Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry Part 2: Tools

3 Part Series: Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Over 3 days I have a special 3 Part Series to help you get started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry.

Part 1 is all about where to get wire, which is one of my most asked questions.

Part 2 (this post) we’ll talk about the tools you need to get started.

And Part 3 will be a tutorial and we’ll actually use wire and make a pair of earrings.

After you go through the series, I would highly suggest that you invest in Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse if you’re ready to really dig in and learn how to make lots of components and then put them together to make wire wrapped jewelry, along with lots of inspiration for designing your own unique pieces to express your creativity and personal style.

Part 2

To get started wire wrapping, you need 3 basic tools. 

(a fourth tool will be pretty helpful, too.)

3 Basic Wire Wrapping ToolsWire Cutters

You can actually get started with a basic pair that you may already have around; however, you’ll quickly want to get a better pair.

How to use wire cutters:

You use wire cutters to make 2 different types of cuts:  a flush cut and a pinch cut.  Depending what side of the cutters you use is the kind of cut you’ll make.

how to use wire cuttersThe flat side will make a flush cut.  In all of the tutorials I share you want to start with making sure each side has a flush cut.

how to use wire cuttersThat’s what the flush cut looks like.  It’s cut straight.

how to use wire cuttersWhen you use the other side you make a pinch cut.

(And actually, every time you cut wire off to use, one piece will have a flush cut and one will have a pinch cut.)

how to use wire cuttersThat’s what a pinch cut looks like.

How to use round nose pliersRound Nose Pliers:

Round nose pliers are used for making loops and bends with wire and only for that.

How to Use Round Nose Pliers

How to use round nose pliersOne thing that I use round nose pliers for is to begin spirals.

How to use round nose pliersRound nose pliers are also use to make loops.  Here I’m starting a wire wrapped loop to make a bead dangle. There is a wire wrapped loop on one end and a spiral on the other end.

You can learn how to make both in Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse.

How to use round nose pliersHow to Use Chain Nose PliersChain Nose Pliers:

Chain nose pliers are basically used for everything.  It’s like an extension of your hands when you’re wire wrapping.

You’ll want to have a second pair of chain nose pliers, or I actually suggest that you get bent nose pliers in addition to chain nose pliers.

For jewelry making, make sure the pliers are smooth and do not have teeth on the inside.

How to use chain nose pliers:

Use chain nose pliers to hold wire, wrap wire and bend and twist wire.

How to Use Chain Nose PliersHold a loop wire wrapping it.

How to Use Chain Nose PliersWhile holding the loop with one pair of pliers, wrap the wire around with another pair of pliers.   I’m holding the loop with bent nose pliers.  I’ll usually either hold the loop with the bent nose or actually do the wrapping with the bent nose while holding the loop with chain nose.

How to Use Chain Nose PliersHere I’m making a spiral.  Once you make the original loop, you use chain nose pliers to continue the spiral.

You’ll use chain nose pliers for everything you make when wire wrapping.

Action Steps:

#1  It’s time to get some tools!  Do you have any tools that you can use?

If not, you can get a starter set at a great deal at a jewelry supply store or craft store.  Look for coupons and you’ll get an even better deal.

Get the best quality you can for the budget you have.  You can upgrade to better tools as you learn.  Plus you’ll know what tools you use the most and want to upgrade if you wait until you’ve been making jewelry for a while to upgrade.

#2 Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse is a great place to learn how to make many components and learn how to put them together to make beautiful jewelry.  I also show you ways to customize the jewelry pieces to express your creativity and your own personal style.


3 Part Series eBook

This is the second installment of 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 this post you’re reading.

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
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.
$3.00

After your purchase, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the PDF.

3 Part Series: Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry [Part 1]

3 Part Series: Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Over the next 3 days I have a special 3 Part Series to help you get started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry.

Part 1 is today and it’s all about where to get wire, which is one of my most asked questions.

Part 2 is tomorrow and we’ll talk about the tools you need to get started.

And Part 3 will be a tutorial and we’ll actually use wire and make a pair of earrings.

After you go through the series, I would highly suggest that you invest in Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse if you’re ready to really dig in and learn how to make lots of components and then put them together to make wire wrapped jewelry, along with lots of inspiration for designing your own unique pieces to express your creativity and personal style.

Part 1: Where to Get Wire

Today I wanted to give you some suggestions about where to get wire since I get this question quite a bit.

If you already have a favorite store for jewelry supplies, start there.

For my eCourses and eWorkshops I use 20 gauge wire the most for almost everything.  For some projects you’ll need a thicker gauge, such as 18 gauge and occasionally you’ll need thinner gauge such as 22 gauge.

For most everything I teach you’ll use half hard wire.

As you get more into wire wrapping and learn more, you’ll find out what other gauges you need and add them.

