Beadaholique Live Class: Basics of Wire Wrapping

SKU VID-1687
Designer: Design Team
In this live event, join Beadaholique Designers Kat Silvia and Alexandra Smith as they walk you through the basic techniques that are most frequently used in wire wrapping. Wire wrapping can be intimidating but our designers show you how easy it is to get started and get you on your way to mastering this wonderful jewelry making technique.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
hi this is Alexandra at beadaholique you how to make a caged wire wrapped cabochon so in this video we'll be working with a 25 millimeter dyed turquoise howlite stone I want to show you that this basic and versatile technique can apply to different sizes and shapes of stones as well so here I have a rose quartz that's 18 millimeters and a 40 by 30 millimeter carnelian stone which here is wrapped horizontally but this could also apply vertically so that's a really nice thing about this frame we'll be making its a launching point to do with some more elaborate work if you choose so for tools and supplies we'll be putting a chain on at the end but for wire I've got 20 gauge wire which is on the thicker side and some 24 gauge wire I've got a wire looping mandrel that will come in handy for our bail I've got flush cutters chain nose pliers round nose pliers and also a pair of wide wide flat nose duckbill pliers and I also want to point out that in this instance for a larger stone what I've used is 18 gauge wire on the thicker side with 22 gauge wire for the thinner wraps so that's really the only difference this piece uses the same as we will be using in this video so let's begin let me get my ruler in here we're gonna make a couple measurements I'm gonna take first my thicker wire my 20 gauge gold artistic wire and this craft wire is actually quite good to use for this purpose because it's very soft and I'm going to cut 3/8 inch lengths and down to the end of my spool here you'll notice as I'm cutting there there are some little warps to the wire and we'll smooth those out I've got my 3/8 inch lengths of wire that's gonna be the base of my frame and let's go ahead and also cut the shorter lengths of thinner wire that we'll need and that's three inches of the 24 gauge I'm going to set those over here these are estimations you don't have to be super exact alright so first thing I want to do is smooth these out and I'm just going to use my fingers for this if you have nylon jaw pliers the kind with the plastic tips you can do that but you don't really need them so just with my fingers I'm going to smooth these get the big warps out and get them trained kind of in the same direction as well so now I'm going to take those up get the ends approximately even and I'm going to line them so that they're flat together like so I'm going to take one of my three-inch bits and gripping about at the one-inch point with one thumb to get it anchored I'm going to start wrapping around those thicker wires I'm gonna do this five times two three four and you'll see that my thick wires are trained in word a bit and what I want to do when I clip this thinner wire is have the end bits kind of on the inside so about halfway onto the inside there just clip those with my flush nose my flush cutters sorry and then I'm gonna squeeze down tuck those ends in get it approximately centered on my eight inch length I'm also gonna squeeze down kind of flatten that wrap I just made and it's still gonna move along the edge of the wire and that's okay we'll want to get it centered when we're ready anyway so it's good to have it flexible all right so we've got our first wrap made there and now I'm gonna bring in my stone just noticing this is a little bit angled so I'm gonna straighten those wraps just a bit bring in my stone and I'm gonna start to curve the wire into the shape of it and I'm doing this just with my fingers in my eye getting an approximate circle going to hug that stone I want to make sure it's even so let me get the right amount of wire on either side to be working with so that's a good starting place it's all going to be moving a bit while we're while we're creating the frame it's not until later that we're really going to secure everything all right so next I'm going to take in another 3-inch bit of wire 24 gauge and I'm gonna do another wrap along the side again I'm going to take and secure with my thumb and create five wraps around the edge and this is your choice how many wraps you want to do you could do more than five if you want I wouldn't really recommend less than that though kind of want to get a good secure connection and they look nice when they're all stacked together though they're trying to keep my three thicker wires in a line as I go because that's gonna be my frame all right so that's five wraps and I'm bringing my ends into that middle point again on the inside is where I'm going to clip them let me flip that over clip my ends there we go and then with my chain nose again I'm going to tuck in those ends give it a little bit of a squeeze to flatten it down and it'll be mobile along the edge and that's good again because we're going to want to find our center point once our stone is in there just get a little more of a grip on this straighten it out so I've got my two I'm going to reshape you'll find as you go you want to sort of retool reshape your wire and now I'm going to do the same thing on this side just make another wrap of five coils with another length of 24 gauge wire I got my five quills there more you do the quicker it becomes I'm gonna flip it over and clip tuck the ends and flatten it just want to make sure these ends are nice and hidden so that they don't catch on anything you can really take your time and make sure things are flat and straight and especially as we move along we'll want to make make sure things are centered all right so that's that's a good starting point right