Cozy Sister's Jewelry Making Blog

How to Make Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Making and Joining Wrapped Loop Links

Posted on | December 16, 2009 | Comments Off

A wrapped loop link chain

A wrapped loop link chain

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.

The wrapping position has been marked; forming all loops at the marked location will produce loops of equal size.

The wrapping position has been marked; forming all loops at the marked location will produce loops of equal size.

Form a wrapped loop on one end of the wire.

A wrapped loop has been formed on one end of the wire.

A wrapped loop has been formed 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.

Measure the coiled portion only.

Measure the coiled portion only.

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.

Cut the wire precisely to a known length.

Cut the wire precisely to a known length.

Form a simple loop at one end of the measured wire.

A simple loop has been formed on one end of the wire.

A simple loop has been formed on one end of the 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.

Measure the unused portion of the wire; do not measure the loop itself.

Measure the unused portion of the wire; 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.

Slide the bead all the way to the base of the coils.

Slide the bead all the way to the base of the coils.

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.

Measure to find the starting point for the second wrapped loop.

Measure to find the starting point for the second wrapped loop.

Grasp the wire at the marked spot with your round nose pliers.

Grasp the wire at the marked spot.

Grasp the wire at the marked spot.

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.

The loop

The loop

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.

The loop has been repositioned.

The loop has been repositioned.

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.

The wrapped link is ready.

The wrapped link is ready.

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).

This loop is ready to be joined to a chain.

This loop is ready to be joined to a chain.

Slide one loop of the previous link onto the wire and pop it into place inside the open loop of the new link.

The loops are positioned inside of one another.

The loops are positioned inside of one another.

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.

Closing the linked loop.

Closing the linked loop.

Continue to add links until the chain reaches the desired length.

A wrapped loop link chain.

A wrapped loop link chain.

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