In these examples, I used 22 gauge copper wire and 20g gold plated wire. I wouldn't go any thicker than 20 gauge as it is too thick to work with.
Cut 3-4" of wire and at one end of the wire, make a simple knot. I use my fingers for this part.
Then grasp the opposite end with nylon jaw pliers (might as well straighten the wire while we are at it, multitasking at its finest) and flat nose pliers at the other and pull the knot almost closed.