How to Wire Wrap: Part 1
Wire wrapping has it's pros and cons. It is the most secure way to make jewelry. Instead of making a simple loop such as the one seen in this tutorial, if you wire wrap it the jewelry will probably hold up better. It does take longer to do, however.
I usually choose to wire wrap based on two things: the materials I am using and the project I am working on. For example: earrings do not get a lot of stress when you wear them, so if my materials allow I often use simple loops. However, bracelets get a lot of stress (easily get snagged on things) so if I am making a bracelet with links in it I usually wire wrap it. You also have to look at the materials you are using. Freshwater pearls normally have a small hole in the center of them so that a normal head pin would not fit through. Thus, almost always when I use freshwater pearls in links/charms I wire wrap them.
Pendants also are a flag for me to wire-wrap, which I will be partially showing in this tutorial. To show this I will give you a tutorial for the bridesmaid earrings I just made for my wedding! Check it out:
Very pretty and sparkely. :)
Here's what you need to make your own pair:
Wire (I think I used around a 16 gauge), earring hooks, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, two crystal briolettes and two crystal round beads.
Step One: Cut a piece of wire about six inches long using wire cutters.
Step 2: String on a crystal briolette about 1 1/2 inches into the wire.
Step 3: Bend the wire around the top of the briolette
Step 4: Grasp the bent wire close to the bead with needle nose pliers and begin to wrap the tail of the wire around the main body of the wire with your other hand. You may have to use your fingernail or pliers to move the wire wrap a little closer to the bead if there are gaps in the wrapping.
Step 5: Trim off any excess wire with wire cutters and bend the tail of the wrap around the body of the wire with needle nose pliers so it looks similar to this:
Step 6: String on a crystal round bead
Step 7: String on an earring hook and then bend the wire into a circle around the loop at the bottom of the earring hook (I normally just use my fingers for this)
Step 8: Grasp the earring by the circle on the bottom of the earring hook and the wire you just made into a circle using needle nose pliers.
Step 9: Begin to wrap the tail of the wire around the body of the wire until you reach the round bead.
Step 10: Cut the excess wire off using wire cutters and bend any excess tail around the body of the wire using needle nose pliers.
And that is all there is to it!
Since these earring are wire wrapped they are more secure and it would be very rare if they broke.
I made six pairs: one for each of my bridesmaids! I also made my earrings for the wedding the same way but with a little more blingy beads. I'll post pics after I remember to take them :)
Choosing to wire wrap will give your jewelry a very professional look and be very sturdy. It is time consuming though! So just keep that in mind. I'll be showing you other projects and uses of wire wrapping in future lessons!
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