Finish Strings of Beads with Bead Tips

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You can make beautiful jewelry from strings of beads but it can be difficult to finish in an attractive, professional, and durable way. That’s where bead tips come in – also known as calottes, bead clamps, clam shells, bead ends and string tips, they’re just a handy little metal finding that makes finishing the ends of bead strands a breeze.

– bead tips
– beading thread and needle
– needle nose pliers
– sharp scissors
– jeweler’s cement/superglue/E6000/clear nail polish

Thread your needle and tie a few overhand knots near the end. I use 4 strands of beading thread for extra durability, and at least 4 overhand knots (on top of each other.)

Put a drop of glue into the bead tip.

Set the knot into the glue. Make sure the loop on the bead tip is on the same side as the short end of your threads.


If you have an end-clamp style you should thread the string through the hole and then set the knot into the glue.

Gently close the bead tip over the knot with the pliers.

Now you’re ready to start stinging beads. I leave my tails until the end.

When you have the right number of beads on the thread tie an overhand knot. I use the tip of my sharp scissors to help guide the knot to where I want it. Be sure not to tie the knot too close to the end of the strand of beads – if the finishing is too tight you’ll put extra pressure on the thread and it might break. The strand should be able to bend easily.


If you’re using an end-clamp style be sure to string it on before tying your knots.

Add a couple more overhand knots on top of the first.

Glue and clamp this end.

Trim your threads and you’re done!