Daily Wire Tip Jan. 29: Determining How Much Wire to Use

By on January 29, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
January 29, 2010


I use a lot of irregular stones in my work and when I wrap with wire, I guess as to how much wire I will use. I have a tendency to over estimate so I won’t come up short, but sometimes end up with many extra small pieces. Is there a rule of thumb for how much wire should be laid out for a particular project?


As I have no idea what style of wrapping you are using for these irregular stones, I can only give you a general formula: measure the distance from top to bottom and multiply by 2, this is how much wire it will take to go around the stone once; depending on the size and shape of the stone, add about ½ inch for the curves and then add for the bail (usually 2 ½ to 3 inches).

Or make it really easy to figure the length needed by wrapping it with a piece of string or dental floss first! (Then measure the length of string and add the above suggestions.)

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    January 29, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Thank you! This formula is great! Ihave myself cut too much wire for projects and it is such a waste. I love the idea of the string, so simple….Duh! Thanks again

  2. avatar


    January 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Here is a method that I have found works well for many irregular stones:

    1. Measure the circumference, the outer edges around the stone, with a flexible ruler/measuring tape

    2. Round that number up to the nearest 1/4 inch

    3. Add 3 to 5 inches for bail making and decorative finish design

    {stone = 4 inches around + 5 inches = 9 inches per wire you use for wrapping}

    Hopefully with the many methods you will find one that works for you.

    Happy wire designing!

  3. avatar


    January 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I like the idea of the dental floss. Simply briliant!

  4. avatar


    January 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I appreciate this tip. Thank you very much. I am completely new to wire wrapping and am self-taught. I was unaware that any formula existed. Thanks

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