Jewelry at market in Mtsheta

One of the greatest thrills of making jewelry, charms and other beaded decorations is creating unique pieces. These special designs capture the imagination and can embody whimsy, sophistication and individuality. Lots of methods can be used to create a unique look. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using bead caps.

What Are Bead Caps?

Bead caps are jewelry making accessories that fit on either end of a bead. They come in a variety of sizes to fit beads of all shapes and sizes. Designs range from simplistic to intricate. Most bead caps are made with metallic finishes such as brass, silver or copper, but they come in a variety of styles.

Using bead caps allows you to achieve a unique look, and working with them is fun because you can be even more imaginative in your creation. Browse your options and choose caps in a few designs to allow yourself a range of artistry when designing a piece.

Pair of hands and pliers assembling a bead necklace

How to Put on a Bead Cap

The purpose of a bead cap is to add a layer of complexity to your jewelry creations.

The method you use depends on what type of jewelry you’re making.

For a single-sided bead, you’ll start by threading your bead as normal, followed by your bead cap. Bend your headpin and cut, leaving a centimeter of length near the hole. Turn your loop to allow your bead or pendant to be clasped to the chain.

For a double-sided bead, you’ll thread your bead cap first, then the bed, and finish up with your second bead cap. The caps should fit snuggly against the bead. Bend your headpin on each side and cut, leaving a centimeter of length near the holes. Turn a loop in the headpin on each side.

Handmade Jewelry

Benefits

Bead caps can help you create a plethora of decorative options in your jewelry making such as:

  • Allowing for unique combinations and creations
  • Adding decoration to plain beads
  • Hiding unsightly wires or strings

Bead caps can be used in a variety of ways. Small caps can be used with large beads, and large caps can be used with small beads. Colors and designs can be mixed or matched, allowing for unlimited combinations. Finding a truly unique piece of jewelry is why many people seek out handmade creations. Bead caps can make a handcrafted piece even more exclusive.

At times, dressing up a plain bead can elevate a piece from mediocre to breathtaking. Coned or leaf bead caps are popular choices. Changing up the finish with choices such as tarnished or matte can totally change the look of a bead.

Bead caps also make an excellent tool for hiding wires or strings. This is especially true of coned bead caps when making tassels or pendants. The larger cones hide unsightly wires and make the piece look uniform.

Unique Uses

While bead caps are generally used to dress up a bead, they can be used in other unique ways.

Stack Your Bead Caps

Stacking a variety of bead cap sizes and shapes on the end of your bead can lend an even greater look of individuality to a piece of jewelry. Start with the largest and work your way out to the smallest. You can stack a couple or several depending on the look you’re trying to achieve.

You can also try stacking them upside down for a truly exceptional and stunning piece.

Use Bead Caps as Spacers

Another great option is using a bead cap as an individual piece. Bead caps often come in attractive designs. This makes them an excellent choice when adding spacers onto your bracelets, earrings or necklaces. You can layer nesting caps or turn two bead caps end-to-end to create a different look.

Change the Look of Your Bead Caps

By changing your bead caps into a new design, you are creating your own unique piece. Changing the caps can be as simple as hammering them flat or adding your own decoration with colors and beading. You can add loops to the ends of them to make them into unique charms and pendants.

Working with bead caps is a fun, simple way to help create jewelry that speaks to you and your vision. Whether you’re looking for a way to spruce up a plain piece, create brand new designs or let your creativity run wild, bead caps are an essential accessory in your jewelry making arsenal.