Jewelry Trends

How to Wire Wrap Jewelry: Creating Accessories All Your Own

Rachel Akmakjian

Author

Suppose you’re shopping for jewelry in the stores. In that case, whether costume jewelry or otherwise — and you just can’t find anything that’s quite your taste, it might be time to take your jewelry options into your own hands. Wire wrapping is a jewelry making technique that takes your average pendant or beadwork to the next level.

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What You Will Learn

Keep Reading to Learn About…

  • How to wrap wire jewelry and wire wrapped jewelry instructions
  • What wire wrapping tools do you need to get started
  • Tips for making wire wrapped jewelry
  • Some of our favorite wire wrapped jewelry ideas

How to Make Wire Wrapped Jewelry: The First Step

So you want to begin wire wrapping — but before you can break out your wire wrapping tools and create that gorgeous piece of jewelry that all your friends love, you’ll need a solid idea for your design.

What Kind of Jewelry Can You Make Using the Wire Wrapping Process? 

There are all sorts of things that you can make using the wire wrapping process. Consider creating,

  • A wire wrapped pendant for a necklace
  • A wire wrapped charm for a bracelet 
  • Wire wrapped beads for earrings 
  • Or even an entirely wrapped wire ring

Whatever you want to create, consider drawing out a rough sketch of what you’d like your end piece to look like. Then, look for similar pieces online. This can help you, especially as a beginner, better understand what types of wire, stones, beads, and other materials might be best for your intended design.

Next, Gather Your Supplies

Once you’ve settled on a design, it’s time to gather your supplies. You can purchase wire wrapping tools at most big-box craft and hobby stores.

Basic tools you’ll need to wire wrap, no matter what you’re making, include:

  • Wire cutters
  • Cutting pliers
  • Looping pliers
  • Flat nose pliers

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You must pick your metal wire once you’ve compiled these essential tools. The wire you choose will differ according to the type of jewelry you plan to make and your design. There are tons of different wrapping wire options, including:

  • Sterling silver wire
  • Gold filled wire
  • Copper wire
  • Round wire
  • Half round wire
  • Single and double wires 

Whatever option you choose, beginners can steer clear of thicker wire, which can be more difficult to bend and maneuver. Go for 20-gauge wire for your first wrapped wire jewelry project.

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Lastly, you’ll need whatever objects you plan to wrap the wire around. Sometimes, if you’re making, for example, a ring, you can work with the wire alone to create your piece, but more often, you’ll be wrapping the wire around objects like these:

  • An existing piece of jewelry
  • A gemstone
  • Beads
  • A crystal 

The options are endless. Wire wrapping gives you ample ways to play around and explore your creativity, mixing and matching materials until you have a new piece of jewelry that’s one part accessory, one part artwork.

How to Wrap Jewelry Wire to Create Your Own Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Once you have gathered all your jewelry-making and wire wrapping tools and materials, it’s time for the fun part.  

After you’ve wire wrapped a few pieces or pendants, you can use wire wrapping in any way you like, adapting the technique to fit your creative vision. However, consider taking one of these basic approaches for your first few projects. 

A Simple Wire Wrapped Pendant

To create a simple, wire wrapped pendant, using a thin metal wire and stone, crystal, or other items, you’ll need to,

  1. Create a loop on one end of the wire, which you use to hang the finished pendant from a necklace chain.
  2. Then, holding the wire so that the loop sticks out over one side of the pendant, begin wrapping the excess wire around the body of the pendant, working your way up toward the loop (be sure to wrap the wire toward the loop). 
  3. Wrap the wire up the body of the pendant until you’re satisfied with the results (you may want to wrap the entire pendant or just a portion) 
  4. Use your pliers to remove excess protruding wires and secure the sharp ends beneath your coil.

A Simple Wire Wrapped Bangle

To create a simple, wire wrapped bangle using a bead (or more), just

  1. Thread a bead (or beads) onto your wire.
  2. To begin wrapping the wire so that it’s both uniformly round and the right size for your wrist, find a household item that’s round and approximate. While professionals use a model for this, some DIYers use a rolling pin. If you go with the latter option, begin wrapping your wire around the pin, with the bead or beads centered and facing you, until you’ve reached your desired thickness. 
  3. Wrap the wire under and around the bead(s) as you wrap. Then, several times, coil the wire around the bead(s) body before looping the wire underneath the body of the bangle to help the wires stay in place. 
  4. Use your pliers to cut off any excess protruding wires and secure the sharp ends beneath your coil.

A Few Quick Wire Wrapping Tips

Are you ready to pick up your wire wrapping tools and supplies at the arts and crafts store? Before you sit down to complete your first project, be sure to keep these quick tips in mind.

  • Don’t cut the wire too soon.

Make sure to cut your wire after you’ve finished your design, not before. This will help prevent running out of supplies before the piece’s completion. 

  • Go with a thin, cheap wire for your first few projects.

Until you get a few wire wrapping projects under your belt, use a thinner, cheaper wire that’s easy to maneuver and not too hard on your bank account. Try an 18–20-gauge copper wire, for example.

  • Practice, practice, practice.

Wire wrapping is a hobby and art form that requires a lot of patience and practice to perfect. There’s a reason why artisans can sell their wire wrapped jewelry for high prices in boutiques and at festivals and fairs. Don’t be disheartened if your first few projects aren’t pristine. You can keep trying, and eventually, you’ll find the process becomes easier. You’ll be able to work on more complicated, delicate, intricate designs in no time!

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Keep Your Most Unique Pieces Safe

The wire wrapped jewelry in your jewelry box is some of the most unique and special jewelry you own. For all those unique, valuable, and irreplaceable pieces, ensure you’re keeping them safe with comprehensive jewelry insurance — like that offered by BriteCo. 

From engagement rings to high-end watch collections, BriteCo covers it all, plus more. Get your free, quick quote today!

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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America, equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.