Steel Pattern Wire Inspiration

By on August 5, 2011
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Pattern wire has a special draw to it, something that we as wire jewelers just can’t resist.

This steel pattern wire is no exception: available in 5 different patterns, nearly everyone at our office had a favorite – or two – that they couldn’t take their eyes off. And while the wire is beautiful, it’s proven a bit more challenging to work with than its gold and silver counterparts. So we asked the people who’d already used the steel pattern wire, what they made with it. And here’s what they sent in (hint: click each picture to see a larger version!).

Steel Pattern Wire Bracelet

Steel Pattern Wire Bracelet by Janet Cozzens

Janet Cozzens created this Steel Wire Cuff Bracelet for a climbing friend of her husband’s. Here’s what she said:

He wears a sterling silver bracelet now, and he wanted just a simple bracelet made from the steel wire. I finished the ends with a dremel tool. This is a great design for a more masculine look, simple but nice looking.

I am obsessive compulsive, and wouldn’t let it rest until I felt it was perfectly symmetrical! I used nylon jaw pliers for the most part to shape the bracelet. The steel is incredibly hard, making it utterly impossible to use my bracelet mandrel with my rawhide mallet. I kept the natural curve in the wire when I cut it off of the 3 foot section. I then formed it around the oval bracelet mandrel as much as I could with my hands. I used the nylon jaw pliers to shape the curves into the ends. I kept working it until I felt that the curve was right. Lastly, I used my dremel tool with a sanding end to give a bit of a lip to the ends that was smooth, curving them a little so that there were no sharp edges. I had my husband try it on several times to make sure it was shaped correctly and the fit was right.

Steel Wire Bracelet

Steel Pattern Bracelet, side view, by Janet Cozzens

I was happy with the end result and I plan to make a few more of them tonight for a show that I am doing tomorrow. The simple elegance of the patterned wire is nice just to make cuffs with.

Valorie Bowen’s piece “B-Steel” was inspired by Egypt and the steel pattern wire. An original design, Valorie cut lengths of steel pattern wire with a Dremel and then wrapped each piece in a wire frame, then hung the 7 lengths on chain to create an elegant collar necklace.

Steel pattern wire necklace

B-Steel, by Valorie Bowen

Valorie recommended using gloves and protective eyewear while cutting the steel pattern wire. She adds, “When cutting the wire with any machine the wire will get hot after a while. I placed the wire securely in a vise and then aligned the Dremel’s steel cutter blade where I placed my premeasured mark. After the sparks had subsided I had all the pieces cut in less than 10 minutes. I could not cut it as suggested [with bolt cutters], but with the aid of a handy dandy power tool, ‘It was like cutting butter.'”

Steel Pattern Wire Ring

Katherine Schilling's Steel Pattern Wire Ring

Katherine Schilling made 3 pieces of jewelry with her steel pattern wire, ranging from a simple ring made just of pattern wire, to a beautiful bracelet with gemstones and beads. “The ring,” she says, “is just worked around a mandrel by hand and hammered with a rawhide mallet. All of the ends were ground on my mini grinding wheel for smoothness.”

Steel Pattern Wire Cross

Steel Pattern Wire Cross by Katherine Schilling

In her cross pendant, Katherine says “I filed the wire, kind of like a half lap joint in woodworking, then I used a little JB weld in the joint and wire wrapped it with some aluminum wire.” The real challenge, she says, was the bracelet. here’s how she made it.

Steel Pattern Wire and Gemstone Bracelet

Steel Pattern Wire and Gemstone Bracelet by Katherine Schilling

“I cut two pieces of steel pattern wire, each about 6 inches long. I drilled small holes in the pattern wire ends. The wire is very hard to drill with a Dremel tool, maybe because it is running too fast. I formed 2 pieces of wire for bracelet shape. I wired between the ends (through the holes) with stainless steel wire, for strength. Then I calculated the width of the bracelet according to my beads, and attached half round nickel silver wire pieces from one side to the other (between where each of the beads would go). I ran one strand of beading wire around the stainless steel wire on one end (forming 2 strands) to go through the beads, attached by running one strand over and one strand under the cross pieces of nickel silver wire, finishing at the other end around the stainless steel wire, with a crimp bead. I then finished off the ends with a coil wire to hide the mechanics.”

Steel Pattern Wire Bangle

Steel Pattern Wire Bangle by Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell took a traditional approach to the pattern wire, creating two beautiful wire bangles. Heather says, “I used typical wire wrapping techniques for both of these bangles. The top picture has colored copper wire, which I twisted together. The bottom picture, which i have named ‘Chain Bangle,’ as you can see has a chain with beads woven through it. Creating loops on the side wires allowed me to attach the chain.”

Pattern wire chain bangle

Chain Bangle, by Heather Campbell

Pattern Wire Choker

Steel in Love, a steel pattern wire choker by Donna Arena

Donna Arena made two collars from steel pattern wire, drilling through the wire to attach jump rings which connect drops and chain. She was kind enough to make an outline of her collar-making for us. Here’s how she described her process:

I definitely made a departure from what I usually do and even incorporated my hubby’s help with some facets of the creation of these pieces. Namely drilling through the patterned steel wire and grinding or rounding and smoothing the ends. I used the dremel tool for all functions…drilling the holes, sanding down the rough edges and “forming” the edges and then buffing and polishing the wire and other components in one of the pieces with silver teardrop links.

