a knot around a seed bead and close it within the bead tip using pliers.
These metal components are pressed closed with pliers around wire, cord, or other stringing material. Simple crimp tubes are used to create a loop of wire that will be attached to clasps or other findings with jump rings. For ribbon, cord and other wide materials, crimp ends with loops attached can be pressed over the ends.
Made from metal plate or coiled wire, these tubes cover beading wire to prevent fraying and breakage. They come in a variety of colors and finishes, and can be used to accent strung jewelry.
Cones and Spreaders
These components are used to gather strands of beads and cover threads. Cones come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from round domes to long tapered cylinders. Spreaders have 2 or more holes that can be used to increase or reduce the number of strands or ropes in a piece of beadwork. Silver is the most common metal used to make them, and you can also create custom cones with seed beads.
These are metal beads that are used as bumpers between fragile beads like glass and gemstone. Some spacers have multiple holes and can be used as spreaders. Flat or dome shaped spacers that fit over beads are referred to as bead caps.
Also called dangles or drops, these bead-like objects have a single loop that can be strung, or attached with bead loops or jump rings. Double looped charms, called links, can be used to connect or separate two sections of beadwork.
These components are used to suspend beads or other focals from cord or strands of beads. Metallic bails come in a variety of designs, or you can make your own beaded bails.
Usually made from metals like silver, these pre-made jewelry components provide a base for a variety of beading styles. Ring and bracelet blanks are the most common types. Cuff blanks are simple sheets of curved metal that are used to form embroidered bracelets. You can also find ring and bracelet blanks for attaching charms and bead clusters, buttons, clay, and more.