Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tutorial: How to Make Spiral Bead Caps

This week I have a nice little tutorial on how to make your own spiral bead caps. This post is part of my "Test This Tutorial" series in which I find a tutorial on Pinterest and try it out for myself.

I found this tutorial at In Lisa's tutorial, she shows how she makes these bead caps, and she references a tutorial from written by Rena Klingenberg. I urge you to check out both of these sites as each one puts a slightly different twist on the tutorial. I think it's always good to see how different people approach a project design because we all find our own little unique ways of doing things.

To make these DIY bead caps you will need the following items:

  • Wire - I used 20 gauge silver tone Zebra wire
  • Beads - either 8mm or 10mm - I used an 8mm round glass bead
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Jewelry file
  • A round or dome shaped object for forming the dome of your bead cap - I used a small dapping punch - but I found the end of a pen also works quite well

Cut a 2 1/2 inch piece of wire. I actually make these in pairs, so I go ahead and cut two pieces of wire.

File the ends of each piece of wire using the jewelry file. This makes the ends nice and smooth so they will not catch on clothing or skin.

Now use your round nose pliers to begin a simple loop at one end of the wire.

Next use your flat nose pliers to grasp the loop and begin making your coil.  Use your fingers to shape the wire into a spiral.

Now here I did something not mentioned in Lisa's and Rena's tutorials. I found I had a little piece of wire sticking out from the coil - see it in the last picture above?  I used my round nose pliers to "tuck" it in just beside the last coil.

Much better!

Now it is time to dome your bead cap so that it fits nicely over a round bead. In Rena's tutorial, she places the spiral through the end of her round nose pliers and pushes the edges down to make the dome. Lisa used a different technique - she used a steel doming block to form the dome.

I took Lisa's suggestion and used a dapping punch to form the dome. I simply placed the bead cap over the top of the dome and pushed downward - and it worked great. 

Now because I know everybody doesn't have dapping punches, I also tried it using the tip of a medium sized pen - and it really worked quite well. You can really use your imagination and use whatever is handy in your home.

And finally, here are my bead caps!

And here is what they look like on a bead:

These were so much fun to make, I made a whole bunch of them. This time I used silver plated craft wire - and they look beautiful!

Now I can't wait to use them in some pretty jewelry designs!

I hope you will try making some of these bead caps yourself. If you do, I would love to see them!

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