Thursday, October 1, 2015

Making Bead Caps for Your Jewelry Designs

 
Today's blog post was contributed by BrookeScarboroughJewelryDesigns . Brooke is another one of the members of the Jetteam on Etsy.
 
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Jewelry can be made more interesting by all the little elements that you include in the design. Of course all of these elements can add up in cost too. If you have the right tools on hand you can make some of your jewelry findings yourself. I'm going to explain how to make your own bead caps.

You'll need some sheet metal in 20 gauge or thinner in the material you want to use. My photos show examples of an embossed sterling sheet and some scrap copper sheet I had on hand. You can purchase textured sheets or make your own with a hammer or just use plain sheet.



Next you'll want to cut out discs in the appropriate size. I used a tool shown with the blue handle called a Power Punch by Euro with it's 9/32" punch. These come with a handy center punch built in so you can drill the center. Or you can use a disc cutter and a center punch. Drill a hole in your disc large enough to fit the wire that you will be using. A rule of thumb for choosing a bead cap size is to determine how much of the bead you want to cover. 


The next step is to dome the disc to a depth that will fit the bead you will be capping. For this, you will need a dapping block with punches and a hammer. You can see I've finished a few of my sterling silver bead caps with the embossed pattern.

Below are a finished pair of earrings using the bead caps I made on the top of the beads with scalloped bead caps below. By the way, I found capping this large rondelle shaped bead challenging. I think round beads might be easier to cap with this type of bead cap.


Seafoam Green Amazonite Hoop Earrings

There are many ways that you could customize the bead caps, like adding a creative edge with a file, adding textures on the surface, or try overlapping different sizes and metals. Make some prototypes in copper before making them in silver if you are unsure of your size and when trying out new textures or depths.

I hope you can use these tips the next time you are designing some jewelry that needs that extra "something".

Here are some examples of jewelry utilizing different types of bead caps in interesting ways:

 




 
 
Brooke, Jewelry Designer

19 comments :

jemsbyjb said...

Awesome tutorial. Going to try this soon!!

Michele said...

Oh that was very interesting, thanks for sharing, they came out very nice, never thought of doing this!!!!

Jean Sandell said...

Very cool!!!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing! I get very tired of seeing the same old bead caps ....

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this great tip!

SatinDollCo said...

Cool!

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

What a great article, Brooke! I really want to try this! I had no idea how to make my own bead caps but you've inspired me!

Brooke said...

Glad to hear this might be helpful to you! I look forward to seeing what you do.

Cher said...

I love bead caps, in fact, it's an addiction, lol ... This is interesting, and even though I'm not likely to buy the tools to make them from scratch, I'd love to get a dapping block and turn some of my filigree findings into caps. Great tutorial, Brooke!

Lisa LeFrenchGem said...

Awesome Tutorial, Brooke! Thanks for sharing ;)

LoveStoneArts said...

Oh Brooke!! Do I need that Eurotool? Looks like a real time saver. Your jewelry is always so lovely and thoughtfully designed. Thanks for sharing.

Lori Taggart said...

Great instructions! Beautiful earrings!

Mollie Ann said...

Fabulous tutorial - adding tools to my Letter to Santa! Thank you Brooke!

SendingLoveGallery said...

what a great tutorial Brooke, thanks! gorgeous earrings!

Beadsme said...

Thanks for sharing.

Brooke said...

Denise, I say get it! It it a nice tool to have on hand. I got the dapping block set from Harbor Freight when they were having one of their sales and I'm very happy with it.

WanderingJewel said...

Great tips! I've found that capping round beads is much easier.

Ida said...

This is great, Brooke! Thank you!

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Those are gorgeous Brooke and it looks like so much fun! Can't wait to try it!