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Let us start with a simple definition of a bead dangle. A bead dangle is one or more beads hanging from a jewelry component like an earring body. You can view a simple bead dangle at right. In most cases, beads will be strung on a head pin to make the bead dangle. Finally, a bead dangle may have a wrapped loop at the top like the one shown at right, or they may have an open loop at the top like the large bead in the center of the earrings shown at left. The bead dangle is a very important jewelry making skill because we use it so often. In fact, being able to make a bead dangle may be the one skill that differentiates a rank beginner from an advanced beginner.
Our approach for making a bead dangle is slightly different from the approach that was commonly taught 15 years ago. This modification is based upon the fact that we have developed some new bent chain nose pliers, with thinner tips that we call fine bent chain nose pliers. In order to be successful with our approach you need bent chain nose pliers with tips that are about 1mm wide. You also need round nose pliers and a second pair of chain nose or bent chain nose pliers. The steps involved in making a bead dangle are described starting below.
Step 1: Thread a head pin through your beads or beads.
Step 2: Push the bead all the way to the bottom of the head pin (touching the "head" of the head pin.
Step 3: Grasp the head pin in your bent chain nose pliers immediately above the bead as shown at right. The distance that you grasp the head pin from the tips of the jaws of your pliers will determine where the loop in the bead dangle begins. We want this distance to be the same for all bead dangles in a particular jewelry item, so please notice where on your pliers you gripped the head pin. On your second bead dangle, you will want to grip the head pin at the same point on your pliers.
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