Page 11      Jewelry Making with Beads and Wire -- What a Beginner Needs to Know

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Jewelry Making -- How to Connect Jewelry Wire Components with a Wrapped Bead Link

The wrapped bead link is the jewelry making component shown at right.  This link is one of the more important links for connecting jewelry wire components, other wrapped beads links, or segments of commercial chain.  Simplified instructions for making this link can be found here and here.  Better, more detailed instructions are provided in our online book on jewelry making called "Wire Design Basics". 

Wrapped bead link made with jewelry wire and jewelry tools used in jewelry making.

   

The following paragraphs provide a few jewelry making tips that I hope will help those who aren't satisfied with their wrapped loops.  These jewelry making tips provide amplification to the instructions provided above. 

1.  22G or 24G wire are easier to use in making wrapped loops than 18G or 20G.  In addition, while you should practice this skill with inexpensive copper wire, you will probably find that soft wire, like copper practice wire, is harder to use in making wrapped loops than is 1/2 hard wire.

2.  When you are trying to perfect this  technique, use larger loops.  It is easier to be successful when making a wrapped loop when the loop is larger. 

3.  Try to keep the jewelry wire tail that you are wrapping  perpendicular to the wire inside the bead as you wrap.  When the wire gets at an angle to the wire inside the bead, you will notice gaps between the wraps.

4.  When wrapping, it is best to hold the loop that you make with chain nose or bent chain nose pliers while you wrap the wire.  This helps to retain the shape of the loop (keeps it from distorting out of round) and helps to stabilize the piece as you wrap. 

5.  As you are learning this jewelry skill allow yourself more wire in the wire tail that you wrap around the wire segment inside the bead.  Instead of starting with a bend 1 inch from the end, make the initial bend 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch from the end of the wire.  This will mean that you cut off more excess jewelry wire, but while you are perfecting this skill, you will find it easier if you have a little more wire to work with. 

6.  One final jewelry technique to try is to push the wire tail that you are wrapping with your fingers close to the wire you are wrapping around.  This may make it easier to control the wrap and help to keep the wire perpendicular. 

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