Following our look at how useful wire is in jewellery making, it seemed a good time to share this six step guide to making a wire wrapped necklace.
You will need:
1.5 meters of 1mm Square shaped silver wire
60cm of 1mm half-round (D-shaped) silver wire
One turquoise cabochon 30 x 40cm
A selection of turquoise, lapis and blue agate beads from 3-10mm
Selection of small silver crimps 1 x 1mm
Small piece of silver chain and t-bar clasp
Round nosed pliers
Chain nosed pliers
Half round pliers
Measure 4 strips of 35cm in length of 1mm square wire. Take a strip of approx. 15cm of the d-shaped wire and wrap it around the middle of the square wires. Make sure that the sq. wires are sat in line next to each with none crossing over. Wrap the d-shaped approx. 12 times and cut off the ends, both on the same side. Use the chain nosed pliers to make each wrap as tight as possible.
Begin to shape the wire around the cabochon with a nice, tight fit. Make sure that the side of the wire that the d-shaped ends are on is facing the stone on the inside so that they are not sharp on the outside of your piece. You may need to use half-round pliers to get a good curve to your wire.
Using two other pieces of 15cm d-shaped wire, make more wraps 3.5cm on either side of the initial wrap. Again using your chain nosed pliers to make it tight, but this time only 6 wraps are needed. Next shape the wire bundle around the whole of the stone and use d-shaped wire to wrap all eight wires together at the top.
Take the stone out and using your chain nosed pliers, pull the backmost square wire towards the centre of your wire loop to make a ridge on each side for the stone to sit on. Be careful with the pliers not to damage the wire in this process.
Put the stone back in the piece and pull in the outermost square wire at the front to make a nice shape and support the stone. You can use a pin vice to twist one of the eight wires at the top of the piece and wrap it in to a coil for decoration. Cut down the other seven wires and loop them over using round nosed pliers, with one larger one for the bail.
Thread 3 strands of tigertail through the bail and add your selection of beads to each side using crimps to space them out. Next add in your selection of leather cords and measure the required length of the necklace in a mirror. Finally attach the ends of the tigertail and cords to a small piece of silver chain on each side and attach a t-bar clasp in the middle to finish.
If you like this project and would like to learn more wire wrapping teachniques take a look at our wire classes.