Did you ever make a necklace or bracelet with a lobster clasp and then have the clasp fail and your jewelry piece fall off?
Today’s Jewelry Making Quick Tip will help you!
It’s disappointing and somewhat embarrassing, but this tip will save you that embarrassment.
When you get a bunch of lobster clasps, a few in the bunch will not work. It’s pretty frustrating, but it almost always happens.
Before you use a lobster clasp, work it.
All I mean by that is you simply open and close it about 10 times. If it’s not going to work, you’ll know and you can use a different clasp. If it’s working for those 10 times, then you’re safe.
This is particularly important if you’re planning on selling jewelry. You want to make sure that your customer doesn’t have any issues down the road.
So that’s the Jewelry Making Quick Tip for today. I hope it saves you some frustration and embarrassment.
Are you new to wire wrapped jewelry?
Ready to dig in and get started?
The Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry will give you a solid background in wire wrapped jewelry and teach you all the important things you need to know to successfully create professional wire wrapped jewelry.
I was finishing up a bracelet that I was making with the wire beads that I showed you how to make in ECT TV Episode 80 and I realized I only had silver crimp beads.
Instead of waiting to get the right color, I decided to finish the bracelet with the silver crimp beads and come up with a solution.
Here’s what I came up with:
Here’s the full bracelet:
Do you want to make beautiful wire jewelry, but you’re not sure where to start? Not sure what wire to choose (which hardness or what gauge to use) and there are so many tools to pick from, where do you even start?
Not to mention how people get those perfect wraps and loops and make their wire jewelry look so nice.
What if you could spend days learning everything you needed to know to get started and make your first piece of wire jewelry?
With the FREE 10 Day Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry, you’ll do just that! Sign up below and get started right away!
On today’s episode of Emerging Creatively Tutorials TV (ECT TV), I have a fun and simple wire bead tutorial.
You can use this bead in your jewelry creations to give your projects a little more personality and fun.
Here’s the video:
As I mention in the video, the inspiration for these wire beads started as an art journal layout.
Here’s that art journal page:
I’ve been somewhat obsessed with layering paper over a watercolor background in my art journal this year. (I’ll share more examples of different pages tomorrow here on the blog.)
For this page, I started out by using different colors of watercolors, including a metallic color.
Then I did some doodling using a silver pen as well as a white colored pencil.
Finally the paper layering came in. I used pieces of scrapbook paper as well as an old letter from the 1920s and an old receipt. (The actual letter is still in tact inside the envelop and the envelop has an opening on the right side to slide the letter out.)
Going from art journal page to jewelry:
When I’m using an art journal page as inspiration for jewelry, I like to make a “map” of colors, themes and other things from the art journal page.
I might make the jewelry piece based on colors or on the general feel of the art journal page or symbolism that is in the art journal page.
In this case, I mostly used the colors as inspiration for my jewelry piece: green and the brassy metallic colors from the page. The veining on the gemstone chips, as well as the brass color of the wire beads also gives me the feeling of an older time, which I also get from the art journal page.
When I was thinking about making this bracelet, I knew I wanted to add the brass color and I had the wire. I could have used the wire to make some sort of wire wrapped jewelry piece using the brass wire, but I wanted the brass to be more prominent. I also thought the messy look of the wire beads would add more interest to the bracelet and fit well with the art journal page as well.
This bracelet is the final result.
Maybe you see something different and most likely you would come up with something completely different for your jewelry piece.
In Inspired eCourse I go into detail about this process. In fact, I give you creativity activities and art journal prompts, then show you my exact process for mapping out a jewelry piece inspired by your art journal page, we sketch jewelry design ideas and I give you a jewelry tutorial each week.
Most Inspired eCourse students are inspired to design their own jewelry pieces. You can use the jewelry project tutorial each week however you like. You may want to make the piece exactly as I show you. You might use it for inspiration for your own design. You might learn a new technique to incorporate into your own design.
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions for the wire bead:
Materials and Tools:
22 gauge half-hard round wire *
Chain nose pliers
Something small and cylindrical to wrap around. Ideas include: small knitting needle, small dowel rod, artist paintbrush, jump ring mandrel (that’s what I used.)
*Wire: You really can use any wire you like. I’ve used mostly 22 gauge wire for these beads and it works well. You could use a thicker gauge such as 20 gauge wire, which would probably work well, but it will be more difficult to wrap.
Thinner gauges like 24 gauge will be easier to wrap, but won’t hold their shape as well. You can experience with gauges and see how it works. 22 gauge half-hard round works well.
