Wiring jewelry need not be complicated.
Flexible beading wire comprises thin wires coated in nylon and is sturdy and long-lasting. For smaller beads, use more acceptable weights, while for larger beads, use heavier, more weighted wires. Wires work well with semi-precious, metal, and glass beads. Wires of higher quality are more flexible and knottable. Crimp beads are commonly used to finish the ends. When working with beading wire, no needle is required.
Xinar is your one-stop-shop for silver beads, gold-filled beads, rose gold-filled beads and genuine copper beads of the highest quality. We have been helping DIY crafters and beaders for over twenty years.
Wiring Jewelry with Beading Threads
When needle sizes are numbered, they get smaller as the number increases. The size of the bead hole and the number of times you’ll be sewing through it determine the needle size to use with beading needles. Keep a variety of needle sizes and types available if you need to switch from one size to another.
Nylon beading thread is utilized with seed beads for stitched and woven bead techniques. When stitching multiple times through a bead, use the most OK weight and heavier weights for beads with wider holes. With nylon thread, use a beading needle or a thin sewing needle.
Bead cord comes in various sizes and materials—string pearls with silk cord and more challenging stones with nylon cord. The rope should be the same size as the hole in the bead. The cord can be utilized in a single or doubled configuration. When pulling through a small bead hole, use a flexible beading needle – a needle made of fine, twisted wire – with a cord; the needle’s eye collapses.
Essential Wireworking Techniques
Finishing The Wire Ends
Finishing wire ends is essential for your finished jewelry creations and to avoid harm. A needle file or silicon carbide paper can be used to finish both ends of a cut piece of wire. When using a file, grip the wire tightly, run the file upwards, and round the top with a rounding stroke (files should not be used backward). Work your way around the wire, then check the end for smoothness.
Drops And Bead Links
A primary loop may be readily opened if you wish to shift items while wiring jewelry. A wrapped loop uses one or more wraps around the loop’s foundation to form a secure link. You only need one wrap, but you can add more ornamental features by adjusting the wire length accordingly. For example, use 18- or 20-gauge wire and a bead that fits the wire for the following links and drops.
1. Cut the 18-gauge wire to bead length +1″ or 20-gauge wire to bead length plus 3/4″.
2. Center a bead on the wire and bend the wire above the bead at a 45-degree angle with chain nose pliers.
3. Using round nose pliers, grasp the wire and bend it into a nearly complete circle.
4. Using the round nose pliers, tighten the loop until there is no space (this step is often done after placing the link onto another piece).
5. Repeat on the other end.
Making a Wrapped Loop
1. Cut wire 2″ longer than the length of the bead.
2. Place the bead in the center of the wire and hold it with chain nose pliers just above the bead; bend the wire sharply at a 90-degree angle above the pliers.
3. Remove the bead and hold the wire with round nose pliers just above the bend; the loop will form around the pliers’ nose, so choose the location on the pliers based on the desired size of the finished loop.
4. Bend the wire over the pliers’ tops. Remove the pliers from the situation.
5. Place the pliers at the top of the loop and bend them around the pliers, shaping them. Make sure the loop is in the middle. This makes wiring jewelry easier.
6. With one hand, clamp the round nose pliers onto the circle you just produced, and grip the end of the wire with the chain nose pliers; pull the end around to create the wraps.
7. Clamp a chain nose or flat-nose pliers onto the wraps lightly and draw it around in the direction of the wraps to secure the end of the wire.
Place the bead on the wire in the eighth position.
9. Finish with a simple drop or wrapped loop in the end.
Linking A Wrapped Loop to Another Loop
Creating A Drop
• Flatten the remaining end with a hammer.
• With or without a bead, bend a loop, coil, or any other shape from the list below.
Straighten with Polishing
Before cutting a length of wire from the wire supply while wiring jewelry, straighten it with a polishing cloth. Using the rough side of the cloth (rouge is a polishing agent used by jewelers), polish your finished wire pieces first, then the plain flannel side.
End Caps and Connectors
A connector and end cap are used at either end of a multi-strand item to complete it.
Connectors are helpful when you need a secure connection on one end but one that can be removed on the other. Use wire that is 20 or 18 gauge.
1. Cut 1 1/2″ of wire and wrap 1″ of one end into a wrapped loop.
2. Using the remaining 12,” make a simple loop.”
Cover the point where the multiple strands meet with an end cap over the loose ends of a multi-strand item. This results in a neater finish on the ends. Use 20-, 18-, or 16-gauge wire for the end cap.
1. Using round nose pliers and WOTWS, bend a small loop and continue to loop the wire around, gradually increasing the size of the loops while keeping them snug against one other.
2. Make sure the piece is long enough to cover one of the connector’s loops and the multiple strands.
Making a Simple Chain While Wiring Jewelry
This is a simple method for creating a chain. Use wire that is 18 gauge.
