Beaded wire wrapping is one of the biggest jewelry trends this holiday season. Whether you call it Bollywood style, frame jewelry making or armature wrapping this style is hot! Have fun experimenting with pendants and earrings. Mix up shapes and colors on the same piece. The possibilities are endless! Here are some tips for those new to the technique.
1. Choose the right wire – You will need very fine soft jewelry wire to make this look. Larger gauge wires will overwhelm the beads on your piece and look sloppy. The smaller the beads you are using the finer gauge wire you should go with. I typically recommend 28 gauge but you can range into 26 gauge or 30 gauge. Sterling and gold filled work great. German wire and copper will work well too. Brass is likely to be pretty hard so it will be more difficult.
2. Your wire will work harden – All of the looping and bending necessary to wrap beads to your frame findings will work harden the wire. By the time you wrap the end of a 5-6 inch piece it will be getting brittle. Do not attempt to use wire segments that are too long or you will snap them. You can seamlessly piece wire segments together if you need to. Just start up right next to your end and add one extra wrap to snug things up if necessary.
3. Leave ends flush – Some instructors will suggest that you tuck the ends of your wire under the coils. I disagree. This will just leave your coils vulnerable to loosening. Leave the end snug and flush against your coil. Fine gauge wires should stay in place just fine.
4. Use nylon tip pliers – Seriously, it makes a big difference. Nylon pliers won’t mar your wire so it is less likely to break. It will also help you to tug and snug your coils without scratching the whole piece.
5. Tighten, tighten, tighten – Constantly tighten and snug your wire wraps as you go. If you wait too long and try to tighten out slack it will be very difficult to work your way back to the loose spot. Tighten everything up after every 2-3 wraps.
Use frames or armatures as the foundation for these beautiful embellished jewelry styles. Then wire away with small gauge 26ga – 30ga wire. Frame jewelry is ornate and opulent, perfect for the upcoming holiday season.
Halstead carries all the jewelry findings you need to get started. Try this new technique today!