Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
Written by Barbara van Look, Marketing Content Development Group,
Researched by Jamie Smedley, Marketing Content Development Group,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Cap off the traditional uses of bead caps, cord caps, end caps and cones, and open up a world of alternative options for these findings. Move beyond accenting beads and finishing strung jewelry designs by adding these findings to on-trend embellishment styles such as drops, dangles, tassels and more.

These components have a wide variety of shapes, textures, styles, polished and antiqued finishes which make them popular for a range of traditional design strategies. Explore alternative uses for these jewelry-making and beading staples with these suggestions from our jewelry production specialists:

Bead Caps

Bead caps are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, depths, patterns and materials, from precious gold and fine silver to plated pewter and Czech pressed glass flower shapes.

Traditional Uses

Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Used to dress up gemstone, Swarovski crystal, glass, cultured freshwater pearls and other beads. Bead caps are traditionally placed on either side of a fully-drilled bead in order to enhance it and make it a focal point of a design, or to protect beads from making contact with each other.

    Design Ideas: 9904, 9907, 9A2D, B853, B82P, B81E


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • They are also commonly placed at the top of fully drilled beads to create drops using a headpin.

    Design Ideas: 737C, 9910, 9911, B16K, B83D

Alternative Uses

Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Invert for a crown on The Nutcracker King

    Design Ideas: A53V


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Invert for hats on Santa's elves

    Design Ideas: A52P, A52F


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Use as a base for a miniature lanterns or candlestick holders

    Design Ideas: 999H, 99A4, 99B5


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones

Cones, End Caps and Cord Caps

Cones and end caps are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, depths, patterns and materials, from precious gold and fine silver to plated pewter, copper and brass.

Traditional Uses

Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Used to terminate single-strand designs or gather multi-strand designs onto a clasp, focal or other point

    Design Ideas: 58BJ, 588U, B81D, 5B36, 0017, 5376


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Used as the tops of multi-strand drop, gather or tassel-style designs

    Design Ideas: B612, 88A2, 870Z, AA52


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Used, similarly to bead caps, at the top of fully drilled beads or top-drilled drops to create the illusion of an inset stone

    Design Ideas: 98UV, 73C5, 760Q, 63AR

Alternative Uses

Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Use cone findings as ice cream cones in sweet tooth and summer designs

    Design Ideas: 9357, 9356, 9355, 9354, 9215, 9214


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Invert two cones to create designer beads

    Design Ideas: 0198, A8U6


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • String cord caps like beads to create a snake chain-like necklace

    Design Ideas: A36D


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Dangle empty end caps and cord caps as drops or bells, to generate sound with movement

    Design Ideas: A372, 880U, A44X


Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones
  • Used to hold unusual materials, such as feathers, pre-made fabric tassels or pre-made clusters

    Design Ideas: 99BB, B17P, A82P

Other ideas include: umbrella tops for rainy day and baby shower designs, unfolding filigree bead caps for angel or fairy wings, carousel tops, assembled into creature bodies and heads, string intermittently for stylized pagodas and more. You can also create customized bead caps, end caps, cord caps and cones. Metal disc cutting and dapping sets can be used to make bead caps, while all findings can be custom-created with metal clays or Kato Polyclay™.

The range of possibilities available makes bead caps, cord caps, end caps and cones a sensible investment for the creative jewelry maker. Get the most from components by using these outside-the-box suggestions, or think up a range of your own ideas for these essential findings.

Shop ...

Customer Comments

Email Campaigns We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Thinking Outside the Bead Box: Alternate Uses for Bead Caps, Cord Caps, End Caps and Cones," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Wonderful ideas all of the time ... your site is so helpful to me ... I will be teaching at our local community college, and I will be ordering an abundance of items for my students ..."
- Judy

"Wonderful suggestions on the uses of bead caps and cones. I got several new ideas from the newsletter. Thank you so much for publishing it."
- Dana

"Nice ideas. Thanks"
- Susan


Recommended Just for You