Material: Bead, 26 gauge wire- half hard
Tools: Chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, cutters
Wire wrapping beads and pearls is a technique every jewelry maker should now. The ability to wire wrap a bead infuses your skillset in such a versatile way. Simply learning a basic wire wrap will allow you to create bracelets, necklaces, earrings, charms, pendants and more. When wire wrapping there are a few different supplies choices to consider. Begin with the bead you are using: is it drilled? How is it drilled? What gauge wire will fit through the drilled hole?
This will demonstrate a basic loop wiring for a bead. The basic loop is a quick and secure way to ensure the bead stays in position, while it does not have too much wrapping. This technique is used in many aspects of jewelry making embellishing earrings, creating pendants, rosary making, adding to a chain and much more.
Steps in a simple wire loop
Step 1: Cut wire, approximately 1.5", depending on bead size. You will need about 3/4 inch space for each loop and then add the bead size.
Step 2: Grip wire with round nose pliers. Ensure wire does not come above jaws as this will distort the loop shape.
Step 3: Twist the wire away from you, using your thumb to press the wire down to the plier jaws. Once twist is complete, slightly loosen and readjust to pliers to perform second twist ( ensure to use the same point on the pliers, if you move up or down it will change the size of the loop). Continue to turn until you hit the wire creating a full loop.
Step 4: Grip inside of loop with round nose pliers, and twist ( away from opening)
NOTE: If using a thick gauge wire like 22 gauge 20 gauge or thicker, use chain nose pliers for your bend because they are stronger and you may have trouble with the round nose.
Step 5: To close loop completely you simply wiggle closed using chain nose pliers
Step 6: String bead onto wire
Step 7: Cut excess wire, leaving 3/4 inch tail to create loop
Step 8: Grip end of wire with round nose pliers and repeat step 3.
Step 9: Grip loop inside with round nose pliers and twist back to round out loop. This will open up the loop.
Step 10: Grip the wire end and twist inward again connecting the tip to the base of the loop
Step 11: If looping the bead onto a chain or another piece of wire loop through the open tail
Step 12: Close loop with chain nose pliers simply wiggle it as close to base as possible
If loops are not in the right position ie. perpendicular - depending on your design then grip each loop and twist into desired position.
- If needed mark a spot on you round nose pliers to remember where to bend and make the same size loops.
- The larger the loop you want, the higher along the round nose pliers you will grip
- Lastly - practice makes perfect - do not expect to have a perfect loop on your first try. Keep at it and you will get a groove going!
AZ Findings Team