How to Make Statement Beaded Jewelry.
Over the weekend, I actually set some time aside to zone out, play, learn and make something new. I have made wired beads before for various beaded jewelry pieces, but I never made a largish wire-wrapped center bead.
So, I played with some of my beading, wiring jewelry & other craft resources and when I got inspired, I designed a jewel of a bead! It was fun and easy.
The sea glass that we found at the beach will have a new home. And it’s nice to have something you made yourself. My own first ever wrapped bead won’t win the jewelry making contest. so instead, what I’m sharing with you today is my journey.
I learned a few lessons of how to make great beaded jewelry, and and on my journey I came across some really artsy jewelry that I’ll share with you today too.
Tips for Creating Great Wire Beaded Jewelry
Couple of tricks to make good wired center-beads:
1. Loop It Twice.
Loop it horizontally twice so you won’t lose your stones.
Just look at the large coral bead in this necklace by Nichole W. Kennedy, or even these wired sea glass earrings which I spotted at Linda Schneider’s OdysseySeaglass.com.
Note: the criteria for necklace pendants are really different than for earrings.
For example, you want something large for your necklace, but for earrings, it’s best to use really light beads as weight matters a lot. Yes, there are a lot of tips and tricks to make good beaded jewelry.
Start today, learn as you go.
2. Use Useless Curls.
Unless you use strong & firm wire, curls should probably be ornamental rather than structural.
3. Hide & Seek.
Secure your wrap around at the back (i.e. like you would when putting a ribbon around a package)
4. Double It Up.
If you have thin wire, go with double or triple layers at a time. Pick the right wire width for your stone to get it to look right.
Make a secure hanging loop at the top or back. This is how you finish the top to use your bead as a necklace center bead.
6. Wire Wrap Tools
Use good Jewelry Making Tools, (#ad). e.g. to flatten the metals against the shape.
7. Be Relaxed
Don’t be in a hurry making jewelry. Take your time.
8. Whimsy Works.
I find that just free-form, no pressure doodling brings best results. See this pendant here by Silvia Peluso. Her centerpiece feels so right: whimsical and secure.
Repeat Repeat. Build a theme with your features, and build. E.g. All sides of this ‘cage’ around the rose quartz center bead are swirly. Individually they are just swirls. 5 together make an adorable cage.
Or, if you wrap with curls, consider making some curls of different sizes and repeat these curls also elsewhere in your necklace or at different parts around the stone.
10. Have Fun.
Life is short. This means that when you get all giddy, because you don’t get ‘this thing’ right, it’s probably time to go to the beach and have a refreshing dip in the water.
3 Highly Recommended Wire Jewelry Resources
Bead on a Wire
All Wired Up
The step-by-step techniques featured in this richly illustrated book take the beginner who knows little about wirework on a journey to creating artistic and unique free-form jewelery.
|‘Moods in Wire’ Moods in Wire : An Extended Guide to the Fine Art of Wirewrapping (2nd Ed)
“I have many books on wire wrapping but none is as explicit or has more helpful diagrams for beautiful wire wrapped jewelry. I highly recommend it for any level wire wrappers. I just wish I had the time to make all the beautiful works of art in this book.” ~ review
Other Jewelry Articles at FineCraftGuild.com
- DIY Jewelry
- How to Make Jewelry :: Dreamcatcher Bracelet with Gemstones
- Art Instruction/
- Which Glue to Use for the Job/
- Tutorial for Creating a Polymer Clay Necklace
- How to make Earrings :: DIY Clay Fruit Beads :: Strawberry
Best External Links to Learn How to Wire Jewelry
One of the best jewelry making resources have worked with used to be Wigjig.com, e.g. How to Make Gorgeous Hooks & Catches (https://www.wigjig.com/jewelry-tools/WJU/techniques/link2hkctch.htm_)
Whimsical Wire pendant: Silvia Peluso
Photo Pliers: Cristina Romano