Mother's Day Gift Idea!

Mother's Day Gift Idea!
Spoil your Mum (or yourself!) with a colourful resin bangle with a sparkly magnetic clasp. Wear one on it's own, wear a stack of monochromatic bangles or really let her personality show and wear a stack of different colours together. Peronalised sizing available so no matter what size wrist she has, there is a bangle to fit! Available at the Mill Lane Studio Resin Jewellery Shop

Thursday, January 28, 2016

How to Attach End Caps

Whether you're attaching end caps to leather cord or facing a jewellery mishap like the one below, knowing how to attach end caps to your jewellery will give you an additional way to assemble your jewellery components and expand your jewellery-making repertoire. Today we look at this very simple but secure method for connecting components without loops.

On the morning of my daughter's recent wedding, a guest who was staying with us had a jewellery disaster - one of the end caps on her necklace disintegrated and her necklace fell apart. We were about to leave for the church so there wasn't time for a repair but after a quick hunt around the studio, I found something suitable for her to wear. Disaster averted!

A couple of days after the wedding, I did a quick and secure repair on the necklace.

The problem with this necklace is that some of the "metal" components are not metal at all! They appear to be plastic, painted to look like silver. If you look at the photo below you can see that the bottom end cap has disintegrated. There is also a head pin with a loop that was inserted through the end cap to connect the chains to the rest of the components.
Broken end caps and chain. They appear to be plastic painted silver
The disintegrated end cap was made of plastic and painted to look like silver.

How to Replace a Broken End Cap

The first thing to do was find the right size end cap to replace it. I had some Bali-style end caps with a built in loop which worked well with the style of the necklace but they were different to the original, so they would need to be replaced on both sides of the necklace. To remove the other one I simply used pliers to crush it.

Here's what you'll need:
  • End caps (choose the diameter to comfortably fit the cords or chains)
  • 5-minute epoxy adhesive (I like Araldite because it works on so many materials and it sets up quickly, meaning you don't have to hold the items in position for long.)
  • Toothpick
  • Denatured alcohol and a cotton bud (Q-tip) for clean up
Mix the 5-minute epoxy according to the instructions and use the toothpick to coat the inside of the cord end liberally.
Coating the inside of the cap liberally with the 5-minute epoxy using a toothpick.

Apply some epoxy to the ends of the chains as well. Insert the group of chains into the cord end and hold for a moment. Clean up any adhesive which has oozed out with the denatured alcohol and then set the components down so that the chains remain in position.
Insert the bunch of chain ends into the end cap

I like to leave it to cure for a couple of hours to make sure the bond has set before continuing to work. It will get stronger as it cures. Then it's just a matter of connecting all the components back together.
Re-attach the chain section to the other components with jump rings.

You can see the new component on the left chain and the old component on the right chain. The antiqued silver end cap fits in well with the other components.
The old and the new: On the left is the new, antiqued silver end cap. On the right is the old plastic end cap.

And here's the necklace repair completed.
Purple and antiqued silver necklace with a chain tassel.

You would use this exact same technique if you were attaching end caps to leather cord. It's a great method for connecting different kinds of materials together because it's simple and secure and most importantly, it gives the piece a professional finish.

Want to see some other jewellery repairs I've tackled? Take a look at these related posts:
On Safari necklace with Fireline
Rosary Chain necklace
Multi strand Freshwater Pearl necklace with beading wire


'Til next time.....








If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs