Wire Wrapping Small Beads (Small Metals)

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Wire wrap the smallest beads with ease.

Time: 3 min
Skill Level: Advanced

Wire wrapping is an essential part of jewelry and designing jewelry. There are currently general information on creating the perfect wire wrap online, although, such techniques sometimes are not applicable to all beads. There are many characteristics that a jewelry maker need to consider whenever a wire wrap is created, factors such as material, and the structure of the bead.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire Cutters
  • Flat Nose Pliers
  • Bent Flat Nose Pliers
  • Various thickness of Round Nose Pliers

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Creating the first loop.

Fold your wire ¾ towards the center from the tips of the wire. This distance will establish the amount you would need in wire for the bead and to gauge how much wire you would need for the other side to create the loop.

Step 2: Establishing shape and size of loop.

From the fold of the wire, position the tip of the round nose, parallel to your work table to create the first indentation. This would create a visual gauge for you to establish the size of the loop you need.

Step 3: Shaping loop to size

Once you make the round nose pliers parallel to your work table, holding on to one side of the the wire with the nose pliers, with a gentle grip, push down on the wire creating a dent on one side

Step 4: Prepping wire to wrap.

For the first wire wrap of the bead, using your flat nose pliers, gently grab the loop you have created and make an “L-Shape” with the wire. The shorter wire will be the one that will be wrapped around the longer part of the wire.

Step 5: Wrapping first wrap.

Grab the shorter wire and wrap this by going around, direct it by moving down towards the long wire.

Step 6: Wraps and cutting

Once the number of wraps is established cut the excess wire with the wire cutters, by cutting this as close as you can to the wire wraps you have created.

Step 7: Flushing wire ends

On the end of the cut, use your flat nose pliers and press down on the wire that is sticking out from the end of the wrap.

Step 8: Adding beads

Insert the bead that is going to be part of the wire wrap.

Step 9: Creating a loop wire point

Let the bead sit on top of the previous wire wrap, with your long nose pliers, grab the long wire that the bead is on and put the tip of the round nose pliers on top of the small bead.

Step 10: L-Shape

From this point bend the long wire, creating and “L-Shape”. This L-Shape will be your leverage to shape your loop.

Step 11: Shaping the curve of the loop.

Further bend the long wire using your fingers all the way downwards.

Step 12: Wrapping

Grab the tip of the long wire and create a loop by wrapping it around the the wire, while it is still on the long nose pliers. This will make the wire rest on the long nose and also creating the loop link necessary. Wrap the wire by using the the same numbers of wraps used on the other side of the wire wrap.

Step 13: Trimming excess wire

At the end of the wrap cut the excess wire as close as you can on the bead.

Step 14: Flushing extra wires

Using the curved flat nose pliers, press on the excess wire that is sticking out from the cut that you have made. This will secure the wire wrap and create a clean finish.

Tips & Advice

Conclusion

On this tutorial you will learn not only how to wire wrap small beads, but also the types to consider when wrapping the bead that you have. These instructions are to give you full control of your tools and materials regardless of what beads you are working on. Working with the tiniest of beads is one of the most challenging skill set a jewelry maker can have, often it is a skill that not many have and avoid because of the meticulous attention it needs, as well as one of the most time consuming. When working with small beads be prepared to work in very small tiny movements and depending on the beads could take hours by the inch.

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