Donna Arena’s Steel Pattern Wire Choker Necklace

Tools Needed: Bolt Cutters; Dremel Tool with: 1/16th inch drill bit, barrel sander, buffing wheel; jeweler’s rouge (blue); usual tools for wire working including three-step jump ring pliers tool, steel block, and wood block. Materials Needed: Chain; Steel Pattern Wire; 18 or 20-gauge wire; clasp findings of your choice; beads, stones, crystals of your choice.

Steel Choker Necklace

Steel My Heart necklace by Donna Arena

To make either project, use the bolt cutters to cut the steel pattern wire to desired length (measure width of “front” of neck only) minus 1 inch. Use Dremel tool with drill bit attachment to drill two holes on each end of wire aprox. 1/8 inch from end. Note: you must do this from the back side of the pattern wire. Use barrel sander to sand lightly around drilled holes. If you wish to add additional holes (as in my example) do this now having equally divided the spacing of holes to within desired area. Also knock off burrs and rough edges with the barrel sander at this time.

Bend and shape pattern wire to semi-circle shape, being careful to rotate sides while bending, because you will favor your dominant-hand side while shaping and the shape will distort. You can also use hammer and block (from back side of steel wire), to shape. At this point if you wish to add a patina or to buff up the patterned wire, this is where you use a buffer pad and jeweler’s rouge, or if adding the patina to buff up the high points.

Make appropriate-size jump rings using round nose pliers or 3 step jump ring pliers. Thread through all holes you intend to use. Measure chain approximately 5 to 5 1/2 inches for each side and thread onto end jump rings. You may want to include an extension chain so that your design will fit a variety of neck sizes. Finish chain with desired clasp finding. Instead of chain, you can use a variety of other mediums including ribbon, wire, connectors or even partially beaded strands.

Choose what type of design you want to incorporate into the front jump rings and with this phase you can use such a large variety of findings, links, beads, stones, the possibilities are virtually unlimited. That is what I LOVE about this basic design. On one piece I used silver drops (you can use connectors also), and made headpin drops with crystals and paired two elements per each jump ring and corresponding drilled hole. In my other design I draped chain from jump rings, then made dangle drops with glass pearls, freshwater pearls, and crystals on headpins.I wanted to do something different so I hammered the end of each “headpin” (made with 18 to 20-gauge wire) for a bit more of an industrial look.



What have you created with steel pattern wire? We’d love to see! Simply send an email with your picture to, and you could earn a gift certificate. See below for details!


Submitting Pictures

We’d love to see what you’ve made with steel pattern wire! We will send you a $5 gift certificate for every project you’ve made with steel pattern wire and sent in a photo of. Please strive for good image sizes – at least 300 x 300 pixels if possible. Please let us know if you’ve named your piece, and the process used: did you use traditional wire jewelry techniques, or did this project inspire you to use different tools and techniques?

If you send in a picture, I’d like to be able to share it with other people. So please be aware that if you send in a picture, you are giving permission to use it for promotional and other purposes. If any pictures are too blurry or too small to use, I will let you know right away.

Please note, the act of sending in pictures does not guarantee payment; pictures must be clear, show the steel pattern wire in the project, and be accepted by the Editor. If the Editor accepts your picture, you will be sent a gift certificate to via email within one week. Legal disclaimer: By sending in a photograph of your work and information about it, you are giving Jewelry Business, LLC. permission to use all images and other information concerning your submission online, in print or in any other medium. Furthermore, by submitting your entry, you acknowledge that at no future date will Jewelry Business, LLC., its employees, affiliates, or owners, owe or release any royalties to the original creator for the submitted design.


  1. avatar


    August 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I have also purchased some of your pattern wire but as yet have not used it. I am amazed at how inventive people have been with it. They are beautiful pieces of jewelry. Well done.

  2. avatar

    Hope Lee

    August 6, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Wow! I have not yet started to work with the stainless steel pattern wire but, the beautiful designs of the people that have are fantastic. I am looking forward to creating jewelry with it.

    • avatar


      September 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Hope, I hope you enjoy working with it. I wanted to mention that while the wire is indeed steel, it is not stainless.

  3. avatar


    January 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you to all those who contributed to this post! I’ve ordered and am awaiting my patterned wire. I didn’t realize there would be a difference in working with it, steel, duh! :) But I am excited to try my hand at this new (to me) medium.

  4. avatar

    Rebecca Vanover

    February 10, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I haven’t used the wire yet; but, I plan to make a bracelet by cutting a section into 3 or 4 equal parts (depending on how long I make each bracelet) and use them as links by drilling tiny holes in each end, using eye pins with a bead on each, and a center focal bead. I want the bracelet to have some movement when worn. I also want a pattern on the links. Your patterned steel wire is exactly what I was looking for.

  5. avatar

    Katherine Schilling

    June 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Rebecca, that sounds like a wonderful idea!

  6. avatar

    Ohare Steel

    February 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    like the design for the steel “my heart” necklace. I want to see it on the runway.

  7. avatar


    August 21, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Hello I asked you a question last week and was suprised I got a response about the new spiral wrap going around for points I’ve had for over a year no matter how I wrapped it was either too much wire or fell thru, it looks like they used 14 or 16 gauge half round but just one peice started from bottom and used the two ends to make a bail,u suggested it was 16 or 18 bcuz 14 was a bit thick,and said to show you a pic of the points I had,my favs,lapis and black tourmaline ,they are all over pintrest spiral wrapped point but I don’t know how to attach pic to this message I see no option,have u seen these at all?