Sterling silver can be expensive and I don’t recommend it if you’re beginning because it can be very disappointing if you mess it up (and most likely you will mess it up when you’re first starting.)

For silver plated wire:

You can find “artist wire” at craft stores like Michaels, AC Moore or Joann if you have any of those stores close by. (It’s usually silver plated copper or sometimes called “German Wire.”)

You’ll usually not find a temper (or hardness, i.e. half hard, etc.) on the artist wire, but it typically works like half hard wire.

My favorite wire that I most often use Parawire‘s non tarnish silver plated wire.

Fire Mountain Gems has something similar called Zebra Wire, but I haven’t actually used it.  It seems very similar.

I highly recommend Parawire. I use it a lot and I wear my jewelry pieces a lot and it really holds up with no tarnishing.

For copper or brass wire:

These are also nice inexpensive alternatives.  You can usually find copper at craft stores and also really anywhere that sells wire (like FireMountainGems.com or FusionBeads.com).

Typically for brass I have just simply searched for “Brass Wire” on Etsy and purchased it.

(Also, I love mixing brass with silver!)

Sterling Silver:

The options above are all great places to start.  As I mentioned above, if you’re new to making jewelry I would start with these less expensive versions of wire for a while.

However, when you’re ready to purchase sterling silver, you can find that on the same websites as well.  I also recommend Halstead.  (Note: they do have a $100.00 minimum order.)

Action Steps:

#1   In a couple of days we’ll be using wire for a fun tutorial.  So if you don’t have wire, purchase some 20 gauge wire.  If it’s artist wire or Parawire, it won’t have a hardness.  If you do have a choice of hardness, purchase half hard.

#3 Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse is a great place to learn how to make many components and learn how to put them together to make beautiful jewelry.  I also show you ways to customize the jewelry pieces to express your creativity and your own personal style.


3 Part Series eBook

This is the first installment of a 3 Part Series to help you get started with wire wrapped jewelry:

Part 1 is this post.

Part 2 is about the tools you need to get started with wire wrapped jewelry.

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
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.
$3.00

After your purchase, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the PDF.

Jewelry Making Quick Tip: How to Use Wire Cutters

Using Wire Cutters

Have you ever had the problem that your cuts are always pointy?

You’re not alone because I get this question a lot.

The answer is so simple.

Watch the video:

Learn everything you need to know to get started making wire wrapped jewelry with my FREE Intro to Wire Wrapping eCourse!

Get started by filling out the form.

Get the Free Intro to Wire Wrapping eCourse:

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Materials & Tools Needed for Rings Every Day Month

Tools and Materials for Rings Every Day Month

Rings Every Day Month is coming up starting on April 1st, so now is a great time to get ready for it.

If you happen to be catching this after April, this post is full of helpful information about what you need to make wire wrapped rings anytime.

I did a little video with the same information, so if you prefer, you can watch here:

Wire

Tools and Materials for Rings Every Day Month

The wire I most often use for wire wrapped rings is 20 gauge, half-hard round wire.  You can use any metal you like.

For some rings you’ll need 18 gauge wire and if you’re wrapping a bead or something onto a structure 22 or 24 gauge wire.

I have a separate video and post about wire for making wire wrapping rings here:  Wire in Ring Making.

3 Wire Wrapping Tools

Tools and Materials for Rings Every Day Month

If you’ve gone through my free Intro to Jewelry Making eCourse (free when you sign up for my newsletter) then you’re familiar with the 3 Basic Tools You Need for Wire Wrapping.

You’ll need these tools all the time when working with wire and you’ll need them for making rings, too.

They are:

  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers

You don’t need round nose pliers as often as the other two in ring making.  Also, flat nose pliers are fine in place of chain nose pliers.

My Secret Weapon Tool

Tools and Materials for Rings Every Day Month

You would never, ever use these pliers in any jewelry making except in this context, but serrated chain nose pliers are so helpful in making wire wrapped rings.  They’re just like your jewelry making pliers, but they have teeth.

They are helpful to be able to get a good grasp on the wire so you can pull it tightly.  You can find these at hardware stores.

They will leave marks on your wire, so be careful to only use them in places where you plan to cut the wire off.

Ring Mandrel

Tools and Materials for Rings Every Day Month

Obviously, it’s important to have something to form your ring around and that tool is a ring mandrel.

Pictured above are two different tools.  The metal one is actually a ring mandrel.  It’s nice and solid.  The black one is actually a ring sizer.  It’s a hollow plastic.

I use my ring sizer as a ring mandrel all the time.  I like it because it’s lightweight.  However, if you’re doing any hammering on your ring, you definitely do not want to use a ring sizer; instead opt for a real ring mandrel.

Ruler

Tools and Materials for Rings Every Day Month

A ruler or some other way of measuring is very helpful.

