Daily Wire Tip Jan. 2: All About Memory Wire

By on January 2, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
January 2, 2011


Hi Dale, I have seen rings made of memory wire and I was wondering what type of wire that is? Is it something we can make ourselves?

-Robin in Orlando, Florida


Hi Robin! No, Memory Wire is not something we can easily make ourselves, because it is made of steel. Because steel is extremely hard, when it is formed and shaped into a rigid coil (the size depending on what it is intended to be used for) the shape springs back and is about impossible to reshape!

Often this steel wire is plated in either a silver or gold tone. Memory wire comes in coil sizes meant to be used for a ring, neck collar, and bracelet/anklet.

When using steel wire of any type, be sure to use Memory Wire Cutters and not to use your good wire cutters, because the hardness of the steel will destroy them!

To end or finish a memory wire item, you can either purchase special caps to glue onto the ends, or make a small loop at the end with round or chain nose pliers. Memory wire is a lot of fun to work with as it can be used to make inexpensive jewelry, especially for children.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Kathy Kehoe

    January 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Oh dear!! Memory wire is not my first choice for hand crafted jewelry. I made my first piece (a bracelet) out of it but find it hard to work with. I have made other pieces with memory wire and enjoyed the results,as did my customers. Non crafters are fascinated by its “slinky” appearance.

  2. avatar


    January 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Definately buy the cutters designed strictly for cutting memory wire. I ruined a good pair of cutters using them to cut the memory wire. It is a good material to use for quick projects, like adding seed beads and making quick chokers and such for teenagers or children. And as Dale stated, comes according to what you want to make with it. The coiled bracelets are good items to do up with gemstone chips and such.

  3. avatar

    Dena Ellison

    January 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    In addition to dedicated cutters, I recommend that you do not use expensive round nose pliers to put a loop in the end. Memory wire is also hard on pliers.

    • avatar


      January 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks Dena : ) You are absolutely correct!