there so let's bring in our stone again open this up a little bit to accommodate the width I see I need to bring up my wires a little along the edge they're all moving around and that's kind of what we want so that we can mold it to the stone all right so once I've got my frame made like that I'm gonna get this another squeeze to get get it a little more secure and what I'm ready to do is show you here I'm going to make this divot shape right here and the way I'm going to do that is to take my chain nose plier I'm gonna grip close to my first wrap with the tip of my plier there and I only want to get the one on the outside and I'm gonna gently turn the wire inward like so that's gonna give me that shape that I want and I think I want a little more of a angle there I'm gonna bring it up I'm going to do the same thing on the other side grip with my plier kind of turn it around so you can see here really the trick is at once not to be scratching your wire by having the tool slip and also to get the shape right so it does take a little Octus and copper wire is actually less expensive and very soft if you want to start with that wouldn't recommend starting with for instance sterling or gold Phil if you've never done this but the end result with those wires would be very pretty alright so I think I've got the shape that I want there and what I'm going to do is flip the frame over and do the same thing on this back wire to make them match so I'm gonna grip on what is now my outside wire here and mirror that first shape just by pulling it in word with my plier adjust the frame and do the same thing on the other side get my divots about where I want them to go okay so next what I want to do is figure out what's gonna be the front I'm going to turn it back around to where I started I'm gonna have this be the front make any adjustments that I see that I need to for it to be symmetrical you can really adjust as you go straighten this out just a little bit and knowing that this is the front of my piece what I want to do is grip with my plier kind of from the outside middle and pull toward me I'm going to grip with my hand on here to get a secure grasp and pull this front side kind of out and up and that's going to accommodate that front curve of the stone by pulling out and up maybe at a 45 60 degree angle from the center guessing and we're gonna keep the flat side in the back keep the back flat because the stone back there is flat so this is what's gonna cut our stone and let's just set it in to see how we're doing and this is a point at which you can make adjustments for instance what I might want to do is make a slightly larger shape up here just by taking my plier and working it like that and that makes a difference just to get a little bit more of a grip on that stone all right so this is the point at which we want to make sure that our side coils are centered I'm gonna bend the tops of these thicker wires over so that they cross in the center at the top that's gonna give me a little bit of anchoring ability to adjust those side coils I think it's looking pretty good so we got it like so the next thing I'm gonna do leaving my stone in there now is check and see which is my front most wire on one side and I'm gonna cross that kind of down over the front to anchor my stone in and I'm gonna find what is the front most wire on the other side I'm gonna do the same thing so let me get that one gripped and over so now I've got to front both wires crossed like so and that's not a permanent placement that's just where we're at right now I'm gonna flip the other side over I'm gonna do the same thing I'm gonna find what is the front most wire in this back area just meaning right on along the edge there I'm gonna pull that over I'm going to find the matching wire on the opposite side and cross that over as well and that's just kind of getting a grip on my wire because what I'm also doing is isolating these Center two wires and these are gonna become my bail so let me flip this front ways again and make sure that my crossing point is centered with these two in the middle these two wires coming up that I'm gonna make the bail out of I'm gonna take up my chain nose pliers and I'm gonna angle each of these and 90 degrees off the top working to get as centered and angle as I can so there's one side and there's the other and they come together just about touching I'm going to get those just a little straighter off the top looks a little cleaner to my eye if they're straight up alright so from this point what we're going to do is mirror the shape of these wires to the ones below and the way we're going to do that is by taking our plier engaging the distance so that it matches what we've done down here gripping with the tip and folding inward and you'll see I'm angling it off and that's to mirror sort of this divot down here I'm going to do the same thing on this side where I grip and angle alright I think that looks pretty centered now rather than mm angling this at a complete 90 degree right away I want to keep this angle here give it a little space so that when I come up here this is where the angle is going to be that's getting it sort of that extra decorative element at the top and now that I have all the wires trained kind of up in the right direction get them a little more straight I'm going to do the same thing in the back so I'm gonna find my curving place where it matches what I've done down here I'm an angle the wire on one side flip it around cuz this is easier for my eyes so I can get it right and now I'm gonna flip this one up as well create and have a mirrored effect on them on the back there and I'll do a similar thing where I kind of curve them in on each other and then do my angle up until all four six wires sorry all six wires are trained kind of straight off the top so let's bring that to the front again can I get ourselves situated here so the next phase of