When designing jewelry it is important to remember that the finding and clasps used to finish the jewelry add length to the piece. It is easy to forget and find that the necklace that was supposed to be a choker is now a princess necklace. A jewelry design board and a ruler are nice for laying out projects and making sure that all of the components fit into the desired length. Place the clasp ends and any connected split or jump rings at the correct size marker and string your beads accordingly. Each crimp and associated loop will add about 3/16” depending on the size of crimp used. When you have strung the piece, try it on before crimping to make sure that the piece is the right length and lays correctly.
The way that jewelry lies while worn is called drape. If jewelry is strung too tight is doesn’t “drape well.” It will feel uncomfortable and is much more likely to break from the stress of the beads pushing against each other and the crimps.
To create the correct drape, I use what I call the “one and a half loop” rule before I crimp the final crimp bead. Place the jewelry in a loop that overlaps to form one and a half loops, then crimp the bead. When the jewelry is lying flat there is a small gap between the beads, but when the jewelry is worn the gap disappears.
End cones for multi-strand necklaces are easy to use with a technique that was taught by Dawn Dalto. This technique uses only jewelry wire instead of a metal wire loop. It is also more flexible.
String your beads and end the strands with crimps and small loops. Now take a 5” length of jewelry wire and go through all of the strand loops for one side of the necklace. Crimp the loop and trim off the excess wire of the crimp loops. Now pull the end cone over the short length of jewelry wire. Put on a stopper bead that is slightly larger than the hole of the cone. String your clasp or add a few beads before stringing the clasp and finish as usual.