Leather cord is a popular foundation for stringing bead and pendant necklaces, but once the artistic portion of the necklace-making is finished, it's time to consider the practical matter of how the necklace is put on and removed. For necklaces too short to be pulled over the head, metal ends must be attached to the tips of the leather cord. These ends have loops that can be connected to metal jewellery clasps, allowing the necklace to be worn and removed with ease. You can either attach store-bought ends to your necklace, or make your own ends using craft wire.
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Things you need
- Leather cord necklace
- Jewellery end cap
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Wire snips
- Thick craft wire
Finish the necklace. String all the beads and any pendants you want on to the necklace and make sure it's complete and as you like it before you attach the metal end pieces. Once they're attached, you won't be able to remove or restring anything without removing them as well.
Trim the ends of the leather with sharp scissors to ensure that each end has a flat, rather than tapered, tip. If you're using a thin beading leather cord, tie a couple of knots at each end, as close to the tip as possible. This will make sure there's enough bulk for the end cap to wrap around securely.
Insert the end of the leather into the cylinder of the end cap. Press it into the cylinder as far as you can.
Tighten the end cap around the leather by crimping the cylinder between the jaws of your needle-nosed pliers. Create several indentations with the pliers, moving them up and down the length of the cylinder, as well as around it from all angles.
Give the piece a test tug; you shouldn't be able to pull the leather cord out without pulling very hard. If the cord comes loose easily, you'll need to crimp the metal harder.
Repeat Steps 2 through 4 with the other end of the cord.
Cut a piece of craft wire about four inches long.
Lay the tip of the wire near the end of the leather cord so that the tip of the wire crosses the leather at a 90 degree angle about a half an inch from the tip of the leather. Use your needle-nosed pliers to tightly grip both at the same time.
Twist the wire tightly around the leather cord, wrapping it in a firm coil that grips the leather and covers the length of cord until the very tip.
Form a tight loop in the wire where it protrudes at the end of the leather cord using the needle-nosed pliers. Trim the excess wire.
Repeat Steps 1 through 4 with the other end of the leather necklace.
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