Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wire-Wrapping Tutorial

Here's a step-by step explanation with photos of how I create the majority of my jewelry pieces.

Tools needed:

Round-tipped pliers
Bent angle tip pliers
Wire cutters

Supplies needed:

Wire – half-hard, 24-gauge is my preferred (you can use any gauge you want, but get much bigger than 24 and you'll have trouble finding beads drilled wide enough to fit on the wire) I advise you to start with base metal, not precious (copper or brass or nickel instead of sterling or gold). Note - the smaller the number, the bigger the gauge, or thickness, of the wire. 20 gauge is much larger in diameter than 24 gauge.

Drilled beads


1. Grip the wire with the round-tipped pliers approximately ¼” from the end. Bend at a 90 degree angle.

2. Wrap the wire around the bottom prong of the pliers, forming a loop

3. Change the pliers’ grip to the outside of the loop instead of the inside

4. Twist the short end around the wire to form a “noose,” twisting away from the noose

5. Use the bent pliers to crimp the edge in (apologies for the lack of picture for this step, because it takes two hands to hold both pliers and I couldn't find the tripod for the camera)

6. Add bead
7. Grip the wire again with the round-tipped pliers just above the bead and bend to form another 90 degree angle.

8. Wrap the wire around the top prong of the pliers, forming another loop.

9. Change the pliers’ grip to the outside of the loop instead of the inside
10. Twist the end around the wire to form a second “noose,” twisting towards the bead.

11. Cut the wire as close as possible with the wire cutters

12. Use the bent pliers to crimp the edge in

If stringing beads together, or if combining welded chain and wrapped beads, when you start wrapping the next bead, make sure to slide the noose from the previous bead or the end of the chain into the loop before twisting it closed


Linda said...

Thanks, db. Will look again later.

Made By Tammy said...

Great Job!

Love it!

Erika Price Designs said...

Fantastic tut, thanks db!

beadsnbangles said...

This is very helpful.

UxCritter said...

Super up close details to help make the closed loops. Thanks! Now what I'd like is a tutorial on the birdsnest ring. do you know of any? It looks easy and there are so many that make it. But it still looks so pretty.

Designs by Victoria said...

UxCritter - Sorry, that one I don't know, but I'm sure they're out there. Maybe if you asked on the Etsy forums, someone would oblige?

KayzKreationz said...

Thanks, this is great. I just started wire wrapping and always like to learn more.

mistyridge said...

good job victoria. i am always amazed at the many ways of wire wrapping a bead link. I also make jewelry but my technique for a gallery wrap like you have shown is quite different. thanks for showing an alternative way.

Designs by Victoria said...

mistycritter - I'd love to see your technique, if you ever do a tutorial!

cooljewelry said...

great to see this soooo up close...I need to try this method b/c I know I sure would save myself some headaches. Thanks!!


mistyridge said...

Hopefully in the new year after the all the Holiday craziness dies down I can do a tutorial on my technique on my blog
i hope to get back to my blogging on a much more regular schedule then.

Silver Canyons said...

your pictures are exquisite!!!
Great job Victoria!

Whimsicalstars said...

Great job! Love the detail in the photos!

trentongal said...

just awesome!

jewelry by NaLa said...

Very simple and easy to understand instructions, and I loved the close-up photography. Great job!

Ruth Maller said...

thank you so mutch

Bread N' Butter Designs said...

You make it look so easy! I've been wondering how to do this for a very long time. Thanks!

Clear Lake Creations said...

Very nice Blog! I've always been interested in wire wrapping,but my mom says I'm backwards at everything I do since I'm left handed. lol
I am printing this to see what I can do. Thank you for the up close pics too.

Ribasus said...

This is terrific, Victoria!

Liz-AnnasOnTheLake said...

Thank you so much for the great tutorial!

3 squares said...

nice wrappin'!

BeadznBling said...

Ah ha! Thank you so much!!