Lesson: Clamshell Bead Tips

Create a polished and secure finish with this simple jewelry finding!

Crafting Video Tutorial
How to add a Clamshell Endcap Step 2

step one

Start by adding all of your beads to your thread while it’s still attached to the spool.

Once all of your beads have been added, thread a clamshell endcap onto your beading needle through the center hole. Make sure that the open end of the clamshell faces the end of your string. Then thread on a crimping bead.

How to add a Clamshell Endcap Step 2

step two

Pinch your crimp bead completely closed with jewelry pliers.

If crimped properly, your thread shouldn't be able to move through the closed crimp bead.

How to Attach Clamshell Endcap Step 3

step three

Optional but highly recommended: Secure the crimp bead in the clamshell with jewelry cement!

How to add a Clamshell Endcap Step 4

step four

Close your clamshell around the crimped bead using your jewelry pliers.

Do your best to close the endcap using the loops rather than the “bubble,” as your pliers have the potential to dent the bubble.

Trim any excess string poking out of the endcap.

How to add a Clamshell Endcap Step 5

step five

Finally, add your closures — a jump ring on one end, then later a jump ring and lobster clasp to the other.

How to add a Clamshell Endcap Step 6

step six

Push all of the beads as close to the finished end as possible, unwind 4-5 inches of string from your spool, and cut the thread. Then repeat these steps on the other side of your work.

Note: When adding the clamshell endcap to the opposite side of your strand, be sure to pinch the crimp bead as close to the last bead of your strand as possible. This will seem difficult at first, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice!


Apply your new-found skill to create awesome things! Here’s a round-up of project inspiration.