Calottes – Clam Shell Crimps

Free Beading Instructions!

Calottes (also known as Clamshell Crimps, Bead Tips, Knot Cups and Necklace Ends) combined with beading string and jewelry making wire to give a professional touch to your hand made beaded jewelry.

They are metal, part of your jewelry making findings and cover the knot or crimp bead at the end of a beaded strand.

Calottes, bead tips have a hole at the base of the two halves this allows the thread to go through.

If you are creating a beaded necklace then I recommend you only use them for light weight jewelry.

They are also great for chandelier earrings, gives them quite the professional look.

If you are using fine thread be sure to make the knot large enough so it will not slip through the hole in the Clamshell or you could thread a small bead onto the cord then tie a knot around the bead.

For added security place a small drop of glue of nail polish on the knot.


Simply thread a Calottes onto the end of your tigertail or beading wire, coming from the back of the base hole up between the two half circles. You can use more than one strand of wire.

Place a crimp bead or two onto your wire and crimp it with your chain nosed pliers. Place your wire in the middle of the crimp and gently squeeze your pliers to flatten.

The other alternative is to use your crimping pliers if they are a fine pair – not too wide.
If you are new to using them then take a few moments and see how!


Before trimming any excess wire position the crimp inside the calotte and give the wire a good tug to make sure that the crimp is secure.

Using your wire cutters trim excess wire but avoid cutting too close to the crimp.


I have a pair of wire cutters that I only use for cutting tiger tail as this wire tends to make the cutters blunt.


Using your chain nosed pliers or if you have a pair of nylon jaw pliers, gently but firmly close the calottes or clamshell crimps so they are completely shut and your knot or crimp in enclosed.


Thread your clasp onto the Calotte loop and using your round nosed pliers curl the loop under and around so it is fully closed and won’t get snagged and pull open.


You can also add a jump ring to the loop then add your clasp to the jump ring.


Complete the second side adding a jumpring and curl the loop under and around so it is fully closed.


The side opening is a little unusual, these can be added after you have finished your beaded necklace. Simply encase the knot or crimp in the cup and attach the fastener.

This style is quite suitable for thicker beading thread and multiple strand of jewelry making wire. Also great for those occasional mends!

When closed they are the equivalent of a 6mm bead.

They are also an easy way to attach several strands of beads to a fastener.

Knot Cups

Knot cups are great to use if you are creating a string of beads and will incorporate a clasp and jump ring.

Adding these to the ends gives added strength as they have the advantage if enclosed circles on the ends.

So trying adding Calottes to your beaded handmade jewelry for a professional finish.

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