I’ve got a very simple design to share with you today that’s a good one to try if you’re a beginner when it comes to wire wrapping. I’m on a new kick of wrapping within wire frames – it’s been a lot of fun to think of a wire frame as space to fill. I went for a very minimalist look with this design, just some abstract pearls:
If you read here often then you know when I say, I’m on a new kick… it means everything is the same style for 2-3 weeks and then I’ll become obsessed with another idea. Haha. I’d apologize but I’m not really sorry at all, I’m having fun. So join me on the wire wrapping ride for a little while!
This all started because as I was going through my stash, I found a few round wire frames I had made up back when I made the Tree of Life necklace a few years ago. This it the same design philosophy, make a wire frame, and fill it. Here’s what you’ll need to make it happen.
- 22 gauge silver plated copper wire – you will only need a few inches (maybe 5-6)
- 18-20 gauge wire for the frame (both work fine, it just depends whether you want a lighter or heavier look) – you’ll need 8-10 inches of this
- Bench block and texturing hammer (the hammer is optional)
- Round nosed pliers
- Wire cutters
- A few pearls (I used 4 cultured pearls around 10mm, but anything in that general size range or smaller would be lovely)
- 18″ chain
First, you’ll need to create your frame. This may take a little practice – I’m a little on the rusty side so my wrap ended up slightly messy. But here’s what you will do, and wire is inexpensive and plentiful so you can be sure to get plenty of practice. :)
Cut a length of 18-20 gauge wire at about 8-10 inches. This will be on the long side, but it’s easier to work with the tails of the wire when they’re longer, and how much you need will also depend on what size you want to make it. Wrap your wire around a round object. The cap to something, a medication bottle – or hey, the end of your hammer if it’s lying nearby. There’s no rule for size, that’s all a matter of preference. Pull it tight, and give both ends a twist to “lock” them into place at that size and shape.
Slide your form off, and form one of the wire ends into a loop (for your chain) with your round nosed pliers.
You will have formed a piece that’s your round frame, a top loop, and a little “neck” in between. Wrap the tail ends of your wires around that neck part 2-3 times, and cut off the excess with wire cutters. That will give you a finished loop.
I then hammered mine to help harden it – this will help you when you do your wrapping. The harder the wire, the more easily it will hold its original shape.
Next, take a few inches (about 6 inches) of 22 gauge wire, and wrap it 3-4 times around your round frame where you’d like to connect your string of pearls (which for me was at the 3:00/9:00 position of the circle – depending which way you turn it). Add a few pearls on, and then wrap the other end of your wire around the frame in another position (6:00 for mine).
The key to wire wrapping is to get your wraps even and close together, Mine is not perfect… yet. Haha. But nice snug, straight wraps are ideal.
Now – just add a coordinating chain (like this 2mm curb chain) and enjoy your new piece! Wire is really inexpensive and a design like this takes so few beads that this is a great budget-friendly choice – and makes a great gift!
Stay tuned, because I’m cooking up a few more ideas that fill wire frames! Got any suggestions of something you would like to see? No promises (my skill only goes so far, after all) but I’m always on the hunt for new inspiration!