Making a wire wrapped necklace
is not as difficult as it looks. With a pair of round nose pliers
(also referred to as rosary
pliers), some wire
or head pin
s, perhaps an old neck chain
, a few attractive beads
, and a little bit of patience
, you can create stunning jewelry designs that will have your friends gasping in wonder.
Gathering Your Supplies
The better your tools, the better your finished product. Visit your local beading shop and purchase the best rosary pliers that you can afford. The kind with a side wire cutter built into them are ideal so that you will not need to get a pair of wire cutters as well, and will not need to keep changing the tool in your hand. A good pair of rosary pliers will run between $15 and $20.
While at the bead shop, choose a selection of beads that you like. They should be a decent size, eight to ten millimeters at minimum. They can be round, oval, square, whatever shapes you like. Try to select ones with good size holes.
You will also want to pick up a spool of wire. You'll want wire that is small enough to fit through the holes of your beads, but thick enough that it does not bend too easily. You may want to ask the shop employees for some assistance in choosing the correct wire the first time out.
Head pins resemble nails without a point on the end. These are wonderful to use if you want to dangle wrapped beads from a neck chain. Get the longest ones that you can find, generally these are two to two and a half inches long.
Lastly, you will want to get a small selection of jewelry clasps.
Getting Down To Work
To make a basic drop bead wrap, take a head pin and drop a bead onto it until it is stopped at the bottom of the pin. Using the pliers, bend the wire down along the side of the bead, and form it into twists and swirls that you find attractive. Keep it flush against the side of the bead. Bring the wire back up to the top of the bead.
If you will be attaching this bead to a chain, run the remaining wire through the chain or wire at this time, then twist the remaining wire into a loop. Using the side cutter or your wire cutters, cut off any remaining wire on the headpin. You can repeat this process for more drops on a neck chain.
To create a more intricate piece of jewelry, you will need the spool of wire that you purchased. Cut a piece of wire approximately four or five inches long. This will probably be too much, but in the beginning it is better to have too much than too little.
Using your rosary pliers, twist one end of the wire into a small loop. Drop a bead onto the wire, letting it fall to the loop. Then repeat the bending and twisting that you learned with the head pin method for the basic drop bead wrap, ending it with a loop at the opposite end. This will create the first wrapped bead for your new jewelry creation.
Cut another piece of wire like the first, and this time, run the wire through one of the two loops that you created on the first bead. Twist this piece of wire into a loop so that the first bead is dangling off of the end. Slide your next bead on, wrap and twist, and form your closing loop. Repeat this process until you have made a bracelet or a necklace length piece. Attach a jewelry clasp to the bead "chain" and you have a stunning, one of a kind item that will make you the envy of your friends.
With a little bit of practice you will develop your own beautiful and intricate bead wrapping designs and will soon be making amazing jewelry to wear and give.