It’s been a while since I made a project that made me say, “Oh my goodness, I just can’t stop making these!” I tend to have a short attention span when it comes to crafts, I love making things once, and moving on to the next thing. But, I dare anyone to make just one of these beaded wrapped wire rings! They are an easy jewelry project that doesn’t need a lot of supplies, it’s something you can customize by using different beads, and they only take about 5 minutes per ring to make. Best of all, wrapped wire rings are a great way to use up those individual bead stragglers you may have lying around leftover from other projects – since each ring just needs one.
- Beads you love! I raided my big box of blues to make these rings. I found I liked round and oval beads best, and I like a 6-8 mm size, but experiment! See what styles you can create with other shapes and sizes.
- 20 Gauge Silver Plated Copper Wire
- Ring Sizer
- Wire Cutters
- Jewelry Pliers
Place the bead in the groove of your ring sizer, and wrap each end of the wire around the mandrel once (which is really just a fancy word for the ring sizer). Check the size of where you’re going to begin wrapping. Wire wrapping has a way of tightening as you work, so I recommend aiming for a half-size larger than the size you’re planning to make. If you’re not sure what size to make, 7 is a pretty common size. Once you have each end of the wire wrapped around the mandrel, bend each end around the bead.
Now that your have your basic form started, you can remove it from the mandrel to work on it. Just take those wire ends, and wrap them around the bead. I work counter-clockwise but it really doesn’t matter if you do it the opposite – but both wire ends do need to be wrapped in the same direction.
When you get to the ends and there is about an inch or so of wire left, wrap one of the tail ends around the base of the ring 3-4 times. You will likely need your pliers to do this. If you have excess, just cut it off. You can file the end of the wire if you want, but I found that as long as I made sure that the end was on the top of the ring (as opposed to your finger-side) just pressing it tight with my pliers was sufficient.
Smoothing the wire rings down will help press those wires back together, and re-form it to a round shape if your wrapping made it off-center. And as you can see: I lost about a half size in my wrapping.
If you have trouble with your first wrapped wire ring, they work up so quickly you can easily try again for practice. Or perhaps you have a little “helper” raiding your beads who would like a ring of her own – you’ll be able to whip one up before she can even decide which princess she’s going to pretend to be. These wrapped wire rings are WAY cooler than store-bought costume jewelry, and just a fraction of the cost when you consider just how many wire rings you can make with one coil of wire and some spare beads.
Which brings me to a tip for smaller wrapped wire rings: they are slightly more difficult, just because you have less room to work while you are wrapping. So start big and work your way down, if you can. You can see in the very first photo of this post, that the smallest ring (in the forefront, the right-most ring) has messier wraps than the other two. Just bear that in mind if you are choosing a bead that is smaller than 6mm!
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).