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People have been learning how to make wire jewelry for ages. However, it has gained more popularity in the last few decades, mainly because of its endless creative options.
Beaded jewelry uses a wire gauge due to its strength, natural beauty, and flexibility. With the wide variety of wire and technique options available, you might be unsure about where to start. Selecting your wire gauge and type is the first step. After that, it’s about learning and practicing the various wire jewelry techniques to create your first work of art.
With our guide on how to make wire jewelry, you’ll learn all the basic wire jewelry techniques. You’ll also understand the wire gauges and which one is the best for your situation.
Before you start learning how to make wire jewelry, you need to understand the basics of wires and their types. Once you know the different wire gauges available in the market, you can analyze which one best suits your jewelry-making needs.
A gauge is a unit of measurement which analyzes the diameter of a piece of wire. Unlike the standard metric system, the gauge works a little differently. The larger the gauge number, the thinner the wire is. The thickness of a gauge is inversely proportional to the number of times a wire has passed through the draw plate. The more times it passes through the plate, the thinner it becomes.
One of the finest gauges used for making jewelry is the 32-gauge, used for intricate work like wire weaving or bead crochet. Then comes the 28-gauge wire, one of the most popular among jewelry makers. It is slightly thicker and stiffer used to create no-solder resin bezels. While learning how to make wire jewelry, you will know how to use these for wire weaves.
The 24-gauge jewelry wire is a good fit for beading projects. It fits perfectly through gemstone beads and is flexible and durable enough to make an excellent wire-wrapped loop. A 20-gauge jewelry wire is a versatile wire size that is sturdy enough to hold its shape while making handmade chains, ear wires, and jump rings.
A 16-gauge jewelry wire works well for necklaces, bracelets, and rivets. In contrast, a 14-gauge wire makes robust components like bangle bracelets.
So, when you’re learning how to make wire jewelry, you should maintain versatility in your project. You can do this by ensuring you have wires in different thicknesses when you gather your gauges. You’ll choose the size based on the project you will be taking upon.
Once you have decided the thickness of your wire gauge, you now need to choose the type that is suited best for shape retention. While softer wires are much easier to bend, they do not hold their shape perfectly. Again, the type of wire you will use will depend entirely on your project.
Dead soft wires are best for delicate work and offer a lot of flexibility. On the other hand, a full hard wire is difficult to bend and can snap easily. But it is the best for retaining shape. The half-hard wire is the most popular type of jewelry wire since it is easy to bend and maintain its shape.
Most of the time, when you are working on a jewelry piece, you will require a mix of thicknesses and types as well. For instance, if you are making a bracelet, you might need a dead soft 28-gauge wire for delicate beading and a 10-gauge wire for a heavy-duty clasp. While learning how to make wire jewelry make sure you have different wire gauges handy.
Apart from wire types, you will also need a few other accessories to make your jewelry a little more charming and elegant. You will require jump rings, ear wires, clasps, and different types of beads to make your jewelry piece more beautiful. Additionally, wire cutters, a chain-nosed pliers, and a round-nosed pliers will also come in handy while making wire jewelry.
Gathering all your supplies before you start with our guide on how to make wire jewelry will make your process much more exciting and less time-consuming.
You’ve chosen the different wire gauge sizes and gathered the rest of the supplies and tools. Now, it’s time to delve into the basic techniques and learn how to make wire jewelry.
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Wire links, also known as connectors, are used by designers in handmade chains, danglers, and extenders. The first technique in understanding how to make wire jewelry guide is forming a basic wire link. Wire links bear the load of the entire jewelry piece and would thus require a wire which is a little thicker.
Wire wrapped beads or pendants act as a beautiful addition to your jewelry pieces. The wire holds your bead securely in place and looks fancy at the same time. While learning how to make wire jewelry, you should try out wire-wrapped beads or gemstones to add a unique touch to your ornaments. It can help if you chose a relatively sturdy wire to create a cage around the bead. It allows the wire to retain its shape easily while holding the bead’s weight.
A wire weave is created by looping a thin wire around a heavy wireframe. This wiring technique is a little advanced when we talk about how to make wire jewelry. However, this technique offers a unique style and look to your ornament. Choosing a medium, thick, and fine wire for this jewelry technique would be best.
Making wire jewelry is a fascinating hobby that you can turn into a professional jewelry business. If you want to scale up your skills, you can take up an advanced course on how to make wire jewelry.
By taking a 1:1 online course with a tutor, you would be able to learn and practice your jewelry-making skills more effectively. You will also get opportunities to connect with a community of jewelry makers and take inspiration from their projects.
Lrnkey, an online tutoring platform, offers online tutorials for beginners and advanced jewelry makers. These one-on-one lessons hosted by expert tutors will help you learn everything about how to make wire jewelry.
When creating interesting patterns using wires, you might need a little more inspiration and a fresh outlook. You can search the web for inspiration. And you can incorporate these ideas into your wire jewelry.
Creating wire jewelry is a fun hobby that you can try out on a girl’s night with your friends. In our brief how to make wire jewelry guide, we have tried to familiarize you with different wire gauges and methods to style them into jewelry items.
To make wire jewelry you’ll need the following supplies:
The best way to learn to make wire jewelry is by booking a 1:1 personalized lesson on Lrnkey. By taking a 1:1 online course with a tutor, you would be able to learn and practice your jewelry-making skills more effectively. You will also get opportunities to connect with a community of jewelry makers and take inspiration from their projects.
To make wire jewelry for beginners, simply gather supplies like wire, wire cutters, pliers, and any beads or gemstones you wish to use. Then add a clasp to one end of the wire so that your beads won’t fall off. Next, you can bead or weave the wire in a pattern until the desired length is reached. Finally, loop off the other end of the wire so that your clasp can connect with it. Your jewelry is now ready to wear.
You can make many kinds of jewelry with wire including:
The strongest wire material for making jewelry is stainless steel and plated stainless steel wire. The width of the wire also makes a difference, the ticker the width of your wire, the heavier and larger your jewelry will be, but it will generally be stronger too.
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