Daily Wire Tip August 1: Introducing Children to Wire Jewelry

By on July 31, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
August 1, 2011


My daughter likes to design accessories, but can she use the same tools the adults use? Is there is another simple way for them to do it?

-Ghofran in Cairo, Egypt


Hello Ghofran, because you did not tell me how old your daughter is, I will give you what I hope is helpful advice. I think it is wonderful for young people to begin finding their muse at an early age; even better when an adult family member is there to help the child learn, as well as to encourage them.

I really don’t think there is an actual “age limit” to working with hand tools, I believe it all depends on how much respect a child is taught with regards to the materials they are using. (For example, my Girl Scout troop was learning to use pocket knives that could shave the hair off your arm, at age 9 – but only with adult supervision!) If you have a set of pliers and a cutter that are your “back-ups,” then you can both work together! I would begin by using plated findings, soft, colored craft wire, and inexpensive beads. Maybe by following some of the instructions on our Free Pattern Page like my Nugget Hoop Earrings or Quick Bead & Wire Pendant. Everyone loves rings! The Button Ring pattern by Albina Manning is fun to make and the design can be altered to fit many different styles and sizes of buttons. You and your daughter could make a matching pair in the afternoon, and show them off to the family at dinner that evening!

So plan an afternoon or evening, and begin working on simple projects with your daughter, teaching her how to hold and use each of the four basic tools (flat nose, chain nose, and round nose pliers, plus wire cutters), and then watch what happens!!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    August 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

    My daughter is 11 and has a great artistic eye. She almost always wants to see what I’ve done and sometimes has great design ideas. I think a child’s eye is invaluable in getting a spontaneous response to what’s good and what’s just weird. She is making some of her own jewelry, though she commissions me a fair amount too. I let her know the times I can work with her (which is some of our social time) and time that I need to work on customer projects. She is old enough to know the difference, and is always careful with materials. We just have to negotiate the budget when we go the bead store, since she seems to have caught a healthy addition to beads. Watch out – it’s genetic!

  2. avatar


    August 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Thanks! This is great!!!
    I made my grand daughter a happy necklace with nylon string. She put it on and it fell apart. Wow. Sadness.

    So I have all of these little beads which are designed for children which are vertical rather than horizontal. What to do and how to do it so it stays intact?

    Just make a bunch of wire pendants with danglies and string them together from beads with loops on each side. And it will be beautiful. And it won’t fall apart.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!

    • avatar


      August 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      Glad to help Alberta – and thank YOU for your advice!!

  3. avatar


    August 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I think it is wonderful that both your daughters have gotten involved and want to learn more. What better way for the two of you to bond and have a quality play time and activity.

    As for the bead “addiction”, sigh, she is probably hooked like all the rest of us.

    Scrimshaw Mary

  4. avatar


    August 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I don’t know what stores you have available in Cairo, but – here in the US, there are smaller tools available for smaller hands (or for compact travel kits). When my sister (a nanny) was helping the child she was caring for to start beading at age 5, she got a collection of those and it worked quite well for her.

  5. avatar


    August 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    If regular pliers are too large, and therefore uncomfortable for her hands, you might find inexpensive pliers with smaller handles at a local hobby or department store or online suppliers. I have not tried these myself, but they are probably good enough quality for a beginner.

  6. avatar

    Cairenn Day

    August 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    My best friend and I have taught several classes where even very young children were able to make a few items (with help from a parent)—I think one little girl was around 4 when she made a ‘fairy princess’ circlet for herself.

    I grew up in the 50s and I had my own tools and a workbench for working with wood, when I was in elementry school.

    Also, I was making my own jewelry by the time I was in the fifth grade–ALL of it. In fact, it became a problem, because some of the other little girls were jealous of my jewelry—they couldn’t BUY any like it. I solved that, by starting to sell my work.

    Please remember that for many centuries, a child was apprenticed before they were a teen.