Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

Back in November, Natalie over at North Shore Days guest-posted a tutorial here at Happy Hour on how to make wire-wrapped sea glass earrings.  They were beautiful!  But if you read here often you already know that my weakness is bracelets.  I loved Natalie’s technique, though – it’s elegant yet simple – so I adapted it to wrap some glass beads that caught my eye, and I made up this bracelet:

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

Natalie’s tutorial was plenty thorough, but when you follow it, you will get a bead with an open ring only on one side (which, of course, is perfect for earrings).  But to get a loop on BOTH sides of the bead, you will need to use wire instead of head pins.  It can seem a little intimidating but it really is easy.  That said, if you have never, ever made jewelry before, this may not be the project you start with.  (Try Natalie’s earrings first!)

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

What you will need:

  • Round-nosed pliers – it’s not absolutely essential that they are round, but it will be easier to work with.
  • Wire cutters
  • 18-gauge wire
  • Beads you love (I found these at Hobby Lobby)
  • Jump rings
  • A clasp for your closure.  I like the toggle clasp, but whatever you prefer is fine!

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

Now, I don’t have a specific length I’m going to tell you to use, here, because a lot of it will depend on how big your beads are and how tightly to choose to wrap them.  I used about this much wire (above) for one loop and the wrapping.  I used another inch or so for the second loop.  So you can either work off the coil, or cut off a similar length.

First, make a loop at the end of your bead.  This is where the round-nosed pliers are great, you just loop it right over.  Then, twist the excess once or twice around the “neck” of your loop.

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

Now, wrap your wire around the bead.  There’s no rule for how tightly wrapped it should be – whatever you like is fine!

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

At the bottom end of the bead, take the straight part of the wire and make a second loop, wrapping the tail around the neck just the way you did on the top end.  Then, take the tail of the wire you wrapped around your bead, and wrap that around the neck as well.

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

It’s hard to tell in the above photo bu there are 2 wires there.  See below, that might help.

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

Now, nip the excess off with your wire cutters.  You may also want to file the cut edges.

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

Depending on the size beads you are using, you will likely need anywhere from 5-8 beads wrapped.  (Mine needed 5.)

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

When you have enough, join the loops end-to-end with jump rings, and add your clasp pieces to the ends.

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

And that’s it!  It dresses up the beads and adds a little interest.  I found that each bead took me about 5 minutes, and assembling the bracelet just a few minutes more.  So with 5 beads, around a half hour of work (if you use smaller beads that will of course take slightly more time).

Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

So what projects are you working on?  Have you started your Valentine crafting or are you just enjoying a few projects for yourself first? ;)

Adrianne

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial. I have made lots of jewelry, but have always been a little intimidated by wire-wrapping (one of my favorite looks), other than the basics. I am going to try this ASAP. Love it! And love your blog!
    Blythe
    Blythe – Desperate Craftwives recently posted..Felt Cone Christmas TreesMy Profile

  2. First, I love your nails. And second, I wish my projects could be so quick and come out so beautiful!
    ChiWei recently posted..Medallion SnowflakesMy Profile

  3. I love love LOVE the look of the wire wrapping around the bead…perhaps a project for this afternoon!
    amy recently posted..Now We Have Everything Sign: An Epic Fail turned SuccessMy Profile

  4. Marilyn
    Twitter:
    says:

    Adrianne, this bracelet is absolutely stunning!
    Marilyn recently posted..Welcome 2013!My Profile

  5. Oh WOW girl – this is awesome!!! I love it and thank you so much for the awesome shout out.
    I’m like you – I’m addicted to bracelets – Love em. But I am making a special memorial necklace for a post next week and I may just do this to a few beads!
    And the colour of these beads is just gorgeous!
    Natalie recently posted..The Story of a Girl and Her ArmMy Profile

  6. I love, love, love this!
    Kara recently posted..Pretty Picot Snowflake PatternMy Profile

  7. This is absolutely adorable!

    Already your follower hopping by, blogging @ Getting Healthy with Essential Oils
    The Quiet Mom recently posted..Getting Healthy with Essential OilsMy Profile

  8. It’s so pretty!! Love the beads you chose and as you said the wire just adds that much more interest! I also love that your nails match the beads, but I’m sure you planned that. ha,ha
    Kadie recently posted..LINK IT UP THURSDAY #51My Profile

  9. Beautiful! You did a fantastic job! Love those beads too by the way…
    Jill recently posted..Features from Keep Calm #21My Profile

  10. Carol Byrne says:

    GREAT, clear, concise tutorial !!!!! So easy to follow, thank you!

  11. I don’t make jewelry, but I had to click over because this is so beautiful, it really caught my eye! And you make it sound so easy to do! Thanks for sharing!
    Valerie recently posted..Ribbon Storage- and a New SeriesMy Profile

  12. Thank you for this post, i will take what i have learned. Is going to be again continuously in order to check out new posts

  13. So pretty! And you make it look easy. I have made a few jewelry pieces but wire frustrates me and I’ve been afraid to try this.
    Southern Scraps recently posted..DIY sweater vases and neutral winter mantelMy Profile

  14. Angie Martin says:

    Just thought you, and especially Nathalie, would like to know that I have just seen the above tutorial on the Panda Hall website, without their having given credit to the designer of this lovely creation! I found and recognized the tutorial there when members of my FB beading group discovered several other pirated tutorials in the Panda Hall learning center which had had their watermarks blatantly removed. Disgraceful behaviour indeed!

    I have tried attaching their link here in my comment but your site won’t let me post it. If you’re interested in pursuing this further, please feel free to email me angelamartin989@gmail.com and I will send you the link.

    Thought you would appreciate knowing this…

  15. iluv it tnx ;)

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