Necklace ends (sometimes referred to as calottes) are used to end thin cords and beading wires when making jewellery, allowing you to add a clasp. When I first started making jewellery, I didn’t know how to use these odd looking little bits of metal. I realised they were used to end thread and wire, but didn’t twig that you were meant to thread them on, I thought they just clasped over a knot!!!
What are Necklace Ends?
Necklace ends are a way of ending beaded jewellery such as necklaces and bracelets and joining on a clasp. They are best described as two cups, joined by a hinge that has a hole in it. Then there is either an open hook on one side, or each cup has a loop attached. You take the thread or wire through the hole in the hinge, secure it inside the cups and squeeze them together to form a round bead shape. For thicker threads and cords, I would use a fold over or envelope end.
NB: You can also get necklace ends that have two loops on either side, rather than an open hook. This style is more secure, as the loop can’t be pulled open, but are not as common here in the UK.
How to Use Necklace Ends to Finish Jewellery
You generally start by securing one necklace end on before adding your beads. Once all the beads are threaded, you add another necklace end to finish.
If you are using a fabric thread type material such as s-lon you can just tie a knot; one might be enough, but a double knot might be needed to stop it coming back through the hole. You can also a drop of glue (Hypo Cement is perfect) to secure the knot.
If you are using a beading wire like Beadalon, Soft Flex or Tiger Tail that doesn’t knot, you can use a crimp bead or crimp tube. These are little metal beads that squash flat, clamping onto the beading wire in place of a knot.
To close the cups over the knot or crimp, I start by squeezing them together with my fingers, then closing them with chain nose pliers. There is usually a little gap left between the two cups – this is normal and doesn’t affect how secure they are. If you struggle with closing the cups, try using a pair of Mighty Crimping Pliers instead of normal chain nose pliers.
To form the hook into a loop, grip just before the tip with your chain nose pliers and using a combination of moving the pliers and either your finger or the table underneath to help form it into a teardrop shape.
Now one end is secure, you can thread on all your beads, before adding the second necklace end and securing it in the same way as the first. Make sure that you always thread on necklace ends so that the cups are nearest to the beads, leaving the hook at the ends to attach the clasp.
I like to use a jump ring to add on my clasp as this provides a bit more wiggle room and makes it easier to replace the clasp is needs be. But you can also add the clasp on before forming the hook into the teardrop shape. Add another jump ring at the opposite end so the clasp will have something to attach on to and you are done!
I use necklace ends a lot in my jewellery DIYs because they are a neat and simple way of ending cords and adding clasps. Some of my favourite projects that use necklace ends are Beaded Triangle Necklace, Seed Bead Bracelet and my all time fave, the Summer Statement Necklace!
Please share this post on How to use Necklace Ends to Finish Jewellery if you found it useful, and if you have any questions, leave a comment below or come and find me on Instagram ! Want even more modern craft, creative inspiration and behind the scenes of my life as a jewellery maker? Sign up to my monthly ‘Making, Creating and Little Adventures’ email You will also get a copy of my Getting Started in Jewellery Making eBook! Happy Making!