1. Cut 18-gauge wire into 1-inch lengths.
2. Bend one end to the back with round nose pliers.
3. Using the round nose pliers, bend the other end to the side.
4. Make a second link and, as you close it, place it onto the first one. Repeat until the chain is the appropriate length.
Chains with Eyelets
Form rounded or elongated links with round nose pliers and a dowel. Use wire that is 18 or 20 gauge. On page 44, you’ll find this chain. On page 20, you’ll find the Eyelet Chain Clasp.
1. Cut wire into 1 1/2″ and 1 3/4″ lengths for smaller links and 1 3/4″ lengths for more considerable links.
2. With your hands, form the eyelet part of the link over a dowel or other rounded item.
3. Using a chain nose or flat nose pliers, bend the ends together to meet.
4. Flatten the rounded part of the link by hammering it.
5. Using round nose pliers, shape the loose ends into simple loops and secure them to the previous link’s eyelet.
6. Repeat these procedures until the chain reaches the desired length.
Wiring Jewelry: Chain with Hammered Links
Depending on your design and aesthetic, you can change the length of the wire from 1″ to 1 /12″ or even longer. Wire gauges of 20 and 18 are recommended. On page 50, you’ll find this.
1. Cut 18-gauge wire into 1 1/4″ lengths.
2. Flatten the wire’s middle (but not the ends) with a hammer.
3. Using round nose pliers, bend the ends into simple loops at the back.
4. Make split rings out of 20-gauge wire.
5. Join the links together by opening and closing the loops of the hammered links with round nose pliers; start and terminate the chain with a split ring.
Use wire that is 18 gauge.
1. Cut wire about 1.5″ long.
2. Using round nose pliers, shape the wire as shown in the diagram.
3. Place the wire on an anvil and hit it with a chasing hammer a few times to harden it and flatten it slightly.
Clasp With a Hook And Loop Closure
Use this clasp with a simple chain, additional self-made chains, and bead-strung components. Use wire that is 18 gauge.
Hook For Clasp
1. Cut a length of wire 1.5″ long.
2. To make the decorative end, sharply bend the tip of the wire and flatten it as tightly as possible against the wire with chain-nose pliers.
3. Make a more significant “catch” loop with the same end.
4. Bend an upward loop on the other end to fasten it to the jewelry.
1. Cut one 3/4-inch piece of wire.
2. Make a little loop to attach to jewelry on one end.
3. Make a large loop with the wire to form the clasp’s “loop.”
4. Bend another loop and fasten it close to the loop formed in Step 2 to finish the other end.
Clasp with Split Rings
The doubled wire matches a split ring. As the clasp loop, use a split ring. Use wire that is 18 gauge.
1. Take a 3″ length of 18-gauge wire and cut it half.
2. Make a half-circle with the wire.
3. Bend the open ends of the wires into a loop for joining with round nose pliers, bending both wires simultaneously.
4. Using round nose pliers, shape the other end into a clasp hook.
Chain Clasp with Eyelets
With the eyelet chain, use this clasp. Use wire that is 18 gauge.
1. Cut two 1/2-inch pieces of 18-gauge wire.
2. With your hands, form the eyelet part of the clasp over a dowel or other rounded item. Bring the ends together with a chain nose or flat nose pliers. Remove the wire from the dowel and discard it.
3. Sharply bend the wire ends back using round nose pliers, forming the clasp shape.
4. Attach the clasp to the final link’s doubly bent loops of the eyelet chain.
To use a toggle clasp, turn the bar sideways and thread it through the loop end of the clasp. Again, 14-gauge wire and 18- or 20-gauge wire are recommended.
1. Cut a one-inch piece of 14-gauge wire.
2. Cut a 3-inch piece of 18-gauge wire or a 4-inch piece of 20-gauge wire.
3. Bend a little loop in the center of the 18- or 20-gauge wire with round nose pliers.
4. Using chain nose pliers, tightly wrap each end around the 14-gauge wire.
5. Cut 18- or 20-gauge wire into 212″ lengths.
6. Make a connector with this piece, using 2″ to make a vast wrapped loop and the remaining 12″ to make a simple loop.
Working with Jump Rings
Jump rings are like split rings in that they are constructed from a single piece of metal.
Instead of dragging the cut ends outwards, swivel them away from each other and back together to open and close the jump rings. This preserves the wire’s strength as well as the loop’s shape.
Coil Spacers and Bead Caps
Closed coils can be used as spacer beads or made into drops or bead caps. Only coil the piece as far as it will keep its shape. Use wire that is 18 or 20 gauge.
1. Using round nose pliers, construct a small, simple loop WOTWS.
2. Using chain nose or flat nose pliers, grab the loop and pull the wire around by hand until it snugs up against the loop, repeating until the coil is complete.
3. Gently hammer the coil into place (optional).
4. Complete as desired. Here are a few recommendations:
-Using round nose pliers, form a loop out of the outer end to make a drop.
-Leave some space between the coils to produce an open coil.
-To produce a bead cap, gradually pull outwards from the center with a round nose until the coil fits the bead.