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Beading Resources > Ask the Experts

Topics: Seed Beads, Bail, Beaded Bead

Q.
I made a fancy bead ball. The instructor recommends a jumpring to attach a necklace to it. She opens the jumpring, feeds it in the part of the bead ball that has the seed beads. I would like to make a nice finish and wonder what I could insert while I am creating the fancy bead ball that would make a loop or bail coming out of the ball to make it more professional. Thanks very much,
- Noella
A.
Bails are a great way to connect a bead ball or pendant to a strand of beads, chain, cord or other necklace form. All will depend on the size of the beaded ball and also the tightness in the weave of your seed beaded ball.

Precious metal and plated metal bails come in different designs and sizes. A large sterling silver ice-pick, or pinch bail, can be woven into the seed bead ball as it is being formed. Select one that enhances a theme and serves as an embellishment as well.

A sterling silver bead hanger bail has a ''V'' shape with a decorative wide top for the necklace and a smaller open ring that could be woven into and hidden within the outer layer of your beaded ball. This bail would then become part of the construction of the beaded ball.

A fluid hanger is created using a sterling silver bead pin, which comes in many lengths, and a bead hanger bail. Choose a pin length that is just right for the size of your beaded ball. Unscrew and remove the threaded bottom bead of the pin. Place the bead pin through the top of the finished beaded ball and down through its bottom. Screw the bottom bead back on. Add the pinned beaded ball to a ''V'' bail that accommodates your necklace strand.

Another option would be to make a bail using a Swarovski crystal studded headpin. Thread the headpin through the bottom of the beaded ball, add a complementary crystal to the headpin and create a simple loop on top, making the loop large enough to accommodate your necklace strand. Sparkle on top and bottom creates a customized look.

You can also make a decorative headpin using a length of sturdy wire (for example, sterling silver, 20-gauge dead soft). Form a spiral at one end and secure the wire through the bottom of a finished beaded ball. Pass the wire through the top and create a simple loop or wrapped loop large enough to accommodate the necklace strand. This creates a finished look with wire on the bottom and top of the ball.

- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador

MaterialsResources

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA 97526-2373
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