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Hi, I just happened across your site while getting ideas for my wire wrap gemstones and sea glass.

The fact that you give away information, don’t insist personal information, has bought my business already.

To add to the joy (yes, I’m prone to hyperbole but I’m absolutely enchanted with your business model), you add stone treatment information rather than burying it somewhere.

It’s very important to me to be able to tell my customers the what’s been done to their stones, the quality, source and composition of the gems they buy.

I believe I’m the only vendor to have the FCC and AGIA disclosure booklets available at any festival I’ve attended.

You have a customer now and, if OK, I will use your page on stone treatments, with proper attribution of course, as a handout at my next festival the end of this month.

Brightest blessings,

Liz

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(S) stabilized

How to Wrap a Loop

Wrapped Loops – A Technique Tutorial

Karen Meador, Ph.D.

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

The following tutorial explains how to create a wrapped loop, one of the most basic techniques of wire work for jewelry. Some designers use a slightly different procedure for creating a wrapped loop, but I have found that the following, taught to me by Szarka of Magpie Gemstones, allows me to create consistent wrapped loops in a minimum of time. Other methods that I’ve tried seem to go faster while I’m creating the loop, however they often require some shaping in the end and thus take longer to complete. After only a few tries, I’ve found the following to be the best for assuring success each time.

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

If you are already a skilled wire worker, please don’t be insulted by the obviousness of some of the steps herein. The tutorial is for everyone including those who have never previously worked with wire. If you are familiar with part of the technique, just pat yourself on the back and move on to the next step.

 

Five basic tools help you complete the wrapped loop. These include round nose pliers, flush cutters, two pair of chain nose pliers and crimpers. It is possible to manage with one pair of chain nose pliers if necessary.

 

 

Head Pin Wrapped Loops

  1. Insert a head pin into a bead using one with the right size head that will not slip through the bead hole. If the hole is too large, you can use a small bead or finding at the bottom of the bead. The red bead below on the right has a large hole and I placed a copper round bead with a smaller hole below it so that the head pin would fit properly. Daisy spacers work great for this also.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Grasp the head pin with the chain nose pliers just above the bead and pull the wire towards you at a right angle.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Place the round nose pliers in the crook of that right angle with the pliers grasping the wire that points toward you.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Grasp the end of the head pin with your chain nose pliers and wrap it snuggly around the top of the round nose pliers. (You are pushing the wire away from you and around the pliers.)

 

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. When the wire is perpendicular to the bead, rotate the round nose pliers slightly away from you without moving them from the loop you created.

  2. Step 5 allows you to continue to pull the wire around the round nose pliers and complete the loop. You may need to rotate the round nose pliers away from you a second time. Finish this step with the end of the headpin at a right angle to the wire running through the bead.

  3. Remove the round nose pliers from the loop and check the loop you created. It may need some slight adjustment to be sure the center of the loop is directly above the head pin coming through the bead.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Use your non dominant hand to grasp the loop with the chain nose pliers just above the crossing of the wires. The bead should be toward the side of your dominant hand.

 

 How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Use your second pair of chain nose pliers, held in your dominant hand, to wrap the end of the head pin snuggly around itself about three times or until the wraps reach the top of the bead. You will be wrapping over the part of the wire that holds the bead. (If you do not have a second pair of chain nose pliers, you may use round nose. Be careful, however, since these tend to leave a mark on the loop.) Make sure the headpin continues to wrap at a right angle to itself and that each wrap is right beside the previous one.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Cut any excess wire off with the flush cutters.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Press the end into the wrap with the crimpers or chain nose pliers.

 

 How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

Note: Please be sure you use the same hand for each step when creating more wrapped loops. You are trying to gain consistency and make this technique quick and easy. If you trade hands, you will experience more difficulty with this.

 

 

Bead Links – A Continuation of the Wrapped Loop Tutorial

 

You can create bead links with

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

the same technique as you use for the wrapped loops created on headpins. You will simply repeat the same type loop at the bottom of the bead as you did at the top.


  1. Determine the gauge wire you want to use based on several factors. Consider the weight of the bead. You wouldn’t want to use 22 gauge wire with a large, heavy bead. You should also try the chosen wire to be sure it will fit through the hole of the bead. At times, I’ve had difficulty getting even 20 gauge wire through a pearl hole. You may also want to think about how you want the links to look in your jewelry piece. Do you want the wraps to stand out? If so, you may want to use whatever heavier gauge wire you can get through the bead hole.

  2. Cut an appropriate length of wire by considering the size of the bead and the amount of wire needed at each end to create a wrapped loop. For example, I use 4 inches of wire for an 8 mm bead. Too long a piece of wire is certainly better than too short!

  3. Create a sharp right angle in the wire by grasping the wire 1 ½ inches from the end and bending the wire towards.

 

 

  1. Place the round nose pliers in the crook of that right angle with the pliers grasping the wire that angles toward you.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

 

  1. Follow steps 4 through 11 above.

  2. OPTIONAL: If desired, you may hammer the loop to help it look more professional and/or to work harden it. A video showing this is at http://www.magpiegemstones.com/hammering_closed_loops.html

  3. Insert the wire through the bead.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Place the chain nose pliers next to the bead and turn the wire at a right angle toward you.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Follow steps 4 through 11 of the initial wrapped loop tutorial to complete your bead link.

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

 

How to make wire wrapped loops a free tutorial

 

  1. Admire your work! This technique takes practice to perfect, but is worth the effort.

 

 

The following are videos created by Szarka making loops that you may want to look at as well. If you watch them on Youtube, you can make them full screen which may be helpful.


_______________________
Dr. Karen Meador

 

**Contributing authors are noted in the articles they wrote. All articles are copyright. You can reprint these articles as long as the original author is sited and a link to this website is included. The name Magpie Gemstones must be used as the hypertext.

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