It’s a small thing, but being able to stop your beads sliding off your thread as you are working makes a big difference! That’s where bead stoppers come in very handy. These little springs temporarily grip onto the end of your thread or beading wire. You just squeeze the ‘ears’ at either side to open up the spring, put the thread in between the coils and let go. The stopper grips onto the thread, preventing your beads from falling off. When you are ready to put ends onto your jewellery, just squeeze the ‘ears’ again to open up the spring and take your thread out.
What can you use bead stoppers on?
You can use bead stoppers on beading wires like Beadalon and Soft Flex, monofilament such as Supplemax, beading elastics like Stretch Magic and fabric threads and cords such as Nymo, S-lon and thinner waxed cords. The stoppers come in two sizes. The standard bead stopper is ideal for beading wires and thicker materials and the mini bead stoppers are best suited for thin beading threads when beadweaving for example, as they are lighter and smaller. Bead stoppers are not designed to be used on metal craft wire.
Bead stoppers shouldn’t cause any damage to threads or cords or kink beading wire when used temporarily. But do be careful of leaving the bead stopper on for any length of time as this can create weak points, especially in softer materials like Stretch Magic elastic. If you do need to leave a stopper on your work, put the it right near the end of the thread or wire. You can then cut this potentially weakened end off once you are ready to remove the bead stopper.
Whether you are making a simple elastic bracelet or threading hundreds of tiny seed beads onto fine beading thread, bead stoppers are an incredibly helpful little tools to have.