Admission: Initially, I was not very good at the whole process of wire wrapping. It takes some practice to get a feel for making the loops, but once you have the hang of it, you’ll quickly be on your way to making gorgeous jewelry!
Wire wrapping beads was my first introduction to jewelry making. Several years ago my friend Mimi invited me take a class to learn how to make chandelier earrings. I had never done anything crafty like this before, and since it was for her birthday, I enthusiastically said yes. The class was fantastic, though I quickly realized that I needed just a little more practice to become adept at this newly acquired skill. My first pair of earrings, it turns out, did not really fall into the chandelier category. For simplicity (and to ensure I had a complete pair of earrings by the end of the class) I made what I’ll call ‘simple dangly drops’ – that is, a briolette hanging from a chain, connected to an ear wire. They were minimal, stylish and I was proud I made them.
In this tutorial, I’ll take you through the steps of making this easy, pretty pair of earrings.
Supplies you’ll need:
Briolette crystals with a hole drilled through the top
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters or nail clipper
Two silver ear wires
26 gauge (or thinner) silver wire
Silver chain of any style (make sure it is large enough so that the sterling wire can fit through the loop)
Step 1: Cut two 1.5 to 2 inch pieces of wire. Thread the wire through each briolette, bending the wire into the shape of a U as pictured below:
Step 2: Next, you'll cross the two sides over one another, making an X.
Step 3: Hold one wire with the round nose pliers and gently bend the other wire around the tip of the pliers, making a loop.
Step 4: Thread your chain through the top loop that you just made.
Step 5: Hold the top loop with your pliers and wrap left wire around the center where the loops meet, ensuring you wrap around the wire on the right. If you are having difficulty tightening the wrap, hold the opposite side of the wire with flat nose pliers and pull taught.
Step 6: Continue wrapping 2-3 times around and clip off the excess wire. Thread the ear wires through the top loop of the chain and gently pinch the ear wire loop closed so that your chain will not fall out.
Voilá, you have just made a new pair of earrings! Variations on this are endless - you can add multiple chains and briolettes at varying lengths, multiple briolettes on the same chain, etc...
Looking back, and seeing how far my skills have evolved, I credit (and thank) my friend Mimi for introducing me to what continues to be an amazing edification through the vast field of jewelry making.