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.
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