Beginner Skill-Wire Wrapped Loops

By on January 20, 2017
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by Judy Ellis, Wirejewelry.com

Wire Jewelry Tip for January 20th, 2017

Beginner Skill-Wire Wrapped Loops

by Judy Larson

Today we bring you another great tip for beginners. How to make a wire wrapped loop. This is a skill that, if mastered early, is a building block for many other skills. Judy gives us a great step by step on how to do it.

Judy Says:

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When first learning to make jewelry, the first thing you need to learn to do well is make a wire wrapped loop. Learning how to make consistent wire wrapped loops will make you more comfortable and confident with working with wire when you go on to the next step/stage in your wire wrapping/weaving journey.

A “messy wrap” can be beautiful, but there is structure to the wrapped loop that should not be ignored.

Tip 1: When learning to make wire wrapped loops, or any skill for that matter, you can improve your “muscle memory” by repeating the skill many times. How many times do you think you practiced each letter of the alphabet before you perfected your printing and writing skills? That same “practice makes perfect” adage works when learning new skills in wire work.

Tip 2: When you first learn to make wire wrapped loops, it is easier to use a longer headpin or wire than you really need. When you become proficient in making the wraps, you can then start to use shorter headpins lengths of wire.

The first project my students make is a Multi Gemstone Charm Bracelet with over 20 gemstone drops

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Slide your choice of beads on the headpins. In that project, we use 3″ headpins as we stack small beads and use up to 8mm single beads. Then follow the steps to make the wrapped loops. BUT, COMPLETE EACH STEP WITH EACH HEADPIN BEFORE CONTINUING ON TO THE NEXT STEP.

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Directions for a Single Wrapped Loop

Materials:

  • A 6mm bead on a 2½” headpin was used for this lesson

Tools:

Step 1: Slide a bead on a headpin. With the tip of the chain nose pliers, grasp the wire as close to the bead as possible. Hint: The thinner the tip of your pliers, the shorter the wrapped loop will be.

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Step 2: Use your fingers to bend the wire at a 90 degree angle away from you across the top of the plier tips. This creates the “neck” of the loop.

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Step 3: Switch to round nose pliers. Place the tips of the pliers on the wire as shown in the photo. The lower tip should fit snugly in the bend.

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Step 4: Keeping the pliers tightly closed (but not so tightly closed as to dent or mar the suface of the headpin), use your thumb or fingertip to push the wire up over the back of the top plier jaw and to the front. Keep the wire as tight to the plier jaw tip as possible.

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Step 5: Still keeping the pliers tightly closed, push the wire down over the front of the top jaw.

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Step 6: Loosen your grip on the wire but do not let the loop go. You need to shift the lower jaw to become the upper jaw so you can continue the wrap by pulling the wire back and up to finish the loop.

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Note: This is the point where you would slide this looped wire through a finished wire wrapped loop if you wanted two wrapped loop beads connected. Then you would finish by wrapping Step 7-10.

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Step 7: Switch to chain nose pliers to grip the loop. You can use flat nose pliers for this if you prefer. Firmly grasp as much of the loop as possible without interfering with the wrap wire.

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Step 8: Grasp the end of the wire with a bent nose pliers and pull the wire around the front of the neck and towards the back. You will find it easier to do the wrap is you pull the wire in a slightly upwards motion.

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Continue to wind the wire around the neck until you have three full wraps. You may only get two wraps if you do not wrap closely together. If your wraps are tight, as they should be, but you made a longer neck, you may make four wraps. Consistency in all your wraps is the key, not the number of wraps you make.

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Note: You will notice in the tutorial photos that the winding wire was never let go and wire wrapped around the tip of the pliers. This is not the way to make a wire wrapped loop if you want to conserve wire, but it is easier for the beginner. When you get better at it, you will drop the wrap wire and change plier positions to wrap, using less wire.

Step 9: Pull the wire to the back of the bead and trim off the excess wire using a flush cutter.

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Step 10: Use your chain nose pliers to tuck the short wire tail in.

Tip 3: A bead crimping pliers is a great tool to use to gently squeeze the wrap wires into place. Use the front round section of the plier “round” the wraps while also pushing the tail in.

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For more great tips from Judy CLICK HERE!

Happy Wrapping!

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