Linking wrapped loop links is a common way of making necklaces and bracelets. This tutorial assumes that you already know how to make a wrapped loop.
To make several wrapped loop links, you will need:
- a few feet of dead soft wire (I like 20 gauge for this purpose)
- several beads whose holes can accommodate the wire you are using
- round nose pliers
- flat nose or chain nose pliers
- flush cutters
- a sharpie marker and rubbing alcohol
- a ruler for measuring
In order to produce loops that are uniform in size, mark the wrapping position you will be using on your pliers’ nose with a Sharpie marker. Sharpie marks can be easily removed later with rubbing alcohol on a cloth, cotton swab, or cotton ball. Mark all the way around the outside edges of both prongs. All wrapping done with the round nose pliers for this project should be done at the marked location. This will ensure that all the loops you make will be the same size.
Form a wrapped loop on one end of the wire.
Next, in order to produce a symmetrical loop, we must take some measurements.
First, measure the coiled portion of the wrapped loop. That is, measure the distance between the base of the loop and the “naked” portion of the wire tail.
For my sample, I found that three wraps of 20 gauge wire measured 3mm. Note your measurement and set this piece aside.
Next, cut a small piece of the same wire you are using for the project to a known length. Five cm is a good length.
Form a simple loop at one end of the measured wire.
Measure the unused portion of the wire on which you have just made a simple loop. Measure from the base of the loop to the end of the wire only; do not measure the loop itself.
Subtract the length of the unused portion of wire from the original length of the wire; this is the amount of wire that was used to form a simple loop of the size you made. For my sample, this length was 12mm.
Add the two measurements together. Make a note of your total. For my sample I reached a total of 15mm.
With this measurement noted, we can continue making the wrapped loop links.
You will no longer need the wire with a simple loop on one end. Set it aside, and perhaps save it for a future project.
Slide a bead onto the wire that already has a wrapped loop on one end.
The length you calculated a moment ago is the distance from the edge of the bead at which you must begin curling the wire for the second wrapped loop. To find this point, be sure that the bead is sitting directly against the coil on the other side. Measure from the point where the wire tail emerges from the bead hole, and mark the place on the wire that is the previously calculated distance from this point with a small Sharpie mark.
Grasp the wire at the marked spot with your round nose pliers.
Rotate the round nose pliers along the wire toward the bead until a complete loop is formed. Your pliers may end up touching the bead. Don’t worry, once the loop is repositioned you will find extra wire between the loop and the bead for your coils. Remove the Sharpie mark.
Reposition the loop with your round nose pliers so that it is centered on the small portion of wire emerging from the bead. This loop should sit in the same plane as the loop on the opposite side of the bead.
Grasping the loop with your flat nose or chain nose pliers, use your fingers or another pair of pliers to coil the wire tail tightly at the base of the loop. If all measurements are accurate, you should be able to fit the same number of wraps that you had on the other side. Cut the wire and tuck the end in neatly with your pliers.
To make a chain of wrapped links, finish only one link. Complete the remaining links only to the point that the loop has been formed, but has not yet been wrapped (coiled).
Slide one loop of the previous link onto the wire and pop it into place inside the open loop of the new link.
The work area will be too tight to grasp this loop with your flat nose pliers. Instead, grasp it with your chain nose pliers or if you do not have chain nose pliers grasp it with your round nose pliers. Wrap a few coils to close the second loop of the new link.
Continue to add links until the chain reaches the desired length.