Beads and Other Materials

Beads

Many of the rings for Rings Every Day Month include beads.  You can most definitely use beads from your bead stash.  In fact, a lot of the rings are perfect for using an orphaned bead that has really nowhere else to go!

Preparing Your Space

When you are doing a daily challenge such as Rings Every Day Month, it’s a great idea to keep all the tools and materials you’ll need together in one, easy to get to space.  That way you don’t spend time finding everything before you can even get to creating.

If you have a dedicated work space, maybe make a special spot for everything.  Even if you work off your kitchen table, you can make a basket or box with your tools and wire and have it ready to go each day.

Are you ready to make rings every day?

Rings Every Day Month

I would love if you would join me in April for Rings Every Day Month!

There is a free version that includes daily emails that are mostly reminders to make your ring along with an inspirational photo.  Once per week I’ll send you a tutorial, but they’re mostly tutorials that have been published on my blog or my YouTube channel for free.

The premium version includes daily emails with tutorials.  These are tutorials that I have not previously released for free.  They are either videos, PDFs or both.  That’s 30 wire wrapped ring tutorials for one low price.

Once you purchase, you have continued access to Rings Every Day Month.  You do not need to buy it again.  Even when I add new content, you get that for free, too!

Learn more here about both the free or premium versions:  Rings Every Day Month.

Rings Every Day Month 2016

Where to Get Tools for Making Jewelry

Where to get tools for making jewelry

I often get different jewelry making questions.  (Feel free to contact me to ask me a question!)

Today I got this question:

“I’d like to know where I can find jewelry making tools.”

Answer:

If you’re just getting started making jewelry, first think about the budget you have to spend on tools.  What tools you can start with really vary based on the amount of money you can/want to spend.

When you are just very first getting started it probably makes sense to not spend a ton of money on tools unless you’re really sure it’s something you’re going to keep doing.  Jewelry making tools can get really expensive.  You don’t have to start out buying expensive tools right away.

On top of that, sometimes you don’t really know what tools you’ll use the most.  There are different tools for different types of jewelry making and you’ll probably find that there are certain tools you’ll use the most.

After you’ve been making jewelry for a little while and figure out which tools you’ll actually use the most you can upgrade those tools to the nicer, more expensive versions.

For example, when I first started making wire jewelry I got a beginner set of pliers and wire cutters.  As I’ve learned which tools I use the most (and frankly, as I’ve worn them out) I’ve replaced those specific tools with better quality tools.

(Once you have quality tools they will last you a long time!)

3 Basic Wire Wrapping Tools

If you’re making a lot of wire jewelry, I recommend these 3 basic tools that you’ll use over and over again:  wire cutters, round nose pliers and chain nose pliers.

I also have an article I wrote about making jewelry on a shoestring budget that gives you options for switching out tools for items you may have around your house.

Having said that, I’m going to give you a bunch of options and hopefully at least one of them will work for you.

Where to get tools for making jewelry

Where to get tools for making jewelry:

1.  Your toolbox.

When I got started to begin with I found tools in my dad’s toolbox that worked for some things.

This is not a long term solution if you’re going to be making a lot of jewelry, but if you’re just curious to get started it’s a start.

Steer clear of tools that are serrated or have teeth on them because they’ll leave marks on your wire.

2.  Barrow them.

If you’re just getting started, ask a friend to use hers.  Then you can find out what tools you’ll really use the most and then invest in those.

3.  Buy them at craft stores.

I quickly found that I needed tools not from my dad’s toolbox (see #1) and needed to get a set.  My first set came from A.C. Moore.

And better yet, you can use the coupons that stores like Michael’s, Joann’s or A.C. Moore have online to get 40% or more off a set of tools.  They also sell individual tools so you can pick and choose.

If you don’t have these stores nearby, you can check out their online stores as well and get the same deals most of the time.

4.  Jewelry supply stores.

I purchased the tools I use every day now at Rio Grande.  (I don’t see the set that I purchased on their website right now.)

Here are some options of jewelry supply stores:

Rio Grande

Fire Mountain Gems

Art Beads

Happy Mango Beads has a selection of inexpensive tools.

Basically anywhere you find jewelry making supplies like beads, that store will probably also sell tools.

5.  Amazon

And, of course, like everything else, you can find tools for making jewelry on Amazon.

{That’s an affiliate link for Amazon.  If you make a purchase, I get a tiny percentage of it.  You won’t pay more for using it!}

You can also find them in places like garage sales or sometimes on Craigslist or eBay someone will be selling a lot of jewelry making supplies that they’re no longer using and you can get a good deal on tools.

Have a question for me?  Contact me here.

If you’re just getting started making jewelry, I have a FREE 14 day eCourse that’s an introduction to jewelry making (kind of heavy on wire wrapping because that’s my favorite!)

Get your Free 14 Day eCourse by filling out this form!

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