Wire Wrapping A Glass Bead With a Flat Top

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Learn how to correctly wire wrap glass beads with a flat top.

Time: 3 min
Skill Level: Easy

Glass beads are a very popular material that jewelry makers and designers work with. Often, the beadwork when wire wrapping is applied, the glass become chipped, cracked and break during and after the wire wrap. Here are some guides to look for as well as do to prevent the glass bead from becoming a problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire
  • Glass Beads
  • Wire Cutters
  • Flat Nose Pliers
  • Curved Nose Pliers
  • Round Nose Pliers (Assorted)

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Establish the size of the loop for the wire wrap

When creating the first wire wraps, establish the size of the loops on the wire wraps by comparing your bead. The size of the loop should be slightly bigger that the hole of the bead.

Step 2: Shaping the loop

First bend the wire 1/4 from the tip in of the wire end. The standard of shaping the loop will always fall on how the size of the loop is going to be, generally the loop size should be based on the placement of the wire on the prong of the round nose pliers.

Step 3: Establishing the pivot points

Put the position of the prongs of the round nose pliers parallel to your work table. The deeper in the placement of the prong of the nose pliers, the bigger the loop shape will be.

Step 4: Shape the loop

Create a pulling down movement on one side of the wire from the pivot point.

Remember to move just the pliers with a gentle grip, too much pressure would mar the wire as well as create a weak point.

Step 5: Creating an "L-Shape"

Gently hold on to the top of the loop with a long nose pliers and create an "L-Shape", it is important that the shape of the loop is retained on a wire wrap concerning glass beads. Do not create other movement other than moving the short end of the wire across top of the long wire.

Step 6: Wire Wraps

Wire wrap 1/4 up to the height of the glass bead, remember that the top of this glass bead is a flat top, wire wrapping a high wire wrap would create bending points on the wire making the glass beads to chip and break.

Step 7: Cutting excess wire

Once the number of wire wraps is established, based on the 1/4 height of the glass bead, cut the excess wire.

Press on the excess wire after cutting.

Step 8: Inserting the bead

After the first loop and wire wrap are created, insert the glass bead. It is important to check if the wire wraps and the size of the loop are balanced to the bead.

Step 9: Creating the end loop

Wrap the remaining wire around the round nose plier, make sure it is the same size as the established loop size.

Step 10: Wire Wrapping

Using a set of pliers hold on to the loop and wrap the remainder of the wire around the wire that the wire was beaded through. While wrapping be sensitive to the pressure of your wire wraps.

Step 11: Wire Wrapping

Using a set of pliers hold on to the loop and wrap the remainder of the wire around the wire that the wire was beaded through. While wrapping be sensitive to the pressure of your wire wraps.

Step 12: Cutting excess wire

After wire wrapping the amount you need, cut the excess wire. When doing so, make sure that you cut just closely to the edge of the beading hole. This would give the beads and wires enough movement to prevent from breaking.

Step 13: Flushing extra wire

After cutting the excess wire, use the curved nose pliers to press on the end wire that is on top of the glass wire. The curved nose pliers provides the correct angle when applying the pressure to the wire end as it is tucked into the other wire wraps. Press on the wire end gently and in successions until the end is tucked in to prevent the glass from chipping.

Step 14: Be ready to make more

With these instructions you will be able to use these steps as guide to wrap small glass beads without breaking. Show us some of your work and the glass beads you have been working with.

Tips & Advice

  • Make sure that your hands are clean and dry when you are working with glass, they often slip through the fingers.
  • Check on the glass beads for cracks prior to working, they often are over looked and breaks in the middle of work.
  • Look out for little shards that is unavoidable when working with glass, due to handling. These little shards ends up lodged on your finger tips.
  • Wash your hands after working with glass beads.

Conclusion

Wrapping glass beads with wire is often a challenging skill, done properly would lead to a faster work flow and get to know the characteristics of materials you work with.

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