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February 05, 2021

How to add Connector Rings to a Beaded Charm

 Today I'll show you how I finished the brick stitch beaded heart charm by adding rings to connect it to a cord and made it into a simple bracelet or necklace or whatever makes you happy!

Heart beaded jewelry instructions by Lisa Yang Jewelry

It's one thing to make a pretty beaded bauble, but learning how to finish them into jewelry is the next step.  Here's what I did and some lessons I've learned.

I left off my last post with two threads perfectly positioned to connect to a chain or add jump rings. 

Brick stitch charm bracelet tutorial by Lisa Yang Jewelry

I will show you how I added rings in this post, but know that you could just have easily directly connected a link of chain like the hearts below.

Brick stitch bead heart jewelry tutorial by Lisa Yang Jewelry

I guess the first tip I can give you is that whatever you connect your beadwork to, it shouldn't be an open jump ring. That's just asking for your thread to eventually slide through that jump ring opening. (if you use chain, make sure the links are soldered.) 

And it will! Trust me, it will. Especially if you gave the jewelry to a friend or sold it. Ugh! You could wear one just like it day and night for a year without ever having a problem, but if you sell one like that or give it a friend, it will slide out.

Really though, thin thread, tiny opening in jump ring... Eventually they will meet up. The unfortunate thing about that is that you won't be able to slide the jump ring back on - so it will be hard to fix. Just better to avoid the whole thing and connect to something without an opening.

A link of chain works well too. I was looking for something that I could use to connect to cord though, so I needed to get creative. What I decided on was Miyuki 3 x 1.3 mm rondelle beads.  They seem similar to Czech O beads, but I don't have the O beads so I can't be sure.

Adding connector to beaded charm by Lisa Yang Jewelry

The next step is to decide what direction you want the connectors to face. Should they lay flat on their back (like above) or on their side?  This decision determines which bead you will stitch through to add the connector. I want the connector to be on its side, so I put my needle through the bead below where it is coming out from. 

Adding connector to beaded charm by Lisa Yang Jewelry

When I pull my thread tight, this will nestle the bead in the gap between the two beads. I go back through the connector bead at least 2 or 3 times by weaving my thread back through the beads.  You want to have your pendant attached by more than one thread.

Adding connector to beadwork charm by Lisa Yang Jewelry

Now I just need to tie off my thread end and repeat on the other side.  Securing thread is just practice. I weave through the beads to the center and make sure I change direction at least once. I will usually find a way to tie at least one half hitch knot in the middle of the beadwork and tuck the knot inside a bead. If you're not familiar with that, I'll try to cover it in a future post. 

Finishing beadwork into jewelry by Lisa Yang Jewelry

Knots aren't always required, but it's a lot like the jump ring thing. It may never fall apart when you wear it, but when you give it to someone else, the thread works loose. Go figure!

How to finish beadwork into jewelry by Lisa Yang Jewelry

Once the second connector is in place, it's pretty standard process to thread the cord through the bead and complete a bracelet.  I used 1 mm black Chinese knotting cord.

How to finish beadwork into jewelry by Lisa Yang Jewelry

Tied an overhand knot - but I could have used a larks head I guess. I used a piece of wire to slide the knot next to the bead.

Free brick stitch beaded bracelet charm by Lisa Yang Jewelry

Repeat on the second side.

Beaded heart bracelet tutorial by Lisa Yang Jewelry

One both sides were done, I added a macrame sliding knot closure.  There's instructions for the sliding knot at the link, but I don't weave in the ends. Chinese knotting cord is easy to finish by burning the ends and pressing them flat. Soooo much easier.  Now, I just need to add some beads to the pull cords.

Beaded heart bracelet tutorial by Lisa Yang Jewelry

Now -what if you wanted your attachment loops to lay flat? Then you would have stitched back through the bead your thread was exiting. 

Double brick stitch heart pattern by Lisa Yang Jewelry

This pendant is the same heart pattern, but done twice. I used a longer piece of thread and repeated the pattern a second time in different color beads to come up with joined hearts.

Double brick stitch heart pattern by Lisa Yang Jewelry

I hope that gives you some ideas on how to use the brick stitch heart charms for jewelry - or how to connect other little baubles you may have made.

Brick stitch heart jewelry by Lisa Yang Jewelry

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  1. The Miyuki beads you used are a little smaller than the Czech O beads. Toho demi rounds would also work (probably size 6 or 8).

    I hate it when I see jump rings recommended like that in patterns and magazines, I have had quite a few bracelets slip right off like you describe. If you use chain, make sure it is soldered/closed link or you'll have the jump ring problem. Also you can sometimes work those U-shaped wire protector things into the beadwork and they solve the problem, too.

  2. Yes - the demi rounds. I have some of them somewhere. Thank you for the reminder to make sure your chain has links that are soldered closed. I updated that in the post.

    1. I was wanting to make a project from a magazine recently and I could not find chain of the recommended size with closed links, so it has been on my mind. The pattern used open lengths but I could see a disaster coming from a mile away. (I opted to use a longer length of a smaller soldered chain.)