I think we all have a few pieces of jewelry that are broken and need fixed. For my husband’s mom’s birthday I offered to fix some of her broken jewelry. She gave me this necklace which was one of the first pieces of jewelry she made. She used stretchy cord with the clasps instead of beading wire. The stretchy cord stretched out over time (she probably didn’t prestretch it), and I was worried that the crimp would eventually cut through the stretchy cord, causing her necklace to fall apart without any notice.
So, here’s how I restrung her necklace and how to restring your own…but if you’re not ambitious enough to do it alone, I’ll be teaching some “Fix Your Broken Jewelry” classes this spring in the Akron area, so stay tuned for dates & times.
your original necklace
beading wire (The type with 7 strands woven together is sufficient, although I’m using 49 strands because that’s all I have in my stash for gold; the more strands means it’s more flexible)
crimp beads (I’m using size 1.3mm which is good if you’re only using one piece of wire in the crimp.)
a clasp (They come in a variety of styles & sizes, so choose what is most comfortable and/or pretty!)
wire guardians (optional. These are really useful if you plan on wearing the necklace a lot. They help reduce friction on the wire which makes it less prone to breaking.)
a beading design board or anything else you find to keep your beads in order & from rolling away (like a piece of felt)
1. Lay your necklace on your beading board. Take a photo of the necklace in case you accidentally spill the beads everywhere, you can refer to the photo to remember your pattern. Use your wire cutters to cut the old wire (or scissors if it’s string or elastic). Carefully remove beads from wire one small section at a time, keeping them in order on the bead board.
2. If there are any clasps, jump rings, wire, or anything that’s salvageable on the old wire or string, keep it! Use wire cutters to cut off useful things, and use pliers to open jump rings.
3. Measure the amount of wire you’ll need by adding approximately 2 inches to each side of the necklace to allow for attaching the clasps. Cut the beading wire with wire cutters.
4. Attach your first clasp: Take one end of the beading wire, put on a crimp bead, wire guardian (optional), then either part of the clasp. Move the clasp over the wire guardian. String the short end of beading wire back through the crimp bead. (If you’re not using a wire guardian, follow these same instructions, but instead of the clasp being over the wire guardian it will just be over the bare wire.)
Now use the crimping tool to crimp the crimp bead:
-Strategically hold the clasp & two ends of wire in one hand while making sure the wires don’t cross inside the crimp bead.
-Look at the two holes in the crimping tool. One is oval & one is “U”shaped. Place the crimp bead in the “U” shaped hole first. Make sure it’s centered & close the crimping tool tightly. Your crimp bead should now be “U” shaped with one end of wire on each side of the U.
-Now place the crimp bead in the oval hole so that the U shape is turned on it’s side. Close the crimping tool. This will close the U shape further, making the crimp nice & round.
-Pull tightly on the crimp to make sure it holds your wire tightly. If it moves at all, remove the crimp & recrimp using a new crimp bead.
-Cut extra wire from the short end of the wire if necessary. It only needs to be about 1 1/2 inches long.
5. Place your first few beads on the wire. Tuck the short end of wire through these beads to hide it. Restring the rest of the beads on the new wire. Before attaching the final clasp, double check for mistakes in your bead pattern!
6. Attach the other side of the clasp. You’ll do this exactly the same way as the first. The only thing to consider is making sure the beads are snug against the first clasp so there’s no extra slack. This side is sometimes more difficult to tuck the extra wire slack into the beads to hide it. I’ll sometimes use my round-nosed pliers to grip the wire & guide it into the beads.
7. Your necklace is done and ready to wear!