this is going to be and pardon my thumb I'm gonna get a grip on this I'm gonna find one of the wires from the back either one doesn't matter one of the back most wires I'm gonna take and use it to coil and secure the rest of my wires so with my finger I'm taking and wrapping one of these thicker wires 20 gauge wires twice around the base of this collection coming off the top I'm going to clip it in the back and then reassess alright so what we have now is two wires that are closest to the front I need to identify those so let me pull one of them off this corner that's closest to this side and one of them off to this corner that's closest to that side next I'm going to identify the two wires that are centermost and those are going to be my bail wires and I need to figure out which side they're most comfortable on so this one falls to this side and this one falls to this side and they're gonna stay straight up now this back one what I'm gonna do is it is pull it off at an angle and I'm not gonna clip it I'm gonna clip it just right at a length that's comfortable enough for it to kind of curve around and tuck in the back we're just going to tuck that in it doesn't catch on anything I'm calling that one an extra wire so let's tuck that one in and be done with that coming around to the front again what I'm gonna do is bring in my wire looping mandrel and this has several different sizes you'll see I'm going to be using that four millimeter measurement right here which is the second to the largest I'm gonna pull my two central wires forward and I'm gonna wrap them around that size four millimeter setting here coming around once and twice on one side working inward to outward and keeping those wraps and protect as tight together as possible I can adjust them with the plier when I'm done and I'm coming around twice and kind of bringing the end of it toward me and then actually I can keep that in there I'm gonna do the same thing on the other side now I noticed my other wire has come off short for some reason but I think we'll be fine let's come around once let's stay on that size and twice use my pliers i grip that in here pull it all the way forward okay so we've got what we need there we've made the bail take my Mandal out and clip my wires I'm going to clip them right at the bottom center of those loops I just made where they'll be tucked in and not catching on anything so there's one side and match that up and do that on the other side they're flying alright so give that a little bit of a grip and tuck with my pliers and now what I'm ready to do is create my decorative embellishments on the front so again I've ended up a little bit short on this side and longer on this side I'm just going to make them match the actually looks like a pretty good length to work with so just by eyeing it I'm gonna clip this other wire bring in my round nose pliers and by curving from the very tip I'm gripping two curved inward and downward to create a loop like so then I'm going to take my flush cutter and just clip kind of halfway through that loop I made to get a nice tight loop inward like this once I've got that made here's where it's handy to bring in these thick flat duckbill pliers because they give me a good grip on the round side of my wrap so that I can gently coil inward and create a really beautiful spiral I love all things spiral so this element really appeals to me that just turns out so lovely alright and then I come around the other side I'm gonna do the same thing before I grip with my round plier right at the tip create my first tight loop flip it about halfway grip in there again and continue get my whole loop and then utilize my thick plier to kind of get the angle that I want and begin my coil it's kind of ratchet that in there there we have it so that's a nice it's a really a launching off place because if you do a search for wire wrap jewelry you will come up with so many inspiring designs that people have done by weaving in and out and all around and doing some very complex amazing things so this is a great thing to know what we want to do next is put this on a chain and I have a rectangular soldered cable chain then I'm bringing in here with a little lobster clasp and so let's get this on we're just going to use these four millimeter 22 gauge jump rings slide on the back loop of my clasp and slide onto the end link of my chain just close that up tight I think this is gonna fit through here no that's a little big so before we finish off the other side I want to make sure we string on our necklace and bring in the other side with my other jump ring find the opening here I'm gonna just use my thumbnail to open that up slide on the end link of my chain again close it up and there we have a beautiful necklace so I hope you found this video helpful all of these tools supplies and stones are available at please also subscribe to our youtube channel for all the latest updates thanks for watching

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Based on 11 reviews
Shirley Cummins
Was very interesting. I’ve wire wrapped for years but I like some of the new tools and I used gol...

Was very interesting I’ve been wire wrapping for years with 23ga. Gold filled. I like some of your new tools I’ll be adding a few to my collection. I make mostly rings an bracelets

Barbara Rea
A great video

Im very interested in wire wrapping.I want to sell jewelry at some point.Beadaholique has great videos.Ive been looking for in person but I cant find anything where I live.

Awesome instructions!

Great tips! And interesting! I’m interested in selling… need more skills… thanks!

Wire Wrapping video

Love all instruction especially guage explanations and ideas

Peggy Harrison
Wire Wrapping

Really enjoy your shows, your very informative and help me to come up with so many ideas. I’m new in making different types of jewelry and watching the shows helps me so much. Thanks so much.