Working off the spool (do not cut any wire), hold the wire against your cylindrical object leaving about a 1 inch tail of wire.
Use that wire tail to help hold the wire while you’re wrapping.
Decide how long you’d like your bead. Then wrap the wire down the mandrel to create a base of the size you’d like your bead to be.
Now wrap up the other direction right on top of the wraps you just made.
Continue to wrap up and down on top of the previous wraps. For this messy look, just wrap freestyle not trying to be neat.
Once your bead is the size you want, pull it off and trim the excess wire making flush cuts.
Use chain nose pliers to make sure the ends are not poking out.
Use your wire beads just like you would any other bead.
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You can also sign up for my Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry as well, which is 10 days of lessons to give you a solid foundation for making wire wrapped jewelry.
Want a PDF of the wire bead tutorial to save and print easily? Get it below:
(Note: This PDF eBook is exactly what you see here on this post and in the video. I’m offering it as an easy way for you to save and/or print the tutorial easily.)
ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead PDF eBook
Get the PDF eBook version of the Wire Bead tutorial. Note: it is the same as what you see here, but in an easy to download, save and/or print version.
Last month I shared a 3 Part Series to help you get started with wire wrapped jewelry.
Part 1 is about where to get wire, which is one of my most asked questions.
Part 2 is about the tools you need to get started.
And Part 3 is tutorial and we’ll actually use wire and make a pair of earrings. (It is ECT TV Episode 77: Wire Wrapped Chandelier Crystal Earrings)
You can find each of these 3 parts free on my website at the links above.
However, I know that a lot of you love PDFs that are easier to download and save, so I created a 20 page eBook with all the information (including the step-by-step photos and instructions for the tutorial in part 3), so you can keep it handy.
(Note: The information in the eBook is the same as the blogposts; however, it’s in one easy-to-access place in this eBook. You can download it and save it so you can find it to access it again and again!)
You can get the eBook by purchasing it below:
3 Part Series: Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry PDF eBook
Get started making wire wrapped jewelry with this 3 Part eBook. Originally it appeared on my blog for free, now you can download and save the information.
After your purchase, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the PDF.
In the actual eCourse, you get all three parts in one week and you get many more projects, but for this I’ll be sharing a new part each week. (These prompts are not from the eCourse itself, but it will give you an idea of what it’s like.)
Part 3: Jewelry Project (coming out December 28, 2016.)
In today’s video, you’ll learn a basic skill that you’ll use again and again when making wire wrapped jewelry, the wire wrapped bead link.
Here’s the video episode:
These are the step-by-step photo instructions of the exact same tutorial that’s in the video.
Tools and Materials:
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Bent nose pliers
*This is a basic skill that I’m teaching in this tutorial. Typically you’ll be choosing the wire based on the project. If it’s one of my projects, I’ll specifically tell you what wire to use. For practice I suggest that you use silver plated, copper or brass wire that’s 20 gauge, half-hard and round.
If you’re using an artistic wire you may find that there isn’t a hardness indicated. Most artistic wire and copper wire is similar to half-hard and will be fine.
Cut a piece of wire. The wire should be at least 3 inches longer than the bead.
Hold the wire approximately 1 ½ inches from the top in round nose pliers.
(Remember the tip where you mark your round nose pliers to keep all the wire wrapped loops in a project uniform. Line up the wire vertically with that line.)
Wrap the top part of the wire down and around the round nose pliers to form a loop.
Notice that the loop is off-centered, but we want it to be straight. The way I like to straighten the loop is by holding the loop in chain nose pliers.
Now wrap the shorter wire around the long wire one time while pulling the long wire out straight.
Wrap the short end of the wire around the long end 2 more times. You can use your fingers or bent nose (or other) pliers for this.
Trim off any excess wire making a flush cut.
Use your chain nose pliers to make sure the end of the wire is not poking out.
If you find that your wraps are not close together, use your chain nose pliers to pull them close together. Sandwich the wraps between the pliers and push the pliers closed.
Slide on your bead.
Hold the wire in round nose pliers about ¼ inch above the bead.
Now you’ll be following the same steps as you did for the loop on the other side. Wrap the wire around the round nose pliers to form a loop.
The loop will be off-center, so we’ll straighten it. Hold the loop in chain nose pliers.
Wrap the wire around one time while pulling the bead out straight.
Wrap 2 more times.
Trim off the excess wire making a flush cut.
Use your chain nose pliers to make sure the end isn’t poking out.
Give me 6 weeks
and I will take you from being creatively blocked
to making creative and unique jewelry designs of your own!